Glenn Bowman is an Emeritus Professor within the School of Politics and International Relations, he was formally programme convenor for the BA Liberal Arts programme until his retirement in July 2017.
Professor Bowman came to anthropology out of a literature background, but one which had always focused on the social context of representation and symbolisation. He earned a BA degree in English Literature at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, a Folklore and Folklife MA at University of Pennsylvania, and a Comparative Literature MA at SUNY at Buffalo, before finally ending up at the Institute of Social Anthropology at Oxford. He carried out his DPhil fieldwork on Jerusalem pilgrimage, spending one of the most intense couple of years of his life living in Jerusalem's Old City (1983-85), before returning to the UK to teach at UCL and Kent. Further research has taken place on the West Bank, in (now former) Yugoslavia and Cyprus where he continues to research how people in communities marked by diversity — particularly by different religious affiliations — manage for the most part to live together but, in certain circumstances, divide into antagonistic groupings which war with each other.
The mix of research classically deemed ‘humanities’ (in history, literature, philosophy and even theology) with that termed ‘social sciences’ (anthropology, politics) has marked his work, resulting in his appointment as Professor of Socio-historical Anthropology at the University of Kent and leading him in 2014 to set up the University’s new BA degree in Liberal Arts that offers a means of grasping the world and the contemporary from a range of perspectives – political, cultural, historical and economic.