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.

Update for Late 2016, Start of 2017

As the first half-year of the revived History of Anthropology Newsletter closes, we’d like to bring your attention to a handful of posts which will appear in the next months, and some interesting changes to the site:

Stay tuned for more, and please keep us informed by submitting news, publications, and potential contributions!

Renewing the History of Anthropology Newsletter

The History of Anthropology Newsletter officially relaunches in online form on June 20, 2016. Originally edited by George W. Stocking, Jr., then by Henrika Kuklick, the HAN is now under the direction of a new editorial team based at the University of Pennsylvania, with the guidance of an esteemed advisory board—several of whom have been involved in the HAN since its inception.

The first aim of the relaunched newsletter is to make available online, in a searchable mode, all the earlier issues of the HAN, originally published from 1973 to 2012. Thanks to a grant from the Price Lab for Digital Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania and the Mellon Foundation, and thanks to the generous assistance of Penn Libraries, you can now find all those back issues online.

The newsletter also features:

  • News of interest to those working in the history of anthropology, including announcements about conferences and funding opportunities.
  • Reviews of books and other relevant works.
  • Bibliographies of recent publications in the field.
  • Field Notes, a space for pointed observations on questions in the history of anthropology; our first issue contains fascinating reflections on the history of the newsletter itself, from Richard Handler, Ira Bashkow, and Regna Darnell, as well as notes on the history of anthropological collections and museums by Ira Jacknis.
  • Clio’s Fancy, a section devoted to oddities and curiosities found in the archives, which was originally edited by George Stocking and which we’re renewing with a wedding announcement connecting the Boasian tradition to the history of science fiction.
  • A Twitter feed with frequent updates of interest to the history of anthropology community.

We invite you to explore the newsletter, either as a return or for the first time. We also invite you to post responses, offer suggestions, submit news, articles, and reviews, and keep the conversation going.

The Past and Future of the History of Anthropology Newsletter

The first issue of the History of Anthropology Newsletter was published in 1973. As a project launched and directed by George Stocking—a founder and leading practitioner of the history of anthropology—HAN has played an important role in the field for four decades.

From the beginning, its mission has been to connect dispersed scholars working on the history of anthropology from a variety of geographical, institutional, and disciplinary locations, and to serve as a repository for resources which might otherwise be missed or neglected. The biannual newsletter has included sections listing and describing recently acquired papers and collections, newly published monographs and manuscripts, dissertations and research in progress, as well as news, notes, and queries. Continue reading