2022 (page 1 of 3)

Mário de Andrade, Modernism, and Brazilian Anthropology

Semana de Arte Moderna Poster,
São Paulo, 1922

This year marks the centenary of São Paulo’s 1922 Semana de Arte Moderna (Week of Modern Art).[1]Funding for this article was provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, of which the author is currently a fellow. During this watershed moment in Brazil’s intellectual and cultural production, self-declared Modernists exhibited their paintings, performed prose, and distributed their writings at São Paulo’s Theatro Municipal and elsewhere. One of its key protagonists was Mário de Andrade (1893-1945), often considered the “pope” of Brazilian modernism. At least in Brazil, Andrade is also synonymous with the institutionalization of ethnography in São Paulo, where he founded the Sociedade de Etnografia e Folclore.[2]For a broader consideration of Andrade’s work at the Departamento de Cultura, see “Mário de Andrade no Departamento de Cultura de São Paulo,” March 24, 2022.

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References

References
1 Funding for this article was provided by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, of which the author is currently a fellow.
2 For a broader consideration of Andrade’s work at the Departamento de Cultura, see “Mário de Andrade no Departamento de Cultura de São Paulo,” March 24, 2022.

‘Self in the World’ by Keith Hart

Keith Hart. Self in the World: Connecting Life’s Extremes. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2022. 314 pp., appendix, bibliography, index.

Editor’s note: This response to Keith Hart’s new book was presented at a book launch at the London School of Economics on May 10, 2022. As both a review of a recent work and a glimpse into a scholarly life, HAR is pleased to publish this essay in both Reviews and Participant Observations.

The title of anthropologist Keith Hart’s entertaining and unpredictable new book, Self in the World: Connecting Life’s Extremes, is a good case of truth in advertising: readers get a lot of views of the world, and a fair bit of Hart’s self. He follows the commandment, cited towards the end, to “only connect.” As E. M. Forster had in mind with that slogan (Forster 1910), the book connects prose and passion, inner life and outer life—but also a vast scattering of disciplines and locations. Above all, it reflects on the possibilities for using the methods, theories, and epistemic ethics of anthropology to connect the immediate and personal with the abstract, global, and world-historical.

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New article in American Historical Review: “Skull Walls: The Peruvian Dead and the Remains of Entanglement”

If you enjoyed Christopher Heaney’s insightful Field Note from 2017, “Fair Necropolis,” the HAR editors suggest reading his most recent work on physical anthropology and the collecting of Indigenous human remains. Dr. Heaney‘s newest article, “Skull Walls: The Peruvian Dead and the Remains of Entanglement,” has just been published in the American Historical Review and is currently free to read online.

From 1820 through 1920, American anthropologists acquired more human remains of Andean origin than those of any other individual population worldwide. Samuel George Morton, the Smithsonian, Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and the American Museum of Natural History all made “ancient Peruvians” core to their collections, racializing the Americas’ past and present by using “ancient Peruvians” as a historic set against which living Native Americans might be compared. This process fueled the collection of Indigenous remains in general and confirms Americanist historians’ need to attend to entanglement: US scholars were adapting a Peruvian tradition of knowledge and grave robbing in which the Andes possessed the Americas’ oldest, wealthiest, most “civilized,” and most plentiful human remains. It also reminds us that recent and useful conceptualizations of early American history as vast had disturbing early republican counterparts—in this case, a violent science that entangled precolonial, colonial, and republican North and South American temporalities and embodied them in the “historic” Indigenous dead. Reckoning with history’s role in colonization includes recognizing the literal, even spirited, remains of entanglement as historical forces in their own right, with temporalities beyond those of the United States. Read more in the American Historical Review.

Congratulations, Dr. Heaney!

Rediscovering Kamba Simango, African Disciple of Franz Boas, by Lorenzo Macagno

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the career of Kamba Simango, Mozambican anthropologist and student of Boas.

Macagno, Lorenzo, 2022. “From Mozambique to New York: The Cosmopolitan Pathways of Kamba Simango, African Disciple of Franz Boas,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in 1890, in the Machanga District on the coast of present-day Mozambique, Kamba Simango was an ethnographer, missionary, musician, performer and activist. In 1914, under the auspices of the missionaries of the American Board of Missions, he was sent to the United States to study at the Hampton Institute, a college where African-Americans and young people from Africa learned sciences, literature, and manual skills. In 1919, after completing his studies at the Hampton Institute, Kamba Simango was sent to the Teachers College at Columbia University, where he would remain until 1923. Immediately after his arrival in Columbia, Kamba Simango was presented to Franz Boas. The two immediately struck up a rapport. The father of North American anthropology wanted Simango to become not only a mere “informant” but a native ethnographer, furnished with anthropological tools. They became collaborators and friends. Boas hoped that upon returning to Mozambique, Simango would write about his people (the Vandau), independently of his commitments to the missionaries of the American Board.

Based on the exchange of letters that the pair kept up for many years, this extraordinary article unveils the itineraries of the ethnographic dialogue between the famous anthropologist and his forgotten disciple. Simango’s years in New York coincided with the start of the so-called Harlem Renaissance, a time when the incipient voices of Pan-Africanism co-existed with a whole host of Black writers, poets, painters, sculptors and musicians. During this period, he would also become friends with Pan-Africanist W. E. B. Du Bois. As a Vandau intellectual, he collaborated also with many anthropologists and Africanists, such as Melville Herskovits, Henri-Philippe Junod and Dora Earthy. Kamba Simango died in Ghana, in 1966.

Daisy Bates as a Female Excluded Ancestor, by MacDonald and Coldrick

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the early work of ethnographer Daisy Bates in Australia.

McDonald, Edward M. & Bryn Coldrick, 2022. “‘Out Amongst the Natives’: Fieldwork and the Legacy of Daisy Bates, a Controversial Ethnographer in Australia,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Ireland, Daisy May Bates (1863–1951) was a self-made anthropologist and welfare worker among Aboriginal people in Australia, where she first migrated in 1883–1884. Bates used participant observation techniques prior to and during her appointment by the Western Australian government to undertake research on Aboriginal language and culture, a position she held from 1904 to 1911. Her trajectory intersected with that of the newly arrived A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, whose status as a professional anthropologist eventually overshadowed the vast contributions of his female counterpart. Having worked as a journalist in England, Bates’s ethnographic skills were intertwined with a compassionate interest in the present conditions and the future of Aboriginal people, but some of her controversial views and eccentric ways have transformed her legacy into an enduring challenge. She has long been denied the status of a ‘real’ anthropologist, at best considered an “enthusiastic amateur,” and her work is typically discredited because of moralistic views about her personal life. Examining her correspondence and published and unpublished papers, Eddie McDonald and Bryn Coldrick argue that much of her work is both anthropological and insightful and her ethnographic fieldwork compares favorably with Malinowski’s developments a decade later. They suggest that Bates was ahead of her time, avoiding many of the shortcomings of ‘modern’ anthropology. However, in other ways she remained a pre-modern anthropologist with a focus on ethnology, endeavouring to create an encyclopedic compendium of ‘facts’ about all aspects of Aboriginal culture. But then, so did many of her contemporaries.

In this illuminating article, McDonald and Coldrick argue that much of the criticism of Bates and her work is moralistic and ‘presentist’ and fails to acknowledge the complex history of the development of anthropology and ethnographic fieldwork. They contend that Bates is an “excluded ancestor” who needs to be ‘reclaimed.’ Her corpus of ethnographic material also needs to be examined in such a way as to provide a more critical understanding of the development of the discipline of ethnographic fieldwork in Australia.

Alice Kehoe awarded Choice Award for “Girl Archaeologist”

Alice Kehoe’s recent book, Girl Archaeologist: Sisterhood in a Sexist Profession (University of Nebraska Press, 2022), has been selected as a 2022 Choice Outstanding Academic Title. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles, both print and digital, reviewed by Choice during the previous year and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community. Girl Archaeologist recounts Kehoe’s life, begun in an era very different from the twenty-first century in which she retired as an honored elder archaeologist. She persisted against entrenched patriarchy in her childhood, at Harvard University, and as she did fieldwork with her husband in the northern U.S. plains. The book recounts her experiences with the entrenched sexism and misogyny of academic archaeology, from being paid less than her male counterparts and sexual violence at the hands of male colleagues, to having her dissertation ambitions in archaeology thwarted by male Harvard faculty. Yet Kehoe persisted, and throughout her career found and fostered a sisterhood of feminist women archaeologists, anthropologists, and ethnohistorians who have been essential to the field.

Alice Beck Kehoe is a professor of anthropology emeritus at Marquette University. She is the author or editor of twenty books, including North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account, The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archaeology, and North America Before the European Invasions. Congratulations, Dr. Kehoe!

A Reassessment of U.S. Anthropology and Colonialism, by Herbert S. Lewis

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, exploring the connections between American anthropology and colonialism by Herbert S. Lewis.

Lewis, Herbert S., 2022. “American Anthropology and Colonialism: A Factual Account,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Anthropology developed as an academic discipline at the height of European colonialism at the turn of the 20th century. It was the same as for many scientific disciplines, but anthropologists – ethnographers – engaged intellectually and practically with many peoples of the world who were under colonial domination. Since the intellectual upheavals of the 1960s, this relationship has been viewed as shameful, and the phrase “anthropology and colonialism” has, Lewis argues, become an ill-informed cliché that undermines historical understanding. In this article Lewis addresses this quandary with respect to anthropology as it has developed in the United States. Until World War II, very few American anthropologists did research outside the United States, and even fewer investigated areas under European colonial rule. The vast majority of ethnographic research conducted in the United States has been with Native American peoples, whose complex historical situation, Lewis contends, is barely captured by the use of the term “settler colonialism.” Applied to anthropology and ethnography, this article charges that recent narratives are an oversimplification that distorts the reality of both process and results. The second part of the article explores the legacy of anthropological research among North American Indian peoples, particularly for the descendants of these communities, as well as the discipline’s contribution to understanding the human condition, and the diversity of human behavior, thought, and creativity.

New journal announced: History of Social Science

Its editors are pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, History of Social Science, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press on behalf of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS).

History of Social Science offers an international forum for the examination of the transformations of the social sciences since the early twentieth century. The journal covers a variety of disciplines, from the core social sciences of economics, political science, and sociology, to disciplines with links to natural science, such as anthropology, geography, and psychology, and disciplines closer to the humanities, such as history and philosophy. Related fields, including area studies, business, communication studies, criminology, law, and linguistics, are also included under the journal’s editorial scope. An important editorial commitment of the journal is to solicit and cultivate scholarship on the history of the social sciences throughout the world, as well as work that traces the transnational circulation and mutual shaping of ideas, practices, and personnel.

The journal is now accepting submissions. More information can be found on the journal’s website, including Author Guidelines and the Editorial Board. The first issue is slated to appear in Spring 2024.

The journal’s sponsor is the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS), which also hosts a small annual conference on the worldwide history of the social sciences in the twentieth century. Next year’s symposium will be held in Uppsala, Sweden, in June; see the call for papers for more details.

Please contact the journal editors with submission inquiries or any other questions.

Jamie Cohen Cole, Philippe Fontaine, and Jeff PooleyCo-editors, History of Social Science

Online Interactive Archive: Ethnographic Monographs before Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1870–1922)

This article introduces an expandable research bibliography of over 365 monographs by 220 ethnographers working in the fifty years preceding the publication of Malinowski’s classic 1922 monograph, Argonauts of the Western Pacific, in the years between 1870 to 1922.

An earlier version of this text and resource was published as “Appendix: Selected Bibliography of Ethnographic Accounts, 1870–1922” in Frederico Delgado Rosa and Han F. Vermeulen, eds., Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870–1922, EASA Series 44 (New York: Berghahn, 2022), 474–501. For a wide-ranging discussion of this book (with the participation of Sophie Chevalier, Barbara Chambers Dawson, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Michael Kraus, Adam Kuper, Herbert S. Lewis, Andrew Lyons, David Mills, David Shankland, James Urry, and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt), please see this link at BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: “Before and After Malinowski: Alternative Views on the History of Anthropology [A Virtual Round Table at the Royal Anthropological Institute, London, 7 July 2022].”

Those wishing to share their knowledge of further references—i.e. ethnographic monographs published in book form or of book length (over 100 pages) in the period 1870–1922 or resulting from fieldwork carried out in the same period—are cordially invited to participate. Please either contact the authors or add the bibliographical information directly in the “Leave a Comment” box at the end of this page.

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Upcoming HOAN Meeting, with Keynote from Regna Darnell: November 18

HOAN (History of Anthropology Network) will host its next meeting online via Meet on November 18, 2022, 5 PM (CET) at the following link (no password required). All are welcome to attend.

At this meeting, HOAN has the honor to host Regna Darnell as keynote speaker, delivering the speech “A Critical Paradigm for the Histories of Anthropology: The Generalization of Transportable Knowledge.” An abstract for this talk can be found here.

Afterwards, HOAN’s Correspondents in the Netherlands (Peter G.A. Versteeg) and in Lithuania (Vida Savoniakaite) will present on the historiography of anthropological sciences in their respective countries, thus enriching our knowledge and perspectives. Last but not least, Frederico Delgado Rosa and Han Vermeulen will present their latest book Ethnographers before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922 (Berghahn, 2022). 

Coordinated by the HOAN convenors, HOAN Meetings (HOAN-M) are meant to be friendly spaces to meet and mingle and share ideas and news. HOAN-M offers an open stage to HOAN members and members of sister organizations to highlight new research, books, articles, and activities, as well as to discuss current or sensitive issues in our sub-disciplinary field.

For a further description of this event and past meetings, please visit the HOAN website.

History of Anthropology Panels at AAA – Updated

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held online and in-person in Seattle from November 9-13, 2022.

The HAR News editors are please to share a selection of panels that may be of interest to our readers. Please note that all times are listed in Pacific Time (U.S.). Other panels and additional details, including registration information and room location, may be found in the full meeting program.

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History of Anthropology Events at HSS

This year, the History of Science Society will host its annual meeting in person, in Chicago, from November 17-20, 2022. The meeting schedule includes talks, roundtables, social events, prize ceremonies, plenary lectures, and listening sessions.

The HAR News editors would like to highlight several events on the program related to the history of anthropology, including presentations by HAR editors. Please note that the event times given are in Central Time (U.S.)Registration for the meeting is required; a discounted rate is available for graduate students. Please note that events are subject to change and it is best to check the program regularly for the events you are interested in. Abstracts for each panel can also be found in the full meeting program.

Thursday, November 17, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Arctic Materialities: Objects, Collections, and Knowledge in and of the Far North

Brooke Penaloza-Patzak, University of Pennsylvania / University of Vienna: The Natural Science of Human Culture: Naturalized Data in Ancient Migration Research on the Strait, 1865-1907

Sarah Pickman, Yale University: “Exploration Was Already a Joke When I Came to Canada”: Archiving and Objects in the Making of a Scientific Legacy

Allegra Rosenberg, NYU: “Disappointed at finding nothing”: Failures of Inscription in the Polar Expeditions of Franklin and Cook

Eva Molina, Princeton University: “The Saddest of Membra Disjecta”: 19th Century Arctic Exploration and the Body as Object

Between Natural and Human Histories

Emma Kitchen, University of Chicago: Smoothing through Time: Liminal Fossils and their Narratives of the Past

David Sepkoski, University of Illinois: Biology and Critique: Jacques Monod and the Fate of Hegel in France Isabel Gabel, University of Chicago Geo-Eschatology and the Anthropocene

Sophia Roosth, NYU/Max Planck Institute for History of Science: The Fluent Sculpture of Time

Friday, November 17, 5:00 – 5:45 p.m.

HSS Listening Session

Members of HSS’s leadership will host a listening session to respond to concerns from HSS membership. All are welcome to attend.

Friday, November 18, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Forum for the History of Human Science Meeting and Distinguished Lecture

FHHS welcomes historians of the human sciences, broadly defined, to attend a distinguished lecture, Body Arithmetic: Facts, Quantification, and the Human in the Seventeenth Century Atlantic by Pablo F. Gómez (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and celebrate emerging work in this field. Two awards will be presented: the FHHS/JHBS John C. Burnham Early Career Award and the the FHHS Dissertation Prize. Elections will be held for FHHS officers.

Friday, November 18, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Roundtable: Digitizing and Decolonizing Collections: Challenges and Experiences

Chairs: Catarina Madruga, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, and Adrianna Link, American Philosophical Society

Participants: Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University and University of California Santa Barbara; Nuala Caomhánach, New York University/American Museum of Natural History; Elaine Ayers, New York University; Adrianna Link, American Philosophical Society; Catarina Madruga, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Human Descent and Evolution Across Scientific and Popular Literatures in the Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American World

Elizabeth Yale, University of Iowa: Illustrating Human Evolution: Wonder, Extinction, and Love in Victorian Children’s Literature

Tina Gianquitto, Colorado School of Mines: Roots of Consciousness: Darwin’s plant studies and human descent

Edwin Rose, Darwin College, University of Cambridge: Dynasties and the Adaption of Science: George Howard Darwin and the ‘Public’ Perception of the Solar System

James T. Costa, Highlands Biological Station, Western Carolina University: Wallace and Darwin on Human Evolution: Competing Visions of Race and Gender and Their Influence on Science and Society

Friday, November 18, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Animal Knowledge Farther Afield: Menageries, Breeding Colonies, and Cities in the History of Animal Science

Alexander Clayton, University of Michigan: The (Living) Specimen: Knowledge and its Limits in the Atlantic Menagerie, 1760-1890

Oliver Lazarus, Harvard University: The Construction of the Industrial City and the Reconstruction of Nonhuman Life, New York City c. 1850-1900

Brigid Prial, University of Pennsylvania: Breeding Uncertainty: Caretaking and Reproduction in Robert Yerkes’ Chimpanzee Station, 1929 – 1955

Friday, November 18, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Medicalizing Colonial Subjects: Peoples, Poisons, and Pupils

Zeynep Kuleli Karasahan, Johns Hopkins University: Melancholic Turks: Medical Theory, Race, and Climate in Early Orientalist Thought

Thomas C. Anderson, Yale University: Noxious Empiricism: Poison, Pharmacy, and Localized Science Between Early Modern France and the Colonial Caribbean

Miguel Angel Chavez, Vanderbilt University: “Colonial” Science: John Brian Christopherson and Sudanese Knowledge in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (1904-1919)

Aparna Nair, University of Oklahoma-Norman: “Protecting” the Sight or “Passing” as Sighted?: Sunglasses and Eye Preservers in British India, 1850-1950

Saturday, November 19, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m

From Skulls to Complete Humans: Reconfigurations of Biological Anthropology in the Post-War Decades

Matthis Krischel, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf: Hans Nachtsheim, the UNESCO Declarations on Race and the Reintegration of West German science after 1945

Iris Clever, University of Chicago: Geoffrey Morant and the Unexpected Connections Between Racial Science and Human Growth Studies in the 1940s and 1950s

Fabio De Sio, Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf: Adaptation: Biological, Social, Academic. Defining the science of Human Biology in postWWII Great Britain (ca. 1950s-1960s)

Explorations, Expeditions, and Extractions

Anne Ricculli, Morris Museum: Coral Fisheries, Neglected: Peter Lund Simmonds, H.M.S. Challenger, and the Economics of Depth-Dependent Research, 1873

Tatyana Bakhmetyeva and Stewart A. Weaver, University of Rochester: Extreme Science in the Age of Extremes: the Finsterwalders, Mountaineering, and the Emergence of Glacial Science, 1889 – 1934

Carlos Alberto Haag, York University: The Royal Society Expedition to Brazil (1969-1971)

Tainã Moura Alcântara: Notes on History of Archaeology in Brazil: “Only Foreigners Research Brazilian Prehistory”

Gender and Eugenics in Applied Social Sciences

Alex Worrall, University of Pennsylvania: Medicalizing Suffrage: The Use of Health and Disease Rhetoric in the Late-Nineteenth Century United States Woman Suffrage Movement

David Munns, John Jay College-CUNY: “A bad inheritance can be overcome by a good environment”: The Legacy of Euthenics in the History of American Eugenics

Gwen Kay, SUNY Oswego: How to De-Gender a Field in One Easy Step? The transformation of Consumer and Family Science

Abigail Grace Cramer, Kent State University: “Should Men Always Marry For Money”: A History of Psychology and IQ, Eugenics, and Manhood

Sunday, November 20, 11:00 a. m. – 12:30 p.m.

Paradigms of Scientific Knowledge in Colonial Contexts

Patrícia Martins Marcos, UCSD: Absented Presences: Rethinking Chronologies of Scientific (Early) Modernity

Edward J Gillin, UCL: The magnetism of empire: dipping needles and the experimental encounters of nineteenth-century expeditionary science

Sarah Qidwai, University of Regensburg: Situated Scientific Knowledge

Latest Additions to the Bibliography, November 2022

This page displays our most recent batch of citations; a comprehensive bibliography of citations we’ve collected since 2016 (going back as far as 2013) and a search tool are also available.

We welcome suggestions from readers. If you come across something of interest during your own fieldwork in the library, whether that be physical or virtual, please let us know by emailing us at bibliographies@histanthro.org.

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Józef Obrębski, the Polish Disciple of Malinowski – by Anna Engelking

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the anthropological career of Józef Obrębski.

Engelking, Anna, 2022. “From Archaic to Colonial Peasantries: An Intellectual Biography of Józef Obrębski, the (Forgotten) Polish Disciple of Malinowski,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Polish social anthropologist Józef Obrębski (1905–1967) was a disciple of Malinowski at the London School of Economics, and the first anthropologist who applied Malinowski’s method and theory to a European village. In the 1930s, he conducted his fieldwork in Macedonia and the Belarusian-Ukrainian borderland. In those studies, Obrębski applied Malinowski’s fundamental methodological directive: long-term participant observation. The belief in the comparability of cultures underlaid Obrębski’s anthropology, which was sensitive to “the native’s point of view,” while identifying Slavic peasant communities in various stages of modernization before World War II. From 1948 onwards he lived in the US and was an expert at the United Nations. In the late 1940s, his ethnographic research covered post-slavery communities in Jamaica. He responded to the call for human equality with an emancipatory, anti-nationalist and anti-colonial attitude. While one can speak of Obrębski’s focus on the mechanisms of domination and discrimination, his anthropology was also an attempt to deconstruct them. He formulated innovative theoretical propositions concerning ethnicity and nation-building, but his works remained mostly unpublished and have only recently been rediscovered. In this pathbreaking article, Engelking presents the trajectory of a man who is ignored in the anthropological mainstream but can be seen as a precursor of ethnic, gender and
postcolonial studies.

History of Anthropology Working Group with Matthew C. Watson, Wednesday, November 2 at 12pm ET

The next meeting of the History of Anthropology Working Group hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 12:00pm ET via Zoom.

Matthew C. Watson joins us from Mount Holyoke College to workshop a chapter from his new book project, tentatively titled The Whiteness of Method: Racial Infrastructures of Harvard Ethnography and Mexican Sovereignty.
 
“The Ethnographic Drive: Interviews and the Racial Erotics of a Harvard Land-Rover in Chiapas”

In 1951, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional Indigenista (INI) established a coordinating center for a pilot development project in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. INI administrators sought to draw Tzotzil- and Tzeltal-speaking indigenous communities that radiated around San Cristóbal into identification with the Mexican state and its political mythology of racial-cultural mixture, or mestizaje. To do so, the INI built roads. This essay stories the conjuncture of this state investment in the transportation infrastructure of indigenous Chiapas and the attendant geographical mobility of scores of U.S. anthropologists and students who used these roads to access “closed corporate communities” such as Zinacantán during the late-1950s and 1960s. I focus particularly on Harvard Chiapas Project founder Evon Vogt’s early project interviews conducted on these roads in a Land-Rover. Reading the Land-Rover as a space-making technology of ethnographic rapport, I ask how such vehicles have structured ethnographic forms of homosocial intimacy and attachment within a racial erotics of empiricism that renders the interview space a site of capitalist capture. Finally, through a cross-reading of mirror scenes reflecting encounters with Land-Rovers across the Harvard Chiapas Project and the Harvard Kalahari Project, I refract this critique of the interview form’s capitalist coloniality through a weak-theoretical evocation of the Land-Rover’s social, technological, and symbolic indeterminacy.
 
Discussants: Hilary Morgan Leathem (Maynooth University); Karin Rosemblatt (University of Maryland)

Additional details about the group, access to the readings, and information on how to attend may be found on the Consortium website.

‘A Social History of Anthropology in the United States’ (revised and updated ) by Thomas C. Patterson

Thomas C. Patterson. A Social History of Anthropology in the United States. 2nd ed. Routledge, 2021. 240 pp., bibl., index.

Twenty years after its first release, Thomas Patterson, a UCLA anthropologist, brings us the second edition of his book on the history of US anthropology. The material from the first edition has been revised and updated, and the new edition contains an additional chapter which deals with the most recent developments in US anthropology.

The book narrates a history of US anthropology in six chapters. It begins in the early modern period and ends in the year 2019. This temporal frame suggests that Patterson does not view anthropology as a discipline that began with its professionalization in the twentieth century. Instead, he takes anthropology to encompass a broader set of intellectual practices that have sought to understand otherness. This allows Patterson to discuss the ideas of Franz Boas, Eric Wolf, and Eleanor Leacock on a par with those of Enlightenment philosophers, early modern naturalists, and the Founding Fathers—meaning his history of US anthropology includes anthropological ideas circulating in North America well before the United States came into being.

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Edith Durham, an Early Ethnographer in Southeastern Europe – by Anne Delouis

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on understudied writer and ethnographer Mary Edith Durham.

Delouis, Anne Friederike, 2022. “From Travel Writing to Anthropology and Political Activism: A Biography of Mary Edith Durham, an Early Ethnographer of Southeastern Europe”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Mary Edith Durham (1863-1944) deserves recognition as one of the first and most versatile ethnographers of Southeastern Europe. Trained in the visual arts, Durham initially visited Montenegro and adjacent countries with a view to sketching landscapes and picturesque scenes. She soon developed a keen interest in the traditions and practices of various population groups, and published several book-length travelogues. Anne Friederike Delouis proposes that her ethnographic method is best described as ‘itinerant’: rather than staying with a community for a longer time, she travelled from one village to another, thus establishing a basis for comparison and generalization. Her research interests ranged from kinship and religion to oral tradition, medical practices, and intergroup conflict. She took hundreds of photographs, recorded traditional songs,
and collected a vast array of artifacts. Through her collecting activities, Durham came to the attention of established British anthropologists, was invited to join the Royal Anthropological Institute, and eventually served as its first woman vice president.

Durham is still widely regarded as an authority on the society and politics of early twentieth-century Albania. In the field during the Balkan Wars, Durham organised hands-on humanitarian relief, often endangering her safety and health in the process. Largely self-taught as an anthropologist, she refrained from engaging in debates on theory in her adoptive discipline. Conversely, she held strong political views on Southeast European geopolitics and lobbied fiercely for the causes she supported.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Archaeology of Indigeneity and Race” at the University of Virginia

HAR is pleased to forward the following exciting postdoctoral fellowship announcement on the Archaeology of Indigeneity and Race at the University of Virginia:

Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia

http://graduate.as.virginia.edu/rising-scholars

Review of applications will begin January 16, 2023


Department of Anthropology – Archaeology of Indigeneity and Race

As part of the Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, sponsored by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Mellon Foundation, the UVA Department of Anthropology hopes to provide a departmental home to a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Archaeology of Indigeneity and Race. We seek a rising scholar who will have received their Ph.D. degree between August 24, 2020, and August 24, 2023. To access the application portal, please follow the link above.

This two-year fellowship is part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ mission to further our understanding of the experiences and conditions of Indigeneity and racial inequality, and to enhance the career trajectory of an underrepresented scholar whose work engages its long- term, global, comparative dimensions. The geographical focus is open. This position reflects our collective commitment to pursuing an on-going reexamination of anthropological archaeology, its fraught colonial legacies, and its potential for grounded theory and collaborative research.

We welcome applications from all eligible scholars working in these areas, including but not limited to those who:

  • Tend to situational intersections of Indigeneity, race, colonialism, diaspora, migration, and social inequality through archaeological research.
  • Use collaborative and participatory research methodologies.
  • Do research in connection with Indigenous ontologies and histories, cultural heritagemanagement, colonization, landscape, gender, memory, health, and foodways.
  • Have active field programs including public engagement.

Please find more details and contact information at the link above.

Pierre Verger, the Photographer as Ethnologist – by Angela Luhning

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Portuguese on photographer and anthropologist Pierre Fatumbi Verger.

Luhning, Angela, 2022. “Um fotógrafo antropólogo: trajetórias transatlânticas de Pierre Fatumbi Verger”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

A messenger between worlds, that’s how Pierre Fatumbi Verger (1902, Paris–1996, Salvador/Brazil) was called by many, due to his constant travels between oceans for more than five decades. His work as a photographer, ethnographer, anthropologist, and historian was focused on people in their respective cultural and historical contexts. Because of his travels, he arrived in Brazil in 1946, a country that became the starting point for much of his research in Nigeria and Benin, having studied the diasporic relations of Yoruba culture between the Gulf of Benin, Cuba and Brazil, with emphasis on Salvador, Bahia. He approached this theme from various perspectives: as a precursor of visual anthropology through his vast photographic work and as a researcher seeking to understand the modus operandi of the transatlantic slave trade, based on extensive documentary research. Published in a dossier containing various resources on Verger, this lavishly illustrated article unveils Verger’s trajectories. His visual and textual legacy was diverse and distributed, from the outset, among several different languages, countries and even continents, which makes an analysis and understanding of his contributions all the more complex, Luhning sustains. Delving into his personal archive, one perceives extensive networking, involving Nigerian, French and Brazilian intellectuals, as well as non-academic individuals on both sides of the Atlantic, already evidencing in his time a concern with traditional knowledge as a counterpoint to Eurocentric views of knowledge.

History of Anthropology Working Group with Staffan Müller-Wille, Wednesday, October 5 at 12pm ET

The next meeting of the History of Anthropology Working Group hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine will be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 12:00pm ET via Zoom.

Staffan Müller-Wille joins us from the University of Cambridge’s Department for History and Philosophy of Science to workshop his forthcoming paper, “Race and Kinship: Anthropology and the ‘Genealogical Method.’”
 
“Race and Kinship: Anthropology and the ‘Genealogical Method’”
Müller-Wille’s chapter recontextualizes the “genealogical method,” a way to map biological and social relations and processes, in late 19th century kinship studies. He presents this method as an important interface between the biological and sociological approaches to human inheritance, which are typically thought of as distinct, though they shared similar concepts of race, kinship, and blood. In this chapter, Müller-Wille examines classic works in the history of anthropology by Rivers, Francis Galton, Lewis Henry Morgan, and Franz Boas to explore the genealogical method’s role as an analytical tool.

Additional details about the group, access to the readings, and information on how to attend may be found on the Consortium website.

Reframing the politics of Alfred C. Haddon’s anthropology – by Ciarán Walsh

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: a surprising new article in English on Alfred Cort Haddon.

Walsh, Ciarán, 2022. “Artist, Philosopher, Ethnologist and Activist: The Life and Work of Alfred Cort Haddon”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Alfred Cort Haddon (1855–1940) is usually associated with the famous Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to Torres Straits (1898–99), and the movement from armchair anthropology to the professionalization of ethnographic fieldwork in Britain. Other important dimensions in his trajectory and his work – particularly the political dimensions  –  have often been overlooked. In this challenging article, Walsh claims that Haddon was written out of the (hi)story of anthropology in his own lifetime for the same reasons that make him interesting today: he stood in solidarity with the victims of colonialism and his advocacy of an engaged, social and cultural anthropology was widely interpreted as an attack on the academy, church, state, and empire. Moreover, Haddon was the ultimate trickster, a situationist who adopted the persona of a headhunter to disrupt the common sense of the relationship between anthropologists, the people they study, and the representations they produce, thereby anticipating the crisis of representation that terminated colonial anthropology almost a century after Haddon first entered the field in Oceania and Ireland.

Unfortunately for Haddon, he was not a writer. He was an artist whose preferred form of ethnography was the proto-cinematic slideshow. This modernism was overwritten as anthropology became, according to Margaret Mead in 1974, a discipline of words constrained by a scientist mindset and disciplinary traditions established in the 1920s. The story of the modernization of anthropology placed Haddon outside of that tradition and historians conventionally assigned him the role of a whipping boy for Thomas H. Huxley’s (1825–1895) version of anthropology, i.e., an unholy mix of biology and evolution bracketed by race and empire. This essay seeks to correct this by using an “Irish’” reading of Haddon’s papers and related institutional records, drawing on digitized newspaper archives to fill gaps and add political context to events as they unfolded within the small community that constituted organized anthropology in the 1890s. Walsh proposes that Haddon’s upbringing in a nonconformist family steeped in the arts, humanitarian activism, and radical politics made confrontation with the imperial establishment and its agents in anthropology inevitable. He situates Haddon’s emerging sense of the function of anthropology in a lively anarcho-utopian movement and argues that this placed him in the vanguard of an anti-imperial insurrection within anthropology in the 1890s and cost him a job as the first academic anthropologist in Cambridge. This is, Walsh concludes, the “real story” of post-evolutionist anthropology in Ireland and England in the 1890s, reflecting a tension which never fully dissipated and has re-emerged in the current stand-off between a tradition of disruptive social anthropology and a practical discipline of political utility.

Historicizing the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (1964–2022) – by Bruno Hervé-Huamaní and Carmen Salazar-Soler

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Spanish) on the history of the Institute of Peruvian Studies.

Hervé-Huamaní, Bruno & Carmen Salazar-Soler, 2022. “Una ‘zona de contacto’ entre la academia y las políticas públicas: historia del Instituto de Estudios Peruanos”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Since its establishment in 1964, the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (Institute of Peruvian Studies) has promoted research in anthropology and other social sciences on social, political, and economic circumstances in Peru and Latin America, as well as public policies. It spans academic and public spheres both through its activities and the trajectories of its members, several of whom have held key positions in government and state agencies. In this pioneering article on a contemporary institution from a historical point of view, Hervé‑Huamaní and Salazar‑Soler trace the development of the Institute of Peruvian Studies since its creation and highlight the human interactions that have given it the dimension of a “contact zone” (Platt 1993), whether on a Peruvian scale or more widely in other American contexts. This reflects not only the activities of the institute, but also its connections to various international organizations (e.g. UNESCO), and the way it contributes to disseminating knowledge beyond academia. This article also highlights the tensions that have affected the institute at certain times, such as the intense founding debate between literary scholars and social scientists – including anthropologists and sociologists – around José María Arguedas’ novel Todas las Sangres (1964). This debate revealed not only the complex relationship between literature and the social sciences, but also fundamental disagreements on Peruvian society. The conflict between “official” visions of society and history and local or regional narratives reemerges in other moments of the brief but intense history of the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos. 

Making the Scientific Social, and the Social Scientific: A Review of Durba Mitra’s “Indian Sex Life”

Durba Mitra. Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020. 302 pp., 15 b/w illus., notes, bibl., index.

Durba Mitra’s rich and compelling first book, Indian Sex Life, addresses how colonial and nationalist officials, scientists, and social scientists developed theories about Indian civilization, history, and progress through deployments of what Mitra terms “deviant female sexuality.” Mitra unpacks the ubiquity of this multi-layered and flexible concept across a variety of archives and disciplines, and further maps the circulation of social scientific thought in policy, law, and popular culture as a tool of entrenching colonial and native patriarchal authority. Focused primarily on upper-caste Bengali intellectuals and their global networks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the book argues that the trafficking of the “prostitute” in the transnational networks of colonial India was, above all else, a proliferating economy of discourses (p. 14). In doing so, Mitra unseats historical projects which seek to recuperate subaltern sexualities, instead emphasizing that the methods and categories used in such projects derive from an epistemological schema of racist and casteist expertise. 

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Latest Additions to the Bibliography, August 2022

This page displays our most recent batch of citations; a comprehensive bibliography of citations we’ve collected since 2016 (going back as far as 2013) and a search tool are also available.

We welcome suggestions from readers. If you come across something of interest during your own fieldwork in the library, whether that be physical or virtual, please let us know by emailing us at bibliographies@histanthro.org.

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Revisiting Haitian Mobility through Jacques Roumain’s Gouverneurs de la rosée (1944) – by Maud Laëthier


HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about the issue of migration in the history of Haitian anthropology, largely ignored.

Laëthier, Maud, 2022. Vwayaj à partir de Gouverneurs de la rosée : La migration comme point aveugle de l’ethnologie en Haïti,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article deals with the issue of migration, which was mostly ignored within Haitian social sciences, particularly anthropology. It proposes some reflections on the lack of scientific investment in research dedicated to migration, despite its political, economic and social relevance. Laëthier revisits the context in which a peculiar intellectual discourse contributed to constructing an anthropological image of Haiti. Based on an original reading of the famous ethnological novel Gouverneurs de la rosée (1944), by Jacques Roumain, she puts forward the idea that this committed intellectual laid the foundations – very early on – for a new understanding of the Haitian nation as shaped by mobility. In a context where political and anthropological national values have been strongly intertwined, there is room to shed light on the contradictions of this process. It may eventually be possible to identify multiple research perspectives on migration, one of the most striking social phenomena of the twentieth century in Haiti.

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