Frazer Lecture

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The Sir James George Frazer Memorial Lectureship in Social Anthropology is a British academic lecture series.

In 1920 a sum of £675 was raised by a Committee of the University of Cambridge for the purpose of commemorating Sir James Frazer’s contributions to learning. In accordance with the wishes of the subscribers, a Frazer Lectureship in Anthropology was founded, the annual income of the fund being assigned to the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Glasgow and University of Liverpool in rotation for this purpose.


Oxford Lectures[edit]

Date Lecturer Title Publication
17 May 1922 E.S. Hartland The evolution of kinship: an African study ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
27 May 1926 Alexandre Moret La mise à mort du Dieu en Égypte ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
22 February 1930 Paul Rivet Les Océaniens[1] ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
10 May 1934 H.J. Rose Concerning parallels WorldCat
23 May 1938 J.H. Hutton A primitive philosophy of life WorldCat
5 May 1942 R.M. Dawkins Soul and body in the folklore of modern Greece JSTOR
1 May 1947 H.J. Fleure Some aspects of British civilization WorldCat
21 November 1950 Henri Frankfort The problem of similarity in ancient Near-Eastern religions WorldCat
28 October 1954 Isaac Schapera The sin of Cain JSTOR
30 October 1958 Louis Dumont Le renoncement dans les religions de l’Inde ISBN 0-226-16963-4
30 October 1962 W.K.C. Guthrie The lesser world: some implications of the microcosmic view of man in Greek thought WorldCat
18 October 1966 Denise Paulme-Schaeffner Sur deux thèmes d’origine de la mort en Afrique occidentale JSTOR
19 November 1970 Claude Lévi-Strauss Myth and ritual ISBN 0-226-47496-8 audio
3 December 1974 G.S. Kirk Adonis: a demi-god still divided Unpublished
30 November 1978 James Littlejohn Magic boughs Unpublished
28 October 1982 Sir Edmund Leach Kingship and divinity manuscript Open Access
7 May 1987 G.E.R. Lloyd Early Greek science and the limits of rationality ISBN 0-521-36680-1
6 November 1991 David John Parkin Nemi in the modern world: return of the exotic? JSTOR
16 May 1996 Nancy D. Munn Excluded spaces: the figure in the Australian Aboriginal landscape JSTOR
9 May 2000 J.D.Y. Peel Time and difference in the anthropology of religion Unpublished
17 September 2005 [2] Veena Das Ethics of the ordinary: figures of life and law in the context of urban poverty

Cambridge Lectures[edit]

Date Lecturer Title Publication
26 November 1923 John Roscoe Immigrants and their influence in the lake region of Central Africa ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
2 March 1927 R.R. Marett The diffusion of culture ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
26 November 1931 Sir Arthur Evans The earlier religion of Greece in the light of Cretan discoveries ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
14 May 1935 A.H. Gardiner The attitude of the ancient Egyptians to death and the dead Worldcat
24 February 1939 A.R. Radcliffe-Brown Taboo [3] WorldCat
26 May 1943 J.L. Myres Mediterranean culture WorldCat
13 May 1948 E.E. Evans-Pritchard The divine kingship of the Shilluk of the Nilotic Sudan WorldCat
14 May 1952 Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf The after-life in Indian tribal belief JSTOR
7 March 1955 Raymond Firth The fate of the soul: an interpretation of some primitive concepts WorldCat
5 March 1959 Monica Wilson Divine kings and the ‘breath of men’ WorldCat
6 May 1963 Kenneth Little Voluntary associations and African social change ISBN 0-521-09263-9
10 March 1967 Lucy Mair Witchcraft and sorcery ISBN 0-303-74622-X
18 November 1971 Fred Eggan The rituals of headhunting in the mountain province, Philippines manuscript
5 March 1976 Mary Douglas Mistletoe WorldCat
30 April 1982 M.N. Srinivas Some reflections of the nature of the caste hierarchy Sage
14 October 1983 Fredrik Barth Symbol, worldview and creativity in some Inner New Guinea religious traditions ISBN 0-521-34279-1
30 October 1987 Robin Horton Back to Frazer? ISBN 0-521-36087-0
5 March 1992 [4] Godfrey Lienhardt Frazer’s anthropology: science and sensibility JASO 24(1):1-12. video
22 November 1996 Alfred Gell Royal ritual and coercive deference in Central India JSTOR
11 May 2001 Chris Hann Creeds, cultures and the 'witchery of music' Blackwell
6 May 2004 Clifford Geertz Shifting aims, moving targets: on the anthropology of religion [5] Blackwell audio
31 October 2008 Paul Rabinow On the anthropology of the contemporary video
17 October 2016 Jane Guyer Anthropological Recuperations: Intellectual and Social

Glasgow Lectures[edit]

Date Lecturer Title Publication
1924 W.J. Perry The age of the gods ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
7 September 1928 [6] E.A. Westermarck The study of popular sayings ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
4 March 1932 Sir Arthur Keith The Aryan theory as it stands to-day ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
4 February 1936 W.R. Dawson The magicians of pharaoh JSTOR
1940 W.R. Halliday The riddle of Apollo
18 April 1944 Morris Ginsberg Moral progress WorldCat
6 December 1948 Alexander Murray Macbeath The relationship of primitive morality and religion WorldCat
28 April 1953 Max Gluckman Rituals of rebellion in South-East Africa ISBN 0-415-32983-3
28 November 1957 Meyer Fortes The idea of destiny in West African religions WorldCat
1959 J.G. Peristiany Honour
9 March 1967 Ian Cunnison Analysis of an interregnum in the dynasty of the Eastern Lunda Unpublished
29 January 1969 E.R. Dodds Greek anthropology and the idea of progress ISBN 0-19-814370-2
1972 No appointment
28 February 1977 Ernest Gellner A theory of nationalism JSTOR
22 April 1981 Peter Worsley Straw men and ideal types: non-Western medical systems JSTOR
24 April 1985 Gilbert Lewis The look of magic JSTOR
18 April 1990 [7] Peter Ucko Whose culture is it anyway? Sage
7 December 1993 Alexander Fenton The food of the gods (Prestige, hunger and charity: aspects of status through food) ISBN 978-0-85976-696-8
29 October 1997 Paul Henley Narratives of the noble savage: history, ethnography and iconography in the construction of Amazonian alterity manuscript
5 March 2002 Margaret A. Mackay Why study Scottish folklore? Unpublished
2006 No appointment

Liverpool Lectures[edit]

Date Lecturer Title Publication
27 November 1925 Bronisław Malinowski Myth in primitive psychology ISBN 0-8371-5954-7
18 October 1929 A.C. Haddon The religion of a primitive people ISBN 0-8486-0308-7
30 November 1933 C.G. Seligman Egypt and Negro Africa: a study in divine kingship ISBN 0-404-12138-1
7 January 1938 Henry Balfour Spinners and weavers in anthropological research WorldCat
1941 No appointment [8]
23 October 1946 E.W. Smith Plans and people!: a dynamic science of man in the service of Africa WorldCat
10 November 1949 V. Gordon Childe Magic, craftsmanship and science WorldCat
26 June 1953 E. Franklin Frazier The evolution of religion among American Negroes ISBN 0-8052-3508-6
20 November 1956 C. Daryll Forde The context of belief: a consideration of fetishism among the Yakö WorldCat
28 November 1961 E. Estyn Evans Atlantic Europe: the pastoral heritage ISBN 1-874675-48-1
3 February 1966 Audrey Richards The changing world of the anthropologist manuscript
21 October 1969 W.M. Williams Ecological Models Unpublished
Nov 1973 Alan Macfarlane Clio's task: the potential of historical anthropology Online
1978 [9] Georges Balandier Africanist anthropology and the problem of power Unpublished
29 April 1982 Marshall Sahlins Captain James Cook; or, the dying god ISBN 0-226-73357-2
1 May 1986 Marilyn Strathern Out of context: the persuasive fictions of anthropology JSTOR
1 November 1990 Maurice Bloch The lessons and limitations of cognitive sciences for anthropology JSTOR
Nov 1994 Jack Goody Cognitive contradictions and universals: creation and evolution in oral cultures Blackwell
20 November 1998 Joanna Overing The efficacy of laughter: the ludic side of magic within Amazonian sociality ISBN 0-203-19004-1
2003 No appointment


  • Oxford University Gazette
  • Cambridge University Reporter
  • University of Liverpool Recorder
  • Medals, Awards, and Memorial Lecture Series in Anthropology. Yearbook of Anthropology. (1955), pp. 753–763.
  • Dawson, Warren Royal. 1932. The Frazer lectures, 1922–1932, by divers hands. London: Macmillan and Co., Limited.


  1. ^ Announced in the Oxford University Gazette as Civilisations Océaniennes et Américaines.
  2. ^ Prof. Das' address was delivered in conjunction with the centenary conference at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.
  3. ^ Announced in the Cambridge University Reporter as Mana and tabu.
  4. ^ Originally listed in the Cambridge University Reporter as to be delivered on 29 Nov 1991.
  5. ^ Announced in Anthropology Today as Crossed purposes: Anthropology and the division of knowledge.
  6. ^ Professor Westermarck’s address was given as one of two Evening Discourses at the 96th Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which was held in Glasgow, 5-12 Sep 1928.
  7. ^ The delivery of Professor Ucko’s address was delayed so as to coincide with Glasgow’s celebrations as the European Capital of Culture in 1990.
  8. ^ Correspondence on the subject of the Frazer lecture notes that "all arrangements for the provision of Public Lectures by the University have been suspended". Funds for the lectureship were applied to general purposes by the emergency powers of the University.
  9. ^ Listed in the University of Liverpool Recorder for 1978 as to be delivered in Lent Term of 1978.