2018 (page 1 of 2)

“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.

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‘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.

‘Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History’ by Arthur J. Ray

Arthur J. Ray. Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History. McGill-Queen’s Native and Northern Series 87. 360pp., 11 maps, 17 images, notes, bibl., index. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2016. Can$110 (cloth), Can$29.95 (paperback)

There are two ways to read Arthur Ray’s Aboriginal Rights Claims and the Making and Remaking of History. The first, following Ray’s own stated goals, is as a “single-volume introduction to the use of historical evidence in the varied aboriginal and treaty rights claims settings of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States” (27). Drawing on decades of experience as a scholar and an expert witness in Canada as well as an impressive breadth of comparative legal, historical, and anthropological scholarship, Ray provides an effective overview of some of the most significant land claims processes of the twentieth century settler colonial landscape. He focuses in particular on the ways in which these processes have been shaped by the testimony of expert witnesses—scholars who have been tasked with providing reports to courts and tribunals regarding Indigenous historical land and resource ownership and usage—and on how this applied work has in turn shaped academic disciplines, offering new perspectives, challenging dominant paradigms, and at times engendering bitter and sustained debates. As Ray moves across this vast scope, his text coalesces into a powerful indictment of the extraordinary lengths to which Indigenous Peoples have had to go in order to claim and receive recognition for their legal, political, and cultural rights. This second way of reading the text is particularly valuable for an undergraduate audience unversed in international Indigenous issues, which appears to be one of the book’s primary intended readerships.

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Living Monuments: Imagining Ancient Gene Pools in the Middle East

In 1927, the Polish-Jewish physical anthropologist Henryk Szpidbaum published an account of his recent expedition to Mandate Palestine on behalf of the Polish Society for the Exploration of the Mental and Physical Condition of the Jews. He had traveled to Palestine not to investigate the Zionist settlers, but rather the Samaritans, an obscure religious group of no more than 150 members living in the town of Nablus. In the introduction to his study, Szpidbaum described the Samaritans as “a living monument [Denkmal] of the biblical period. This tribe can be traced back 2800 years, during which it should be noted that the Samaritans have never left their country of Palestine. Detailed knowledge of this tribe will hopefully help to solve many difficult problems concerning the anthropology of the former inhabitants of Canaan and partially [also of] today’s Jews ” (Szpidbaum 1927). Unfortunately, he warned, the community might soon disappear forever: “The Samaritans believe themselves to be a vanishing tribe [due to] the insufficient number of women. [Footnote:] In order to counter the extinction, the Samaritans try to enter into mixed marriages with Jews. For the time being there is only one such a marriage.”

“The Samaritans of Nablus,” early 1900s (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

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‘Anthropologists and Their Traditions Across National Borders’ edited by Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach

Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach (Editors). Anthropologists and Their Traditions Across National Borders. Histories of Anthropology Annual Series 8. 296 pp., 8 photos, 1 illus. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. $40 (paper), $40 (eBook)

This volume’s title gives a good sense of its contents; it includes articles on the American, British, and French traditions of anthropology. An equally valid title might suggest another construal for this volume, for the diversity of historiographical approaches by the various authors is equally striking. The range of genres gives a good sense of current approaches to the history of anthropology.

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Fellowship: Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities

2019-2020 Topic: KINSHIP

Application Deadline: October 15, 2018

The Wolf Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities on the general theme of Kinship. The fellowship is open to untenured junior scholars who have received or will receive their Ph.D. (the only eligible terminal degree) between December 2010 and December 2018. You must have your degree in hand or have passed your defense no later than December 2018 to be eligible.

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CFP: JHBS Special Issue on “Living Well: Histories of Emotions, Wellness & Human Flourishing”

The Forum for the History of the Human Sciences is putting together a special issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences in honor of historian John Burnham on the topic of “Living Well: Histories of Emotions, Wellness & Human Flourishing.”

As guest editor Mark Solovey notes: “Though the CFP doesn’t mention the history of anthropology specifically, we’d love to have a contribution from this area.  Anthropologists have often considered what it means to live well. What can historians today tell us about the nature and significance of anthropological work in this area?”

The submission deadline is November 1, 2018. Read on for application instructions and additional details.

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Event: History of Anthropology Sessions at the 18th UISPP World Congress in Paris, France, June 4-9, 2018

The 18th World Congress of the Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques will take place in Paris, France from June 4-9, 2018. This event will focus on the adaptation and durability of prehistoric and protohistoric societies in the face of climate change.
Four panels at this event are particularly relevant to the history of anthropology  (shown below). More information about these sessions, as well as the World Congress in general, can be found here.

Fellowship: Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine Fellowships

The Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine  offers fellowships for scholars conducting research in the collections of its member institutions. Applications for 2018-2019 are due before June 16, 2018.

For more information, visit www.chstm.org

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“The Relation of Darwin to Anthropology”: A Previously Unpublished Lecture by Franz Boas (1909)

In 1909 Columbia University celebrated both the fifty-year anniversary of The Origin of Species and the centenary of the birth of its author with a series of lectures titled “Charles Darwin and His Influence on Science.” The first talk in the series, “Darwin’s Life and Work,” was delivered by Henry Fairfield Osborn on February 12, one hundred years to the day after Darwin’s birth.  Another lecturer was John Dewey, whose talk, “Darwinism and Modern Philosophy,” became the title piece in his well-known volume The Influence of Darwin on Philosophy and Other Essays in Contemporary Thought.[i] Despite the publication and wide circulation of these other lectures in the series, the one given by Franz Boas, “The Relation of Darwin to Anthropology,” was never published. Strangely, it was also never archived with his other unpublished lectures in the American Philosophical Society (APS), nor, apparently, was it ever noted anywhere except in the announcement of the lecture series in Science.[ii]

In late June 1996, while waiting for delivery of files from the Boas archive at the APS, I passed the time flipping through the library card catalogue under “Boas, Franz” and came across a plain, typed card, with the words: “Boas, Franz– The Relation of Darwin to Anthropology.” Surprised and intrigued, I asked librarian Roy Goodman if he could locate it.  He returned a few minutes later with a 33-page typed manuscript, with Boas’s additions and corrections in pen. It had been hiding– not quite in plain sight– for many years.

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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

‘A Brief History of Archaeology’ by Brian M. Fagan and Nadia Durrani

Brian M. Fagan and Nadia Durrani. A Brief History of Archaeology: Classical Times to the Twenty-First Century. 2nd edition. 271pp., 70 color images, glossary, bibl., index. London and New York: Routledge, 2016. $195 (hardback), $72.95 (paperback)

This updated version of Fagan’s 2004 first edition covers the development of archaeology as a discipline from the first recorded attempts to excavate as a means of finding out about the past, up to emergent and future trends that will shape the discipline during the coming decades.

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CFP: “‘To disseminate the sciences and to benefit humanity’: On the 250th Anniversary of the Physical Expeditions of the Academy of Sciences,” St. Petersburg, Russia, November 19-21, 2018

The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation), the Francke Foundations (Halle, Germany) and the University of Hamburg have issued a call for papers for the international scientific conference “‘To disseminate the sciences and to benefit humanity’: On the 250th Anniversary of the Physical Expeditions of the Academy of Sciences,” which will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia from November 19-21, 2018.

More detailed information and submission instructions can be found below:

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Beyond Silverbacks: A Lost History of the Gorilla Wars

The history of anthropology was once a genealogy of silverbacks: Elsie Clews Parsons, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead excepted, a genealogy of venerated men who contributed something perceived definitional to the field, worth rearticulating in the present. The histories of those who died early or outside of institutions, who had written or done something that no longer squared with anthropology’s rapidly swinging moral arc (such as practicing as an ethnologist), or who had the misfortune of being born female, non-white, or outside of Europe and the United States, were often left forgotten, and their recovery more recently has changed the field and its historical accounting. Continue reading

CFP: History and Anthropology Revisited, Paris, France, May 2-4, 2018

From May 2-4, 2018 the Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris will be hosting a three day workshop entitled History and Anthropology Revisited, which will examine promising intersections between history and anthropology in present scholarship. The workshop will be a combination of keynote lectures, and an in-depth discussion of a series of pre-circulated papers. It is envisioned as an opportunity for young scholars working on the different dimensions of the history of anthropology to meet and discuss their research in progress.

More detailed information and submission instructions can be found below:

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‘A Passion for the True and Just’ by Alice Beck Kehoe

Alice Beck Kehoe. A Passion for the True and Just: Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen and the Indian New Deal. 256pp., illus., notes, bibl., index. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014. $55.00 (hardcover), $24.95 (paperback), $24.95 (e-book)

The Indian New Deal—the name given to the series of policies that shifted Native American-US relations from one of allotment[1] to limited tribal recognition in the 1930s and 1940s—lies at the center of Alice Kehoe’s A Passion for the True and Just: Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen and the Indian New Deal. However, the book is more than a rehashing of the debates surrounding the implementation and legacies of the Indian New Deal. On one level, A Passion for the True and Just is an account of the relatively unexamined role of Felix and Lucy Kramer Cohen in designing key pieces of Indian New Deal legislation and texts. On another level, the book has the more ambitious goal of “[juxtaposing] two histories seldom merged, that of the Indian New Deal and Jews in twentieth-century America” (8). Through the life and work of the Cohens, Kehoe details the ways in which Jewish intellectuals significantly shaped the construction of this “turning point in colonialism” (163).

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CFP: 2018 AAA Meeting in San Jose, CA, November 14-18, 2018

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) has issued a call for papers for it’s 117th Annual Meeting which will take place in San Jose, CA from November 14-18, 2018. The theme of the meeting is “Change in the Anthropological Imagination: Resistance, Resilience and Adaptation.” The conference committee is currently accepting submissions for papers, posters, workshops, roundtables that address the themes of resistance, resilience, and adaptation from a wide range of perspectives. The deadline for proposals is April 16th, 3:00pm EST. 

Additional information about the conference theme and submission process can be found here.

New Resource: Ramah McKay’s “Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in Mozambique”

The History of Anthropology Newsletter (HAN) is pleased to announce the release HAN Advisory Board member Ramah McKay‘s new book Medicine in the Meantime: The Work of Care in MozambiquePublished this past January by Duke University Press, McKay’s work follows two medical projects in Mozambique through the day-to-day lives of patients and health care providers, showing how transnational medical resources and infrastructures give rise to diverse possibilities for work and care amid constraint.

A full description of the book can be found below:

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New Resource: “History of Archaeology” Internet Dossier

An internet dossier on the “History of Archaeology” has just been published by the National Institute of Preventative Archeological Research (INRAP).

By tracing how major archaeological discoveries occurred around the world and how they have been approached, interpreted and enhanced over the centuries, this resource helps us to better understand how archaeology became the scientific discipline we know today and where the field is headed.

More information can be found here

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