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.
Adams, William Yewdale. The Boasians: Founding Fathers and Mothers of American Anthropology. Lanham: Hamilton Books, 2016.
Publisher’s Abstract: This book is a study in depth of the work of Franz Boas and twenty of his students at Columbia University in the early years of the twentieth century. Collectively they laid the entire institutional as well as the intellectual foundations of American anthropology as it exists today. The book begins with a discussion of the historical context of Boasian anthropology, and an overview of its nature and limitations. The work of Boas and his leading students is then discussed in detail, including biographical data, a review and critique of their research, a review in detail of each of their major publications, and an overall assessment of their contribution to anthropology, as seen in their own time and today. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Our ability to explore the history of anthropology in a substantive and empirical manner hinges upon access to primary and secondary source material. Since HAN was established in 1973, anthropologically relevant archives have gone through multiple material transformations that shape the way we do the history of anthropology. Today an anthropological archival collection might be fully digitized, however it remains much more likely that only parts of it or only a detailed description of its contents are accessible online. For those readers less familiar with archival collections and how to locate and access them, some basic resources and strategies might be useful.