Dr Frances Larson
I am interested in people’s relationships with their material world, and my research lies at the intersection between anthropology and history. I have written about the history of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford (c.1884-1945), and the museum collection created by Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936). Ethnographic collections were crucial to the development of anthropology as a professional discipline in the late nineteenth century, when anthropologists – like archaeologists today – used material culture as a key data set for learning about other cultures. I am interested in how objects have shaped academic disciplines, institutions like museums, and individual people’s lives.
Department of Anthropology
- Public Culture in Theory and Practice Research Group
- Larson, F. (2009). An Infinity of Things: How Sir Henry Wellcome collected the world. Oxford University Press.
- Gosden, C. & Larson, F. (2007). Knowing Things: Exploring the collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum 1884-1945. Oxford University Press.
- Gosden, C., Larson, F. & Petch, A. (2007). Origins and Survivals: Tylor, Balfour and the Pitt Rivers Museum, and their role within anthropology in Oxford 1883-1905. In A History of Oxford Anthropology. Riviere, P. Berghahn Books.
- Knight, F. (2003). Exploring the Wellcome Library. In Medicine Man: The forgotten museum of Henry Wellcome. Arnold, K. & Olsen, D. British Museum Press. 99-131.
Journal papers: academic
- Larson, F. (2011). 'Did he ever darn his stockings?' Beatrice Blackwood and the ethnographic authority of Bronislaw Malinowski. History and Anthropology 22(1).
- Larson, F. (2010). The things about Henry Wellcome. Journal of Material Culture 15(1): 83-104.
- Larson, F. (2008). Anthropological Landscaping: General Pitt Rivers, the Ashmolean, the University Museum, and the shaping of an Oxford discipline. Journal of the History of Collections 20(1): 85-100.
- Larson, F. (2007). Anthropology As Comparative Anatomy? Reflecting on the study of material culture during the late 1800s and the late 1900s. Journal of Material Culture 12(1): 89-112.
- Larson, F., Petch, A. & Zeitlyn, D. (2007). Social Networks and the Creation of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Journal of Material Culture 12(3): 211-239.
- Larson, F. & Petch, A. (2006). ‘Hoping for the Best, Expecting the Worst’ T. K. Penniman - Forgotten Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum. Journal of Museum Ethnography 18: 125-139.