“Translating Across Space and Time” is an international conference hosted by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA from October 13-15, 2016 and co-sponsored by the Penn Humanities Forum. The three-day conference will bring together a range of scholars, practitioners, and community leaders to discuss the ways archival collections and scholarly fieldwork can help preserve and revitalize endangered languages and cultural practices in indigenous communities throughout North America.
Conference panels pay particular attention to the legal and ethical issues archives and scholars face when working with indigenous materials, the ways technologies have forged new forms of cross-cultural collaborations, the influence of past policies on the present, and the best practices for pedagogy. Brief papers will be precirculated in order to encourage conversation and dialogue during the conference. The full schedule can be found at: https://amphilsoc.org/conference/translatingconference/schedule
Registration is now open for no cost to attendees on the conference website.
The 14th Biennial Meeting of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) will take place July 20-23, 2016, in Milan, Italy, and will include two panels on the history of anthropology. On Wednesday, July 20, a panel on “Themes in the history of anthropology” [PO20] will convene at 14:30 in room 9. On Thursday, July 21, the panel “Themes in the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe [Europeanist network]” [PO60] will meet at 9:00 in room 9. More information on the EASA and a listing of other sessions can be found here.
The History of Anthropology Newsletter officially relaunches in online form on June 20, 2016. Originally edited by George W. Stocking, Jr., then by Henrika Kuklick, the HAN is now under the direction of a new editorial team based at the University of Pennsylvania, with the guidance of an esteemed advisory board—several of whom have been involved in the HAN since its inception.
The first aim of the relaunched newsletter is to make available online, in a searchable mode, all the earlier issues of the HAN, originally published from 1973 to 2012. Thanks to a grant from the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania and the Mellon Foundation, and thanks to the generous assistance of Penn Libraries, you can now find all those back issues online.
The newsletter also features:
- News of interest to those working in the history of anthropology, including announcements about conferences and funding opportunities.
- Reviews of books and other relevant works.
- Bibliographies of recent publications in the field.
- Field Notes, a space for pointed observations on questions in the history of anthropology; our first issue contains fascinating reflections on the history of the newsletter itself, from Richard Handler, Ira Bashkow, and Regna Darnell, as well as notes on the history of anthropological collections and museums by Ira Jacknis.
- Clio’s Fancy, a section devoted to oddities and curiosities found in the archives, which was originally edited by George Stocking and which we’re renewing with a wedding announcement connecting the Boasian tradition to the history of science fiction.
- A Twitter feed with frequent updates of interest to the history of anthropology community.
We invite you to explore the newsletter, either as a return or for the first time. We also invite you to post responses, offer suggestions, submit news, articles, and reviews, and keep the conversation going.
Rio de Janeiro, Hotel Novo Mundo, 5–7 April 2016
In early April 2016, during what will surely turn out to be a notable moment in Brazil’s political history, scholars representing a variety of disciplines from across the globe met in Rio de Janeiro to participate in the workshop, “Racial Conceptions in the Twentieth-Century: Comparisons, Connections and Circulations in the Portuguese-speaking Global South.” The two-day workshop was characterized not only by the collegiality and enthusiasm of its participants, but also its commitment to illuminating the diversity of racial thought emerging from the Lusophone Global South.
As a contribution to the “Field Notes” section of the relaunched History of Anthropology Newsletter, I offer the following as a brief report of my recent research in the history of anthropology and its connections to art history and the history of museums. Historians of anthropology tend to work in a range of institutional and disciplinary locations, and I have done much of my “fieldwork” in museum collections and libraries. I would like to dedicate this essay to both former editors-in-chief of HAN: my mentor George Stocking, and my friend and colleague Riki Kuklick, for both of whom the many different meanings and values attached to “fieldwork” was a lasting topic of reflection.
Our ability to explore the history of anthropology in a substantive and empirical manner hinges upon access to primary and secondary source material. Since HAN was established in 1973, anthropologically relevant archives have gone through multiple material transformations that shape the way we do the history of anthropology. Today an anthropological archival collection might be fully digitized, however it remains much more likely that only parts of it or only a detailed description of its contents are accessible online. For those readers less familiar with archival collections and how to locate and access them, some basic resources and strategies might be useful.
Herbert S. Lewis. In Defense of Anthropology: An Investigation of the Critique of Anthropology. xvii + 244 pp., bibl., index. New Brunswick: Transaction, 2013. $69.95 (hardcover)
For years, Herbert Lewis has defended classical anthropology (meaning here American cultural anthropology produced in the first half of the twentieth century) from postmodern and postcolonial critique. This volume collects eight of Lewis’s essays on this subject, and also includes an original piece written especially for the volume. For those sympathetic with Lewis’s claims, this volume will be welcome. However, Lewis’s strident tone will probably not sway the unconvinced, much less those critical of classical anthropology.
Since its inception in 1973, the History of Anthropology Newsletter has played a major role in establishing the history of anthropology as a legitimate sub-discipline of anthropology. Under the leadership of George W. Stocking, Jr., HAN attracted a subscription list of non-specialists, mostly anthropologists, who needed historical background for their major research; readers were often contributors, as well, adding occasional pieces notable for their careful attention to the minutiae of ethnographic context. Having been in on HAN from the beginning, the revitalization of the Newsletter seems a good opportunity to reminisce and speculate on the more interdisciplinary and theoretical future we might envision for the history of anthropology.
On April 30th, 2016, a conference was held in London at SOAS to celebrate Jane Guyer’s new translation and introduction to Marcel Mauss’ classic Essay on the Gift, published by HAU Books. Commenters included Marilyn Strathern, Marshall Sahlins, Keith Hart, David Graeber, and Maurice Bloch.
Dan Hicks reports and reflects on the conference in this one-page essay for Anthropology Today.
Video of the conference can be viewed on YouTube.
The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research has been a hub for information about the comings and goings of anthropologists since its founding in 1941 as the Viking Fund. Its vast archives maintained in its current office on Park Avenue South in New York City contain countless treasures, including this wedding announcement:
The first issue of the History of Anthropology Newsletter in 1973 included “CLIO’S FANCY: DOCUMENTS TO PIQUE THE HISTORICAL IMAGINATION.” The entry, a pair of anecdotes suggesting that late in life, Louis Henry Morgan may have had second thoughts about his own theories, received the juicy title “DID THE ARCH-EVOLUTIONIST MAKE A DEATHBED RECANTATION?” The next issue’s contribution transcribed a 1904 letter from Franz Boas to Booker T. Washington, asking for frank advice about the eventual job prospects of J.E. Aggrey, an African-American student interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology, under the equally intriguing header: “THE TUSKEGEE NOD IN AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGY.”
The editor, George W. Stocking, Jr., closed with a deadpan plea: “We particularly encourage readers to submit items for Clio’s Fancy. Both of these have so far come from the same source, who is by no means inexhaustible.”
Our first entry to the relaunched “Clio’s Fancy,” from Joanna Radin, adds to this tradition of archival oddities which raise the historical eyebrow; it speaks of kinship rituals, alternative histories, and ethnographies of the future. We hope you will enjoy it—and better yet, that you’ll submit gems you unearth in the archival mine.
Curtis M. Hinsley and David R. Wilcox (Editors). Coming of Age in Chicago: The 1893 World’s Fair and the Coalescence of American Anthropology. 624 pp., illus., tbls., apps., bibl., index. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016. $65 (cloth)
Coming of Age in Chicago is a volume of essays about the production and presentation of anthropological exhibitions at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair. In its entirety, the volume argues that disjointed centers of anthropological interest in Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia institutions found common ground in Chicago, and the personal and professional ties established in Chicago set the course for the eventual professionalization of anthropology.
In December 2015, an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars gathered at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City to attend the workshop “Populations of Cognition: Interconnected histories of human variation in Latin America.” We enjoyed a lively three-day meeting replete with bilingual interventions, and afternoon enjoyment of Oaxacan food and mezcal.
[In case you missed it, here is an excerpted email from HoA list manager Ira Bashkow with information on panels for AAA 2016.]
Dear HoA Group Members:
Here is news about history of anthropology related events and panels currently being planned for the 2016 AAA meetings (that I have happened to hear about):
Call for Papers, AAA Conference, November 16-20, Minneapolis, MN.
Life, Death and Language Ideologies: Historical Accidents of Community Formation and the Framing of Evidence in Linguistic Anthropology
All linguistic anthropologists examine language and work within specific paradigms of language ideology and linguistic praxis. Historical and contemporary communities of linguistic anthropologists both within the United States and internationally, therefore, make a fertile field for the study of interactions between, as Dell Hymes put it, code and community. Continue reading
In 2015, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) celebrated its 120th anniversary. As part of this, the LSE’s Department of Anthropology held a day-long event to explore its history, covering the transformative leadership of Malinowski and its development in the years after his departure. The workshop included LSE alumni from several decades, current and past faculty members, and current and former students, who gathered on the final day of term in December to recollect the life of the department through a mixture of personal reminiscence, entertaining anecdote, and reflective intellectual history.
The Higher School of Economics Centre for Historical Research in St. Petersburg, Russia invites applications for postdoctoral research positions in the field of anthropology.
In 1973, George Stocking and a small group of like-minded scholars founded the History of Anthropology Newsletter, HAN. In that year, I began my graduate education in anthropology at the University of Chicago, where George taught. In the fall 1975 term, I took a seminar with him on the anthropology of the inter-war period, in which each student took responsibility for a major figure of the era.
The History of Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) has always been an unprepossessing publication. Its physical format and graphic design were homespun. Initially mimeographed, it appeared for nineteen years in typescript, before the font was changed to Times in volume 20, and even after four decades no hint of slickness had crept into the layout of even the cover and contents page. The very title of the publication, a “newsletter,” connotes an informal publication about goings-on, nothing too serious. In 1987, when I entered graduate school, the cost of a HAN subscription was $4 a year, discounted to $2.50 for students. Even then, this was cheap.
The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Library Fellowship
Theme for 2016: The history of anthropology
The Royal Anthropological Institute is pleased to announce a new Library
Fellowship. The aims of this fellowship are to increase awareness of
the resources and collection strengths of the London-based Anthropology
Library and to support scholarship germane to these resources and