Prof David Zeitlyn

Prof David Zeitlyn is Professor of Social Anthropology (Research) in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College.

David has had a longstanding connection with the Pitt Rivers Museum since he was the first IT officer (in 1991) when he designed and established the ancestor of the current catalogue infrastructure. He has collaborated with colleagues at the Museum in the past, undertaking a network analysis of the history of the collection (see Larson, Petch and Zeitlyn 2007). His work in Cameroon includes work on the material culture of divination and on Cameroonian studio photographers. He is also collaborating with archaeologists to look at Mambila history in the longer term and in a regional context.

Selected publications


2015. Marcus Banks and David Zeitlyn, Visual methods in social research (Second Edition), Sage: London.

2014. David Zeitlyn and Roger Just, Excursions in Realist Anthropology. A Merological Approach, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

2005. David Zeitlyn, Words and Processes in Mambila Kinship: the Theoretical Importance of the Complexity of Everyday Life, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield).

Articles and chapters

2015. Francine Barone, David Zeitlyn and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, ‘Learning from failure: The case of the disappearing web site’, First Monday 20 (5 - 4 May).

2015. David Zeitlyn, ‘Looking Forward, Looking Back’, History and Anthropology 26 (4), pp. 381-407.

2015. Geoffroy de Saulieu, David Zeitlyn, Bienvenu Denis Nizésété and François Ngouoh, ‘Notes sur Ndéba, une enceinte fortifiée à la frontière du Cameroun et du Nigéria’, Afrique : Archéologie & Arts [Online] 11 (10 December 2015).

2015. David Zeitlyn, ‘Archiving a Cameroonian photographic studio’, In Maja Kominko (ed.) From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme, Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, pp. 529-544.

2015. David Zeitlyn. ‘Redeeming Some Cameroonian Photographs: Reflections on Photographs and Representations’, In D. Newbury and C. Morton (eds) The African Photographic Archive: Research and Curatorial Strategies, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, pp. 61-75.

2014. David Zeitlyn, ‘Antinomies of representation: Anthropology as an ekphrastic process’, Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4 (3), pp. 341-362.

2014. David Zeitlyn, ‘Lévy-Bruhl and ontological déjà vu: an appendix to Vigh and Sausdal’, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford-online (JASO) VI, pp. 213-217.

2013. M. Thomae, David Zeitlyn and M. Van Vugt, ‘Intergroup Contact and Rice Allocation via a Modified Dictator Game in Rural Cameroon’, Field Methods 25 (1), pp. 74-90.