THE OTHER WITHIN : An anthropology of Englishness

Main project information page

Final six-monthly progress report - April 2009

Firstly, one of the researchers on the project had a baby son in January 2009, Frederick. We congratulate Chris and his wife Jo and hope Frederick grows up to be as good a researcher as his father. Chris naturally took some paternity leave during January.

Website http://england.prm.ox.ac.uk
The project was lucky to attract another freelance web designer, Dan Burt, to work on the project for the last three months, tidying up the website and sorting out the mapping which David Harris had not been able to complete before he left. In addition he prepared new ways of mapping the collections (including mapping the timelines) and a new interface for the English objects databases. Work on the web continued apace during this last six months. Many more object biographies and themed articles were added and the final shape of the website became clear.

Other Within seminar series
Chris and Alison arranged a very successful series of 8 seminars held on Fridays at 1.00 pm at the Pitt Rivers Museum between January and March 2009.

mandolin
Mandolin: Mandolin played in the First
World War trenches by the donor,
A.A. Kennedy. 1940.9.21
Alison Petch
has been researching and working on the website mainly and also researching and writing some papers about her research which will be published or given at conferences after the official end of the project. She prepared a large number of web pages about the Museum's work on technologies and materials (a key component of many of the interactions with the English collections). She also looked at some of the folklorists who contributed to the collections. She placed a copy of one of the papers she had published during the project with the History of Anthropology Newsletter onto the website with the agreement of the HAN editor, Henrika Kuklick. She also produced a series of themed articles on Pitt Rivers and his archaeology in England (with particular reference to the museum's collections). She also wrote sections about the teaching and collections documentation at the Museum. She gave the first of the eight Other Within seminars, on 'Total immersion or paddling?: the different models of fieldwork in Victorian anthropology'

Chris Wingfield has continued his research and writing during this period, as well as working with Alison and Dan on aspects of the web site. He has written and submitted papers entitled 'Is the heart at home? E.B. Tylor’s collections from Somerset' and 'Placing Britain in the British Museum: Encompassing the Other', as well as one with Chris Gosden on 'An Imperialist Folklore? Establishing the Folk-lore Society in London'. He also completed work on a longer term writing project 'Touching the Buddha: encounters with a charismatic object'. He proposed the motion in a debate as part of the Other WIthin seminar series and gave the last of the seminars on 'Back to the Future? Locating and Re-locating England' which attempted to begin bringing together different strands of his research. He will be giving papers at the Museum Ethnographers Group's and Association of Social Anthropologists' conferences in early April on 'Making Professionals': The Pitt Rivers Museum 1884-1914' and 'Culture and Civilisation: Untangling Tylorian Roots'.sundial
Sundial; Pocket compass and sun-dial
donated by Mrs Weldon. 1927.46.14

Peter Rivière paper on the development of English museums like the Museum of English Rural Life at Reading was accepted by the Journal of History of Collections and will be published shortly. He also worked on the London gunmakers who contributed to the English collections.

This is the last of the progress reports for the project. Please note that the Other Within website will continue to be updated over the next few months as the final outcomes of the project become available.

Alison Petch
1 April 2009