Virginia Luling studied at Oxford and London and took her PhD in Social Anthropology in 1972. Her field research was done in Afgooye, Somalia. Her publications include Somali Sultanate; the Geledi City State over 150 years (2002) and articles including 'Some Possession Cults in Southern Somalia' (1991), 'The Law then was not this Law' (1996); 'Past and Present in Improvised Verse at a South Somali Festival' (1996), 'Come Back Somalia? Questioning a Collapsed State' (1997), and 'Genealogy as Theory, Genealogy as Tool: Aspects of Somali Clanship' (2006). From 1983 to 2004 she worked for the human rights organisation Survival International. She is Secretary of the Anglo-Somali Society and is working on a history of the Begedi clan.