In conversation with Simon Glendinning, David Wengrow discusses his new book The Dawn of Everything: a new history of humanity, co-authored by the late David Graeber.
Reflecting on the practices of ancient societies, European or non-European, the Victorian anthropologist Sir James Frazer invited us to suppose that "evidence of superstitious belief and custom" among them should suffice to "disabuse" the modern reader of the notion that they were anything "like us". Today, any consideration of the considerable differences between "their" ways of life and "ours" has to reckon with the scientific consensus that, for at least the last 200,000 years, there has been no major evolutionary development in human capacities: physiologically and neurologically "they" are "us". How, then, should we understand the transition of the human between then and now? How did it all begin, and what does this tell us about our time? In conversation with Simon Glendinning, David Wengrow will explore these questions, and his new book.
Meet our speaker and chair
David Wengrow (@davidwengrow) is a professor of comparative archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and has been a visiting professor at New York University. He is the author of three books, including What Makes Civilization?. Wengrow conducts archaeological fieldwork in various parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Simon Glendinning (@lonanglo) is Head of the European Institute and Professor in European Philosophy at LSE. Simon has a BPhil and a DPhil in Philosophy from Oxford University. His current research interests include the question of European identity. He is the author of Europe: A Philosophical History – Beyond Modernity.
More about this event
The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe.
This event is part of the LSE European Institute Series, Beyond Eurocentrism. This event series aims to explore how the shape and shaping of Europe – its political-economy, its political policy making, or its political culture – needs to be rethought in a time of the exhaustion of Eurocentrism.
You can order the book The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.
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