History of Anthropology


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 Chaves Rosa


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Darnell, R., 2001. Invisible Genealogies. A History of Americanist Anthropology. Lincoln, London: University of Nebraska Press
Ericksen, T. H. and F. S. Sivert Nielsen. 2001. A History of Anthropology . London: Pluto Press.
Kohl, K-H., 2003. "The Future of Anthropology Lies in Its Own Past: A Plea for the Ethnographic Archive", Social Research, 81 (3): 555-70
Kuklick, H. (ed.), 2008. A New History of Anthropology. Malden, Oxford, Carlton: Blackwell Publishing.
Stocking, Jr., G. W., 1995. After Tylor. British Social Anthropology 1888-1951. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Singh, B. & J. I. Guyer. 2016. "Introduction: A Joyful History of Anthropology", Hau, 6 (2): 197–211.
Stocking, Jr., G. W.. 1996. Volksgeist as Method and Ethic. Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the German Anthropological Tradition.Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.
Young, Michael. 2019. "O Jasão da Antropologia", in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

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.(100%)

Subject matter

1. introduction: why study the disciplinary past?
2. Roots of Anthropology: from the Enlightenment to Romanticism
3. Evolutionism, exoticism and folklore: deep diachronies
4. Nineteenth century queries and ethnographies
5. Religion and magic in Durkheimian school
6. European diffusionism: ethnology as cultural history
7. Bronislaw Malinowski: the modern anthropologist as hero
8. Before and after Franz Boas: vernacular priorities of the Americanist tradition 9. Landmarks and transformations of British social anthropology
10. Histories of French anthropology after Marcel Mauss
11. A colonial science? The 1960s and the critique of classical anthropology
12. Other anthropologies: marginal traditions and excluded ancestors


Programs where the course is taught: