James Fairhead

James is a social anthropologist who has spent many years researching the sophisticated ecological knowledge of some of the poorest inhabitants of West and central Africa. In a longstanding research partnership with his wife, fellow anthropologist Melissa Leach, he has published many academic books ranging from the prize-winning Misreading the African Landscape to those on Vaccine Anxieties and African American Exploration in West Africa. He is Professor at the University os Sussex and has been Chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth. He is never happier than when finding how the views of some of the marginalised communities he works among challeng tired truths held within expert circles.His first trade book, The Captain and the ‘Cannibal’telling the extraordinary true story of a nineteenth- century American sea captain and the Pacific islander he captured and brought back to New York to perform on Broadway, will be published by Yale University Press in 2014.