Department of Anthropology

Posts about the history of the Department of Anthropology at LSE.

Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) – a term at LSE

In 1952 Kwame Nkrumah became Prime Minister of the Gold Coast and in 1957 the country gained its independence under the new name of Ghana. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about Nkrumah’s brief time at LSE.

Kwame Nkrumah was born in Nkroful on the Gold Coast in 1909. The precise date of his birth is unknown but he usually gave […]

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    Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair – leading writer on colonial administration, early international relations scholar, and anthropologist

Lucy Philip Mair was a well-known anthropologist at LSE; she is far less known for her significant contributions to the history of the discipline of International Relations. Professor Patricia Owens, director of a new Leverhulme project on the history of women’s international thought, highlights this neglected, early aspect of Lucy Mair’s academic life.

Lucy Philip Mair was born on 28 […]

Once upon a time… when Jomo Kenyatta was a student at LSE

Victoria de Menil revisits the politics of Jomo Kenyatta’s supposedly de-political master’s thesis, later published as Facing Mount Kenya, particularly in relation to land and female circumcision. She asks who the intended audience was, and what legacy the book has left behind.
Once upon a time an elephant made a friendship with a man. One day a heavy thunderstorm broke […]

An American in London – Ralph Bunche at LSE

LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly introduces Nobel prize winner Ralph Bunche, who was the first black American to gain a PhD in political science. After achieving his doctorate at Harvard and teaching at Howard University, Ralph Bunche came to LSE to study anthropology under Bronislaw Malinowski during 1936-37. His later career spanned the United Nations and American civil rights movement […]

Jomo Kenyatta, LSE and the independence of Kenya

LSE’s Alex Free profiles Jomo Kenyatta – the first president of Kenya and an LSE graduate who came to London and studied social anthropology under Bronisław Malinowski in the 1930s. A leading pan-Africanist with an ultimately mixed political legacy in office, Kenyatta produced his famous ethnographic study of the Kikuyu, Facing Mount Kenya, while at LSE.

Jomo Kenyatta is a fascinating […]

Bronislaw Malinowski – LSE pioneer of social anthropology

2017 saw the 90th anniversary of the establishment of a Chair in Social Anthropology at LSE. The Department of Anthropology’s Katharine Fletcher looks back at its first occupant, pioneering social anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. Malinowski was born in Poland and spent much of the First World War conducting fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands, bringing the findings of his work to LSE in the 1920s.

Ninety years ago, on […]

Eslanda Robeson – acting, activism, Africa and LSE

Following her review of Paul Robeson: the artist as revolutionary by Gerald Horne at the LSE Review of Books, Howard University’s Sherese R Taylor introduces the life of Eslanda Robeson, who studied at LSE in the 1930s.

Eslanda Cordozo Goode Robeson, also known as Essie, was an anti-racist, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, and feminist born in Washington, DC on 15 December 1895. She received a […]

Audrey Richards – a career in Anthropology

LSE’s History series for LSE Women: making history celebrates some of the notable women at LSE through the years. Adam Kuper looks back at  Audrey Richards: LSE alumna and anthropologist. 

Unprejudiced, unshockable, in many ways unconventional, Audrey Richards nevertheless operated unselfconsciously by the standards of her parents and their class.

Born in London in 1899, Audrey was the second daughter of Henry Erle and Isabel Richards. […]