People, Power, Politics: the first generation of anthropologists at the University of Sydney

Sana (the annual festival) a man in dancing skirt. Solomon Islands. By Ian Hogbin, 1928-1929

In 1923, the International Pan Pacific Science Congress, meeting at the University of Sydney, resolved that the need for anthropological investigation was both pressing and a necessity for our region. Three years later Prof. A. R. Radcliffe-Brown took up the Chair of the first Anthropology Department in Australia.

Using images and objects taken by the first wave of anthropologists in the cultures they visited, this exhibition focuses on the Department in its early years when its members went into Australian Aboriginal and Pacific Islander communities to investigate and test the latest theories and methods of modern anthropology. No longer bound by 'armchair' theories, these men and women divided their time between their work as leaders in anthropological sciences and as initially ignorant, if powerful, recorders of other worldviews.

1st Feburary - 20th July 2008

A catalogue of this exhibition is available as a FREE downloadable Pdf 7.05MB