Search - List of Books by Adam Kuper
Adam Kuper (born 1941) is an anthropologist most closely linked to the school of social anthropology. In his works, he often treats the notion of "culture" skeptically, focusing as much on how it is used as on what it means.
Total Books: 26
Born and raised in South Africa, he took his first degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. His doctorate, from the University of Cambridge, was based on field research in the Kalahari desert in what is now Botswana. After graduation he returned to Africa, doing further fieldwork in Botswana and Uganda and teaching for three years at Makerere University in Kampala. From 1970 to 1976 he taught at University College London. From 1976 to 1985 he was professor of African anthropology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. From 1985 to 2008 he was a professor at Brunel University, where he was the first head of the Department of Human Sciences, and latterly head of the Anthropology Department.
In Jan 2009 it was revealed that Brunel had reneged on an agreement to let him stay until 2010, when he would have been three years past the normal retirement age. Instead, he was forcibly retired in late 2008, just after the census date for publications submitted to the Research Assessment Exercise had passed, on the grounds that he was unable to raise the cost of his own salary from research income. Kuper is suing the University for breach of trust. The case has been reported in the media as an example of the shoddy and calculating approach taken by British Universities to senior academic staff, mirroring the case of the renowned literary critic Terry Eagleton, who was forcibly retired from the University of Manchester in 2008 when he reached 65.
In the early 1970s Kuper did fieldwork in Jamaica, on attachment to the National Planning Agency in the Office of the Prime Minister. However his main ethnographic focus continued to be the societies of Southern Africa, on which he has published several books. In 1973 he published a history of British social anthropology, and since then he has continued to study and publish on the intellectual history of anthropology, most recently a book on the idea of culture in the anthropological tradition. He was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Grant for two years (2003-5) which allowed him to spend more time on research. The topic is cousin marriage and incest in nineteenth century England.
He has supervised many PhD students on Southern African ethnography, history of anthropology, family business, and kinship.
The football writer Simon Kuper is his son.