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By Jeremy MacClancy

This articulate and authoritative survey of either the preferred and educational tendencies in anthropology demonstrates the large relevance of anthropological wisdom and argues for a extra inclusive perception of the self-discipline that engages the general public imagination.

  • Demonstrates the evolving social contexts of British anthropological conception and perform from the mid-19th century
  • Highlights the significance of renowned anthropology in forming and maintaining the pro discipline
  • Explores the earlier and current cross-fertilization of anthropologists, scientists and in demand literary figures
  • Assesses the pioneering efforts on-line to enhance the position of anthropology in public debates
  • Appeals to a broader readership attracted to cultural and highbrow history

Chapter 1 Beating the boundaries of self-discipline? (pages 1–57):
Chapter 2 John Layard, “Study of a Failure” (pages 58–80):
Chapter three Geoffrey Gorer, “Britain's Margaret Mead” (pages 81–109):
Chapter four Robert Graves (pages 110–134):
Chapter five Mass statement (pages 135–157):
Chapter 6 The Literary snapshot of the Anthropologist (pages 158–183):
Chapter 7 Parting reviews (pages 184–192):

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Additional info for Anthropology in the Public Arena: Historical and Contemporary Contexts

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Within three weeks of his appearance, he was writing jokey verse to Lang and Haggard about their joint trip to the United States to publicize a forthcoming book of theirs. In his poem the US public mistake the two: In the ears of Mister Haggard whom they hailed as Mister Lang, The societies of Boston ethnologically sang, And they spoke of creature-legends, and of totem, myth and sign, And the stricter Law of Metre – Mister Haggard answered, “Nein” (RK to AL and RH, 26 x 1889, in Cohen 1965: 26) Thirty-six years later, Kipling was still provoking anthropological debate with Haggard.

This contradictory, miserable tale of magic and thieving by a corrupt academic who came, got the material, both verbal and physical, and then got out contrasts badly with the example of the literary lady, devoted long-term to the preservation of indigenous culture. Cases like this make it all the easier to agree with the historian Scott Ashley who, after teasing out the multi-layered nature of Haddon’s Aran work, stated, The work of ethnographic flâneurs like Synge or, in the South Pacific, Robert Louis Stevenson, living among the people about whom they wrote over a space of years, learning the language, hoping for some kind of understanding from the inside, 32 Anthropology in the Public Arena should be incorporated into the histories of anthropology, or the rich cultural context in which the discipline was founded risks being thinned.

To that end, as editor in all but name of Longman’s Magazine, he promoted authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson, H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, and Arthur Conan Doyle. These relationships were not merely professional: for instance, both Lang and Stevenson had joined the recently founded Savile Club in Mayfair, London, whose membership was composed of writers, editors, and publishers as well as prominent evolutionary scientists. Julia Reid, in her incisive analysis of Stevenson and contemporary science, argues convincingly that his fascination with and knowledge of “primitive” life, whether in the Scots Highlands or the South Pacific, led him to question evolutionist hierarchies and notions of progress.

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