Professor Fiona Jordan - The evolution of cross-cultural diversity - Inaugural Lecture

20 December 2018, 6.15 PM - 20 December 2018, 8.15 PM

Professor Fiona Jordan

Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences, University Rd, Bristol BS8 1BF

An intergalactic observer of our planet would note that for a single species, humans display exceptional behavioural variety. We speak thousands of different languages, exploit a huge range of natural resources for food and materials, hold hundreds of moral and religious beliefs, and organise family, marriage and child-rearing in dozens of configurations. As an anthropologist, I aim to understand what drives this remarkable cultural diversity. I also want to understand the constraints on culture: why don’t human societies vary more? In this lecture I present cultural evolutionary research addressing these questions in three domains: family and marriage, language history, and natural resource use. These cross-cultural projects have been enabled by collaborations with scholars across anthropology, linguistics, biology, and psychology, and I argue for the benefits (despite the challenges!) of combining methods, data, and theory across disciplines. 

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.

Free to attend, but booking will be required via the online form.

If you require additional support at any of these events, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact the Executive Team at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your requirements.

Access information for the School of Geographical Sciences can be found here


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