Adams, Matthew S. “Formulating an Anarchist Sociology: Peter Kropotkin’s Reading of Herbert Spencer.” Journal of the History of Ideas 77, no. 1 (2016): 49–74. doi:10.1353/jhi.2016.0004.
Author’s Abstract: The work of Herbert Spencer was a crucial influence on the development of Peter Kropotkin’s historical sociology. However, scholars have underestimated this relationship; either overlooking it entirely, or minimizing Kropotkin’s attachment to Spencer with the aim of maintaining the utility of his political thought in the present. This article contests these interpretations by analyzing Kropotkin’s reading of Spencer’s epistemological, biological, and political ideas. It argues that Kropotkin was engaged in a critical dialogue with Spencer, incorporating many Spencerian principles in his own system, but also using this reading to articulate a distinctive anarchist politics.
Aiello, Leslie C. “The Wenner–Gren Foundation: Supporting Anthropology for 75 Years.” Current Anthropology 57, no. Supplement 14 (2016): S211–17.
Author’s Abstract: The Wenner–Gren Foundation is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. It was founded in 1941 with an endowment of approximately US $165 million. Wenner–Gren has never been a large foundation in the sense of Rockefeller or Mellon, but it has had a disproportionate impact on the field of anthropology. The foundation and the field have in essence grown up together. Wenner–Gren preceded the other major US funder of anthropology, the National Science Foundation, by almost two decades and, through its grants, fellowships, sponsored symposia, and publications, has always been there for anthropology.
It is not the same foundation as it was 75 years ago, however, and it has gone through its own difficult times, particularly in the 1970s, when a downturn in the financial markets together with changes in the US not–for–profit laws put severe pressure on the foundation, and again in the 1980s when, for a variety of reasons, it was almost lost to anthropology. However, the past three decades have seen a resurgence, and over this period we have provided approximately US$90 million to anthropology, funding almost 6,000 anthropological projects in the United States and abroad.
Anderson, David G., and Dmitry V. Arzutov. “The Construction of Soviet Ethnography and ‘The Peoples of Siberia.’” History and Anthropology 27 (2016): 183–209.
Authors’ Abstract: The multi–generation book project The Peoples of Siberia enabled a group of Leningrad–based scholars to reshape their museum into a Soviet ethnographic community. This article analyses the face–to–face performances, the legalistic stenographic documentation, the collective crafting of a single authoritative style, and a unique temporal frame as an important background to understand a hallmark volume in Siberian studies. The authors argue that the published volume indexes nearly thirty years of scholarly debates as much as it indexes the peoples it represents. The article concludes with a critical discussion of how this volume was translated and received by a Euro–American readership influencing the perception of Siberian peoples internationally. It also links the volume to contemporary post–Soviet publication projects which seem to retrace the same path. The article is based on extensive archival work and references collections recently discovered and which are presented for publication here for the first time.
Arndt, Grant. “Settler Agnosia in the Field: Indigenous Action, Functional Ignorance, and the Origins of Ethnographic Entrapment.” American Ethnologist 43 (2016): 465–74.
Author’s Abstract: In the late 1930s a novice fieldworker from the University of Chicago wrote in his field notes that his collaboration with a Ho–Chunk interpreter had failed because of the interpreter’s “aggressions” in the struggle for “white class status.” The notes exhibit a pattern of perceptual failure that I call “settler agnosia,” elements of which have been noted in research on the obstacles facing Indigenous activists. The case shows that the tendency of older anthropological accounts of contemporary American Indian life to obscure evidence of both colonial oppression and Indigenous action may have originated as consequences of a form of functional ignorance triggered by interpersonal struggles over position in the everyday relations of settler society. An ethnographic investigation of the links between settler agnosia and the practice of settlerness connects perception in everyday interactions to larger issues of knowledge production in and of settler societies.
Asch, Michael. “Anthropology, Colonialism and the Reflexive Turn: Finding a Place to Stand.” Anthropologica 57 (2015): 481–89.
Author’s Abstract: This paper offers a reflection on the articles in the present thematic section. It focuses in particular on the relationship between the political stance taken by the articles’ authors and the political positioning of anthropologists in the colonial project before the so–called “Reflexive Turn” in the discipline in the late 1960s and early 1970s. To this end, it critically assesses the point of view of those in the discipline who assert that this move presented a radical departure from a disciplinary orientation that until that time had, at best, ignored colonialism and, at worst, actively promoted it by offering evidence of the stance in opposition to it taken by at least some of our more prominent forebears. This paper concludes by indicating that, rather than representing a departure from an earlier orientation to colonialism, the anti–colonial stance taken by the authors of these articles reflects a perspective of long standing in the field.
Baca, George. “Sidney W. Mintz: From the Mundial Upheaval Society to a Dialectical Anthropology.” Dialectical Anthropology 40 (2016): 1–11.
From the Introduction: Sidney Mintz (11/25/22–12/25/15) represents the passing of the final member of the distinguished group of anthropologists who formed the “Mundial Upheaval Society” (MUS) during the late 1940s at Columbia University. Though Mintz had the privilege of studying with great anthropological minds, of the likes of Ruth Benedict and Julian Steward, fellow graduate students stoked his passion for anthropological theory and ethnographic fieldwork. Indeed, the membership of the group was impressive, including such luminaries as Eric Wolf, Stanley Diamond, Morton Fried, John Murra, Robert Manners, Robert Murphy, and Elman Service.
Ballantyne, Tony. “Moving Texts and ‘Humane Sentiment’: Materiality, Mobility and the Emotions of Imperial Humanitarianism.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 17 (2016).
Author’s Abstract: In offering a rereading of imperial humanitarianism, this essay explores the interplay between the functioning of the modern British empire as an extended and dispersed political terrain, the distinctive qualities of paper and print as knowledge technologies, and the centrality of the emotions or ‘sentiment’ in humanitarian sensibilities. Drawing upon materials from the New Zealand frontier, it suggests that thinking through “moving texts” offers a crucial window on humanitarianism’s operation as an influential political formation within the modern British empire and is an effective mechanism for reassessing the political sensibilities that linked Britain and its colonies. The essay also underlines the potent and abiding consequences that “moving texts” had for Indigenous communities as they functioned as powerful engines that entangled them in the politics of empire and colonization.
Bennett, Tony. “Liberal Government and the Practical History of Anthropology.” History and Anthropology 25, no.2 (2014): 150–170.
Author’s Abstract: This paper explores the implications of Foucault’s perspective of liberal government for approaches to the practical history of anthropology. It also draws on assemblage theory to consider the changing relations between field, museum and university in relation to a range of early twentieth-century anthropological practices. These focus mainly on the development of the Boasian paradigm in the USA during the inter-war years and on the anthropological practices clustered around the Musée de l’Homme in the 1930s.
Bargheer, Stefan. “Anthropology at War: Robert H. Lowie and the Transformation of the Culture Concept, 1904 to 1954.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 53, no. 2 (2017): 133–54. doi:10.1002/jhbs.21845.
Author’s Abstract: The concept of culture used in American anthropology has fundamentally transformed throughout the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century. The changing resonance of the work of Robert H. Lowie offers revealing insights into this development. Lowie was part of the ﬁrst generation of students of Franz Boas that highlighted the importance of individual variation for the study of both primitive and civilized societies. Yet, its initial resonance notwithstanding, the culture concept that prevailed in the discipline went into a different direction as the result of anthropologists’ involvement in the war effort. It was advanced by the second generation of Boas’ students such as Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, who stressed the homogeneity of cultures. The contrast highlights the diversity of approaches available within anthropology in the ﬁrst half of the century and the crucial impact of World War II in determining which of these possibilities became institutionalized in the decades after the war.
Colón, Gabriel Alejandro Torres, and Charles A. Hobbs. “The Intertwining of Culture and Nature: Franz Boas, John Dewey, and Deweyan Strands of American Anthropology.” Journal of the History of Ideas 76, no. 1 (2015): 139–62. doi.org/10.1353/jhi.2015.0002.
Authors’ Abstract: This article argues that John Dewey, influenced by Franz Boas and early American anthropology, made the first attempt to understand nature from a modern anthropological perspective. We first explain how Boas helped develop the culture concept, which played a key role in the development Dewey’s own understanding of experience. In support of our interpretation of Dewey’s anthropology of nature, we conclude with some consideration of how Dewey’s anthropological philosophy served as an inspiration for anthropologists Ruth Benedict, Gene Weltfish, Alexander Lesser, and Leslie White.
Combés, Isabelle. “Historia Franciscana Y Etnografía Chiriguana.” Boletín Americanista 70 (2015): 57–72.
This themed issue of a journal published by the University of Barcelona contains ten studies on ethnographers and missionaries among New World Amerindian societies. Articles are in Spanish, Catalan, or Galician. The missionaries and ethnographers discussed include ARuiz de Montoya, Alfred Métraux, John Arnott, and Heinz Rox–Schulz. Authors focus on various native peoples in South American including the Moxos, Chiriguano (Guaraní), Wachí, and Chácobo.
Darnell, Regna. “Applied Anthropology: Disciplinary Oxymoron?” Anthropologica, 57 (2015): 1–11.
Author’s Abstract: This essay argues that the term applied anthropology is an unnecessary oxymoron because the discipline of anthropology itself entails application of anthropological knowledge. Examples from the author’s personal experience are used to argue for the application of anthropology as a process of seeing in a particular way, rather than as a mechanical expectation of particular changes embedded in research design. Collaboration of anthropologists with individual consultants and their communities is long established at the centre of applied anthropology. The Canadian Anthropology Society / Société canadienne d’anthropologie (CASCA), in part through its recognition of the significant applied work of Sally Weaver and Marc–Adélard Tremblay, privileges an anthropology of application through dialogue and based in a relational ontology.
Eickhoff, Martijn. “‘You Should Speak With… and Hurry!’: Some Personal Reflections on the Value of Oral History for the History of Archaeology.” Complutum 24, no. 2 (2013): 153–161.
Author’s Abstract: In this paper the author reconsiders the importance of oral history for the history of archaeology. By reflecting on his own use of oral history as a source of information for his PhD dissertation on Dutch archaeology and National Socialism, he argues that oral history should not be defined as collecting primary sources, but seen rather as a method that provides information on how the past was and is remembered and valued by members of a given academic community.
Frank, Reanne. “Back to the Future? The Emergence of a Geneticized Conceptualization of Race in Sociology.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 661 (2015): 51–64.
Author’s Abstract: Discoveries in human molecular genetics have reanimated unresolved debates over the nature of human difference. In this context, the idea that race has a discrete and measurable genetic basis is currently enjoying a resurgence. The return of a biologized construction of race is somewhat surprising because one of the primary pronouncements to come out of the Human Genome Project was one of human genetic similarity (i.e. humans are over 99.9 percent similar at the molecular level). Perhaps even more surprising is that genetically based notions of race have not been restricted to the biomedical sciences but have recently emerged within the social sciences, specifically sociology, to explicitly challenge a socially constructed understanding of race. Drawing on existing critiques, this article describes problems in recent sociological scholarship and the potential role of social scientists in future work occurring at the intersection of race and genetics. I argue that recent scholarly work meant to challenge the notion of race as a social construction actually makes a powerful case for its continued utility.
Golotvin, A.N. “Concerning the History of Russian Archaeology in the Studies of A.D. Pryakhin (for the 75th Anniversary of the Scholar).” Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia 42, no.3 (2014): 100–105.
Author’s Abstract: This article overviews the contribution of a well-known Russian archaeologist, A.D. Pryakhin, to the history of Russian archaeology of various periods, and shows the relationship between the topics studied by Pryakhin and his teaching activities. Pryakhin’s works include studies on the emergence of archaeology on the Eurasian steppes.
Gundelach, Peter. “Bringing Things Together: Developing the Sample Survey as Practice in the Late Nineteenth Century.” Journal of the History Behavioral Sciences 53, no. 1 (2017): 71–89.
Author’s Abstract: The first sample surveys in the latter parts of the 19th century were an intellectual social movement. They were motivated by the intention to improve the economic and political conditions of workers. The quantitative survey was considered an ideal because it would present data about the workers as facts, i.e. establish a scientific authoritative truth. In a case study from Denmark, the paper shows how the first survey—a study of seamstresses—was carried out by bringing several cognitive and organizational elements together: a network of researchers, a method for sampling, the construction of a questionnaire, a procedure for coding, and analyzing the data. It was a trial and error process where the researchers lacked relevant concepts and methods but relied on their intuition and on inspiration from abroad.
Hazard Jr., Anthony Q. “Ashley Montagu, the ‘Most Dangerous Myth,’ and the ‘Negro Question’ during World War II.” Journal of Anthropological Research 72 (2016): 289–310.
Author’s Abstract: This article complicates the established historical narrative of Ashley Montagu’s intellectual and implicitly political project by focusing on his concern for the civil and human rights of African Americans. Montagu’s assault on the concept of race in the 1940s involved an equally trenchant critique of constructions of “the Negro” that has received very little attention. This essay explores Montagu’s most famous publication, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth (1942), with a focus on “the Negro question” and demonstrates that Montagu’s theory of race along with his attempts to deconstruct the concept were not rooted solely in scientific arguments but also in his understanding of U.S. history and the history of racism. Montagu viewed “the Negro question” in the United States as central to the broader anthropological construction of race and contemporary justifications for myriad forms of racism and segregation.
Hicks, Dan. “Four-Field Anthropology: Charter Myths and Time Warps from St. Louis to Oxford.” Current Anthropology 54, no.6 (2013): 753–763.
Author’s Abstract: The four-field model of anthropology is conventionally understood to have begun with a paper read by Franz Boas in St. Louis in 1904. Publishing for the first time a drawing made by Augustus Pitt-Rivers in England in 1882, this paper rethinks this proposition by making two arguments. First, the paper explores the role of the classificatory anthropology of the 1870s and 1880s on both sides of the Atlantic in the emergence of the idea of organizing anthropological knowledge. Second, the paper considers how our knowledge of the discipline’s past can develop from the study of objects and documents (rather than only through rereading anthropologists’ published texts), in a manner akin to documentary archaeology. Rather than proposing a new set of “charter myths,” the paper explores writing the history of four-field anthropology as a form of material culture studies or historical archaeology (in other words, as a subfield of anthropology), working with the “time warps” created by museums and archives in which disciplinary history is not always already written.
Howell, Brian M. “Anthropology and the Making of Billy Graham: Evangelicalism and Anthropology in the 20th–Century United States.” American Anthropologist 117 (2015): 59–70.
Author’s Abstract: In theorizing the relationship between Christianity (or religion) and anthropology, scholars have often emphasized the “incommensurability,” tension, or distance between two seemingly opposed epistemological frameworks. In this article, I take the case of Billy Graham, one of the most famous Christian leaders of the 20th century, as well as an undergraduate anthropology major, to illustrate how anthropology was imagined to serve Christian purposes, defined by the theological categories of religion. In the modernist Christianity of Graham’s 20th–century evangelicalism, anthropology could be comfortably subsumed under Christian categories. Rather than seeing anthropology, or any science, as being a product of, or coterminous with, secularism, Graham, and his college professors before him, understood anthropology to be fully amenable to Christian uses, so long as secular or atheistic influences were expunged.
Kan, Sergei. “‘To Study Our Past, Make Sense of Our Present and Develop Our National Consciousness’: Lev Shternberg’s Comprehensive Program for Jewish Ethnography in the USSR.” In Going to the People: Jews and the Ethnographic Impulse, edited by Jeffrey Veidlinger, 64–84. Indiana University Press, 2016.
Author’s Abstract: Building on [my] 2009 biography of Lev Shternberg (1861–1927), one of the leading ethnologists of pre–revolutionary Russia, this paper explores his detailed 1920s program for conducting ethnographic research among Soviet Jews. Unlike Shternberg’s pre–1917 exclusive focus on the “traditional” Jewish culture of the shtetl (small town), this ambitious program encouraged ethnographers to concentrate not only on sociocultural continuity but also on the radical changes in Jewish social life and culture caused by the upheavals of the revolution, the Civil War and sovietization.
Kerr, Ashley. “From Savagery to Sovereignty: Identity, Politics, and International Expositions of Argentine Anthropology (1878–1892).” Isis 108, no. 1 (2017): 62–81.
Author’s Abstract: In the late nineteenth century, Argentine intellectual elites turned to world’s fairs as a place to contest myths of Latin American racial inferiority and produce counternarratives of Argentine whiteness and modernity. This essay examines Argentine anthropological displays at three expositions between 1878 and 1892 to elucidate the mechanisms and reception of these projects. Florentino Ameghino, Francisco Moreno, and others worked deliberately and in conjunction with political authorities to erase the indigenous tribes from the national identity, even while using their bodies and products to create prehistory and garner intellectual legitimacy. Comparison of the three fairs also demonstrates how the representation of Amer-Indians and their artifacts shifted in accordance with local political needs and evolving international theories of anthropogenesis. The resulting analysis argues for the importance of considering the former colonies of the Global South in understanding the development of pre-twentieth-century anthropology and world’s fairs, particularly when separating them from their imperial context.
Kristen, Todd J., and Reade Davis. “The Legacies of Indigenous History in Archaeological Thought.” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 22 (2015): 512–542.
Author’s Abstract: This paper examines the dynamics of archaeological knowledge production in the presence and absence of living descendants of indigenous peoples. We utilize Canadian case studies from the Atlantic island of Newfoundland and the Pacific island archipelago of Haida Gwaii. Whereas the modern indigenous Haida play an active socio–political role on the Pacific Coast, the last known Newfoundland Beothuk died in 1829 AD. Anthropological knowledge and archaeological research of the Beothuk has since evolved in the absence of an indigenous voice. We review regional archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic literatures to demonstrate that archaeological epistemology is heavily influenced by the islands’ divergent histories, in particular, with regards to the power that indigenous people have asserted in the research process. Technological and economic approaches have dominated archaeology of the Beothuk and their ancestors while Haida self–governance, in combination with rich records of historic Haida practices, has fostered more socio–politically, religious–, and/or cognitive–oriented approaches to archaeological thought, practice, and heritage stewardship. Using Haida archaeology as a model, we offer more agency–based interpretations of Beothuk life. We conclude our analysis with a discussion of the broader implications of emic perspectives for pre–contact hunter–gatherer research and its influence on the societal context of heritage studies.
Kuhn, Konrad J. “Europeanization as Strategy: Disciplinary Shifts in Switzerland and the Formation of European Ethnology.” Ethnologia Europaea: Journal of European Ethnology 45 (2015): 80–97.
Author’s Abstract: This paper examines the epistemological and institutional activities in the field of Volkskunde/folklore studies in Switzerland leading to the discipline’s reformation as “European ethnology.” Drawing on archival materials, the article takes Arnold Niederer (1914–1998) as a starting point by showing how Niederer, his networks and research contexts were involved in the formation of the loose alliance of interests that were subsequently institutionalized. This paper traces the new perception of the discipline “European ethnology” as it draws on early transnational contacts of Swiss Folklore Studies in order to overcome the crisis in which Volkskunde found itself in the 1960s. Europeanization and an orientation toward the present were strategies to stabilize the academic discipline but also to establish the discipline in the public sphere.
Kuper, Adam. “Meyer Fortes: The Person, the Role, the Theory.” The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 34, no. 2 (2016): 127–39. doi:10.3167/ca.2016.340209.
Author’s Abstract: In the two decades after the Second World War, Meyer Fortes was a central figure in what was then called “British social anthropology.” Sometimes dismissed as simply a follower of Radcliffe-Brown, Fortes’ theoretical influences in fact ranged from Freud to Parsons. He formulated a distinctive theoretical synthesis, and produced the most influential version of ‘descent theory’. Fortes is currently out of fashion, but four decades after his retirement from the Cambridge chair a revaluation is in order.
Lambek, Michael and Amira Mittermaier, editors. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6, no. 2 (Autumn 2016): i-525.
In this issue of HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, interim editors Michael Lambek and Amira Mittermaier offer a hearty stew of articles, debates, and mediations that speak directly and indirectly to pressing issues in the history of anthropology. Highlights include a debate on Sherry Ortner’s recent discussion of the rise of “dark anthropology” and, subsequently, “anthropologies of the good” in conjunction with neoliberal political-economic formations.
Section editors Bhrigupati Singh and Jane I. Guyer, call for an alternative reading of the discipline’s history, that challenges teleological and canonical narratives of error and villainy. They refer to this as a “joyful history of anthropology”–by which they mean “a kind of fullness and intensity of engagement that may include tragic possibilities, and the reemergence of the old as the new, or a least as fodder for the new” (201). The section loosely organizes articles under the categories of “canonical recreations,” “minor events in the history of anthropology,” and “ways of inhabiting a body of knowledge” (202).
Finally, a book symposium on David Price’s recently published Cold Ward Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual use of Anthropology (2016) involves considerations of the historical coproduction of anthropology and politics, the Cold War legacy (and how to conceptualize it), and the stakes of constructing metanarratives of the field and its complicity with militarism in the present.
Lindberg, Christer. “French–Swedish–American Crossroads: Alfred Métraux, Erland Nordenskiöld, and the Gothenburg School of Ethnography.” Anthropos 111 (2016): 214–224.
From the Introduction: Anthropologist, historian, writer, poet, photographer, and human rights activist Alfred Métraux was born in Switzerland in 1902 [and] spent most of his childhood in Argentina. [But] the formative years for his career in anthropology were spent in Sweden…as a member of the “Gothenburg School.” When Métraux joined the group in Gothenburg his teacher, Nordenskiöld, was among the most experienced ethnographical fieldworkers in Europe and an international recognized authority on the Indians of South America.
Lindee, Susan, and Joanna Radin. “Patrons of the Human Experience: A History of the Wenner–Gren Foundation for Anthropology Research, 1941–2016.” Current Anthropology 57 (2016): S218–301.
Author’s Abstract: The Wenner–Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research has played a critical but little–understood role in the development of the social and biological sciences since 1941. For anthropology particularly, its programs have often helped redefine scholarly priorities and research trajectories. Its grants to doctoral students have functioned as an important early sign of scholarly legitimacy, a mark of belonging to the profession. The foundation’s history also reflects general transformations in scientific patronage as new landscapes of federal, military, and private funding reconfigured opportunities in the social sciences. In this account we track the evolution of the foundation in tandem with the evolution of anthropology during a period of dramatic change after 1941, looking at the Second World War context from which the foundation emerged and the ideas and experiences of those who played a key role in this history. We examine the long–term influence of a philanthropic foundation on the postwar emergence of an internationally oriented anthropology from a tiny, almost clubby discipline with a few key institutions and leaders to a major academic and scientific enterprise with sometimes revolutionary ideas about evolution, human biology, race, culture, power, gender, and social order.
Luciak, Ilja A. “Vision and Reality: Axel Wenner–Gren, Paul Fejos, and the Origins of the Wenner–Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.” Current Anthropology 57 (2016): S302–32.
Author’s Abstract: In this article I explore the origins of the Wenner–Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. I focus on the complex relationship between Paul Fejos, the foundation’s first scientific director, and Axel Wenner–Gren, its founding president and benefactor. The accusation of having been a Nazi collaborator remains an undeserved stain on Wenner–Gren’s name. Recently declassified documents concerning Wenner–Gren’s controversial 1942 inclusion on the US Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals constitute convincing evidence that the official reasons—namely, his personal and business ties with Nazi Germany—were not at the core of the US government’s case. I suggest that the US government acted out of concern that one of the richest men of his time, courted by the presidents of Peru and Mexico to invest in their countries, represented a strategic threat to US hegemony in the hemisphere. In the final analysis, Wenner–Gren was simply a victim of the Monroe Doctrine. The reexamination of Wenner–Gren’s blacklisting in light of newly available evidence is essential for a comprehensive appreciation of the philanthropist’s legacy in the United States and Fejos’s role in creating one of the key institutions in support of anthropology.
Mazé, Camille, Frédéric Poulard, Christelle Ventura. “Dismantling, Reorganization, and Creation: The Introduction to Ethnology Museums: Culture, Politics, and Institutional Change.” Museum Anthropology Review 9, no.1–2 (2015): 34–57.
Abstract: This contribution originally appeared in French as the introduction to the edited volume Les musées d’ethnologie: culture, politique et changement institutionnel. It offers a historical and contemporary account of cultural, political, and institutional factors that have reshaped museum anthropology and museums of anthropology in France since the rise of the field and its institutions in the 19th century.
Milam, Erika Lorraine. “Men in Groups: Anthropology and Aggression, 1965–84.” Oriris 30 (2015): 66–88.
Author’s Abstract: By the late 1950s, Harry Frank Guggenheim was concerned with understanding why some charismatic leaders fought for freedom while others sought power and domination. He believed that best–selling books on ethological approaches to animal and human behavior, especially those by playwright and screenwriter Robert Ardrey, promised a key to this dilemma, and he created a foundation that would fund research addressing problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. Under the directorship of Rutgers University professors Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation fostered scientific investigations into the biological basis of human nature. This essay analyzes their discussions of aggression as fundamental to the behavior of men in groups in order to elucidate the private and professional dimensions of masculine networks of U.S. philanthropic and academic authority in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Mullings, Leith. “Anthropology Matters.” American Anthropologist 117 (2015): 4–16.
Author’s Abstract: The following is the text of the presidential address, slightly revised and with references added, presented on November 23, 2013, at the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Chicago, Illinois. I begin by contextualizing the development of anthropological theory in some of the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, with particular reference to Chicago. After exploring contemporary challenges to the academy and to the discipline of anthropology, I close with a discussion of relevant research projects, new publics, and the future of anthropology.
Munro, John. “Interwoven Colonial Histories: Indigenous Agency and Academic Historiography in North America.” Canadian Review of American Studies 44 (2014): 402–25.
Author’s Abstract: Inspired by a recent call for greater integration between histories of capitalism and of Indigenous peoples in the United States, I argue that scholars across American studies should take stock of the ways in which Indigenous history pertains to fields beyond economic history. This article emphasizes Indigenous agency and activism to historicize how Aboriginal history has become (somewhat) more prominent in American studies.
In reviewing some of the literature that has helped bring about this still incomplete shift, I look at developments in the settler states of the United States and Canada in order to highlight their shared colonial structures.
The above article suggestion was just sent in by Alice Kehoe (U. Wisconsin, Minneapolis).
Murray, Tim. “Why the History of Archaeology is Essential to Theoretical Archaeology.” Complutum 24, no.2 (2013): 21–31.
Author’s Abstract: This paper discusses the relationship between the historiography of archaeology and the building and evaluation of archaeological theory. Although it is common for archaeologists to employ partial histories of archaeology to support claims for significant changes to archaeological theory, it is nonetheless the case that there is strong evidence for a counter claim—that theoretical archaeology needs to be more strongly grounded in the history of archaeology. This claim is supported by a close analysis of the value of alternative histories of archaeology to demonstrate that current theoretical orthodoxies have histories and are not necessarily ‘natural’ for the discipline.
Ortner, Sherry B. “Dark Anthropology and Its Others: Theory Since the Eighties.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6 (2016): 47–73.
Author’s Abstract: In this article I consider several emergent trends in anthropology since the 1980s against a backdrop of the rise of neoliberalism as both an economic and a governmental formation. I consider first the turn to what I call “dark anthropology,” that is, anthropology that focuses on the harsh dimensions of social life (power, domination, inequality, and oppression), as well as on the subjective experience of these dimensions in the form of depression and hopelessness. I then consider a range of work that is explicitly or implicitly a reaction to this dark turn, under the rubric of “anthropologies of the good,” including studies of “the good life” and “happiness,” as well as studies of morality and ethics. Finally, I consider what may be thought of as a different kind of anthropology of the good, namely new directions in the anthropology of critique, resistance, and activism.
Owens B.R. “‘Laboratory Talk’ in U.S. Sociology, 1890–1930: The Performance of Scientific Legitimacy.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 50 (2014): 302–20.
Author’s Abstract: This paper examines one aspect of early twentieth century debates over the meaning of scientific methodology and epistemology within the social sciences: the tendency of sociologists to invoke “laboratory” as a multivalent concept and in reference to diverse institutions and sites of exploration. The aspiration to designate or create laboratories as spaces of sociological knowledge production was broadly unifying in early American sociology (1890–1930), even though there was no general agreement about what “laboratory” meant, nor any explicit acknowledgment of that lack of consensus. The persistence of laboratory talk in sociology over decades reflects the power of “laboratory” as a productively ambiguous, legitimizing ideal for sociologists aspiring to make their discipline rigorously scientific.
Pace, Richard. “‘Tooting One’s Horn’ and Lauding One’s Fellow in the Construction of a History of Anthropological Theory.” Reviews in Anthropology 43 (2014): 180–98.
Author’s Abstract: The notion of lobbying for a place in the history of anthropological theory is used to frame the importance of the autobiography, collected works, Festschrift essays, and biography reviewed here. Ranging from bottom–up historicism, behavioral paleoanthropology, and French structural Marxism to historical particularism, the books by or about Stocking, Freeman, Godelier, and Mead emphasize the contributions of each while staking out a new or extended intellectual territory or status in the fluid (re)writing of the theoretical history of the discipline.
Palmié, Stephan, and Charles Stewart. “Introduction: For an Anthropology of History.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 6 (2016): 207–36.
This introductory article appears as part of a Special Section of the summer 2016 addition of HAU. Co–edited by Palmié and Stewart, this section also includes articles from Courtney Handman, Byron Ellsworth Hamann, Richard Handler, Michael Lambek, and Kristina Wirtz.
Authors’ Abstract: Although Sahlins proposed it over thirty years ago, and notwithstanding various noteworthy contributions in the interim, a concerted anthropology of history has not yet come into being. This introduction, and the case studies which follow it, lay out the interrogatives of such an endeavor by reference to ethnographic and historical studies of Cuba, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, the United States, and early modern Euro–America. The anthropology of history inquires foremost into the very idea of history—the assumptions, principles, and practices that inform the acquisition of knowledge about the past, and its social presentation. Finding the terms to understand alternative forms of history making requires an ethnographic and historical sense of how the Western concept of history (historicism) came to be and how this historicism is, in fact, lodged within a plurality of alternative practices in Western communities. We see the anthropology of history as a large collective interdisciplinary enterprise that will involve archaeologists, historians, and many others in understanding the possibilities of history as a practice and as an analytic.
Paul, Robert A. “Colonialism, Capital, and the Rise of the Structural–Functionalist School of British Anthropology.” History and Anthropology 27 (2016): 210–29.
Author’s Abstract: It is by now a truism that anthropology, especially British social anthropology, emerged under the regime of colonialism, and thus, to some extent, bears the imprint of and some responsibility for that oppressive institution. The reality is much more interesting. This paper, by focusing on the role of funding in the success of many intellectual paradigms, traces the source of the pre–eminence of British structural–functionalism not to the colonial system, but rather to an American intellectual tradition that was progressive, reform–minded, and devoted to benefiting oppressed peoples, especially African–Americans and latterly Africans.
Porath, Nathan. “The Hume/Tylor Genealogy and Andrew Lang: Of Miracles and Marvels, Animism, and Materialism.” Anthropos 111 (2016): 185–200.
Author’s Abstract: This article focuses on the influence of David Hume’s writings and in particular on the Natural History of Religion on Edward B. Tylor’s “Primitive Culture,” highlighting the Hume/Tylor genealogy in the foundation of the discipline.
Rice, Don S., and Prudence M. Rice. “Forty Years in Petén, Guatemala: A Hagiographic Prosopography.” In Human Adaptation in Ancient Mesoamerica: Empirical Approaches to Mesoamerican Archaeology, edited by Nancy Gonlin and Kirk D. French, 295–334. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2015.
Anthropology at The Pennsylvania State University in 2015 is the study of human biological and cultural evolution… We entered the anthropology doctoral program at Penn State in fall 1971. Our interactions with faculty and student colleagues there provided inspiration, context, and tools for two k’atunob of research on archaeological, ecological, historical, and technological issues in Latin America, especially the Maya region. Here we indulge in some reminiscences of the genealogy and high (and low) points of our history, among other things reflecting on our 40 years of Penn State’s archaeology and influence, the topic of the 2012 Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting symposium for which this chapter was originally written.
Rodseth, Lars. “Back to Boas, Forth to Latour: An Anthropological Model for the Ontological Turn.” Current Anthropology 56 (2015): 865–882.
Author’s Abstract: How could Franz Boas, trained in physics and geography in Bismarck’s Germany, carry any weight for twenty–first century anthropology, given the theoretical upheavals of the past few decades? As early as 1887, I argue, Boas foreshadowed certain theoretical innovations of recent years, especially Bruno Latour’s ethnographic and philosophical analysis of science and modern society.
Sander, Sabine, Cyril Levitt, and Neil McMaughlin. “Beyond Fields, Networks, and Fame: Lawrence Krader as an ‘Outsider’ Intellectual.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 53, no. 2 (2017): 155–75. doi:0.1002/jhbs.21846.
Author’s Abstract: This paper investigates the intellectual biography of the American philosopher and anthropologist Lawrence Krader (1919–1998) as a contribution to the sociology of intellectuals and history of ideas. We trace Krader’s career trajectory to his intellectual self-concept, his scholarly and political worldviews, and his financial independence. Krader entertained a self-concept of a lone pioneer that led him to reject the competition for attention as highlighted in the current literature, dominated as it is by an emphasis on field, habitus, the accumulation and reproduction of power, and symbolic capital. His self-concept and his happier financial circumstance kept him relatively aloof from key intellectual networks and narrow institutional constraints. Our paper seeks to combine the new sociology of ideas with its focus on institutions and networks with traditional Wissenssoziologie that emphasized the role of class, status, and worldviews to explain the rise and fall of theories and thinkers.
Shapiro, Warren. “Not ‘from the Natives’ Point of View’: Why the New Kinship Studies Need the Old Kinship Terminologies.” Anthropos 110 (2015): 1–13.
Author’s Abstract: The so–called “new kinship studies,” inspired by David Schneider, have proceeded with only scant attention to kinship terminologies. The argument here is that analyses of these terminologies undercut the main claim of the new kinship scholars, i.e., that they get at “the native’s point of view.” Instead, such analyses provide overwhelming support of the rival extensionist position.
Smith, Richard J. “Darwin, Freud, and the Continuing Misrepresentation of the Primal Horde.” Current Anthropology 57 (2016): 838–43.
Author’s Abstract: Sigmund Freud developed his evolutionary theory for the origin of the Oedipus complex in Totem and Taboo, published in 1913. This complex scenario, involving what Freud called “the primal crime” and its subsequent phylogenetic consequences, incorporated theories from a number of sources, including Charles Darwin. Freud claimed to have found in Darwin a proposal for the structure for early human social organization. Since then, “Darwin’s primal horde” has endured in a variety of literatures that build on Freud’s work. In this essay, “Darwin’s primal horde” is reevaluated from the standpoint of Darwin’s writing. Darwin’s words were taken out of context and exaggerated. The primal horde is a concept that Darwin would not recognize, that he did not propose, and that misrepresents what he wrote. It is Freud’s construction, not Darwin’s. Modern authors should not cite Darwin when discussing “Darwin’s primal horde.”
Trebunia–Staszel, Stanislawa. “Ethnological Studies at the Institut Für Deutsche Ostarbeit in the Light of New Sources.” Anthropos 111 (2016): 9–20.
Author’s Abstract: The article discusses the problem of the Nazi research projects carried out in occupied Poland during WW II by German and Austrian ethnologists employed at the Institut fur Deutsche Ostarbeit (IDO). Drawing on new or hitherto littleknown sources, the author provides new and verifies the existing information to be found in publications dealing with IDO, mainly with the activity of one of the IDO’s section – namely, the Sektion Rassen–und Volkstumsforschung. The paper presents results of fieldwork research and expeditions carried out by SRV ethnologists among selected groups of people in occupied Poland, with special regard to the ethnic, ethnographic, and racial studies. The analysis of the vast amount of documentation allows us to deepen our knowledge on the SRV’s ideological assumptions and plans, and specifically to determine the actual scope of that research, its methods, tools, and the empirical results of field explorations.
Urry, James. “Anthropological, Ethnological and Ethnographic Concerns in Colonial Australia in the 1840s.” Treaty of Waitangi Research Unit, Treaty Research Series, no. 14 (2016): 1–37.
From the Article: “The aim of this paper is to examine how anthropology, and its related fields of ethnology and ethnography, was discussed in various colonies in Australia before 1850.”
Vincent, Stephanie, and Simon Mays. “Thomas Henry Huxley (AD 1825–1895): Pioneer of Forensic Anthropology.” In Trends in Biological Anthropology, edited by Karina Gerdau–Radonic and Kathleen McSweeny, 89–94. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015.
Authors’ Abstract: Thomas Henry Huxley was a leading Victorian biologist. He is best remembered today for his vocal support for Darwin’s ideas on human evolution, but we analyse archival documentation which shows he was also an early pioneer of the forensic application of anatomical and anthropological techniques.
Wolfgram, Matthew. “Science Talk and Scientific Reference.” Annual Review of Anthropology 45, no. 1 (2016): 33–44.
Author’s Abstract: This review of research literature on the language practices associated with the production and circulation of scientific knowledge documents four discourse-ideological processes: data/theory enregisterment, objectification, visualization, and entextualization. I argue that these processes cause the stabilization of scientific reference by imposing a conventionalist language ideology that opposes language and the objective reality of the world that it references.