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Supper Conference Audio Archive

Lita Binns and Paul Fejos with wire recording equipment
Lita Binns and Paul Fejos recording a presentation at the Wenner-Gren headquarters in New York City, 1952

Under its program of Supper Conferences, the Foundation invited scholars to present papers on research before an audience of interested colleagues.

The first Supper Conferences were held by the Foundation in 1944, and continued at irregular intervals right up until 1980, when the 71st Street headquarters were sold and the Foundation was relocated to a smaller office space. In 2008, however, the spirit of the Supper Conferences was rekindled when the Foundation offered the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Science use of its conference room and facilities to hold their annual lecture series, where these informal gatherings and presentations continue today.

Supper Conferences allowed many speakers to explore old ideas in the light of new data and to present controversial new interpretations for discus­sion among respected colleagues. Many new ideas evolved first out of the stimulus of an eve­ning's discussion. A few notable examples were the 1948 lecture by Dr. Willard F. Libby, later awarded the Nobel Prize, announcing the landmark discovery of the radiocarbon dating technique; the 1962 lecture by Louis S. B. Leakey about his earlier discoveries in East Africa; the provocative 1962 lecture by Charles F. Hockett and Robert Ascher on "The Human Revolution," which developed into one of the most sought-after articles in Current Anthropology, and the introduction in 1966 of Alexander Marschack' s evidence for systems of lunar notation in the Upper Paleolithic.

The complete list of recorded Supper Conference presentations is long and includes such now-historic names as Kroeber, Lowie, Radin, Evans-Pritchard, Fortes, Mead, Linton, Dart, Hallowell, Benedict, White, Redfield, Huxley, Teilhard de Chardin and Wilson. The Foundation will continue to post recordings on this site, however please contact us if you have a special interest in any of the recordings that are not yet available here.

 

Ruth Benedict

Ruth Benedict
Learned Cultural Behavior in Civilized Nations (March 14, 1947)
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Raymond Dart

Raymond Dart
Language: Its Origins and Significance to Early Man (March 10, 1958)
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Raymond Firth

Raymond Firth
Dynamic Theory in Social Anthropology (April 11, 1962)
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L.S.B. Leakey

L.S.B. Leakey
Recent East African Early Hominid Discoveries (March 26, 1962)
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Significance and Trends of Human Socialization (April 8, 1948)
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