UCL Anthropology


Suggested Readings

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

You can also read the papers written by academics in the Department.

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.
  • Humphrey, L. and Stringer, C. 2018. Our Human Story. The Natural History Museum, 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

Digital Anthropology:

  • Horst, Heather, and Daniel Miller. 2006. The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication. Berg Publishers.
  • Horst, Heather A, and Daniel Miller. 2012. Digital Anthropology. London; New York: Berg.
  • Nardi, Bonnie A. 2010. My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
  • Kelty, Christopher M. 2008. Two Bits : The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Durham, N.C.; Chesham: Duke University Press; Combined Academic distributor. (there is a free pdf of this book from author website
  • Coleman, E. Gabriella. 2012. Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. Princeton University Press. (there is a free pdf of this from author website
  • Schüll, Natasha Dow. 2014. Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.
  • Starosielski, Nicole. 2015. The Undersea Network. Durham: Duke University Press Books.
  • Dijk, José van. 2007. Mediated Memories in the Digital Age. Stanford University Press
  • Sreberny, Annabelle, and Gholam Khiabany. 2010. Blogistan the Internet and Politics in Iran. London; New York; New York, NY: I.B. Tauris ; Distributed in the United States and Canada exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Miller, Daniel, Elisabetta Costa, Nell Haynes, Tom McDonald, Razvan Nicolescu, Jolynna Sinanan, Juliano Spyer, Shriram Venkatraman, and Xinyuan Wang. 2016. How the World Changed Social Media. UCL Press. (Open Access)
  • Boellstorff et al. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method. 2012. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Boellstorff, Tom. 2008. Coming of Age in Second Life : An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton ; Oxford: Princeton University Press.
  • Broadbent, Stefana. 2015. Intimacy at Work. Walnut Creek, California: Routledge.

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.