Joan M. Jensen and Michelle Wick Patterson (Editors). Travels with Frances Densmore: Her Life, Work, and Legacy in Native American Studies. 464 pp., illus, index. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015. $75.00 (hardcover)
Travels with Frances Densmore: Her Life, Work, and Legacy in Native American Studies draws together a biography of the twentieth century anthropologist with a compilation of both new and previously published works on Densmore’s professional heritage. Although both parts of the book span much of Densmore’s career, Joan M. Jensen and Michelle Wick Patterson contend that the book is not intended to be comprehensive. Instead, they ask the reader to consider Travels with Frances Densmore a “travel guide” through the anthropologist’s remarkably productive career as well as the broader professional, social, and political contexts in which she worked.
As the first half-year of the revived History of Anthropology Newsletter closes, we’d like to bring your attention to a handful of posts which will appear in the next months, and some interesting changes to the site:
Stay tuned for more, and please keep us informed by submitting news, publications, and potential contributions!
23rd German-Russian Encounters at the Francke Foundations in connection with the 10th Anniversary Conference of the International Georg Wilhelm Steller Society
Halle (Saale), Germany | 11–15 October 2017 | Venue: Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle
Organizers: Dr. Anna-Elisabeth Hintzsche, Friederike Lippold M.A., Dr. Han F. Vermeulen, Prof. Dr. Holger Zaunstöck
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation, the 23rd German-Russian Encounters in Halle (Germany) addresses the issue of how Lutherans were active in eighteenth-century Russia and Siberia. Of central concern will be the expeditions to Siberia dispatched by the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg and the participation of Pietists from Halle in these research travels. The conference focuses on the tensions between piety, scholarship, and culture. Special attention will be given to the learning and application of the Russian language during the early eighteenth century. Continue reading
Many HAN readers will be familiar with George Stocking’s work on the history of anthropology; not all will know that he was also an artist. Until his last year of high school, while living in Manhattan, he thought of himself as bound for a career as a painter (Stocking 2010:25-26). After college, he worked in a meat packing factory, seeking to organize a union; he grew disillusioned with the Communist Party and entered graduate school in 1956, “to understand why American culture was so resistant to radical change” (69). That set him on the path of a scholar and teacher.
Yet in the 1970s, when George was settled on the faculty at the University of Chicago, he returned to his artistic pursuits. Not in painting, however—but in needlepoint. At first, he purchased kits for a footstool and pillows. After the birth of a grandchild, he needlepointed a Christmas stocking, using a standard design. In 1980, he dispensed with the kit and designed his own Christmas stocking, creating an original pattern with biographical details tailored to the recipient: his seven-year-old grandson, Jesse, who was much taken with The Incredible Hulk. The stocking portrayed Santa as a muscular, green-skinned superhero who seems to have arrived on a garbage truck, punching through a brick wall, to the amazement of a Krazy-Kat like Mickey Mouse. Continue reading
Amos Morris-Reich. Race and Photography: Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980. 320pp., 72 halftones, notes, index. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Photography was a major medium in racial science and Amos Morris-Reich, a professor at the University of Haifa, has written Race and Photography to show how racial scientists used photographs as evidence. He presents his subject not as a history of anti-Semitic pseudoscience or propaganda but as a history of science that aims to take seriously the role of photographs in books about race. The starting point is his “practical epistemology” (4): a study of photography that looks at scientific practices rather than at theories for their underlying epistemological assumptions. This means that Morris-Reich’s analysis consists of close readings of photographs and their position in publications, paying attention to things as varied as photographic angles, publication quality, the order of photographs, and the way in which they connect to the written text.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, German universities inspired the reformation of higher learning institutions throughout Europe and the United States (Barth et. al. 2005). Early museums and museum pioneers in the United States were likewise influenced by the collecting practices and ideas of their German counterparts. High profile museum anthropologists in various national contexts—Franz Boas among them—relied on connections and correspondence with German colleagues. For a time anthropology in German museums appeared unproblematically forward thinking, growing out of a liberal-humanist tradition to connect Europe with the rest of the world, shaped by the desire to extend beyond curiosity cabinets toward the systematic, empirically driven study of mankind.
The Royal Anthropological Institute will be hosting its third conference on the History of Anthropology and the RAI on December 13-14, 2016. The conference will take place at the RAI’s rooms at 50 Fitzroy Street, London. There is no conference fee, and refreshments will be provided. To book your place, please register here.
The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association will take place November 16–20 in Minneapolis, MN. Here is a list of sessions and events relevant to the history of anthropology: Continue reading
The Royal Anthropological Institute is hosting a day-long conference on the history of anthropology in Austria, covering both early and more recent contributions to the field. The event will take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 starting at 9:00 am in the Wolfson Room of the British Academy in London. Scheduled speakers include HE Martin Eichtinger (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Austria to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Heinz Fassmann (Deputy Rector of the University of Vienna & Chair of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Academy Council), and scholars including Andre Gingrich, Ayşe Çağlar, Peter Schweitzer, Eva-Maria Knoll, Chris Hann, Thomas Fillitz, Stephan Kloos, Maria Six-Mohenbalken, and João de Pina-Cabral. Paper abstracts, registration information, and a complete schedule of the conference can be found on the event website.