The organizers of the Australian Research Council-Discovery Project “Keeping Kinship in Mind,” directed by Prof. Rob Wilson, are excited announce a study group on philosophy of anthropology. This group will meet online and is open to all.

The study group will run fortnightly, starting on the 8th of November. All the readings will be sent to participants’ email, together with the Zoom/Teams link to the meeting. 

Meetings will be 1:30 hours long, starting at 1:00 pm, Perth time (7:00 am Central European Summer Time; 1:00 am Eastern Daylight Time). 

There will be four meetings before the end of December, which will be focused on the concept of kinship in anthropology. After a winter break, the group will explore the recent literature on the concept of animism, continuing the discussions started in the Project’s seminar with Dr. Jeff Kochan, a visiting research fellow of the “Keeping Kinship in Mind” Project for August 2023.  

Philosophy of anthropology is an exciting and unexplored area, and this study group offers a great introduction to some of its issues. The study group is open to all and will be particularly relevant to those in the humanities and social sciences, both undergraduates and postgraduates.  

Feel free to join all or selected meetings, according to your availability and interest. If you plan to attend, please let the organizers know by sending an email to Jorge Mendonca. More information can also be found on the “Keeping Kinship in Mind” website.

Reading list 

8th of November 

Introduction: Conceiving Kinship in the Twenty-First Century. Bamford, S. (2019). The Cambridge Handbook of Kinship (1st ed). Cambridge University Press. Pp. 1-18.

Schneider, D. M. (1984). A critique of the study of kinship. University of Michigan Press. Pp. 95-112.

22nd of November 

Shapiro, W. (2015). Not “From the Natives’ Point of View.”—Why the New Kinship Studies Need the Old Kinship Terminologies. Anthropos, 110(1), 1–14.  

Wilson, R. A. (2022). Kinmaking, progeneration, and ethnography. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 91, 77–85.  

6th of December 

Chapter 1, Introduction. Leaf, M. J., & Read, D. (2020). Introduction to the Science of Kinship. Rowman & Littlefield. Pp. 1-13.

Voorhees, B., Read, D., & Gabora, L. (2020). Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of CooperationCurrent Anthropology, 61(2), 194–218.  

(Only pages 194-204) 

20th of December 

One of the issues raised in the discussion of the new kinship studies is the over-inclusivity of the term “kinship” in its performativist version. In the fourth meeting, Levine (2008) extends our kinship horizons, discussing new forms of kinship present in our society. In this meeting, we will also look at a concept that risks being conflated with kinship and is often neglected in anthropology, namely, friendship.  


Levine, N. E. (2008). Alternative kinship, marriage, and reproductionAnnual Review of Anthropology, 37, 375-389. 

Beer, B., & Gardner, D. (2015). Friendship, Anthropology of. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 425–431).  

[Dates for the next meetings to be determined] 

Sarah Pickman: contributions /