The Department of European Ethnology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich have released three postings for postdoctoral/doctoral positions allocated to the research project ‘Social Sketches and the Formation of Ethnographic and Sociological Knowledge (1830-1860)’, a research group funded by the German Research Foundation which investigates early sociographic journalism (“social sketches”) in relation to the formation of sociological, ethnological, and ethnographic knowledge. More information on each of these positions can be found below: Continue reading
Hollow Horn Bear (1851-1913), a Brulé Lakota warrior and leader, was the first American Indian man whose portrait appeared on a U.S. postage stamp. Continue reading
Julia Rodriguez (University of New Hampshire) and Carmen Martínez-Novo (University of Kentucky and FLACSO) invite submissions for a, panel on “Resurgent Racism: Perspectives from History and Anthropology” (01/51) which will be presented at the 56th International Congress of Americanists (ICA), an interdisciplinary conference that gathers together researchers who study the American continent from the analysis of politics, economy, culture, languages, history and prehistory. They seek papers that will recognize and document the continuities in racialized thought and practice, processes of cultural erasure, and the various forms of resistance and challenges to racial schema, segregation, marginalization, erasure, and violence across time and space. The full panel abstract and details for submission are provided below:
For the 12th time, a history of anthropology workshop will be convened in the framework of the German Anthropological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde, DGV), to take place at the Free University of Berlin on October 5, 2017. The workshop is convened by the DGV- Working Group “History of Anthropology” around the central theme “From the History of Anthropology to its Future: Historical, Moral, and Political Affinities.”
The conference will include eight papers and a keynote address by Bernhard Streck, Professor Emeritus of the University of Leipzig.
Program titles and abstracts can be found here under “Workshop 17.”
The International Bérose ANR VISA Conference “1950’s : On the roots of French Contemporary Anthropology,” will take place in from October 17-19 at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and Musée de l’Homme in Paris, France.
This conference will examine the history of French contemporary anthropology, focusing particularly on the postwar period. These years were promising and polyphonic, as they marked the beginning of a dynamic field, and the introduction of a variety of theoretical and ethnographic points of view. This colloquium will map the forces in action that created this environment, identify certain important players, identify new objects of study, view this history in the context of the colonial wars and the decolonization process, and discuss how ideas circulated across borders.
A complete schedule of the conference can be found on the event website.
Collecting Mesoamerica: The Hemispheric Roots of U.S. Anthropology. A recent exhibit (May 8 – July 7, 2017) at the Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, curated by Lindsay Van Tine.
Editor’s Note: Due to the participatory nature of museum exhibits, the HAN Editors have chosen to publish this piece both as a “Review” and as part of its “Participant Observation” series. The Editors welcome and encourage future multi-purpose submissions in the form of reviews, reports, or other reflections on interactive projects and exhibits related to the history of anthropology.
The name of Daniel Garrison Brinton is not one that is on the tip of the tongue for many anthropologists specializing in studies of Mesoamerican cultures, languages, and history. Nevertheless, in a recent exhibition at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Collecting Mesoamerica: The Hemispheric Roots of U.S. Anthropology, curator Lindsay Van Tine elucidates how Brinton—a prolific late nineteenth century “armchair anthropologist” par excellence—played a considerable role in defining what we now know as “Mesoamerica,” both as a bounded geographic space and as a field of scholarly specialization. As such, Van Tine’s exhibit contributes to an archaeology of the discipline in a Foucauldian sense of the term, exposing some of the deep and at times forgotten roots of Mesoamerican studies. The exhibit also contributes to an archaeology of the discipline in a somewhat literal sense. To curate the exhibit, Van Tine sifted through and uncovered objects and documents that had long been dispersed in a number of different archives at the University of Pennsylvania in an effort to reconstruct Brinton’s collection of Mesoamerican materials as it was constituted at the end of the nineteenth century.
BEROSE is an online encyclopaedia dedicated to the history of anthropology in the broadest sense, including ethnography, ethnology, folklore studies and related disciplines. The freely accessible repository rests on three cornerstones, which are constantly being expanded: topical dossiers, an original collection of e-books (Carnets de Bérose), and scientific meetings related to the research programme. The dossiers cover: the lives and work of anthropologists and ethnographers; the development of anthropological and ethnographic journals; the history of anthropological institutions, broadly defined. Continue reading
XIV Congress of the Spanish Federation of Anthropology Associations (FAAEE), Valencia, Spain
“The History of Anthropology and Ethnology in Spain and the Hispanic American World”
Where: Conference Hall, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Valencia
When: Wednesday, September the 6th, 11:00 to 12:30
The purpose of this reunion is to bring together in an open academic meeting scholars and researchers working in the field of the history of Spanish anthropology and ethnology. One explicit aim is to explore the feasibility of setting up a history of anthropology network in the framework of the Spanish Federation of Anthropology Associations (FAAEE). Four scholars have been invited to present and speak about current or past research carried out in the field, followed by commentaries from two discussants and an open debate with all participants in the room.
A complete schedule of this meeting be found on the event website.
This year’s conference on science and epistemology was organized by Natura, an interdisciplinary research group at Rutgers. It was themed Knowledges in Contact, and drew on a variety of issues pertaining to the history of anthropology, science, and, more broadly, knowledge. The central theme of the conference focused on the historical and ethical issues in understanding epistemology, and was explored through a range of interdisciplinary papers. In simple terms, the papers examined the processes through which diverse scientific ‘knowledges’ come into being. In the following reflections of the presented papers, I identify some theoretical points of interest to the history of anthropology, including themes relating to ‘contact’, ‘encounters’, ‘agency’, ‘representation’, ‘gaze’, ‘voice’ and ‘authority.’ Continue reading
This week, we’re presenting the second installment of our biweekly roundup! For this HAN feature, we are compiling lists of new, interesting pieces on the history of anthropology our editors have been reading around the web. This installment spans August 5 – August 18.
In 1973, the first issue of the History of Anthropology Newsletter opened with a statement of purpose from the editorial committee, called “Prospects and Problems,” by George Stocking. The editors were self-consciously defining and claiming a field. They let loose with territorial metaphors: occupation, soil, furrows, forays. Now, as we continue our relaunch of HAN, we return to this 40-year-old manifesto as a starting point for thinking about the past, present, and future of the field.
The 1973 essay noted a sense of disciplinary crisis as a spur to growth; it asked whether this history should be done by anthropologists, intellectual historians on “one-book forays,” by “anthropologists manqué,” or by a new generation of interdisciplinarians; it announced the need for “landmarks” including lists of archival holdings, bibliographic aids, research in progress, recent publications—which HAN would provide. It ended with a call for participation from readers.
Seeking to continue HAN’s role as a site for debating the field’s present state and shaping its future, in late 2016 we invited a series of scholars from various fields to respond to this manifesto. In February 2017, eight distinguished authors responded with generosity, insight, experience, good humor—and impressive speed. Continuing our reappraisal of Stocking’s inaugural editorial statement, in August 2017 we added nine additional surveys of the field’s potential terrain. These contributions cover new ground, unearth skepticisms, and sow a set of new questions.
We encourage HAN readers and subscribers to make use of the comments section to respond to individual pieces, or to the section as a whole. Dig in and leave a mark.
This editorial was originally published on February 1, 2017. It was updated on August 15, 2017.
Ethnographic presents are of course as much in history as any other phenomena, although anthropologists sometimes writing in the ethnographic present may be deliberately avoiding a historian’s trajectory. It has of course long ceased to be necessary to point to what once led anthropologists to be explicit on this point: they wanted to get away from the kinds of ‘conjectural histories’ that were then dominating explanations about human institutions. It is precisely because issues cease to be necessary that we need a history of anthropology.
I hope you’ll indulge a personal reminiscence.
When HAN was founded in 1973 I was a graduate student in History at Harvard, just focusing on my dissertation. George Stocking visited Harvard sometime before that and offered a seminar in the Anthropology Department. I sat in on the course—our first encounter.
Why is the history of anthropology necessary and vital now? Why the history of anthropology (instead of other approaches to its content and questions)? Why the history of anthropology (instead of other human sciences or political/intellectual/material intersections)? At the risk of seeming to be a curmudgeon, I have to register my doubts that these questions merit the affirmative elaborations that they seem to presuppose. Any historical phenomenon merits its history being recorded and engaged. Anthropology has a history and so is a worthy subject of historiographical inquiry, and as Stocking amply demonstrated, a historiography that cannot legitimately be confined merely to its intellectually internal twists and turns.
I came to HAN relatively late, 20 years after it got going. But there’s a sense in which the history of anthropology is always a belated field. I caught the bug as an undergraduate in two seminars with Stocking at Chicago— he was an inspiring, exacting teacher—and I pored over HAN, even subscribed to it, in the years to come. It had an obscure, retro charm, even then: the cover, which must have been mimeographed a hundred times; the stapled pages of typed-up and dot-matrix text. It was like a church circular from 1965, a decommissioned card-catalog entry, a zine, or an indie-label 45 to which only a few were privy.
Now that borders and walls are so commonplace in our daily political discourse, a reflection on our (admittedly more benign) disciplinary boundaries seems timely. I came to the history of anthropology from an early focus on post-WWII evolutionary biology; encountering the particular mix of physical and cultural anthropology that underpinned post-revolutionary indigenista politics in Mexico necessarily led me to a disciplinary identity crisis. Continue reading
My training was in laboratory-based biological anthropology, but I was always interested in the (checkered) history of the field. So back in 1986, when I was a genetics post-doc at the University of California, Davis (during the first generation of DNA sequencing), I also co-taught a graduate anthropology seminar in the history of bio-anthropology.
If the truth be told, the exponential growth undergone by the history of archaeology over the past thirty years can only in part be attributed to the influence of G. W. Stocking and the History of Anthropology Newsletter—the revival of which is of course both timely and full of promise. The erstwhile debate as to whether the history of a given field (in the social sciences and humanities, at least) is best undertaken by its practitioners or by professional historians—besides raising questions as to what this “best” might possibly imply—proves rather less pertinent for a discipline such as archaeology that is, after all, an intrinsically historical one.
No less than epidemics or scientific facts, disciplinary crises are constructed. And just as a disease or a truth claim can also be real, so can a crisis. In all three cases, much depends on perspective and who is doing the defining. Few scholars today would contest, for instance, that anthropologists in the nineteen-sixties and seventies debated their profession’s politics and their discipline’s objects of study, or that these debates called into question tenets considered fundamental to the field (Kuklick 2008; Clifford 2005). As George Stocking put it in his original call to arms for the History of Anthropology Newsletter, anthropologists turned to historical analysis in part because of their shared “sense of disciplinary crisis.” From HAN’s brief “statement of purpose,” it was this casual yet confident emphasis on crisis that jumped out at me. Surely, this assertion needs some probing.
When we editors of the History of Anthropology Newsletter refer to ourselves as “the HAN Dynasty,” we’re making a (bad) joke. But we have all felt the weighty presence of the ancestors. It was a strange and awful coincidence that HAN’s first two editors died in the first half of 2013: George Stocking after long preparation, Riki Kuklick with terrible suddenness.