Jean La Fontaine

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Jean Sybil La Fontaine (born 1 November 1931) is a British anthropologist and emeritus professor of the London School of Economics.[1] She has done research in Africa and the UK, on topics including ritual, gender, child abuse,[2] witchcraft and satanism. In 1994 she wrote a government report: The Extent and Nature of Organised and Ritual Abuse.[3]

Early life[edit]

La Fontaine was born in Nairobi, Kenya, 1 November 1931 and educated at Kenya High School for Girls, Nairobi. She then studied at Newnham College, Cambridge, gaining a B.A. in archaeology and anthropology in 1953 and a Ph.D. in 1957.[4]


After teaching at King's College, Newcastle (1961, part-time), Lovanium University, Zaire (1962-1963) and Birkbeck College (1965-1968), La Fontaine was appointed Reader in Anthropology at the London School of Economics in 1968 and Professor of Anthropology there in 1978. She retired in 1983, being granted the title of Professor Emeritus.[4] Professor La Fontaine was president of the Royal Anthropological Institute from 1985-87.


La Fontaine has received honorary doctorates from University of Linkoping, Sweden, in 1999, the Open University in 2003, and Goldsmiths, University of London in 2008.[5][4]


  1. ^ "Departmental Staff: Retired Staff". Anthropology. London School of Economics. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Jean La Fontaine (interview)". Digital Anthropology Resources for Teaching. London School of Economics. 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Extent and Nature of Organised and Ritual Abuse". NCJRS Abstract. National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Jean La Fontaine: CV". Academy of Europe. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Goldsmiths recognises celebrated individuals" (PDF). Goldlink. 31: 4. Spring 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2017.

External links[edit]