The Dawn of Everything

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Bi-weekly; Week 1; Monday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: Tartu (G1)

This workshop is based on the book The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber and David Wengrow. They argue that the perception of our ancient ancestors as primitive and childlike was formed in response to European interactions with other civilizations in Asia and the Americas in the 1500s to 1800s. Further, they argue, inequality is not the inevitable price of civilization and early societies operated in a great variety of ways. Agriculture, animal husbandry and large cities did not always lead to societies governed by hierarchy and domination. So-called “primitive” societies may have been much more involved in organizing their communities.

Each participant in the workshop will research and prepare a 20-minute presentation on a chapter/topic in the book. We will then engage in a lively discussion on how our understanding of humanity’s past has been affected (or not), and new ways in which we could organize society based on this understanding. All participants should read the book before the workshop begins. A listing of possible topics will be provided by early summer, or participants may choose a topic of interest from the book.


Carol Austin worked for many years in management and training in the pharmaceutical industry. She joined the Academy in 2020 and is looking forward to another exciting year of intellectual discussion on a variety of topics.

Anne Warren has a BSc from King’s College,  Durham University in the UK and a BA from Lakehead University.  She taught a studio course in printmaking at Lakehead University for some years.

Workshop Materials:

Book Table of Contents


Presentation Topics and Dates