Roger Sandall

Roger Sandall graduated with a B.A. from the University of Auckland in 1956, and a Master of Fine Art from Columbia in 1962. He was employed as a Director and Cameraman with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies from 1965 to 1973, and then as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney from 1973 to 1993. His intellectual interests include romanticism in social thought, social evolution, scientific objectivity, and ‘open societies’ in the sociology of Karl Popper. His filmmaking achievements include Walbiri Ritual at Ngama (1966), Djungguan at Yirrkala (1966), The Mulga Seed Ceremony (1967), Emu Ritual at Ruguri (1967), Gunabibi: an Aboriginal Fertility Cult (1968), Walbiri Ritual at Gunadjarai (1969), Camels and the Pitjantjara (1969), Pintubi Revisit Yumari (1970), Pintubi Revisit Yaru-Yaru (1972), Coniston Muster (1975), and Larwari and Walkara (1976).

Selected publications


  • The Culture Cult: Designer Tribalism and Other Essays, Westview, 2001

Book Chapters

  • “Matters of Fact”, in Principles of Visual Anthropology, Paul Hockings (ed), Mouton de Gruyter, 1995
  • “Open Societies, Tribalism and Culture”, in forthcoming Festschrift for Robin Fox


  • “On the Way to the Pig Festival”, Encounter, August 1978
  • “When I Hear the Word Culture: from Arnold to Anthropology”, Encounter, October 1980
  • “The Rise of the Anthropologue”, Encounter, December 1986
  • “Nihilism in the Middle East”, Quadrant, December 2001
  • “Utopia’s Architect”, The American Interest, November/December 2006

    “Over There, Then: John Gunther’s Inside Europe”, The American Interest, Autumn 2007

    “Hellenism and its Enemies”, The American (web version), March 2009
  • “Beauty, Art and Darwin”, The American (web version), October 2009
  • “Layard of Nineveh”, The American Interest, July/August 2010
  • “Harvard Meets the Man from Boggabilla”, The New Criterion, April 2011
  • “Dreams of Communitas”, Social Science and Modern Society [Springer], September 2011
  • “Tribal Realism”, The American Interest, July/August 2011
    “Objects 101”, The New Criterion, November 2011

    Forthcoming: “The Slave Girl and the Professor”, Quadrant, March 2012