Anthropology Lecture Series: Lecture 1 | History of Anthropology | Prof. Jing Jun

On September 26, 2019, Professor Jing Jun from the Department of Sociology of Tsinghua University gave a lecture on “The Development of Anthropology” at the Institute of International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University, which is the first lecture of “Anthropology Lecture Series”.

At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Jing Jun introduced his research in memory of suffering, HIV and other fields, thus leading to the research methods of anthropology with people as the object and samples, and focusing on field investigation.
Later, he discussed the four branches of anthropology, namely physical anthropology, archaeological anthropology, language anthropology and cultural anthropology with the audience. According to Professor Jing Jun, physical anthropology mainly studies the origin and evolution of human beings, the differences between humans and other primates and the physical differences between various races. He pointed out that early anthropology took biological research orientation as the starting point and today’s redirection to molecular anthropology. He briefly illustrated the studies of prehistoric civilization in China’s archaeological anthropology and the theory of cultural continuation in Chinese. Later, Prof. Jing Jun pointed out the importance of cultural relativity in understanding language differences. He took the research on prayers of different religious beliefs, AIDS , obesity and diabetes as examples, and proposed the importance of cultural comparison methodology, theme/object comparison analysis, structural analysis and subjectivity research of cultural anthropology in overseas studies.
Finally, he explained the holistic research strategies involving four branches and many categories of anthropology.

* The Anthropology Lecture Series Fall 2019, hosted by the Institute of International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University, aims to use anthropological perspectives, methodology and empirical cases to provide fieldwork guidance and advices for doctoral students and scholars participating in the lectures.

By Ji Ruobing & Cheng Yao