Ethno-Science Guest Lecture: Esther Jean Langdon

Wednesday 23 February 2022 | 3:00pm UK Time | Online via Zoom

Esther Jean Langdon is an Anthropologist and Co-ordinator of the National Research Institute, Brazil. Her work across medical anthropology, cultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics has lead to her current project, ‘Documentation, translation and linguistic revitalisation: collaborative research from a critical sociolinguistic perspective’.

‘Ethno-Science’ is a reading group dedicated to programmatic and critical texts on the changing relationship between scientific knowledge and what is variously called local, ‘indigenous’ or ‘native’ knowledges. Our starting point is the eighteenth-century travel instructions that asked naturalists to routinely record indigenous names and knowledge.

We explore economic botany, zoology, ethnography, and other strands of nineteenth-century natural history relying on systematic surveys of national and colonial territories, and the eventual consolidation of ethno-disciplines in the twentieth century. The aim is to understand the relationship between reifications and reinterpretations of 'savage', 'indigenous', 'native' or 'primitive' knowledge and corresponding field practices of interrogation and interaction with local informants. We are interested in the putative shifts towards increasingly global awareness and calls for the incorporation of ‘traditional’ knowledge in political and scientific discourses.

Attendance is free but spaces may be limited, so please email Dr Raphael Uchôa ( or Dr. Staffan Müller-Wille ( if you're interested in joining. Zoom links to follow via email.