Exeter College hosts launch of new book on Edward Evans-Pritchard
On 21 April 2023, Cohen Quad hosted an event celebrating the forthcoming book A Touch of Genius: The Life, Work and Influence of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard edited by André Singer.
In the late 1960s André Singer undertook his doctoral degree in anthropology at Exeter College under Professor Evans-Pritchard, who himself came to Exeter in 1921 to study Modern History. Evans-Pritchard exerted immense influence on the field of anthropology, and was an instrumental figure in the development of social anthropology. Exeter College jointly sponsored the event with All Souls College—where Evans-Pritchard served as Professor of Anthropology from 1946 to 1970—and the Royal Anthropological Institute.
A Touch of Genius reconsiders the life and work of Evans-Pritchard, who, despite his influence, has remained an elusive personality. As well as Evans-Pritchard’s famous work on the Azande and Nuer peoples of South Sudan, the study evaluates his theoretical insights on meaning and causality and social organisation and kinship. It adds to these well-known developments by also exploring Evans-Pritchard’s strong interest in religion and characterisation of anthropology as a humanity rather than science. Contributors of the volume include distinguished anthropologists and scholars, Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, John Evans-Pritchard, and Francis Mading Deng, the first ambassador of South Sudan to the United Nations.
Cohen Quad welcomed a full house for the event. Rector Rick Trainor, Professor David Gellner of All Souls College, and Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute Dr David Shankland each welcomed attendees with opening remarks. Two sessions entitled “E-P: The Person” and “The View from Africa” and chaired by Professor Malcolm McLeod and Professor David Gellner followed. André Singer, Johnny Evans-Pritchard, and a number of scholars spoke during these sessions.
André Singer speaking at the launch of A Touch of Genius: The Life, Work and Influence of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard