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The Acceleration of Cultural Change: From Ancestors to Algorithms

Dr. Alex Bentley
Professor & Head
UT Department of Anthropology

For millennia sociocultural complexity increased (and occasionally decreased) gradually over many human generations as people inherited traditional knowledge within their local communities. In the 21st century, however, knowledge is shared across populations and within generations. Change is so fast that even younger siblings may experience the world differently from the older siblings. What does all this mean for cultural change in the future?  Bentley explores this question by starting with the archaeology and anthropology of how people learned their culture from previous generations: from ancient cave art to the first farming villages thousands of years ago to the accelerated changes of the 20th century. This "long view" provides new insight into how intra-generational change will be different in the 21st century, but also the same.

Friday, November 2, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe, A
1600 Phillip Fulmer Way

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Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public



Science Forum


College of Arts and Sciences,


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Amanda Womac

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