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Department of Social Anthropology

Dr Matei Candea: Schools and Styles of Anthropological Theory
For many years, the department of Social Anthropology has run a series of lectures entitled Schools and Styles of Anthropological Theory, which formed the core of the second-year theory paper. This series, in which members and associates of the department each gave one or two lectures to address theoretical topics of special interest and expertise, has provided a sophisticated, comprehensive and accessible introduction to anthropological thinking for generations of students. In 2018, Matei Candea coordinated the publication of an edited volume with Routledge based on the 2016-2017 iteration of the Schools and Styles lectures, which is set to become a key text for anthropology courses in the UK and internationally.
Schools and Styles of Anthropological Theory (Routledge 2018) presents an overview of important currents of thought in social and cultural anthropology, from the 19th century to the present. It introduces readers to the origins, context and continuing relevance of a fascinating and exciting kaleidoscope of ideas that have transformed the humanities and social sciences, and the way we understand ourselves and the societies we live in today.

Each chapter provides a thorough yet engaging introduction to a particular theoretical school, style or conceptual issue. Together they build up to a detailed and comprehensive critical introduction to the most salient areas of the field. The introduction reflects on the substantive themes which tie the chapters together and on what the very notions of ‘theory’ and ‘theoretical school’ bring to our understanding of anthropology as a discipline.

Royalties from the sale of the book will go to the department in order to fund student activities.