2007 Radcliffe-Brown Lecture - Anthropology is Not Ethnography

This lecture took place on 14 March 2007

Professor Timothy Ingold, FBA, University of Aberdeen

Anthropology has been shrinking. Once an inclusive inquiry into the conditions of human life, it has increasingly turned inwards on itself. One reason for this shrinkage lies in the identification of anthropology with ethnography. Such identification leads us to think of observation as a means to the end of description. The lecturer will aim to show, to the contrary, how description not just literary but graphic and performative - can be re-embedded in observation. Overturning the relation between observation and description will enhance anthropology’s potential to engage with biology, psychology and archaeology on the great questions of the origins and destiny of humankind.

Download the entire paper here: http://www.proc.britac.ac.uk/tfiles/825683A/154p069.pdf.

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