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Anthropologist Marilyn Strathern

Dame Marilyn Strathern is a feminist anthropologist who has worked largely with the natives of Papua New Guinea. During the 1960s she worked and collected with her former husband, Andrew Strathern, and they donated some objects to the Horniman.

Marilyn Strathern (née Ann Marilyn Evans) was born in 1941 in North Wales. She studied social Anthropology at Girton College, Cambridge, and worked with both Edmund Leach and Meyer Fortes. Her doctoral thesis, later published as Women in Between (1972), was the first ethnography to focus on Melanesian women. Her principal fieldwork has been carried out in Papua New Guinea where she first visited in 1964. 

She has held a number of academic appointments which include a Research fellowship at the New Guinea Research Unit of the Australian National University (1970); Fellow and Lecturer at Girton College (1976-1983); Professor of Social Anthropology at Manchester University and Professor of Anthropology and Mistress of Girton College (1998-2009). She is currently working on a three research project for the Institute of Advanced Study on ‘International Science and Bioethics Collaborations: Critical Approaches to New Knowledge Relations’.