Barbash, Ilisa. Where the Roads All End: Photography and Anthropology in the Kalahari. Foreword by Paul Theroux. Cambridge: Peabody Museum Press,  2017.

Publisher’s abstract:  Where the Roads All End tells the remarkable story of an American family’s eight anthropological expeditions to the remote Kalahari Desert in South–West Africa (Namibia) during the 1950s. Raytheon co–founder Laurence Marshall, his wife Lorna, and children John and Elizabeth recorded the lives of some of the last remaining hunter–gatherers, the so–called Bushmen, in what is now recognized as one of the most important ventures in the anthropology of Africa. Largely self–taught as ethnographers, the family supplemented their research with motion picture film and still photography to create an unparalleled archive that documents the Ju/’hoansi and the /Gwi just as they were being settled by the government onto a “Bushman Preserve.” The Marshalls’ films and publications popularized a strong counternarrative to existing negative stereotypes of the “Bushman” and revitalized academic studies of these southern African hunter–gatherers. This vivid and multilayered account of a unique family enterprise focuses on 40,000 still photographs in the archives of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

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Hardy, Andrew. The Barefoot Anthropologist: The Highlands of Champa and Vietnam in the Words of Jacques Dournes. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2015.

Publisher’s Abstract:  French anthropologist Jacques Dournes lived in Vietnam for 25 years, from 1946 to 1970, studying the culture of the Jarai and other highland ethnic groups. He became a renowned ethnographer and the Jarai people became his lifelong passion. In part one of this study, the author explores Dournes’s 1977 monograph Pötao: une théorie du pouvoir chez les Indochinois Jörai. In part two, Dournes speaks animatedly with the author about the Jarai, his feelings about culture and economics, his understanding of Vietnam’s history, and his personal experience of living in the Central Highlands.

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Oppenheim, Robert. An Asian Frontier: American Anthropology and Korea, 1882–1945.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,  2016.

Publisher’s Abstract:  In the nineteenth century the predominant focus of American anthropology centered on the native peoples of North America, and most anthropologists would argue that Korea during this period was hardly a cultural area of great anthropological interest. However, this perspective underestimates Korea as a significant object of concern for American anthropology during the period from 1882 to 1945–otherwise a turbulent, transitional period in Korea’s history. An Asian Frontier focuses on the dialogue between the American anthropological tradition and Korea, from Korea’s first treaty with the United States to the end of World War II, with the goal of rereading anthropology’s history and theoretical development through its Pacific frontier.

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Price, David H. Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Publisher’s Abstract: A provocative account of the profound influence that the American security state has had on the field of anthropology since the Second World War. Using a wealth of information unearthed in CIA, FBI, and military records, the author maps out the intricate connections between academia and the intelligence community and the strategic use of anthropological research to further the goals of the American military complex.

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Sysling, Fenneke. Racial Science and Human Diversity in Colonial Indonesia. Singapore: NUS Press, 2016.

Indonesia is home to diverse peoples who differ from one another in terms of physical appearance as well as social and cultural practices. The way such matters are understood is partly rooted in ideas developed by racial scientists working in the Netherlands Indies beginning in the late nineteenth century, who tried to develop systematic ways to define and identify distinctive races. Their work helped spread the idea that race had a scientific basis in anthropometry and craniology, and was central to people’s identity, but their encounters in the archipelago also challenged their ideas about race.

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Janet Steins: contributions / website /
Nicholas Barron: contributions / website /