Welcome to my  world of anthropological ideas: fascinating and fundamental. Who are we? Why are we the way we are? How did we get that way? Where are we going? How do we find out?

I'm an anthropologist, essayist,  historian of ideas, and occasional poet, currently University Professor of Social Theory at Rutgers University, where I founded the Department of Anthropology in 1967, and helped to establish the biosocial study of human society with the help of Lionel Tiger and the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation.

Perhaps best known professionally for my work on human and primate kinship systems, especially the incest taboo (the "Westermarck Effect"), the evolution of the brain, and the relevance of both to the study of the origins of mind and human society.  Kinship and Marriage (1967), in all its editions and translations, has been one of the most widely used anthropology texts in the world over the past fifty years.

Known to the public for  work with Lionel Tiger, especially The Imperial Animal (1970) on the significance of evolution for an understanding of human behavior and society, I explore the implications for the human future of our knowledge of the evolutionary past, using not only science but verse, drama, dialogue, satire, and more…

Don’t miss the Alpindians, the Verse and Art, the Radio Interviews and Reviews (under Biographical - including Chillean mine rescue, democracy in Iraq), and People (Colin Turnbull, Margaret Mead, Ashley Montagu etc). Try "Fakery and Fame" at the end of "Biographical: Interviews and Reviews."

NEW: "Dad in India: Pictures from the Raj 1928-32"
under " Biographical/ Biographies"

See much new material added to "Courses/Wine Seminars" and "Forbidden Partners."

NEW VIDEO! "The Puzzle of the Ten Commandments: An anthropologist looks for answers." - illustrated lecture by Robin Fox.  Go to "Biographical" then to "Videos/interviews/Reviews." Click on button.
"In an ideal world we would all marry close cousins when young and then die at sixty-five."

(Conclusion of "Marry In or Die Out: Optimal Inbreeding and the Meaning of Mediogamy" in Jonathan Turner, Richard Machalek  and Alexandra Maryanski:  Handbook on Evolution and Society: Toward  an Evolutionary Social Science. Paradigm Press, 2015. For a pre-view of the argument see "Kissing Cousins" in "Tribal Blogs.")
 
"All primates have kin: only humans have in-laws."
"Indian Dancing Lady"

Peshawar 1929


"Dad in India"
"The Red Fort at Agra" 1930

     The National Academy of                              Sciences

           Washington D.C.
              April 26 2014
   
           Robin Fox has been      
 inducted into the  Academy:               the   highest  honor the national scientific community                   can  bestow.

       Signing the Great Book at the                                      Induction  Ceremony.

   Go to  "Laws/Aphorisms" / "Laws and Generalizations" for some  of his findings and conclusions over sixty years of research and ideas. Also to "Diagramaticon" - a history of his thinking in diagrams , in progress, as is "Virtual Books" (under Books)
  

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TWO NEW BOOKS

One is a collection of essays on the Shakespeare authorship theme titled Shakespeare's Education: Schools, Lawsuits, Theater and the Tudor Miracle, and published by Laugwitz Verlag. Now available!

(Go to "Books" select "New Book One")
 
The other is an anthology titled 
The Character of Human Institutions: Robin Fox and the Rise of Biosocial Science, edited by Michael Egan. There are some 17 contributors including Robert Trivers, Lionel Tiger, Sir Antony Jay, Kate Fox, Anne Fox, Melvin Konner, Bernard Chapais, Frederick Turner, Alistair Macfarlane,  and Howard Bloom.  Available now: Transaction Publishers
(transactionpub.com) (or Amazon.com)


(Go to "Books" select "New Book Two")
 
 With Mohammed Sanu, who now plays for the Atlanta Falcons. My favorite all-time Rutgers football player.

My latest anthropological book is The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind (Harvard UP 2011.)

Studies on time, politics, religion, incest, marriage, literature, history, the perennial appeal of the tribal, and the origin and fragility of civilization. For details go to "Books" and look under "Tribal Imagination".

"How does one follow a lifetime of writing?  By writing, perhaps, as though there were a lifetime ahead."  Marilyn Strathern on The Tribal Imagination in Common Knowledge 19:1 2013

(See review by Bradley Thayer under Books/Tribal Imagination)

For earlier books click on "Previous Books."
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"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a cultural construction of a duck."

from: Encounter with Anthropology and
The Challenge of Anthropology: (see "Aphorisms")
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*The virtues of the questing mind
Are not as they are billed,
For in the country of the blind
The one-eyed man is killed.

The democratic roundabout
Makes sure the people never win,
For if they throw the rascals out
They put the other rascals in.

from: Participant Observer 
The (young) author on Tory Island, co. Donegal, Ireland, circa 1965.
Has technology replaced in-laws?
How to Copyright a Joke?
Go to "Biographical"
"The Story of Reb Greenberg"
 
Eightieth Birthday 2014 - The Family:  four generations down to Jason and Priya (and now Aidan.)