In the opening two decades of the 20th century, at a time when women were barely recognized at the University of Oxford, five women trained at the Pitt Rivers Museum and became Britain’s first professional female anthropologists.
Between them, they did pioneering research in Easter Island, Siberia, Egypt, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, and the pueblos of southwest America.
No other British university had trained active, professional female anthropologists before 1920. Oxford was ahead of its time. And yet, Oxford was an extremely conservative institution which was largely hostile to women.
Based on her forthcoming book, Undreamed Shores, the Hidden Heroines of British Anthropology, Frances Larson's talk explores how these five women successfully infiltrated such a closed, masculine community.