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A History of Oxford Anthropology
Volume 15

Methodology & History in Anthropology

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A History of Oxford Anthropology

Edited by Peter Rivière
Preface by Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge University

230 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-348-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2007)

ISBN  978-1-84545-699-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (October 2009)

eISBN 978-0-85745-521-5 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Oxford has arguably contributed more to our understanding of tribal societies than any other department of anthropology in the world… Through creating a virtual community, by uniting their work and their lives, by their assurance, generations of Oxford scholars have been able to make the leaps which take us into new and previously unsuspected worlds. They had the privileges, the shared zeal and the shock of similarity-with-difference which engenders true creativity and they made good use of it.” • [from the Preface]

“[The volume’s] virtues include giving outsiders a sense of Oxford anthropology’s oral tradition.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“ There is no doubt that Oxford has been a leading player in the discipline of anthropology. It is precisely the fact that this resounding success can be taken for granted that makes possible this deliciously indiscreet retrospective.” • Books & Culture


Informative as well as entertaining, this volume offers many interesting facets of the first hundred years of anthropology at Oxford University.

Peter Rivière is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology of the University of Oxford and Fellow Emeritus of Linacre College, Oxford, and has held posts at London, Harvard, Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Specialising in the native societies of Lowland South America and the history of the European exploration of Amazonia, his publications include, The Forgotten Frontier: Ranchers of North Brazil (1972), Individual and Society in Guiana (1984), and Absented-Minded Imperialism (1995). Most recently he has published, under the aegis of The Hakluyt Society, a two-volume edition of Sir Robert Schomburgk’s reports on his Guiana travels.

Subject: Theory and Methodology History (General)
Area: Europe

An interview with Peter Riviere. The first part, by Alan Macfarlane, covers his academic life in general. The second part by Laura Rival covers his work in South America. Filmed in Oxford on 9th September 2001. A two part interview of Peter Riviere, filmed by Sarah Harrison. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.


List of Figures
List of Contributors

Peter Rivière

Chapter 1. Origins and Survivals: Tylor, Balfour and the Pitt Rivers Museum and their Role within Anthropology in Oxford 1883–1905
Christopher Gosden, Frances Larson and Alison Petch

Chapter 2. The Formative Years: the Committee for Anthropology 1905–38
Peter Rivière

Chapter 3. How All Souls got its Anthropologist
John Davis

Chapter 4. A Major Disaster to Anthropology? Oxford and Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown
David Mills

Chapter 5. ‘A feeling for form and pattern, and a touch of genius’: E–P’s Vision and the Institute, 1946–70
Wendy James

Chapter 6. Oxford and Biological Anthropology
Geoffrey Harrison

Chapter 7. Oxford Anthropology as an Extra-curricular Activity: OUAS and JASO
Robert Parkin

Chapter 8. Oxford Anthropology since 1970: through Schismogenesis to a new Testament
Jonathan Benthall

Appendix: Reflections on Oxford’s Global Links
Compiled by Wendy James


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