On Friday 18th May in the Umney Theatre, former Smuts Fellow, Dr James Suzman, will be giving a lecture entitled:

‘Cyber-Hunters Why the “original affluent society” might redefine our digital future’

New genomic and archaeological data have pushed backed the dates of human evolution well beyond 200,000 years ago.  The same data indicates that the Khoisan (Bushman) peoples have lived continuously in southern Africa since soon after Homo Sapiens emergence making them by far the most geographically-stable population group in all of human history.

In this lecture James Suzman will explore the implications of the extraordinary longevity and sustainability of Khoisan societies — who continued to hunt and gather into the late 20th century — and ask whether understanding what made these small scale societies so enduring might help us to adapt to a digital, AI-automated future. 

Dr James Suzman has spent much of the last 25 years living and working with San populations in southern Africa.  He holds a PHD in social anthropology from Edinburgh University and was the Smuts Fellow in African Studies at Cambridge.

He is the author of the international bestselling book Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen published by Bloomsbury in 2017. 

The Smuts Memorial Fund was established after the death of Jan Christiaan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, to support the advancement of Commonwealth Studies. A range of funding opportunities are available to both staff and students for this purpose including research grants, PhD scholarships and library grants. A number of Fellowships across the University are supported by the Fund including the Smuts Visiting Research Fellowship.

Dr James Suzman lecture poster