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Andaman Islanders and Polar Eskimo: Emergent Ethnographic Subjects c.1900

Mon 8th October 2012 17:30 - School III, St Salvator's Quad, North Street, St Andrews

Professor Kirsten Hastrup FBA

In this lecture the focus is on A. R. Radcliffe-Brown’s ethnographic work, notably his fieldwork in the Andaman Islands in 1906-08. About the same time, the Danish ethnographer Knud Rasmussen, studied the Polar Eskimo in Northwestern Greenland. While sharing a general quest for ethnographic description, they styled their fieldwork in different ways, saw colonialism in different terms, adhered to different knowledge traditions, and not least, worked in different natural environments. This resulted in very distinct portraits of ‘the natives’, which were to cast long shadows into the present, within which the history of first encounters is firmly embedded.

There will be a reception afterwards in Lower College Hall.  For further information please contact Lisa Neilson or Giota Spanou at or follow this link.

About the Speaker: Kirsten Hastrup is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. She has done substantial research on Icelandic history and society, and on early polar expeditions and the emergence of Arctic anthropology. Over the past five years she has done fieldwork in Northwest Greenland, where the small hunting community is greatly affected by climate change. In addition to these more specialised fields, she has published critical explorations of the foundations of anthropology.

The lecture will also be given at the The British Academy on Wednesday, 10 October 2012.

Freshers 2013