For the past several years I’ve been working on a timeline of the academic discipline of sociocultural anthropology. This page is now the main home for information about the timeline, and there are also tagged posts on my blog about it.
The full version of the timeline is a document made with Aeon Timeline. If you own a copy of Aeon timeline, you can download my files and use the programs powerful filtering and searching features to view and manipulate the timeline. This is the best way to use the tool to discover new things about the history of anthropology. Feel free to down load them from the link above. If you ever do anything with them let me know, and please credit me for the work I’ve done if it has helped you get your work done.
The web version lacks most of the features of the full version, but anyone with a browser can use it, whether they own Aeon Timeline or not. So it should be a bit useful, but there are so many dates and people in there that it can look a bit like applesauce. Still, I hope you get some use out of it.
Why This Timeline?
This is a timeline of the history of sociocultural anthropology in the USA, the UK, and France from 1927 to the present. It does not focus on archaeology, linguistic anthropology, or biological anthropology. I apologize for that, and for the fact that this is focused only on three countries — all research involves selection and simplification of a complex reality and these happen to be what I am interested in. Although there are earlier dates on the timeline, partial inclusion of some of the other subfields of anthropology, and events that take place all over the world, on the whole this timeline has a ‘narrow’ focus of ‘only’ three countries and 100 years of history. It covers the ideas, institutions, and contexts of the academics discipline of anthropology. It isn’t a timeline of findings or ‘discoveries’.
I created this timeline to aid me in preparing a long book on the history of anthropology. My choices of what to include reflect that fact. When people are or are not included, various aspects of their careers are or aren’t highlighted, this is because it is the most useful to me in working on the project. This timeline is not an objective or impartial scientific vision of anthropology. The people I include are not more important or worthwhile than the people I didn’t include. These are just my personal choices, and will change and develop over time. Please don’t be offended if I haven’t produced a timeline which focuses on what you’d like to focus on. On the contrary — build your own! Fork mine if you want. It’s all good 🙂