Debates about the meaning and role of “history” in anthropology came of age in Evans-Pritchard’s Marett
lecture of 1950—and have run strong ever since. In recent years, for example, disagreements among
practitioners of the “ontological turn” have turned on the relationship between anthropology and history.
This lecture revisits history-and-anthropology debates to consider how anthropologists might better
incorporate the contingent and transformative abilities of other species into our stories of what happened.
Can “history” make room for multiple ontologies? To show how articulations across varied human and
non-human agendas forge unexpected paths, the talk considers how the infamous weed plant water
hyacinth has tracked and haunted colonial and neocolonial water engineering across the world.
Followed by drinks at 6pm. No registration required.