(To participate, please first register on EventBrite). Anthropology is intrinsically dissident, subversive and critical of all cultural assumptions. When the Radical Anthropology Group was founded forty years ago, we defined our project not as 'anthropology' in the traditional sense but as 'reverse anthropology', turning the colonial and postcolonial assumptions of our discipline upside down. One consequence was to place western culture and its assumptions in the spotlight, attempting to view our profit-oriented, individualistic, competitive and environmentally destructive way of life in cities such as London from the standpoint of indigenous activists including egalitarian hunter-gatherers. In these talks, we will try to approach fundamental questions about what it means to be human from the perspective of thinkers and activists whose cultural assumptions differ radically from our own.
Language, art, music and culture emerged in Africa over 100,000 years ago, culminating in a symbolic explosion or ‘human revolution’ whose echoes can still be heard in myths and cultural traditions from around the world. These talks are a general introduction to social and biological anthropology, ranging over fields as diverse as hunter-gatherer studies, mythology, primatology, archaeology and archaeo-astronomy. Radical Anthropology brings indigenous rights activists, environmentalists, feminists and others striving for a better world together with people of all ages who just want to learn about anthropology. There is always time for questions and discussion after each talk and there are good local pubs for those wishing to socialise into the evening.