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Trevor H J Marchand SOAS, University of London, UK

Trevor H.J. Marchand was born in Montreal, Quebec. He is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, and is recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Rivers Memorial Medal (2014). He was trained as an architect (McGill), received a PhD in anthropology (SOAS), and qualified as a fine woodworker at London’s Building Crafts College (2007). During the past 25 years, Marchand has conducted fieldwork with craftspeople in Nigeria, Yemen, Mali, and London. His research has been supported by prestigious grants from the British Academy, the Economic & Social Research Council, SOAS, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Canadian International Development Agency. His books include Craftwork as Problem Solving (2016), Making Knowledge (2010), The Masons of Djenné (2009), Knowledge in Practice (2009, with K. Kresse), and Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen (2001). The Masons of Djenné was winner of three international prizes, including the African Studies Association Herskovits Award. Marchand’s documentary films include The Art of Andrew Omoding (2016, for the UK “Radical Craft” Exhibition), The Intelligent Hand (2015), Masons of Djenné (2013, for the Smithsonian Institution), and Future of Mud (2007, with S. Vogel). He has curated exhibitions for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (Mud Masons of Mali, 2013 – present), the Royal Institute of British Architects (Djenné: African City of Mud, 2010), and the Brunei Gallery in London (Yemen: Space, Place & Architecture, 2017). Marchand’s forthcoming monograph is titled The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work. The motivation behind his research is to challenge popular ideas about the value and intelligence of skilled craftsmanship.