Inaugural Lecture: For an Anthropology of History
16 January 2014
Professor Charles Stewart is to give an inaugural lecture at 6.30pm on Tuesday 28 January 2014, at Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, South Junction, Wilkins Building, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT.
We have had history and anthropology, historical anthropology and the history of anthropology, but as yet there has been no concerted anthropology OF history. What is needed are ethnographic studies of how the past is known, understood and represented in world societies past and present. This does not amount solely to the appreciation of “others” delegitimized by Western academic historiography.
We also need a reverse anthropology where historicism itself along with other Western practices of relating to the past, such as battlefield reenactments, are opened to ethnographic study. This presentation will ask whether heightened recognition of alternative regimes of historical practice might alter the Western understanding of history.
After a BA in Classics, field research in Greece, and a PhD in Anthropology, Charles Stewart taught Modern Greek, Anthropology, and History at universities on both sides of the Atlantic. He came to UCL as a joint appointment in the Departments of History and Anthropology. His areas of research include the ethnography of Greece, cultural mixture (syncretism and creolization), and psychological anthropology. His recent book Dreaming and Historical Consciousness in Island Greece (2012) presents an anthropological study of historicizing practices on the island of Naxos.
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