UCL Anthropology


Radical Anthropology seminars

Anthropology asks one big question: What does it mean to be human?

Language, art, music and culture emerged in Africa over 100,000 years ago, culminating in a symbolic explosion or ‘human revolution’ whose echoes can still be heard in myths and cultural traditions from around the world. These talks are a general introduction to social and biological anthropology, ranging over fields as diverse as hunter-gatherer studies, mythology, primatology, archaeology and archaeoastronomy. Radical Anthropology brings indigenous rights activists, environmentalists, feminists and others striving for a better world together with people of all ages who just want to learn about anthropology.

radicalanthropologygroup.org | @radicalanthro | Facebook

Spring 2024

Tuesdays 6:30-8:15pm | Daryll Forde Seminar Room | Department of Anthropology | ZOOM ID: 384 186 2174 | Password: Wawilak

9 January - Camilla Power
'Egalitarianism made us human: why Graeber and Wengrow get it wrong'

16 January - Chris Knight
'The story of the Bird-Nester: an introduction to the science of mythology'

23 January - Chris Knight
'The Australian Aboriginal Rainbow Snake'

30 January - Jerome Lewis
''Woman’s biggest husband is the Moon': BaYaka hunter-gatherer gender relations'

6 February - Deniz Salali
'Raising Tomorrow: BaYaka hunter-gatherer childhoods and global perspectives on child development'

13 February - Chris Knight and Helena Tužinska
''The Three Enchanted Princes': Ritual syntax and the Interpretation of fairytales'

20 February - Angus McNelly with Matthew Doyle, discussant
'Now We Are in Power: The politics of passive revolution in 21st Century Bolivia'

27 February - Ivan Tacey
'Batek Shamanism: healers, warriors and cosmopolitical diplomats'

5 March - Cedric Boeckx
'Hunter-gatherers of words'

12 March - Shakti Lamba
'Building well together: a study of human cooperation'

19 March - Morna Finnegan
'Remember who you are: kinship in an age of crisis'

Autumn 2023

What it means to be human – evolution, action, resistance

Tuesdays 6.30 - 8.15pm | Daryll Forde Seminar Room & Zoom | Hybrid

Register via Eventbrite

10 October - Kirsty Graham (St Andrews University)
"The expressive chimpanzees of Fongoli"

17 October - Toyin Agbetu (UCL)
"A Return to Action: A discussion revisiting the values of Action Anthropology"

24 October - Camilla Power and Ian Watts (UCL)
"On the ‘Human Revolution’"

31 October - Chris Knight (UCL)
"The science of mythology: 'The Sleeping Beauty' and other tales"

7 November - Natalia Buitron (University of Cambridge) and Hans Steinmuller (LSE)
"Egalitarianism is hierarchy, autonomy is mutuality"

14 November - Freya Hope (University of Oxford)
"‘This land is our land’: Exploring New Travellers’ alternative worldmaking and activism"

21 November - Chris Stringer (NHM)
"Human evolution: some recent discoveries and their implications"

28 November - Chris Knight (UCL)
"Oppenheimer and Chomsky: How war research shaped modern science"

5 December - Jerome Lewis, Chris Knight (UCL)
"When Eve laughed: The origins of language"

12 December - Chris Knight (UCL)
"A Xmas Fairytale: the Shoes that were danced to pieces"

Spring 2023

17 Jan Decoding the Dragon in world mythology. Chris Knight

24 Jan Egalitarian civilisations. Jerome Lewis

31 Jan River of milk: road of ashes - the Milky Way in archaeoastronomy and myth. John Grigsby

7 Feb The music returns to Kai-as. Sian Sullivan

14 Feb How to run a brothel: a thought experiment on kinship, sex and economics. Chris Knight

21 Feb The hunter Monmanéki and his wives. Chris Knight

28 Feb Social norms underlying collective intelligence in hunter-gatherers. Vivek Venkataraman (ZOOM only)

7 Mar IWD special lecture Matchwoman or vampire? Strikes, sisterhood and the Victorian fear of female sexuality. Louise Raw

14 Mar Anthropology, activism and local environmental knowledge. Panel with Raj Puri, Paul Powlesland, Richard Jones, Pauline von Hellermann

21 Mar Navigating history in anthropology: modern witches and expanded historicities. Helen Cornish

28 Mar BITCH: On the female of the species. Lucy Cooke

These talks are held between 6.30 and 8.30 live in the Daryll Forde Seminar Room, University College London and also on Zoom. To guarantee a place, please book your ticket in good time, at least one day in advance of your selected talk, through Eventbrite. If you are attending virtually, we will email you the Zoom ID and passcode on the morning of the event.