The Dawn of Everything Book Club

How did our distant ancestors live? And what can this tell us about our contemporary world? Drawing on wide-ranging research in archaeology and anthropology, The Dawn of Everything is an ambitious attempt to overturn the conventional narrative about human history, including the origins of farming, property, cities, and democracy, and replace it with a more accurate, interesting, and unpredictable story.

This Spring, IRIS NRC will host a series of events featuring experts from across the UW-Madison campus providing their assessment of the book and how it might change the way we think about and teach the deep past as well as what it tells us about the present. Pre-register now to receive a free copy of the book. We will meet at 4pm starting Wednesday, February 15.

Thank you to African Cultural Studies, Middle East Studies Program, and African Studies Program for co-sponsoring this event series. 

Resources section?

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Session 1: Rethinking the Roots of Inequality

Recommended reading: Chapters 1-2.

What are the origins of social inequality? The story we all know is that humans used to live in small, egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers until the invention of agriculture led to the formation of settlements, then cities, then states, which brought with them ever greater inequality. Yet, according to Graeber & Wengrow, new evidence shows that for thousands of years our distant ancestors consciously and collectively transformed their worlds in a variety of ways. In this introductory session, we will introduce the book, its authors, and the controversies it has generated.

Session 1: Rethinking the Roots of Inequality

Recommended reading: Chapters 1-2.

What are the origins of social inequality? The story we all know is that humans used to live in small, egalitarian bands of hunter-gatherers until the invention of agriculture led to the formation of settlements, then cities, then states, which brought with them ever greater inequality. Yet, according to Graeber & Wengrow, new evidence shows that for thousands of years our distant ancestors consciously and collectively transformed their worlds in a variety of ways. In this introductory session, we will introduce the book, its authors, and the controversies it has generated.