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For an anthropology and archaeology of freedom

Wengrow, David; (2022) For an anthropology and archaeology of freedom. Journal of the British Academy , 10 pp. 55-65. 10.5871/jba/010.055. Green open access

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Abstract

‘Freedom’ has been characterised as a ‘weird, Western concept’ of little relevance to a broader understanding of human societies. Accordingly, it is sometimes suggested that anthropology, and its sister discipline of archaeology, have had little to say about freedom. Drawing on a collaboration with the late David Graeber, and reflections on the anthropology of A.R. Radcliffe-Brown, I will argue to the contrary that an ethnography of freedom – with its main locus in the colonial milieu of 17th-century North America – lies close to the disciplinary foundations of anthropology, and also has something to say about the modern development of our supposedly weird, supposedly Western concept.

Type: Article
Title: For an anthropology and archaeology of freedom
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.5871/jba/010.055
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/010.055
Language: English
Additional information: © The author(s) 2022. This is an open access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License
Keywords: Native American history, Indigenous critique, Age of Enlightenment, anthropology, freedom.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154338
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