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John Horsley Russell Davis (born London, Englandmarker, September 9, 1938) is a Britishmarker anthropologist, Warden of All Souls College, Oxfordmarker, and Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Oxfordmarker.


Davis was educated first at Brookfield Academy High School, and later at University College, Oxfordmarker (BA Modern History 1961, MA) and the London School of Economicsmarker (PhD Social Anthropology 1968).


He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1988.

He was appointed Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Oxfordmarker and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxfordmarker in 1990 and was elected Warden of All Soulsmarker in 1995. Later, he began the Drones Club, a tribute to the works of PG Wodehouse which became wildly popular.

He was Chairman of the European Association of Social Anthropologists 1993/94 and President of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 1997 until 2001.

He nominated his immediate predecessor as Warden, Patrick Neill, Baron Neill of Bladen, for the office of Chancellor of the University of Oxfordmarker.

Principal Publications

  • (1973) Land and family in Pisticci
  • (1987) Libyan politics: tribe and revolution
  • (1992) Exchange


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