Sarah Pickman

Upcoming History of Anthropology Talks at the BSHS Global Digital History of Science Festival

The Global Digital History of Science Festival is a five-day online celebration run by the British Society for the History of Science featuring talks, discussions, workshops, performances, discussions, and more – free to everyone! The Festival will take place from July 6 through July 10, 2020.

The HAR News editors would like to highlight two lightning talks on the program related to the history of anthropology. Please note that the event times given are in U.K. time/UTC + 1:

Monday, July 6, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (part of Lightning Talks A panel):

Francis Galton and Joseph Jacobs’ Co-Construction of the ‘Jewish-type’: A Critical Image Analysis  – Efram Sera-Shriar, King’s College London

Reflecting on Francis Galton’s anthropometric work in anthropology from the late Victorian period, his former student Karl Pearson remarked that ‘There is little doubt that Galton’s Jewish type formed a landmark in composite photography.’ These images, it was claimed, produced with ‘extraordinary fidelity’ what many of Galton’s proponents believed to be examples of genuine ‘Jewish physiognomy.’ Although Galton’s photographic research played a pivotal role in constructing a new conception of the ‘Jewish type’ in Victorian anthropology, he did not work alone. His composites of Jewish schoolboys were a collaboration with the Jewish folklorist, literary critic, and anthropologist Joseph Jacobs. In fact, it was Jacobs who initiated the idea, and contacted Galton for assistance in making the photographic images. Galton took the lead in assembling the composites, but it was Jacobs who provided the most sophisticated analysis of them at the time. Through an analysis of these images, which appeared in The Photographic News in 1885, this lightning talk will explore the processes by which Galton and Jacobs co-constructed a so-called ‘Jewish type.’

Ethnographic studies of Northeast Siberian peoples in imperial Russia c.1890-1917, their political context and international significance  – Ekaterina (Katya) Morgunova, PhD Candidate, Centre for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine (CHoSTM), Department of History, King’s College London

This project aims to investigate studies of Northeast Siberian ethnic groups, conducted by the Russian Empire’s political exiles c.1890-1917. It considers their research against the backdrop of the Russian political context and the international landscape of anthropological research. I aim to shed light especially on the fascinating behind-the-scenes of scientific fieldwork. Using expedition diaries and correspondence alongside governmental and published sources, I investigate how ethnography was shaped by diverse actors including governmental authorities, philanthropists, and the less visible actors, especially the indigenous research subjects.

To get oriented and explore the many events taking place, as well as find details on how to access the events online, visit the Festival welcome page. You can also browse the full program. Please note that events are subject to change and it is best to check the program regularly for the events you are interested in.

Call for Papers: Special Issue on History of World Anthropologies

The journal Horizontes Antropológicos has issued a Call for Papers for a special issue on the theme of “History of World Anthropologies.” This issue (no. 62) is slated to be published in January 2022.

This thematic issue intends to contribute towards a reassessment of the past of anthropology in a broad sense, by understanding the knowledge and ethnographic practices that precede or complement scientific institutionalization, including features of amateurism and experimentalism in varied and interconnected contexts. The editors seek not only a post-colonial criticism of the attempts to survey and analyze human variability, but rather to examine the contributions in their own time and place, in the historical dynamics of anthropology. This issue is open to case studies focused on peripheral, external or off-center anthropological traditions as compared to the so-called “major traditions.”

The editors seek to pay special attention to the Lusophone and Ibero-American contexts (including all of Latin America), considering not only their intersections, but also the fact that they are often excluded from hegemonic historiographic narratives. They hope to produce a comparative reflection on the historical antecedents of the current paradigm of World Anthropologies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (up to the 1970s) and the dissemination of anthropological praxis. Interdisciplinarity between anthropology, history, history of science, and historical anthropology is encouraged, as is dialogue through a re-reading of ethnographic and anthropological texts from different places, times and dimensions.

The issue’s editors are Eduardo Dullo (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil), Patrícia Ferraz de Matos (Universidade de Lisboa – Portugal), and Frederico Delgado Rosa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa – Portugal). 

Submission of articles will be open from October 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Full details about the special issue can be found on the website of Horizontes Antropológicos, or obtained via e-mail at horizontes@ufrgs.br.

Webinar: Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and SAPIENS will co-host a webinar on “Anti-Blackness: Readings on Violence, Resistance, and Repair” on June 17, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. EST. The discussion will feature books by Laurence Ralph (The Torture Letters), Savannah Shange (Progressive Dystopia), Christen A. Smith (Afro-Paradise), and Deborah A. Thomas (Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation) and a conversation with the authors on how their work speaks to our current moment. Discussion will be moderated by Danilyn Rutherford, Eshe Lewis, and Chip Colwell.

Participants should register in advance, as participation is limited to the first 1,000 individuals to sign up.

New release from BEROSE – Leal on Nina Rodrigues

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This article by João Leal (Centre for Research in Anthropology, NOVA University, Lisbon) presents the complex anthropological legacy of Raimundo Nina Rodrigues, who played a key role in the emergence of the anthropology of Afro-Brazilian religions (and especially the Candomblé studies) at the turn of the twentieth century.

Leal, João, 2020. “Nina Rodrigues e as religiões afro‑brasileiras”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Raimundo Nina Rodrigues (1862-1906) is a key figure – albeit a controversial one – in the history of Brazilian anthropology at the turn of the twentieth century. He was a major representative of the racialist theories that prevailed in Brazil at that time, but was also a pioneer in the study of Afro-Brazilian religions, to which he devoted his best-known work, The Fetishist Animism of Bahian Blacks (1896-97). Resulting from his own ethnographic fieldwork, this paradoxical work combines evolutionary and racialist ideas with a thorough first-hand description of candomblé. It launched several themes –  such as syncretism – that were to inspire later representatives of this subdisciplinary field, namely from the 1930s and 1940s, when Arthur Ramos (1903-1949) revitalized Afro-Brazilian studies.

New release from BEROSE – Capone and Peixoto on “Anthropologies in Brazil”

HAR is happy to continue to draw readers’ attention to a remarkable and growing online source for History of Anthropology. BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology reflects the diversity of anthropological traditions and currents, whether hegemonic or pushed to the margins. BEROSE welcomes and fosters the pluralization of the history of anthropology and aims at recovering the dialogues or tensions between classical protagonists and forgotten, sometimes excluded and sometimes cursed figures.

Today, we are pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE – an essay by Stafania Capone (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris) and Fernanda Peixoto (University of São Paulo) on the history of anthropology in Brazil. The article is available in both Portuguese and English.

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