For the past several years I’ve been working on a timeline of the academic discipline of sociocultural anthropology. This page is the official ‘home’ for information about the timeline. There will also be tagged posts on my blog about it as I update it.

The full version of the timeline lives on my computer. It’s made with Aeon Timeline (the best timeline product I’ve found). I’m happy to give the source files to anyone who wants them — just email me.

An online version of the timeline also exists (thanks to Kerim Friedman for hosting). But this version lacks the full functionality of the desktop version. Also, I don’t keep it as up to date as the one I am tinkering with on my computer.

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. 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 🙂

How This Timeline Works

This timeline uses Aeon Timeline’s mechanics in several ways:

This timeline is divided into two arcs: ‘publications’ (books, articles, etc.) and ‘institutions’ (births, deaths, employment, creation of departments and universities, and generally everything else).

In this timeline, entities are individual anthropologists. You can search by entity to get a timeline of the biography of any anthropologist who is in the timeline.

Colors Code Geographical Location

All events are color-coded based on where they happened (for publications, this is the main office of the publishing house). A list of colors can be found below:

  • Red – America, Canada
  • Blue – France
  • Yellow – UK, Australia, New Zealand
  • Purple – Europe (including Russia/former USSR)
  • Orange – Africa (including commonwealth countries) and North Africa
  • Tan – Oceania
  • Green – Latin America
  • Light Green – Asia (yes, I know this is a bit broad!) and the Middle East.

Tags Code Institutional Location And Event Type

Tags are associated with each event. A list of tags can be found below. Importantly, I’ve attempted to tag all events that happened at institutions. Unless otherwise specified, all events at institutions occurred in the anthropology department of that institution. When they did not, a tag is added to specify what department they took place in.

Births, deaths, and Ph.D.s are not tagged since they are named in events and can just be searched for by name in the title. To search for all births, just search for title = “born”


  • AmericanAnthropologist – American Anthropologist (journal)
  • JAF – Journal of American Folklore
  • journal – all events relating to a journal (not mandatory)

Institutions, Organizations, Etc.

  • ASA – Association of Social Anthropologists
  • AAA – American Anthropological Association
  • AAAS – American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • AMNH – American Museum of Natural History
  • BAE – Bureau of American Ethnology
  • BritishAcademy
  • CIMA – Coordinated Investigation of Micronesian Anthropology
  • conference – a conference took place
  • CulturalStudies – any cultural studies department in a uni. Right now this is just Birmingham in the UK.
  • department – deprecated. Do not use.
  • EASA – European Association of Social Anthropology
  • engineering – an engineering department
  • FieldMuseum – Field Museum at Chicago.
  • history – a department of history
  • Rhodes – time as Rhodes scholar
  • Rockefeller – founded with Rockefeller money
  • SfAA – Society for applied anthropology
  • SocialRelations – Social Relations at Harvard
  • SocialThought – Department of Social Thought, University of Chicago
  • Sociology – any sociology departmentepartment of history
  • HRAF – Human Relations Area File
  • HumanRelations – Yale Department of Human Relations
  • IAS – Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton
  • MacArthur – Macarthur genius grant
  • MdH – Musée de l’Homme
  • OSS – Office of Strategic Services
  • Peabody – Peabody Museum at Harvard
  • psychology – a psychology department
  • RAI – Royal Anthropological Institute
  • ResearchProject – a multi-year highly-funded research project.

Universities and Colleges

  • Alexandria – Uni of Alexandria, Egypt
  • Arizona
  • Berkeley
  • Birmingham – University of Birmingham UK
  • Brandeis
  • BU Boston University
  • Buffalo – SUNY Buffalo
  • Cambridge
    • WyseChair – Inhabitants of William Wyse chair of anthropology at Cambridge
  • Chicago – University of Chicago
  • CNRS
  • Collège de France
  • Columbia – Columbia AND Barnard
  • Cornell
  • CUNY – Graduate Center CUNY <—–
  • Durham – University of Durham, England
  • ENS – Ecole Normale Superieure
  • EPHE – Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes
  • GradCenter – Gradaute Center CUNY <—-
  • Grahamstown – Uni Grahamstown, apparently in S. Africa
  • Harvard — includes Radcliffe
  • Hopkins – John Hopkins
  • Indiana – U Indiana at Bloomington
  • Institutd’Ethnologie – Institut d’Ethnologie
  • Jagellonian
  • Kiel
  • LAS – Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale
  • Legion – légion d’honneur
  • LSE – London School of Economics
  • Manchester
  • Mānoa – University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • MSState – Mississippi State
  • Michigan – University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Minnesota – University of Minnesota
  • NewSchool – New School for Social Research
  • Northwestern – Northwestern
  • NYU – New York Universitty
  • Oxford
  • Penn – Penn
  • Pitt – University of Pittsburgh
  • RLI – Rhodes Livingstone Institute
  • Rochester – Rochester
  • SanAntonio – U Texas San Antonio
  • São Paulo – University of Sao Paulo
  • SimonFraser
  • SOAS – School of Oriental and Asian Studies
  • SydneyUni – University of Sydney
  • Stanford
  • Tulane
  • UBC – University of British Columbia
  • UCL – University College London
  • UCLA – University of California Los Angeles
  • UCONN – University of Connecticuit
  • UCSD – University of California San Diego
  • UFL – University of Florida
  • UHM – University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
  • UIUC – University of Illionois at Urbana Champaign
  • ULond – University of London. Used for general Uni events, and if I can’t tell which institution (which later gained autonomy) a particular event occurred in. I.E. if early LSE appointments were in University of London but we would recognize them today as actually part of LSE.
  • UMAAmherst – University of Massachussets at Amherst
  • UMD – University of Maryland
  • UNC – University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • UNM – University of New Mexico
  • Utah – University of Utah
  • UWA – University of Washington (Seattle)
  • Vienna – University of Vienna
  • Wisconsin – University of Wisconsin
  • WUSTL – Washington University Saint Louis
  • Yale
  • Yenching (Yanjing)
  • Yunnan – National Yunnan University

Standard Events 

  • birth
  • death
  • founded – date of founding of a department or journal


The ‘notes’ field of an event contains a citation to source of the event. These are mostly notes for me. If you need more details, please ask.

  • cat – catalog
  • Gacs – Women Anthropologists, ed. Gacs
  • NAS – National Academy of Sciences (USA)
  • RD – Routledge Dictionary of Anthropology
  • Stocking – Anthro at Chicago
  • Winters – International Biographical Encyclopedia of Anthropology
  • work of others – the ‘work of others’ folder on my computer
  • individuals – the ‘individuals’ folder on my computer
  • copyright.gov – search of the copyright database at copyright.gov