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British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship Awarded

Posted on 9 April 2013

Dr Amanda Rees (Department of Sociology) has been awarded a British Academy mid-career fellowship (running from Oct 2013 to Sept 2014) to investigate the following project: Excavating Deep History: historiography, methodology and narratives of human nature

Stories about the biological origins of human society and culture are consumed enthusiastically by the public, but while natural scientists have been happy to contribute to the development of such accounts, the human sciences have tended to remain aloof from such endeavours.

Recently, however, some scholars have argued that the Deep History of humanity – more commonly known as ‘pre-history’ – should be subsumed within the discipline of ‘history’, the purview of which would then become the whole span of time from the emergence of anatomically modern human beings to the present day. Such a project throws up numerous methodological problems, on which this proposed programme of research will focus.

It will analyse the ways in which conceptions of the deep human past have changed over time by (1) examining key aspects of the methodological development of archaeology and palaeoanthropology from the late 19th to the early 21st century and (2) investigating the ways in which the results of these disciplines were communicated to wider (expert and lay) audiences.