Event: History of Anthropology at the AAA, San Jose, CA, November 14-18 2018

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association will take place November 14-18 2018 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Here is a list of sessions and events relevant to the history of anthropology:

Wednesday, November 14 2018

Conversations across Generations: Anthropology and Its Publics
2:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Executive Ballroom 210 H
Chair: Pablo Landa (Fototeca Nuevo Leon

  • Sidney Greenfield (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • William Mitchell (University of Vermont)
  • Tim Wallace (North Carolina State University)
  • Jeffrey Ehrenreich (University of New Orleans)
  • Barbara Joans (Merritt Museum of Anthropology)

Discussants: Saul Schwartz (University of California, Berkeley) and Anita Spring (University of Florida)

Cowardice
4:30 PM – 6:15 PM
Grand Ballroom B
Chair: Roger Lancaster (George Mason University)

  • Jonathan Marks (University of North Carolina)
  • Agustin Fuentes (University of Notre Dame)
  • Bilinda Straight (Western Michigan University)
  • Andrew Bickford (Georgetown University)
  • Nancy Scheper-Hughes (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant: Alisse Waterston (CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice)

Thursday, November 15 2018

Elders in the Field
8:00 am – 9:45 am
MR 212 A
Chair: Susan Kenyon (Butler University)

  • David Plath (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Keith Brown (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Laura Zimmer-Tamakoshi (Truman State University)
  • Dorothy Billings (Wichita State University)
  • Maria Cattell (Field Museum of Natural History)
  • Susan Seymour (Pitzer College)
  • Paul Doughty (University of Florida)

Omissions and Silences in Anthropological Fieldwork: Revisiting Earlier
Research
10:15 am – 12:00 noon
MR 212 A
Chair: Mary Hegland (Santa Clara University)

  • Jim Weil (Science Museum of Minnesota)
  • Mary Hegland (Santa Clara University)
  • Regna Darnell (University of Western Ontario)
  • Louise Lamphere (University of New Mexico)
  • William Mitchell (Monmouth University)

Discussants: Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb (New York University) and Sydel Silverman (CUNY/Wenner-Gren)

Association of Senior Anthropologists (ASA) Business Meeting/Luncheon
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Il Fornaio, 302 South Market Street, San Jose, CA

Field Trip to the Computer History Museum
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA

Friday, November 16 2018

Technological Innovations in Anthropology at the Dawn of the Digital Era
10:15 am – 12:00 noon
Executive Ballroom 210 D
Chair: Jim Weil (Science Museum of Minnesota)

  • Myrdene Anderson (Purdue University)
  • Judith Kaplan (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Seth Watter (CUNY, Hunter College)
  • Ralph Bolton (The Chijnaya Foundation)

Discussant: Alice Kehoe (Marquette University)

Anthropological Pioneers in Silicon Valley
4:15 pm – 6:00 pm
Executive Ballroom 210 D
Chair: Jan English-Lueck (San Jose State University)

  • Michael Chibnik (University of Iowa)
  • Peter Reynolds (Sally Glean Center)
  • Bonnie Nardi (University of California, Irvine)
  • Jeanette Blomberg (IBM Research Almaden)

Discussant: Jan English-Lueck (San Jose State University)

History of Anthropology (HOA) Interest Group Happy Hour
7:45 PM – 9:00 PM
Winchester room of the Hilton San Jose Hotel

Saturday, November 17 2018

The Work of Inheritance: The Relational Labor of Investment and Aspiration
2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
LL 21 A
Chair: Caitrin Lynch (Olin College)

  • Mythri Jegathesan (Santa Clara University)
  • Jelena Radovic Fanta (Governors State University)
  • Sharika Thiranagama (Stanford University)
  • Karen Rignall (University of Kentucky)
  • Mariam Banahi (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Sareeta Amrute (University of Washington)

Discussant: Caitrin Lynch (Olin College)

HSS History of Anthropology Happy Hour, 2 November 2018

In the spirit of the History of Science Society’s Annual Meeting, the History of Anthropology Newsletter will be hosting an informal gathering on Friday, Nov. 2 from 7:15-8:00 at Fado’s Irish Pub (801 1st Ave, Seattle).

All HSS attendees interested in issues related to the history of anthropology are invited to attend!

Event: History of Anthropology at HSS, Seattle, WA, November 1-4, 2018

The annual meeting of the History of Science Society (HSS) will take place November 1-4 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Here is a list of sessions and events relevant to the history of anthropology:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Land Acknowledgement Ceremony & Plenary Roundtable: Knowledge/Violence/Futures: History of Science and its Genealogies
18:00-19:29, Room: Willow
Co-Organized by Gregg Mitman (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto)

  • Joseph Masco (University of Chicago)
  • Kim TallBear (University of Alberta)
  • Michelle Murphy (University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Pablo Gómez (University of Wisconsin Madison)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Expeditions, Specimens and Ideas
9:00-11:45, Room: Jefferson, B

  • “Theory, Observation, and Discipline: The Funafuti Expeditions as Crucial Experiments?” (Alistair Sponsel)
  • “Now is the Time to Collect: Museums and Salvage Zoology at the Turn of the Twentieth Century” (Paul D Brinkman)
  • “Collecting Evolution in the Galapagos and Rebuilding the California Academy of Sciences” (Matthew James)
  • “Sailing for Science: The Voyage of the Blossom” (Wendy Wasman)
  • “Fossil Tug of War: Evolution and Controversy at Liang Bua” (Paige Madison)

Roundtable: “Ethics in the Human Sciences of the Global South”
12:00-13:15, Room: Medina
Organized by Julia E Rodriguez (University of New Hampshire)
Moderator: Ayah Nuriddin

  • Ben Silverstein (Australian National University)
  • Hans Pols (University of Sydney)
  • Julia E Rodriguez (University of New Hampshire)
  • Maile Arvin (University of Utah)
  • Rosanna Dent (McGill University)

Cryo-Histories: Telling “Other” Stories of Science in Frozen Lands
13:30-15:50, Room: Medina

  • Heroism on Ice, 25 Years (Dani Inkpen)
  • Principles of the Ice Age: Calculating Cosmological Influence (Alexis Rider)
  • “A Totally Unqualified Woman”: Gender and the Policing of Science in the IGY Expedition to South Georgia (Daniella McCahey)
  • Self-Fashioning: Clothing Technology, Ethnoscience, and the Arctic Expertise of Vilhjálmur Stefánsson (Sarah Pickman)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

“Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth”
9:00-11:45am, Room: Chelan

  • “The Agency of Man on the Earth”: Cross-Disciplinary Studies about Anthropogenic Environmental Change (Emilie Raymer)
  • Man and Nature (James Bergman)
  • “Our Destiny and Our Duty”: Evolution’s Role in Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth (Jonathan Phillips)
  • “Negative Miracles” – Lewis Mumford and Man’s Role in Changing the Face of the Earth (Zachary Loeb)
  • A Science for “Man with a Capital-M”: Man’s Role and Anthropology in the Atomic Age (Simon Torracinta)
Forum for History of Human Science Distinguished Lecture
 12:00-13:15, Room: Ballard
  • “Histories of Science in and for Practice: Turning Points in Archaeology” (Alison Wylie)

Roundtable: Globalizing the Human Sciences in Latin America: Tensions and Possibilities
12:00-13:15, Room: Leschel
Organizer: Sebastián Gil-Riaño (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Dr. Adam Warren (University of Washington)
  • Eve Buckley (University of Delaware)
  • Dr. Karin Rosemblatt (University of Maryland, College Park)
  • Dr. Micah Oelze (Florida International University)
  • Sarah Walsh (Washington State University, Pullman)

“Asia and the Global Origins of the Social Sciences”
13:30-15:45, Room: Boren

  • The First Treatise of Indology and the Origins of Anthropology (Dr. Carolina Armenteros)
  • Civilization and Diffusion: From Comparative Law to International Copyright (Hansun Hsiung)

Radiation, Indigenous Peoples and Expertise in the Far North
16:00-18:00, Room: Kirkland

  • “I Remember When the Russian Satellite Fell”: Cosmos 954 and the Shape of Northern Nuclearity, 1968-1979 (Lisa Ruth Rand)
  • Radiation, Indigenous Rights, and the Temporal Politics of Settler Colonialism in Cold War Alaska (Tess Lanzarotta)
  • Discovering Another Civilization through an “Othered” People: Investigations of Radioactivity at the Site of the Tunguska Explosion (Andy Bruno)

Distinguished Lecture: Science v. the Sacred, a Dead-End Settler Ontology–and then what?
18:30-19:30, Room: Metropolitan

  • Kim TallBear, University of Alberta

 

 

 

 

 

‘The School of Oriental and African Studies’ by Ian Brown: A “Director’s Office View” of History

Ian Brown. The School of Oriental and African Studies: Imperial Training and the Expansion of Learning. 346 pp., 27 b/w illus., bibl., index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Ian Brown’s The School of Oriental and African Studies: Imperial Training and the Expansion of Learning is a welcome addition to the literature on higher education in Britain, and particularly to the small but important body of work on SOAS (as it is now officially known). While SOAS has produced festschrifts for particular professors, and a few “corridor histories,” such as SOAS Since the Sixties and SOAS: A Celebration in Many Voices,[1] the school lacks the kind of intensive memorialization that one finds in say, Oxford and Cambridge. This is particularly true in anthropology where journals such as Cambridge Anthropology and the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford feature extensive obituaries and testimonies of staff. Brown’s new volume is, therefore, a valuable contribution to the history of SOAS, especially because the other SOAS histories are out of print.

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Event: Workshop on Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences, University of Washington, 4 November 2018

On November 4, 2018 the University of Washington’s Walter Chapin Simpson Centre for the Humanities will be hosting a special workshop on Ethics, Settler Colonialism, and Indigeneity in the History of the Human Sciences.

Taking place from 9:30-4:30pm in Communications Building 202, this workshop will explore how historians of science and others might assess the ethical breaches and conundrums that took place in the past as researchers in the human sciences carried out investigations of and on “the other.”

A full description of the workshop can be found below.

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New Opportunity: Graduate Programs in HPS and Biology and Society at ASU

Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences has announced a series of graduate programs in Biology and Society (MS; PhD) and the History and Philosophy of Science (PhD).

As part of the Biology and Society or History and Philosophy of Science programs, students have the opportunity to work closely with researchers in many disciplines, such as biology, medicine, economics, ethics, philosophy, history and public policy, to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and scholarship.

More information on these programs can be found here.

Event: MBL-ASU History of Biology Seminar, Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 16-21 May 2019,

From May 16-21, 2019 the Marine Biological Laboratory and Arizona State University are holding their Annual History of Biology Seminar at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Titled,  “Uncovering the Logic of Regeneration across Complex Living Systems,” this seminar will bring togeather historians, philosophers, social scientists and biologists for a lively and intense week of presentations and discussions on how microbial communities, organisms and ecosystems maintain some capacity to repair and to maintain themselves in the face of events that cause disturbances or damage.

Applications for this seminar are due on February 1, 2019.

More information about the seminar’s theme and application process can be found here.

 

Event: Anthropology and Folklore in Conversation: Revisiting Frazer, Lang, and Tylor, Royal Anthropological Institute, London, 25 October 2018.

On October 25th the the Folklore Society and the Royal Anthropology Institute will be holding a joint seminar entitled “Anthropology and Folklore in Conversation: Revisiting Frazer, Lang, and Tylor.” This seminar is devoted to examining the complementarities between anthropology and folklore, through exploring the lives and work of James George Frazer, Andrew Lang and Edward B. Tylor.

This event will take place at the Royal Anthropological Institute at 50 Fitzroy St, London and will run from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

For additional information about this event, please contact: admin@therai.org.uk

 

Event: The life and works of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard, 1902-1973, Royal Anthropological Institute, London, October 18-19 2018,

Edward Evans-Pritchard was one of the most famous anthropologists of the twentieth century. Known for the great range and perspicacity of his writings and lectures, the books which he published were often seminal, creating discussion and setting anthropology off onto new paths. In order to explore his life, fieldwork, and legacy, on October 18-19, 2018 the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) is holding a seminar on “The life and works of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973),” There will be no conference fee, and refreshments will be provided on the day. Program information can be found here.

To RSVP to this event please go to https://evans-pritchard.eventbrite.co.uk.

 

New Resource: Robert Launay’s “Savages, Romans, and Despots: Thinking About Others from Montaigne to Herder”

The History of Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) is pleased to announce the upcoming publication of Dr. Robert Launay‘s new book Savages, Romans and Despots: Thinking About Others from Montaigne to Herder. Scheduled for release on October 1, 2018, Launay’s work traces how Europeans both admired and disdained unfamiliar societies in their attempts to work through the inner conflicts of their own social worlds.

A full description of the book can be found below:

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Resource: New Content in HAN’s Bibliography

The History of Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) is pleased to announce the addition of new items to our Bibliography section. This section features citations of recently published works (stretching back to 2013) in all formats that are relevant to the history of anthropology. A full list of the new titles added can be found below. More information on our latest bibliography entries can be found here.

HAN welcomes bibliography suggestions from our readers. If you come across a title of interest during your own fieldwork in the library, whether that be physical or virtual, please let us know by emailing us at bibliographies@histanthro.org.

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Event: Human Diversity in Context, Trieste, Italy, 25-26 September 2018

On September 25-26, 2018 the Department of Humanities of the University of Trieste & Academia Europaea is hosting an international conference called Human Diversity in Context.

This event will offer a multifaceted critical examination of the ways, tools and strategies through which European societies have historically envisioned and now confront, construct and conceptualize their perception, representation and evaluation of the difference-in-unity of mankind. The scope of the conference will range from the recognition and/or reconstruction of religious identities and the legal status of minorities, together with the formation of territorially bounded human collectives, to the analysis of wounded identities or competing regimes of memory, from the dialectical examination of processes of ‘othering’ to cultural and physical anthropological narratives and classifications of mankind, exploring which cognitive skills humans share and do not share with animals.

The full conference program can be found here.

Questions about the event can be directed to conference organizer Dr Cinzia Ferrini at ferrini@units.it

Invitation to Contribute: Land Acknowledgement at HSS

During the 2017 History of Science Society meeting in Toronto, a committee was formed  to expand the Society’s ongoing initiatives for inclusion, diversity and equality. The committee’s primary focus for the 2018 meeting in Seattle is to invite one of the six Seattle-area Nations (Duwamish, Tulalip, Muckleshoot, Snohomish, Suquamish, and Snoqualmie) to open the conference with a land acknowledgment ceremony. They are also drafting guidelines to make land acknowledgment a regular practice at conferences and institutions for research and education.

Many institutions of research and education have been erected on stolen land. Academic conferences and events are also routinely held in these spaces. Often these lands were taken under unjust and violent circumstances. However, these truths, including the devastating effects that forced relocation continues to have on native communities, are left out of dominant historical narratives.

Indigenous Land Acknowledgements, which refers to the practice of recognizing an Indigenous community’s ancestral ties to the land on which a meeting or event is taking place, are one small but tangible way institutions of culture and education in the United States can begin repairing the harm caused by mainstream historical accounts, which have excluded Indigenous voices and obscured the centrality of violence to colonialism in the United States. Acknowledging the communities that have an inseparable connection to the land on which these institutions reside challenges the mainstream narrative and calls attention to the strength of Indigenous communities which have survived the devastating effects of displacement and colonization. Further, this history informs the present experience of Native American peoples, so it is essential to the contextualization of current events.

Anyone interested in joining the committee is very welcome. They can be reached at hss.land.acknowledgment@gmail.com.

Publishing Opportunity: Invitation to contribute to Anthropological Theory

Anthropological Theory (AT) is looking for submissions regarding disciplinary history.  According to the editors, Stephen
Reyna, Julia Eckert and Nina Glick Schiller, they are “[P]leased to review individual articles or entire issues dealing with particular themes.  AT is a theory journal, so our preference is for articles that deal with theoretical or methodological matters that have been significant in the discipline’s history. We do not insist that AT authors hew to a particular intellectual standpoint.  However, successful manuscripts will construct arguments, notable for their clarity, that advance questions of theory in historical contexts.”

Information about the journal including submission requirements can be found
at http://journals.sagepub.com/home/ant

‘Early Inuit Studies: Themes and Transitions, 1850s-1980s’ edited by Igor Krupnik

Igor Krupnik (Editor). Early Inuit Studies: Themes and Transitions, 1850s-1980s. xviii + 452pp., illus., maps, bibl., index. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2016.

Inuit studies today is an interdisciplinary and institutionalized field of research. The present book, edited by Arctic ethnologist Igor Krupnik, proceeds from a session organized at the 18th Inuit Studies Conference, and provides insightful elements on the history of the field. This collection of fourteen essays (plus a contextualizing introduction by Krupnik and a closing “Coda” by Béatrice Collignon) is a beautiful object, printed on glazed-paper, reproducing many maps, tables, and unique photographs from the collections of prominent social scientists of the Arctic. In the front endpapers readers encounter a nearly circumpolar map of the whole Inuit Arctic. This cartographic representation of the polar North fits well with the book’s pan-Inuit framework, dealing with research produced about all Inuit groups in Northern America, Russia, and Europe (Greenland). The book’s broad geographic scope is united with an ambitious historiographical agenda. Krupnik aims to fill a void in the “collective memory” of scholars of Inuit studies by portraying in broad strokes the early history of their research field. Most of the book’s chapters are devoted to portraying one important figure in Inuit studies, or studying a precise research project, or depicting a school of thought or a research tradition.

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Archival Developments: The Cora Du Bois Archives

This is the first entry in our “Archival Developments” series, in which we invite scholars to write and reflect on their experiences using specific archives. If you would like to suggest a contribution, please contact us at bibliographies@histroanth.org.

Cora Alice Du Bois (1903–1991) is known for her studies in culture-and-personality and change in complex societies. Her personal and professional papers are divided among several institutions including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Berkeley. Du Bois was educated at Barnard College (BA) and UC Berkeley (PhD) and spent much of her academic career at Harvard, where she would hold the Zemurray-Stone Professorship and become the school’s first tenured woman. She did fieldwork among Native Americans in the western US and in Orissa, India, and her work in Indonesia led to her landmark study, The People of Alor: A Social-Psychological Study of an East Asian Island.[i]

Susan Seymour, the Jean M. Pitzer Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Pitzer College and a student of Du Bois at Harvard, used Du Bois’s archival collections extensively when writing her 2015 biography of Du Bois, Cora Du Bois: Anthropologist, Diplomat, Agent.[ii] We asked her to write briefly about how her use of the Cora Du Bois Collection housed in Tozzer Library at Harvard, informed her work.  Continue reading

Visual Kinship

Even if we don’t see them very often in ethnographies these days, the charts connecting up circles and triangles into lines of descent and affiliation remain iconic artifacts of anthropological knowledge. They are also compelling visual representations in their own right. As part of a larger project on how sex or gender has been codified into visual symbols — such as  ♀ and ♂ — I have been looking at the history of anthropological kinship diagrams.

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“Laying the Cards on the Table”

Michel Leiris. Phantom Africa. Translated by Brent Hayes Edwards. Africa List Series. 720 pp., 37 halftones, 3 fascimiles, 1 map. Calcutta, London, and New York: Seagull Books, 2017. $60 (cloth)

Editor’s Note: This essay—an extended commentary on the recently published translation of Phantom Africa—is HAN’s first joint production of Field Notes and Reviews. The Editors welcome and encourage future submissions that combine reviews of recently published works with reflections on the history of anthropology.

Cover of the first edition of L’Afrique Fantôme, published by Gallimard in its series ‘Les Documents Bleus’ in 1934.

Phantom Africa is the diary that French writer and ethnologist, Michel Leiris, kept for almost two years, from May 1931 to February 1933. During this period, he was the secretary-archivist of the Dakar-Djibouti mission, an important ethnographic expedition financed by the French government, supported by several private donors, and organized by the University of Paris and the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro. The main goal of the mission was to collect a large number of ethnographic objects in order to renew the collection of the museum. The years between the world wars were a critical period for French anthropology because it was the moment of its emergence as an independent discipline. As a highly publicized event attached to the Trocadéro, the Dakar-Djibouti mission in particular played an important role in this process, paving the way for other ethnographic expeditions throughout the 1930s.[1] The original French edition of the diary was published by Gallimard soon after the mission, in 1934, and now it has been published in English, translated by Brent Hayes Edwards. Continue reading

Event: History of Anthropology Panels at the 5th EASA conference in Stockholm, Sweden, 14-17 August 2018

The 5th European Association for Social Anthropologists (EASA) conference will take place in Stockholm, Sweden at Stockholm University from August 14-17, 2018.  A  list of sessions and events relevant to the history of anthropology can be found below:

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CFP: Call for Papers for RAI Seminar “Anthropology and Folklore in Conversation: Revisiting Frazer, Lang, and Tylor,” in London, 25 October 2018

As part of a series of successful one-day events devoted to examining the complementarities between anthropology and folklore, the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) is holding a seminar on the writings of James George Frazer, Andrew Lang and Edward Burnett Tylor. They invite scholars to submit papers on these three famous figures, whose work continues to influence both of these fields.

Though papers on these three scholars and their impact are particularly welcome, the RAI is also open to papers that situate these figures within a larger network of scholarship in order to shed light on the different, overlapping currents of scholarship at the time, and the way that we react to them today.

Anyone wishing to submit a proposal should submit the title of their proposed paper (along with a 300 word abstract which includes the authors name and contact information) to thefolkloresociety@gmail.com by Friday 13 July, 2018 by 5 PM. Paper proposers will be notified by the end of July if their proposal has been accepted.

More information on this event and the submission process can be found here.

 

CFP: Call for Papers for a Seminar on Edward Evans-Pritchard in London, 18 October 2018

Edward Evans-Pritchard was one of the most famous anthropologists of the twentieth century. Known for the great range and perspicacity of his writings and lectures, the books which he published were often seminal, creating discussion and setting anthropology off onto new paths. In order to explore his life, fieldwork, and legacy, the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) is holding a one-day seminar on “The life and works of Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973),” scheduled for 18 October 2018.

The RAI welcomes paper submissions that focus on Evans-Pritchard’s life in Oxford; his career; his publications, his varied theoretical contributions, and his scholarly influence. These papers will be used to form the basis for a book of essays which will explore Evans-Pritchard’s life, fieldwork and works from multiple perspectives.

Those who would like to present should submit the title of their proposed presentation, along with a 300 word abstract to admin@therai.org.uk by 15th July 2018.

More information about the seminar and submission process can be found here.

Event: History of Anthropology Panels at the 18th IUAES World Congress in Florianópolis (Santa Catarina), Brazil, 16-20 July 2018

The 18th IUAES World Congress will take place in Florianópolis (Santa Catarina), Brazil, at the Federal University of Santa Caterina (UFSC) from July 16-20, 2018. A  list of sessions and events relevant to the history of anthropology can be found below:

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Resource: New Content in HAN’s Bibliography

The History of Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) is pleased to announce the addition of new items to our Bibliography section. This section features citations of recently published works (stretching back to 2013) in all formats that are relevant to the history of anthropology. A full list of the new titles added can be found below. More information on our latest bibliography entries can be found here.

HAN welcomes bibliography suggestions from our readers. If you come across a title of interest during your own fieldwork in the library, whether that be physical or virtual, please let us know by emailing us at bibliographies@histanthro.org.

Continue reading

‘From New Peoples to New Nations’ by Gerhard J. Ens and Joe Sawchuk

Gerhard J. Ens and Joe Sawchuk. From New Peoples to New Nations: Aspects of Métis History and Identity from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries. 704 pp., 14 illus., notes, bibl., index. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. $98 (cloth), $50 (paper), $48.95 (eBook)

From New Peoples to New Nations: Aspects of Métis Identity from the Eighteenth to Twenty-First Centuries takes on the herculean task of condensing three centuries of Métis history into a single tome. However, authors Gerhard J. Ens and Joe Sawchuck do not provide a simple synthesis of events. Rather, From New Peoples to New Nations offers a comprehensive account of Métis history centered around the multiple, dialogical constructions of Métis identity. This thematic focus takes the book out of the realm of historical synthesis and into critical theorizations of ethnogenesis (the emergence of new ethnic groups), racialization (the definition of people in terms of race), and nationalism. Building on studies of the invention of tradition, ethno-symbolism, and historical ontology, the authors eschew primordialist accounts that take ethnicity and nationality as enduring givens. Ens and Sawchuk adopt an avowedly “instrumental” view, emphasizing the situational and strategic nature of Métis identity (7). The book is organized into five parts with Ens primarily authoring the first four. Despite the division of labor and different disciplinary backgrounds of the authors (Ens being a historian and Sawchuk an anthropologist), the thematic focus and theoretical orientation is remarkably consistent across the expansive eighteen chapters.

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HAN on HAU

The History of Anthropology Newsletter editorial board is troubled by recent reports of abuses of power at HAU—an online journal of ethnographic theory that has been publishing since 2011. Complaints of financial misconduct, violations of open access policies, and bullying, harassment, and intimidation of staff members recently appeared as two anonymous statements from former editorial staff on the blog Footnotes and on their own site, and have led to significant discussion online.

The fact that HAU has been a source of inspiration for our own open access web publication makes these reports all the more disturbing for HAN. As HAN is an unpaid, volunteer organization of mostly junior scholars who have functioned together on the basis of trust and informal agreements, we’re aware of the potential for exploitation and failures of transparency in publication venues, as well as the fraught power dynamics which may exist in collaborations between junior and senior scholars.

We are therefore taking this occasion to make explicit our commitment to maintaining kind, fair, supportive, mutually-beneficial working conditions for all who contribute to HAN as editors, authors, or otherwise; to maintaining open access publishing, with content available for free in perpetuity; and to establishing principles and safeguards for protection and accountability at this year’s HAN Annual Meeting. We recognize the valuable work that has has been done at HAU as well as the problematic and abusive conditions under which much of it appears to have been carried out; we are grateful to those who have brought this situation to light and catalyzed these important conversations.

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