Robert H. Barnes

Robert H. Barnes


Professor Robert Barnes is retired as a Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He is Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and an Affiliate of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut, where he currently resides. He has published books and articles on three separate communities on the eastern Indonesian islands of Lembata and Adonara, and has written a book and articles about the Omaha Indians of Nebraska.

He received his B.A. in Anthropology from Reed College before going on to obtain his B.Litt. and D.Phil. in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. He became a lecturer in the University of Edinburgh from 1974 to 1977 and the University of Oxford from 1978 to 1996. In 1996, he became Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, retiring in 2012.


From 1988 to 1991 he was Director of the Asian Studies Centre St. Antony’s College, Oxford. From 2005 to 2007, he was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain Virtual College. In 1980 he was Directeur d’Etudes Associé, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. In 1986 he was Visiting Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. In 1986/87 he was Visiting Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan. In 2006 and 2007 he was Affiliated Fellow of the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden, The Netherlands. He spent four months in 2008 at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow.

His books include:

Kédang: a study of the collective thought of an eastern Indonesian people. With a Forward by Rodney Needham. Oxford: The Clarendon Press (1974).

Two Crows denies it: a history of controversy in Omaha sociology. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press (1984).

Indigenous Peoples of Asia (edited with Andrew Gray and Benedict Kingsbury). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Association for Asian Studies (Monographs and Occasional Paper Series, Number 48) (1995).

Sea Hunters of Indonesia: Fishers and Weavers of Lamalera. Oxford: Clarendon Press (1996).

A Dictionary of the Kedang Language (with U. B. Samely). Leiden: Brill (Handbook of Oriental Studies: Section Three, Southeast Asia, volume 20) (2013).

Excursions into Eastern Indonesia: Essays on History and Social Life. New Haven: Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, Monograph 63 (2013).