Contact details


Role: Founding  Director, now Research Associate IGS at LMH; Honorary Life Member of Ass. of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth   

Shirley Ardener


Shirley Ardener spent many years conducting fieldwork first in Nigeria and longer in Cameroon, some jointly with her husband. She remains in contact with the National Anglophone Archives office which she and Edwin initiated, and with the University of Buea.  In 1972 she helped establish the seminar in Gender in the University of Oxford which still flourishes at Lady Margaret Hall under the auspices of the IGS, of which Ardener was the Founding Director. For 26 years she co-convened a seminar on Ethnicity and Identity at Oxford's Inst. of Social and Cultural Anthropology.  She is an editor for 3 book series for Berghahn Books.

Biographical assessments of Ardener and publications list can be found in festchrift, Identity and Networks; Fashioning Gender and Ethnicity Across Cultures, eds. D. Bryceson, J. Okely, J. Webber, Berghahn Books 2007

Research interests

Cameroon Studies; social anthropology in general; women's savings and  credit associations; the use of the body and nudity and vulgarity in women's protest movements; single women.

Selected publications

Eye-Witnesses to the Annexation of Cameroon 1883-1887. Buea: Cameroon Government Press, 1968.

Defining Females: the nature of women in society (ed., including Introductory Essay). London: Croom Helm, 1981; New York: St. Martin's Press; second edition Berg 1993.

Women and Space; ground rules and social maps, (including introductory essay), London: Croom Helm, 1981, second edition Berg 1993.

The Incorporated Wife, (co-ed., with Hilary Callan).  London: Croom Helm, 1984.

Persons and Powers of Women in Diverse Cultures (ed.) Oxford, England, and New York, USA: Berg Publications 1992.

Bilingual Women; anthropological approaches to second language use, (co-ed. with P. Burton and K.K. Dyson), Berg 1994.

Money-Go-Rounds; Women's Use of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (co-ed. with S. Burman; includes Introductory Essay) Berg 1995.

Swedish Ventures in Cameroon, 1883-1923; Trade and Travel, People and Politics (ed. with commentaries) Berghahn Books, 2002.

Changing Sex and Bending Gender, (co-ed. with A. Shaw, includes), Berghahn Books, 2005.

War and Women across Continents; Biographical and Autobiographical Experiences, (co-ed. with F. Armitage and L. Sciama; includes Introductory Essay), Berghahn Books, 2017.

For a full list see Identity and Networks; Fashioning Gender and Ethnicity Across Cultures,  Bryceson, Webber and Okely, 2007.