The very positive feedback from our last conference Origins and Transmission of Culture in 2015 and the many outstanding questions for debate encouraged us to host a second CultureConference on the 9th and 10th of June 2016, this time focusing on the topic of Cumulative Culture:

“When and How does Cumulative Culture Emerge?”

Culture refers to any socially learned and shared behavioral patterns and is thus not restricted to extant humans. Cumulative culture represents a special subtype of culture. It refers to cultural traits that are the result of an accumulation process over time. Research into the ontogenetic and phylogenetic origins of cumulative culture has only just begun. There are still many exciting questions to answer, for example:

  • Is cumulative culture a uniquely human phenomenon?
  • Which other species might potentially possess it?
  • What are the cognitive, motivational, environmental requirements in order for cumulative culture to emerge?
  • How shall we best define cumulative culture?

The study of cumulative culture encompasses different academic disciplines (biology, archaeology, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology), applying a variety of methodological approaches. It is essential for researchers across these disciplines to meet and discuss their work.

Several experienced researchers are invited to talk about aspects concerning the emergence of cumulative culture. This conference will place strong emphasis on stimulating discussion between and within the disciplines.

We are looking forward to see many of you in June!

Elisa, Eva, and Claudio

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