Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


African Studies Lunchtime Seminar: A central African civilisation without hierarchy?

19 January 2017, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

A Central African Civilisation Without Hierarchy? Stylistic Clues Suggestive of an Enduring ‘Pygmy’ Civilisation

Stylistic clues suggestive of an enduring 'Pygmy' civilisation.

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Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Seminar Room 20, First Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

The first Spring Term seminar in the UCL African Studies Lunchtime Seminar Series welcomes Dr Jerome Lewis, Lecturer in Social Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Director of Cultures of Sustainability in the UCL Environment Institute.

This talk will present research tracing the long duration and resilience of a Central African hunter-gatherer 'civilisation'. This civilisation cannot be traced through archaeological evidence, but rather by combining genetic, ethnographic and ethnomusicological studies that suggest a structural form or style that endures across different 'Pygmy' societies today despite genetic and other differences, such as speaking different languages. The talk describes how a distinctive musical style expresses and transmits ideal scenarios that form socio-aesthetic standards guiding, but not dictating, culturally appropriate or characteristic action.

The seminars will be held every other Thursday during term time from 12.30 to 2 pm in IAS Seminar Room 20 on the first floor of South Wing.

This new series is convened by the African Studies Research Centre and the Institute of Advanced Studies:

  • Dr Matt Davies
  • Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach
  • Professor Megan Vaughan

All welcome.