Jessica Sainsbury lectureship in Social Anthropology

Jessica Sainsbury lectureship in Social Anthropology

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    Jessica Sainsbury at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Alumna’s passion for Amazonia inspires new lectureship

Inspired by passionate teaching as an undergraduate at Cambridge and by her involvement with groups working to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, alumna Jessica Sainsbury has endowed a new lectureship in the Anthropology of Amazonia. 

Building on the legacy of renowned scholar Stephen Hugh-Jones (pictured below), the gift will allow the Department of Social Anthropology to initiate new research and teaching focused on the peoples of Amazonia. Stephen’s studies on the indigenous peoples of north-west Amazonia, particularly the Pira-Pirana people, have been fundamental to understanding indigenous heritage in this region.

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Head of Department, Professor James Laidlaw said “We are enormously grateful to our alumna Jessica for this hugely generous gift. The new Jessica Sainsbury Lectureship in the Anthropology of Amazonia will allow Cambridge Social Anthropology once again to give the full weight this region deserves in our debates on human social and cultural diversity, and to make vital research contributions to dialogues around indigenous environmental stewardship and human rights in the region. Crucially, it will allow us to provide world-class teaching on this pivotal region and to welcome doctoral students focussed on Amazonia. We hope it will be the kernel of much new research and teaching on the region”.

Jessica Sainsbury and her husband Professor Peter Frankopan are alumni of the University of Cambridge, where they met as undergraduates at Jesus College. They are long-standing benefactors of the University and Jesus College. A hotelier and philanthropist, Jessica is a member of the Campaign Board of the University’s Dear World, Yours Cambridge campaign which has raised over £1.6 billion to date.

“I was incredibly fortunate to be an anthropology undergraduate at Cambridge and study with exceptional scholars like Stephen Hugh-Jones. I’m delighted to give back to my department by supporting a new lectureship. I hope the new future postholder will inspire a new generation of students and collaborate on much-needed research about Amazonia, a region of crucial importance to our planet.”

Jessica Sainsbury (Jesus 1989)

In recognition of the importance of this post, both the University and Trinity College, Cambridge, have committed additional support. Applications are now open for the Jessica Sainsbury Lectureship in the Anthropology of Amazonia

To learn more about supporting the Department of Social Anthropology, please contact:

Clare Gordon

Associate Director — Humanities and Social Sciences

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Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education. Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.