Frobenius-Institut Logo

Select your language

Ad.E. Jensen Memorial Lecture

Connectivity: Insights from Hunter-Gatherer Cultures

Prof. Dr. Nurit Bird-David

Foto: Shai DavidiFor centuries, scientific and popular fascination with human sociality has looked to hunter-gatherer cultures for perspective. The approaches have changed over time in response to contemporary concerns and conceptual resources that affect not only what we learn from these cultures, but also what we learn about them.
In recent decades, the study of hunter-gatherer cultures has still been dominated by industrial society's concerns and life experiences, and by the story we have constructed of modern society.
In this series of lectures, I broach the idea that digitally-based sociality presents new issues and conceptual resources related to connectivity, providing a fresh perspec-tive on hunter-gatherer cultures and on our own changing times.
Picture: Shai Davidi


30. Mai 2022: Beyond modern perspectives on hunter-gatherers

13. Juni 2022: How hunter-gatherers scale their social networks

20. Juni 2022: Is trusting strangers strange?

27. Juni 2022: Old connections, new: What do we share with hunter-gatherers?

Hor 20210517 10 cFI

Picture: Peter Steigerwald


About the Ad.E. Jensen Memorial Lecture

Each year the Frobenius Institute invites an internationally renowned researcher to give a series of guest lectures during the summer term. The lecture series is dedicated to Adolf Ellegard Jensen (1899-1965), who in 1946 was appointed Director of the Frobenius Institute, as well as Director of Frankfurt's Museum of Ethnology. The subject of these lectures is usually centred on Jensen's main research interests, which were myth, ritual and cult. However, the invited guests are free to choose their own preferred subjects.

Video recordings of past lectures are available on the YouTube channel of the Frobenius Instituteyoutube



Previous Jensen Memorial Lectures were:

2021: "Anverwandlungen: Beiträge indigener Völker zur Kultur der Moderne", Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Kohl (Frankfurt)

2020: The Ad.E. Jensen Memorial Lecture 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

2019: "A genealogy of method: anthropology's ancestors and the meaning of culture", Prof. Sondra Hausner (Oxford)

2018: "Values, Social Theory, and the Anthropological Study of the Good", Prof. Joel Robbins (Cambridge)

2017: "On the pursuit of wealth and happiness: Some lessons from Central India", Prof. Chris Gregory (Canberra)

2016: "Repatriating Anthropology - Ethics and empirics in some lessons from Native America", Prof. Dr. Justin B. Richland (Chicago)

2015: "Cultures and Translation", Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne (New York)

2014: "Fieldwork in Philosophy: Refiguring Social Inquiry's Conceptual Ground", Prof. Ann Laura Stoler (New York)

2013: "From Artifact to Primitive Art", Prof. Nancy Lutkehaus (Los Angeles)

2012: "Is Religion a Special Form of the Social?", Prof. Maurice Bloch (London)

2011: "The Anthropology of Encounter - from 'first contact' to the everyday", Prof. Francesca Merlan (Canberra)

2010: "Kult und Kunst - Ästhetik des ethnographischen Archivs", Prof. Fritz W. Kramer (Berlin)
Publication: "Kunst im Ritual. Ethnographische Erkundungen zur Ästhetik", Reimer-Verlag, Berlin 2014

2009: "Lessons in the Anthropology of Nature", Prof. Philippe Descola (Paris)

2008: Nine lectures on the topic "The end of anthropology?": Adam Kuper (London), Ulf Hannerz (Stockholm), Signe Howell (Oslo), Maurice Godelier (Paris), Antonio Palmisano (Triest), John Comaroff (Chicago), Vincent Crapanzano (New York), Patricia Spyer (Leiden) und Mark Münzel (Marburg)
Publication: "The End of Anthropology?", edited by Holger Jebens and Karl-Heinz Kohl, Sean Kingston Publishing, 2011

2007: "A Quest for Understanding: Eastern Indonesia in Historical and Comparative Perspective", Prof. James J. Fox (Australian National University)

2006: "The Making of Colonialism in Equatorial Africa", Prof. Robert Harms (Yale)

2005: "Amazons: Women Warriors of Dahomey in and out Africa", Prof. Suzanne Preston Blier (Harvard)

2004: "Colour of the Sacred", Prof. Michael Taussig (New York)
Publication: "What Colour is the Sacred?", University of Chicago Press, 2009

2003: "Social Anthropology: only a Western science?", Prof. Maurice Godelier (Paris)

2001: "Violence, Social Order and the Spectral State. Policing The South African Postcolony", Prof. Jean Comaroff, Prof. John Comaroff (Chicago)

2000: "Emotion: Experience and Expression - A Cross-Cultural View", Prof. Unni Wikan (Oslo)

1999: "The Anthropology of Imagination" Prof. Vincent Crapanzano (New York)
Publication: "Imaginative Horizons. An Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology", University of Chicago Press, 2003

1998: "The Crisis of Presence: Death and Alterity in Amerindian Amazon" Prof. Tullio Maranhão (St. Paul)

1997/98: "Out of our Minds. Science, Ecstasis and the Ethnography of Africa" Prof. Johannes Fabian (Amsterdam)
Publication: "Out of Our Minds. Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa", University of California Press, 2000