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The Association of Social Anthropologists in the UK and Commonwealth

ASA2023: An Unwell World?
Anthropology in a Speculative Mode

SOAS, University of London 11-14 April 2023

How to reach ASA2023 and what to do there

Dear ASA2023 delegate,

We're writing to give you directions to SOAS in Bloomsbury, Central London, to understand where things are in the two SOAS buildings (Brunei Gallery Building and Senate House) the conference is using and to remind you what you’ve forgotten to pack.

What to bring to London (or get on the spot)

If visiting from abroad, remember to bring a power adapter that fits the UK sockets (three pins). If you plan to show a PowerPoint or other presentation file(s), bring your files on a USB or a portable device. Mac users wishing to present from their laptops do it at their own peril (and should bring their video adapter).

An umbrella, for when it rains, plus all the water-resistant clothes and footwear you own. Dancing shoes and a pretty frock (preferably water-resistant) for going to the Working Men’s club on Thursday night. 

And don't forget your own reusable water bottle - SOAS tap water is clean and wholesome.

Internet access at SOAS

Eduroam credentials can be used for accessing WiFi at SOAS – if your device has been used for accessing Eduroam anywhere in the world, you should be able to log on automatically. For those who need to log in anew, see the instructions on the SOAS WiFi page - just ensure you have your username and password from your own institution available. Some devices may require additional configuration, see the SOAS WiFi page for advice.

In addition there is a free 'WiFi Guest' network maintained by Sky WiFi for use by anyone not in the Eduroam club. You’ll need to set up a Sky account.

Conference programme and timetable

ASA2023 will not offer a full printed programme (‘the book’) but a succinct printout with overall and panel timetables including times/locations of events, keynotes etc. However for full search functionality, we recommend using your device to view the ASA2023 website. The timetable page gives the when and where of a panel or event (including how many sessions it has); you can also see the date/times/location of any panel when viewing that panel or lab page from the All panels view.

Please note that if you are logged in when viewing the programme, you can star/favourite panels or papers you wish to attend/hear.

Please take time now to browse and plan - some labs require pre-registration. Note the wealth of events besides the usual list of panels and plenaries: ‘buddying’ on Tuesday (pre-registration was required - now closed!), the launch of MA in Medical Anthropology with a flurry of events and receptions on Wednesday (note the need to RSVP to their wine do!), the ASA AGM and mental health workshop on Thursday, the publishing session on Friday. As a cherry on the cake, there’s a film programme, organised in cooperation with RAI - make sure you plan for a bit of cinema time, too. 

How to get to SOAS?

The conference takes place at SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.  Comprehensive information of how to get to London and how to find SOAS once you’re in the capital city is provided on our Travel page. This little map below shows the buildings we are using, surrounded by a number of tube stations in all directions.


Reception desk

On reaching SOAS, enter the main door of the Brunei Gallery Buiding and turn left. Located in the ground floor foyer space BG02 is the reception desk (also known as the registration desk). The desk will be staffed by ASA2023 volunteers wearing white T-shirts carrying the ASA2023 logo (that upside-down city thingy). On arrival at the Reception desk identify yourself to receive your nametag (badge) and be checked in. If you want the programme print-out you can take one. If you bought a ticket for the conference party when you registered, this is indicated on your badge with a cutlery icon. You can then go on to enjoy the conference.

Reception desk will be open: Tue 10:30-17:00, Wed 08:00-16:00, Thu 08:00-16:00 and Fri 08:00-14:15.


If possible, please try to do this prior to arrival (at least by 10 April) via card/PayPal. If you know for sure that you can only pay at the conference, but you are yet to inform us about that, please let us know now, so we know you are coming. While considerate to your dedicated admin, this also helps us predict catering numbers, reducing waste.

If paying on arrival, it must be in cash pounds (GBP) at the NomadIT office located near the Reception desk on the ground floor. We cannot take card payments directly.

NomadIT office opening hours: Tue 10:30-17:00, Wed 08:00-16:00, Thu 08:00-16:00 and Fri 08:00-14:00.


If you need to print your conference paper, or a boarding pass or other short text-based document, this can be done for 50p/page at the NomadIT office.

Certificates of attendance, Receipts of payment

Some funding bodies/institutions require proof of attendance from the delegate they have funded. We do not automatically print these for all delegates, but will email a signed, headed PDF certificate to all delegates after the conference is over. This may be preferable as papers easily crumple or get lost on the homeward journey. Each attending delegate can also download this certificate stating their involvement (panels convened, papers presented) from the login environment on our website, after the event is over. Once logged in, click Conference, find your registration and click on the "C" icon there. 

If such a PDF really is not acceptable to your administration, please come to the NomadIT office during a quieter moment to request a printed and pen-signed certificate, and we will be happy to supply one. Same goes for Receipts of payment.



The conference size presents a challenge to the capacity of SOAS spaces. Our catering will be spread across multiple spaces - if you find a catering station too clogged with queues, ask student volunteers to point you to another. The catering choices are vegan and vegetarian - and they should be marked in terms of allergies. If you need an allergy-specific meal, please ask the catering staff.

Please also note that the downstairs restaurant in Senate House remains a commercial eatery that does not serve conference lunches or coffee.

Those presenting

You will do great, don't be scared. Nobody knows your research as well as you do. Have your files ready on a USB stick or other portable device. Try to go to your panel rooms 10 minutes before the session starts, to upload/download and check your files. There will be a student volunteer team member present to assist you with the technology and to assure you that all will be well.

Mac users wishing to use their own computers instead of classroom desktops should remember to bring the special Mac adaptor along!

Those convening/chairing

It is a good idea to go to your panel room 15-20 minutes before your panel starts, meet the student volunteer helping with technology and all your authors - some will be old conference hands, others will be newbies, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. They will all appreciate some catch-up time before the session, along with advice and reassurance. To save session time, it is preferable to have all presentations uploaded to the room's desktop before the panel starts.

Please ensure each presenter gets their fair share of time, and do not overrun into the breaks. Your session may be over, but other sessions or meetings may be scheduled to use your room next.

Remember that although the logic of the sessions is four papers/session, withdrawals may have changed the initial plan of your panel so that the printed programme may not reflect reality. The updated presentation order will be placed on the panel doors; if further late changes occur during the day, please edit by hand! If you have access to the internet, please update your panel via Cocoa, so those referring to the website during the event will have accurate information.

When convening the panel, you might like to refer to these helpful guidelines.



During the conference, emergency messages should be sent to NomadIT can be contacted at all times on this emergency number: +447417515358 but please only call outside of conference hours if it’s an emergency.

999 and 112 are emergency numbers - calls are always free.

Making use of your portable device

As withdrawals continue up to the opening day, we advise using your portable device to check the conference website/timetable, checking the information on the panel you're thinking of heading to, in case someone's dropped out or a convenor has rearranged things. 

Conference news will be posted on the ASA Twitter account, make sure you follow that. The conference hashtag is #ASA2023 - although we need to crowd out the African Studies crowd from the US next week!

Travel safely!
Yours as ever
Triinu, with Carlotta, Kristjan, Winnie and Rohan


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