The Role of History in the Teaching of Anthropology

  • David Shankland RAI


Recently, at the RAI we have been encouraging research and discussion into the history of anthropology. This has been yielding most interesting insights, particularly as to the changing role of the RAI over the years. At one of our seminars, however, I was struck by a particular remark made to me by a distinguished retired professor, when he said to me words to the effect; ‘Please don’t be surprised if my colleagues still in post are not here to speak – the history of the discipline is something that one only undertakes after one is retired. Whilst one is still teaching, there is little time to do anything other than be preoccupied with one’s own material’.