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An Introduction to Anthropology

The Human Revolution

Autumn 2013


Symbolic culture emerged in Africa over 100,000 years ago, in a social revolution whose echoes can still be heard in myths and rituals around the world. These talks are a general introduction to anthropology, including the latest findings from genetics, evolutionary biology, primatology, cave painting research and archaeology. There is hot food in the venue and plenty of time afterwards for socialising in local pubs.


September 24: Decoding myths: ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ and other tales – Chris Knight

October 1: Claude Lévi-Strauss: The science of mythology – Chris Knight    

October 8: African hunter-gatherers and the moon – Chris Knight        

October 15: Darwinism and genetics: ‘the science of solidarity’ – Chris Knight  

October 22: Egalitarian societies today – Jerome Lewis

October 29: People, animals, blood and the moon – Jerome Lewis

November 5: The revolution which worked – Chris Knight

November 11: Utopian disjunctures and participatory democracy in Bolivarian Venezuela – Matt Wilde

November 19: Bronislaw Malinowski: Sex and family life in the Trobriands – Chris Knight

November 26: Key problems in human evolution – Chris Stringer

December 3: Women in Ice Age cave art – Camilla Power

December 10: African hunter-gatherers’ communal singing – Ingrid Lewis

December 17: A Christmas fairy-tale: ‘The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces’ – Chris Knight


All talks held at the St Martin’s Community Centre

43 Carol St, LondonNW1 0HT (2 minutes from Camden tube)

Tuesday evenings, 6.30–9.00 pm.  

For regular updates on meetings and anthropology news, please follow us on Twitter (@radicalanthro) and Facebook

Twitter: @radicalanthro




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Radical Anthropology Taster Day: The Science of Myth, Magic and Folklore

Saturday, Sept 17, 11 to 5 p.m.

Room: V221, SOAS campus, Vernon Square, Penton Rise,
(near Kings Cross)

11.10 Introduction to Human Origins

(Chris Knight, 40 mins plus discussion)

12.00 Workshop on decoding fairytales: Sleeping Beauty

(Chris Knight, 60 mins, plus discussion/lunch)

1.45 Lunarchy: Hunter-gatherers and the Moon

(Camilla Power, 40 mins plus discussion)

2.45 Film show: The Moon Inside You

(60 mins, plus discussion)

4.00 Discussion space. What can we learn from anthropology about making another world possible?

This event is free, and all are welcome; if you can, please bring snack foods to share over lunch. Some drinks will be provided, plus bookstall space.

Run by the Radical Anthropology Group, in association with SOAS Student Union
For more info or to secure a place, email:

An Evening Class Introduction to Anthropology: From Evolution to Revolution

Autumn Term Syllabus 2011

Sep 20 The science of myth, magic and folklore, Chris Knight

Sep 27 The origins of culture and society ’’

Oct 4 Totem and taboo ’’

Oct 11 Early human kinship was matrilineal ‘’

Oct 18 The myth of primitive matriarchy ’’

Oct 25 Noam Chomsky’s politics and linguistics

Nov 1 Apes Like Us: Confessions of a primatologist Volker Sommer

Nov 8 Why don’t apes speak? Chris Knight

Nov 15 The origin of our species Chris Stringer

Nov 22 ‘Woman’s biggest husband is the Moon’ Jerome Lewis

Nov 29 How women initiated the French and Russian revolutions, with Mark Kosman

Dec 6 Neanderthals and the symbolic revolution Camilla Power

Dec 13 A Christmas fairy tale: The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces, Chris Knight

All lectures are held at the St Martinʼs Community Centre, 43 Carol St, London NW1 0HT (2 minutes from Camden Town tube)

Tuesday evenings, 6.15–9.00 pm.



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Human Revolution


Tuesdays, 6.45-9pm St. Martin’s Community Centre, 43 Carol St., NW1 (2 mins from Camden tube).

It is now known that symbolic culture began emerging in Africa some 100,000 years ago, in a social revolution whose echoes can still be heard in mythic narratives and ritual traditions from around the world.

This course is a general introduction to anthropology including the latest findings from evolutionary biology, primatology, rock art research and archaeology. The course should also be enjoyable: there are good local pubs, and there is always time for discussion and socialising.

Sep 21 – Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales, Chris Knight

Sep 28 – Introduction to anthropology, Chris Knight

Oct 5 – Revolutionary origins of society, Chris Knight

Oct 12 – Primitive matriarchy, Chris Knight 

Oct 19 – Early human kinship, Chris Knight

Oct 26 – Noam Chomsky, language and its origins, Chris Knight

Nov 2 – Hunters’ moon, Chris Knight

Nov 9 – Why the Human Revolution theory is wrong, Zoao Zilhan

Nov 16 – Behavioural origins of modern humans, Chris Stringer

Nov 23 – Origins of art, Camilla Power

Nov 30 – Mbenjele hunter-gatherers of central Africa, Jerome Lewis

Dec 7 – What future for the African forest people? Jerome Lewis

Dec 14 – Christmas fairytale, the shoes that danced themselves to pieces, Chris Knight

The Human Revolution theory is summarised in articles at and at

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The Radical Anthropology Group is running the following seminars for the Autumn Term 2009:

November 3rd: Marx’s anthropological writings and the current global crisis – HILLEL TICKTIN

November 10th: ‘Beauty Magic’: Cosmetics and the origins of culture – CAMILLA POWER

November 17th: Living cosmology day-to-day: the Mbendjele hunter-gathereres of Congo – JEROME LEWIS

November 24th: What future for the forest people? – JEROME LEWIS

December 1st: Hobbits and ‘Out of Africa’ – CHRIS STRINGER

December 8th: Totem and taboo – CHRIS KNIGHT

December 15th: A Christmas fairy tale: ‘The Shoes that were Danced to Pieces’ – CHRIS KNIGHT

All lectures take palce at the St. Martin’s Community Centre, 43 Carol Street, London NW1. Tuesdays 6.15-9.00


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