Accepted paper:

Anthropology and Europe: the role of the RAI

Authors:

David Shankland (Royal Anthropological Institute)

Paper short abstract:

This paper begins with the basic consideration: what was the institutional framework for the founding of anthropology in Europe? It argues that associations and societies were of paramount importance in this respect.

Paper long abstract:

Modern anthropology has, almost by default, assumed that its rightful base is the university. This, however, has always been rather a simplification and, when we look at the history of anthropology, probably not justified at all. I argue in this paper that societies and associations were vital across Europe to the creation of anthropology as a discipline, and that they often had good contact with each other - thus we need to conceive of anthropology as a pan-European intellectual movement that crystalized in various centres which, however, were never entirely closed off from one another. The RAI is taken as a case study to illustrate these points.

panel P049
The role of learned societies and associations in the creation and building of European anthropology [History of Anthropology Network]