Suggested Readings


This range of books covers the different aspects of Anthropology but there are many others which are equally appropriate.

Biological Anthropology:

  • Diamond, J. (1998)  Guns, Germs & Steel. Vintage, London.
  • Diamond, J. (2012) The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Allen Lane, London.
  • Dunbar, R. (2010) How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks. Faber and Faber, London. 
  • Homewood, K. (2008) Ecology of African Pastoralist Societies. James Currey: Oxford.
  • Hrdy, S. (2011) Mothers and Others. The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding. Harvard, Cambridge: MA.  
  • James, W. (2003) The Ceremonial Animal: A new portrait of anthropology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Martin, R. (2013) How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction. Basic Books, New York.    
  • Pinker, S. (2007) The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature. Viking, New York.    
  • Stringer, C. (2012) The Origin of Our Species. Penguin, London.   
  • Tattersal, I. (2013) Masters of the Planet: The Search for Our Human Origins. Mcmillan Science, London.    
  • de Waal, F. (2013) The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism among the Primates. WW Norton, New York.    
  • Wood, B. (2006) Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.    
  • Wrangham, R. (2010) Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. Profile Books, London.

Material Culture:

  • Buchli, V. (2002) The Material Culture Reader. Berg Publishers. Oxford.
  • Geismar, H. (2013) Treasured Possessions: indigenous interventions into cultural and intellectual property. Duke University Press.
  • Küchler, S. (2009) Tivaivai: The Social Fabric of the Cook Islands London: British Museum & Te Papa Press; with Andrea Eimke, Photographer.
  • Miller, D. (2008) The Comfort of Things. Polity Press.
  • Miller, D. (2012) Consumption and its Consequences. Polity Press.
  • Pinney, C. (2011) Photography and Anthropology. London: Reaktion Books & Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Tilley, C. (2010) Interpreting Landscapes. Left Coast Press, CA.
  • Woodward, I. (2007) Understanding Material Culture. SAGE Publications Ltd

Social and Cultural Anthropology:

  • Astuti, Rita, et al (eds.) (2007) Questions of Anthropology. Oxford: Berg (a more recent collection of introductory essays on key topics by British anthropologists)
  • Eriksen, Thomas H. (2001) Small Places, Large Issues: an Introduction to Social and Cultural anthropology. London: Pluto Press (a readable 101-type text)
  • Gay y Blasco, Paloma & Huon Wardle. (2007) How To Read Ethnography. London: Routledge (an excellent introductory account of the significance of ethnographic writing in anthropology)
  • Ingold, Tim (ed.) (1996) Key Debates in Anthropology. Oxford: Berg. (collection of annual debates on anthropological topics held in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s – excellent as introductions to each topic. For more recent debates visit the Group for Debates in Anthropological Theory (GDAT) web page)
  • Keesing, Roger. (1997) Cultural Anthropology: a Contemporary Perspective. New York and London: Harcourt Brace (a broad and very well put together introduction)
  • Kuper, Adam. (1991) Anthropology and Anthropologists: The Modern British School. Routledge London (good as an introduction to the development of social anthropology in Britain).

Medical Anthropology

  • Dettwyler Katherine (1993)  Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa. Waveland Press.
  • Fadiman Emily (1997) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.
  • Martin Emily (2001) The woman in the body: a cultural analysis of reproduction. Beacon Press, Boston.
  • Skloot, Rebecca (2010) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Macmillan.

Request page update
UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London, WC1H 0BW Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 8633