The Making of British Anthropology, 1813-1871

A valuable contribution to the history of the 'study of man' over the long nineteenth century. Sera-Shriar gives us an intellectual lineage from Prichard to Tylor, opening up new ways of thinking about a form of thought that undoubtedly lay at the heart of imperial expansion and governance.
Sujit Sivasundaram, University of Cambridge

Victorian anthropology has been derided as an “armchair practice,” distinct from the scientific discipline of the twentieth century. But the observational practices that characterized the study of human diversity developed from the established sciences of natural history, geography and medicine. Sera-Shriar argues that anthropology at this time went through a process of innovation which built on scientifically grounded observational study. Far from being an evolutionary dead end, nineteenth-century anthropology laid the foundations for the field-based science of anthropology today.

December, 2020

isbn : 9780822966487

about the author

Efram Sera-Shriar

Efram Sera-Shriar is a historical anthropologist who specializes in Victorian science. He is associate professor in English studies at the University of Copenhagen, where he teaches the history and culture of the English-speaking world. Sera-Shriar is the author of Psychic Investigators: Anthropology, Modern Spiritualism, and Credible Witnessing in the Late Victorian Age and The Making of British Anthropology, 1813–1871 and senior editor for The Correspondence of John Tyndall series.

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Efram Sera-Shriar