Events Calendar

Before and after Malinowski: Alternative Views on the History of Anthropology
Thursday 07 July 2022, 01:00pm - 04:30pm
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Thursday 7 July 2022,  1.00 - 4.30pm (BST) / 2.00 - 5.30pm (CET)

This webinar will be held on Zoom, to register go here: 


Alternative Views on the History of Anthropology

A virtual Round Table to celebrate the centennial of Bronisław Malinowski’s
Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) and the appearance of the
edited volume Ethnographers Before Malinowski (2022)

Edited by Frederico Rosa and Han Vermeulen
Berghahn Books (EASA Series)

The RAI is proud to present this two-part event, which discusses an edited volume highlighting the history of ethnography before Malinowski and the centennial of his classic book Argonauts of the Western Pacific 1922-2022.


Programme and participants

13:00-15:00 Part I: Ethnographers Before Malinowski

Introduction by the volume editors:
Frederico Delgado Rosa (Nova University of Lisbon)
Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Roundtable participants:
Herbert S. Lewis (Wisconsin University)
Barbara Chambers Dawson (School of History, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University)
Joanna Cohan Scherer (Smithsonian Institution)
Michael Kraus (University of Göttingen)

Andrew Lyons (Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo)

David Shankland (Director RAI/University College London)


15:00-15:30 Break


15:30-16:30 Part II: Anthropology after Argonauts

Roundtable participants:
Adam Kuper (London School of Economics)
David Shankland (Director RAI/University College London)
Sophie Chevalier (Université de Picardie Jules Verne)
James Urry (Victoria University of Wellington)
Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt (Agnes Scott College)
David Mills (University of Oxford)

Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo)


Three theses to lead the discussion during this Round Table:

1. In the fifty years before the publication of Argonauts of the Western Pacific at least 220 ethnographers produced 365 ethnographic monographs worldwide, but much of their work was side-tracked or neglected by Malinowski and his followers.
2. Malinowski is still celebrated as the inventor of intensive fieldwork in a single society, despite the fact that he had many predecessors in other societies and continents pursuing the same goal.
3. The success of British social anthropology has been partly due to its marginalizing the relative importance of other approaches such as non-functionalist ethnographies, comparative studies and ethnohistory.

Rosa, Frederico Delgado and Han F. Vermeulen (eds.) Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922. Foreword by Thomas Hylland Eriksen. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books (EASA Series 44), June 2022. xviii + 522 pp.


More information about the book may be found here: 



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