Article ID: CBB416459127

The Tragedy of Cambridge Anthropology: Edwardian Historical Thought and the Contact of Peoples (2016)


The essay identifies and explores the intellectual formation of a hitherto overlooked constellation of ‘anthropologists’ in Edwardian Cambridge. Three core members of this group were William Ridgeway, Hector Munro Chadwick, and William H. R. Rivers, who today are more normally associated with (respectively) Classics, Anglo-Saxon studies, and Anthropology. However, in the decade before World War I all three were active members of the new Board of Anthropology, and each, in his particular field of study, began to turn away from established evolutionary explanation to investigate social phenomena as arising out of the contact of different peoples. The essay first shows the connections between the work of Chadwick and Rivers, and then suggests that both were following a path recently beaten down by Ridgeway who, in his disputes with the so-called Cambridge Ritualists, advanced an account of ancient Greek tragedy as arising out of a fusion of native and intrusive performances, both relating to the commemoration of the dead.

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Authors & Contributors
Langham, Ian
Rivers, W. H. R.
Weatherall, Mark W.
Barrow-Green, June
Gray, Jeremy
Navarro, Jaume
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Historia Mathematica
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Rutherford Journal: The New Zealand Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Boydell Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Ashgate Publishing
Louisiana State University Press
Science and race
Universities and colleges
Cultural anthropology
Rivers, William Halse Rivers
Thomson, Joseph John
Hall, Granville Stanley
Mead, Margaret
Dewey, John
Rutherford, Ernest, 1st Baron
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
18th century
20th century
Great Britain
British Isles
United States
Cambridge University
Royal College of Physicians of London
Oxford University
Harvard University

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