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Malinowski Memorial Lectures

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Rupert Stasch

Primitivist Tourism and Anthropological Research: Awkward Relations

Dr Rupert Stasch, Lecturer, University of Cambridge

Date: Thursday, 25 May 2017 at 6.00pm

Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, Houghton Street, LSE, WC2A 2AE

This lecture draws on my fieldwork studying Cannibal Tours-type encounters between international visitors and Korowai people of Indonesian Papua. Korowai, tourists, and guides regularly assimilate me to tourism-relevant roles, and I regularly notice similarities between tourism participants’ ideas or practices and my own. In the lecture, I explore the ethnography of the anthropology-tourism relation in this research, following a wider well-established genre of productive reflection on anthropology’s alignments and disalignments with other social complexes it both studies and is historically co-implicated with. I emphasize that the diversity of alignments drawn or enacted by different participants does not fit one predictable construal of the anthropology-tourism relation. Concerning the side of tourists, I attach special significance to a minor but theoretically challenging pattern of tourists being “anthropological” not just in a sense of enacting primitivist ideology with historical connections to our discipline, but also being “anthropological” in a sense of taking tourism’s primitivist ideology itself as an object of inquiry, or otherwise developing ideas about tour interactions parallel to my own.

Rupert Stasch is a lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He previously taught at University of California-San Diego and Reed College, and is the author of Society of Others (2009). 

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. 

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Past lectures

2010s

2000s

1990s

Functional Origins of Religious Concepts
Dr P. Boyer, 13.05.1999

Erotic Dreams and Nightmares from Antiquity to the Present
Dr C. Stewart, 30.04.1998

If Malinowski met Boas in Barrow...:Looking across the Boundaries of Fieldwork from the 1890s to the 1990s
Dr B. Bodenhorn, 20.05.1997

Compassion for the Other: Kinship as Constituted Intentionality in Fiji
Dr C. Toren, 12.03.1996

Postcolonialism and the Political Imagination
Dr J. Spencer, 11.05.1995

The Soul's Body and its Afflictions - An Amazonian Perspective on the Nature of Being Human
Ms A. C. Taylor, 10.03.1994

Questions of Belief - Reflections from Film on Anthropological Practice
Dr H. Morphy, 18.03.1993

Tamed Violence: Genital Symbolism in Portuguese Culture
Dr J. de Pina-Cabral, 20.02.1992

Ritual as Intellectual Property
Dr S. Harrison, 09.05.1991

Basque Visionaries in Trance, 1931
Dr W. Christian, 17.05.1990

1980s

Malinowski's Precedent - The Imagination of equality
Dr R. Fardon, 11.05.1989

The Concept of the Person and the Ritual System
Dr A. Iteanu, 28.04.1988

Between Myth and History
Dr O. Harris, 11.05.1987

The Two Sides of Money
Dr K. Hart, 13.03.1986

The Gift, the Indian Gift and the Indian Gift
Dr J. Parry, 09.05.1985

Anthropology and Psychology
Dr D. Sperber, 06.03.1984

Sacred Models
Dr R. L. Stirrat, 15.03.1983

The Architect and the Bee: Reflection on the Work of Animals and Men
Dr T. Ingold, 03.03.1982

Egalitarian Societies
Dr J. Woodburn, 05.05.1981

Culture in a Netbag: The Manufacture of a Subdiscipline in Anthropology
Dr M. Strathern, 11.03.1980

1970s

Anthropology and the Analysis of Ideology
Dr Talal Asad, 06.03.1979

Modes of Reproduction
Dr A. McFarlane, 06.02.1978 

The Past and Present in the Present
Dr M. E. F. Bloch, 07.12.1976

On Asking Questions
Dr E. Goody, 04.03.1975

The Couvade: A Problem Reborn
Dr P. G. Riviere, 05.03.1974

Forms and Norms: The Economy of Social Relations
Dr J. H. R. Davis, 27.02.1973

The Golden Fleece
Mr J. A. W. Forge, 07.03.1972

The New Anthropology and its Critics
Mr E. W. Ardener, 23.02.1971

The Analysis of Social Situations
Dr G. Kingsley-Garbett, 24.02.1970

1960s

Theories of Myth
Dr P. S. Cohen, 08.05.1969

The Magical Power of Words
Dr S. J. Tambiah, 20.02.1968

In the Beginning
Dr J. R. Fox, 16.05.1967

Spirit Possession
Dr I. M. Lewis, 08.03.1966

Ritual and Social Change
Dr J. N. M. Beattie, 16.02.1965

Anthropological Perspectives
Dr M. P. Banton, 25.02.1964

A Chinese Phase in Social Anthropology
Dr M. Freedman, 30.10.1962

The Concept of Objectivity in Social Anthropology
Dr R. Leinhardt, 05.12.1961

1950s

Rethinking Anthropology
Dr E. R. Leach, 03.12.1959