'More Modern than the Moderns': Performing Cultural Evolution in the Kibbo Kift Kindred

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


The legacy of evolutionary theory had a profound effect upon art and
culture in the early twentieth century, not least via the various manifestations
of evolutionary ideologies that were widely embraced across the
political spectrum and sharpened in the popular mind by the events of
the First World War. As Gillian Beer has argued, evolutionary theory was
‘a form of imaginative history’ that impacted upon notions of the past and
visions of the future, and acted as a guiding metaphor for a wide range
of cultural applications that reached far beyond biology. Drawing
on works that assess the intersection of scientific ideas in application,
from Stephen Jay Gould to Oliver Botar, this chapter explores the ways
that popular scientific ideas about the life force, degeneration, cultural
evolution and the biogenetic law were disseminated and incorporated
into the symbols, philosophies and practices of experimental woodcraft
campaign groups in interwar England.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeing Modern
Subtitle of host publicationThe Cultural Impact of Science in the Early Twentieth Century
EditorsRobert Bud, Paul Greenhalgh, Frank James, Morag Shiach
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUCL Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781787353930
ISBN (Print)978178735-3954
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

This book is published under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA license (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, redistribute and adapt the work for non-commercial use, provided the original author and source are credited and that modified versions use the same license. Attribution should include the following information: Bud et al. (eds.). 2018. Being Modern: The Cultural Impact of Science in the Early Twentieth Century. London: UCL Press. https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781787353930


Dive into the research topics of ''More Modern than the Moderns': Performing Cultural Evolution in the Kibbo Kift Kindred'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this