Lecture and Book Signing: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America

Date: 

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

After World War II, evolutionary scientists began rethinking their views on humanity’s past. What if human history was not merely a cooperative struggle against a harsh environment? What if violence and war were normal states of existence, punctuated by brief moments of peace? These are the questions Erika Lorraine Milam explores in her new book, Creatures of Cain: The Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America. She will discuss how anthropologists and zoologists during the Cold-War era struggled to reconcile humanity’s triumph as a species with the possibility that this success might be rooted in our capacity to kill one other. 

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