History of Anthropology - 1st semester


1- Understanding the timeless legacy of classical texts and the importance of anthropology´s past for its identity as a science.
2- Comparative identification of the pioneer \"paradigms\" of 20th cent. anthropology.
3- Acquiring solid references around the key figures of modern anthropology.
4- Direct reading of anthropological and ethnographical texts of the past.
5- Exploring the connections between anthropological theory and ethnography, with a historical emphasis on oceanic, north-american and african contexts.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Frederico Delgado Rosa


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





1983 Observers observed. Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork, Madison, Wisconsin University Press
1995 After Tylor. British Social Anthropology 1888-1951, Madison, Wisconsin University Press
ERIKSON, T.H.; NIELSON, Finn Sievert
2001 A History of Anthropology, London, Pluto Press

Teaching method

Courses follow a theoretical-practical methodology. In each course, there is a first moment of presentation of key ideas by the teacher, with the help of a powerpoint show with selected quotations and images, in open interaction with the students through questions, comments and free interventions. In a second moment, which may cross the first presentation, students are invited to analyse in more detail, through a collective discussion, certain passages or other contents which permit to deepen the subjects previously exposed in a synthetic way; and also also to make brief group exercises of analysis and interpretation. In some courses, a third moment is dedicated to debating.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on two written
tests e and on brief exercises made in class, although students may choose as an alternative a single global written test.

Subject matter

I - Anthropology and ethnography in the Victorian age
Universal comparatism of evolutionary anthropology; Edward Tylor´s animistic theory; the sources of evolutionism.
II - North American Indians and the Boasian revolution
Franz Boas key ideas; Alfred Kroeber culture concept; Ruth Benedict and the patterns of culture; the culture area concept.
III - Oceania as an anthropological laboratory
The impact of B. Spencer and F. Gillen´s australian ethnography; French Sociological School: Émile Durkheim and australian totemism; Marcel
Mauss and the melanesian and polynesian gift systems; Bronislaw Malinowski´s ethnography of the kula.
IV - Africa and British Social Anthropology
Radcliffe-Brown and African political systems; Evans-Pritchard and the Nuer case.


Programs where the course is taught: