Friday, May 18, 2007

Mary Douglas

"Students who came to several of the regular material culture seminars last year at the Department of Anthropology UCL were probably somewhat amazed that there, in the audience, was a slight woman, evidently in her eighties, who listened and questioned, and was still clearly an active participant, despite having become one of the world’s most renowned anthropologists long before they were born. After one of these seminars she came out with the rest of us to have a drink with the speaker. During which she beckoned me over. The conversation started in typical Mary Douglas style:-. `Aren’t you the person who is responsible for all this nonsense about materiality?’ We then had an entirely amicable conversation based on finding an academic whose influence we could both agree to heartily dislike, in this case, the psychoanalyst John Bowlby."


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