Two Against the Tide: The shared career and lost legacy of Brenda and Charles Seligman | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Two Against the Tide: The shared career and lost legacy of Brenda and Charles Seligman

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Volume 48

Methodology & History in Anthropology

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Two Against the Tide

The shared career and lost legacy of Brenda and Charles Seligman

Ann Lazarsfeld-Jensen

242 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80539-576-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Not Yet Published (July 2024)

eISBN 978-1-80539-577-5 eBook Not Yet Published

View CartYour country: - edit Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“I found the book hard to put down. It ranges widely and confidently across a breathtaking range of topics: from the rise of fascism to collecting, from Seligman’s Semitic/Hamitic thesis to Brenda’s mental health. The author does a great job of drawing together a wide range of sources, making the most of her previous scholarship, her own personal knowledge and scholarly connections.” • David Mills, University of Oxford

“I was fascinated by the double biography of Brenda and Sligs, a distinguished but not untypical academic couple working in European universities between the two world wars. The story of their marriage, their joint adventures in far-flung places, the tragic fate of their children, is fascinating and well-told.” • Adam Kuper, London School of Economics and Political Science


When Charles Seligman invited his wife, Brenda, to share his tent in 1907, he sanctioned a professional place for female fieldworkers in anthropology. Seligman was a groundbreaking pioneer of ethnographic work in Oceania and Africa. He treated shellshocked soldiers, he amassed museum collections and he fathered a generation of exceptional students. Brenda, his first student, became a scholar in her own right. Eighty years after his death, the Seligman legacy was deleted from the institution he began. Two Against the Tide explores how as wealthy Anglo-Jews, Charles and Brenda Seligman built a shared career through secret benevolence and silent endurance of hardship.

Ann Lazarsfeld-Jensen was a Senior Lecturer in social sciences at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst, NSW for fourteen years. She is now Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of CSU School of Theology, Canberra. This book emerged from her time at the London School of Economics' anthropology department as a visiting scholar.

Subject: Theory and MethodologyAnthropology (General)


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