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Evans-Pritchard, Edward E. (1902–1973)

Sir Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard ranks high among foundational figures in twentieth-century sociocultural anthropology, towering over Bronislaw Malinowski (1884–1942), whose seminar at the London School of Economics (LSE) initiated him into the discipline in 1924.

Born in Sussex, England, of a minister father, Evans-Pritchard had a typical middle-class public school education. Driven, as he later explained, by “tediousness” about history, Evans-Pritchard went from it to anthropology. His tutor at Oxford, R. R. Marett (1866–1943), an expert in religion and early anthropology, further influenced Evans-Pritchard's decision and later interests, which a desire for adventure motivated. Fieldwork could slake that but history could not.

Believing LSE led in anthropology, Evans-Pritchard studied under C. G. Seligman (1873–1940) and joined Malinowski's renowned seminar. His generation would shape anthropology's course in Great Britain ...

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