HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on the Smithsonian’s Center for the Study of Man, by Adrianna Link.
Link, Adrianna, 2021. “(Re)inventing Urgency: The Case of the Smithsonian’s Center for the Study of Man, 1968-1976,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
The Center for the Study of Man was established at the Smithsonian Institution in 1968 to develop international research programs focused on the interrelationship between humans and their physical, biological, and cultural environments. Major projects initiated under its auspices included a program in “urgent anthropology”; the 1978 revision of the Handbook of North American Indians; the development of the National Anthropological Film Center (now the Human Studies Film Archives); the establishment of a Research Institute on Immigration and Ethnic Studies (RIIES); and planning for a Museum of Man. Other partially-conceived initiatives included a bibliographic and computerization program; a conference and publication series on topics such as population growth, human fertility, and drug and alcohol use; and a community-based American Indian program. In this thorough study, Link explains that the Center remained an independent research unit at the Smithsonian until 1976, at which point its major programs were discontinued or reassigned elsewhere within the Institution.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about a Protestant Swedish missionary and ethnographer, Karl Edvard Laman.
Coyault, Bernard, 2021. “Karl Edvard Laman, missionnaire ethnologue suédois au Congo (1891-1919). Entre culture savante et humanisme chrétien: l’utopie missionnaire face au léviathan colonial,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
[Transl: “Karl Edvard Laman, A Swedish Missionary and Ethnologist in Congo (1891-1919). Between Learned Culture and Christian Humanism: The Missionary Utopia in the Face of the Colonial Leviathan”]
Karl Edvard Laman (1867-1944) belonged to the first generation of Swedish missionaries who established themselves in the Congo Free State in 1881. He stayed there for more than a quarter of a century, from 1891 to 1919. Laman gradually asserted himself as a great scholar, linguist, and expert on Kongo culture, which he documented, including its material expressions, at a time when its foundations were breaking up under the shocks of the colonial enterprise. His scientific work was coupled with a humanist project: the emancipation of the population through popular education, the two vectors of which were access to the Bible in the Kikongo language (its first translation appeared in 1905) and the promotion of Kongo cultural values. This enhancement of the Kongo language and culture was the basis of his scholarly activity. Coyault’s in-depth article shows the complexity of Laman’s work, which straddles the line between apostolic mission and anthropological study.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English about German missionary and ethnographer Carl Strehlow.
Brock, Peggy, 2021. “The Ethnographic Calling of a Lutheran Missionary in Central Australia: A Short Biography of Carl Strehlow,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
German missionary Carl Strehlow occupies a peculiar place in the history of anthropology. His language-centered ethnographic work in central Australia contrasted in several respects with Spencer and Gillen’s naturalistic and evolutionist approach. Strehlow’s Die Aranda- und Loritja-Stämme in Zentral-Australien (1907-1920) was regarded with suspicion by James George Frazer and other European admirers of Spencer and Gillen, but Strehlow’s contemporaries in Germany, France, and Britain were more familiar with his findings than Australian researchers. At the time of its publication, and until very recently, Strehlow’s detailed study of the Arrernte and Loritja peoples was largely ignored in Australia. This was partly a result of his work never having been published in English, but probably more importantly because of Strehlow’s disagreements with Spencer and Gillen, whose The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1899) garnered a huge amount of attention and praise as one of the earliest studies based on detailed ethnographic fieldwork. In this enlightening article, Brock sustains that Strehlow’s careful recording of language, customs, folklore, and other aspects of Arrernte and Loritja life has survived over a century. Despite the ongoing controversies around Strehlow’s work, his ethnography rather than the missionary work to which he devoted his life may be his lasting legacy.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles in English on Ruth Landes, the “scandalous” disciple of Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict.
Andreson, Jamie Lee, 2021. “In the City of Women: The Life and Work of Ruth Landes,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Cole, Sally, 2021. “The End of Chastity and Modesty: Ruth Landes Writing Race and Gender in 1930s Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Jamie Lee Andreson presents the life and work of American anthropologist Ruth Landes (1908-1991), the famous disciple of Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict who contributed to the development of Afro-American Studies and Feminist Anthropology. Landes did ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil from 1938 to 1939. Her work that had the greatest impact was the dynamic narrative ethnography, The City of Women (1947) published in Brazil as A Cidade das Mulheres (1967), which documented the lives of prominent head priestesses of Candomblé temples and argued that the religion was a matriarchy, based on the prominence of Black women’s leadership and community reverence for the priestesses as Mothers. Her close collaboration with Brazilian colleague Edison Carneiro granted her privileged access to research sites and subjects, producing an historical archive of Candomblé still available at the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) of the Smithsonian Museum. However, her research approach and relationships in the field were considered scandalous by prominent male colleagues, who negatively impacted her career opportunities in the United States. Nevertheless, her legacy remains strong in Brazil both in academia and among Candomblé practitioners themselves.
Sally Cole’s article focuses on Ruth Landes writing race and gender in 1930s anthropology. City of Women (1947) was anomalous in its time for its focus on women’s agency and gender fluidity among Afro-Brazilian Candomblé practitioners in 1930s Bahia and for its personal memoir writing style. Melville Herskovits (1895-1963) and Arthur Ramos (1903-1949), who were then working to establish the field of Afro-Brazilian studies, severely critiqued Landes’s study of cultural creativity and internal dynamics and her failure to engage in their search for African survivals. Twenty-first-century historians of anthropology now describe the text as um espelho, a mirror, on gender and race in 1930s Brazil. This article traces the singularity of Landes’s ethnography to her autobiographical experience of gender conventions in the Russian Jewish labor Zionist immigrant milieu she was raised in; her training by Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) to pay attention to the experience of “culturally unprovided for” individuals; and, Landes’s method of intensive fieldwork with Indigenous collaborators – prior to coming to Brazil with Ojibwa elder Maggie Wilson (1879-1940) in Canada that resulted in the book, The Ojibwa Woman (1938) and, in Bahia, with Salvador-born folklorist, Edison Carneiro (1912-1971).
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French on the caste system in Colonial India and more specifically about the production of law in British- and French-ruled territories in the eighteenth to twentieth centuries.
Marquet, Julie, 2021. “Le régime des castes dans l’Inde coloniale. Productions du droit dans les territoires sous domination anglaise et française, XVIIIe‑XXe siècles” (“The Caste System in Colonial India. Making Law in the Territories under British and French Rule, 18th through 20th Centuries”), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
As they gradually asserted their domination over parts of the Indian subcontinent, the British and the French initially committed themselves to respecting the rights, customs, and manners of Indian peoples. In matters of caste, they established a specific legal regime, constituted by local regulations, justice decisions actively sought by the Indians, and collections of jurisprudence. This surprising article by Julie Marquet focuses on this legal regime as a lost chapter in the history of anthropology. It sheds light on the constitution and implementation of the caste legal regime in colonial India, from the eighteenth century to independence. From a comparative historical perspective, it examines both the legal rules regulating the functioning of castes and the methods of their production. It is published as part of the BEROSE research theme “History of the Relationship between Law and Anthropology,” directed by Frédéric Audren (CNRS) and Laetitia Guerlain (University of Bordeaux).
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in French, on French anthropologist and folklorist Arnold van Gennep, who coined the famous concept of “rites of passage.”
Laurière, Christine, 2021. “L’ethnographie pour raison de vivre: un portrait d’Arnold van Gennep” (“Ethnography as a reason for living: A Portrait of Arnold van Gennep”), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Contrary to scholarly clichés, this biographical essay on French anthropologist and folklorist Arnold van Gennep does not treat him as a cursed figure under the shadow of the Durkheimian school. Nor should he be remembered solely for having coined the famous concept of “rites of passage” in 1909. Christine Laurière reconstructs disciplinary, ideological, institutional, and personal clashes underpinning van Gennep’s entire scientific career, which was marked by numerous failures and bifurcations, but was also remarkably productive.
The article follows his intellectual transformation in the course of exchanges with historians of religion and later attempts at rapprochement with Durkheimian sociologists. This failed due to theoretical and methodological divergences, but also for political reasons related to van Gennep’s anarchist Weltanschauung and his views on the place of the individual in society. This startling essay puts forward an alternative understanding of van Gennep’s trajectory, avoiding the trap of focusing on Rites of Passage or his later, impressive works on French folklore. To understand van Gennep’s career and scientific choices, it is necessary to consider his crucial yet underexplored rivalry with Marcel Mauss, rather than his opposition to Durkheim, which has been the subject of several studies. Rivalry with Mauss, Laurière argues, is one of the main reasons for van Gennep’s definitive abandonment of “classical,” “exotic” anthropology to devote himself solely and entirely to the field of French folklore from the 1920s onwards. After burning all his bibliographical files on general anthropology, he fiercely defended ethnography as an autonomous discipline, rejected the great divide between “Us” and “Them,” and advocated the import of ethnographic fieldwork “at home.” Thanks to his many editorial and institutional initiatives, which never ceased to challenge and stimulate methodological and theoretical reshufflings in French anthropology and museology throughout the first half of the twentieth century, van Gennep was a dynamic maverick with a decisive role in the history of the discipline.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English on Lorenzo Dow Turner, the first African-American linguist.
Amos, Alcione M., 2021. “Connecting Communities through Language: Life and Work of Lorenzo Dow Turner,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
URL BEROSE: article2198.html
The anthropological legacy of Lorenzo Dow Turner (1890-1972), the first African-American linguist, has an impact beyond linguistics, namely in African-American, Afro-Brazilian, and transatlantic history. Turner’s research started in the early 1930s in South Carolina and Georgia when he interviewed Gullah speakers. It continued in the 1940s in Brazil, when he worked with the people of the Candomblé houses of worship (terreiros); and in Africa in the 1950s, when he researched mostly in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In this inspiring article, Alcione Amos, curator at the Anacostia Community Museum, sustains that the essence of Turner’s linguistic ethnography consisted of connecting communities of the African diaspora – even before he was able to go to Africa – through language. Starting with his pioneering work among the Gullah, continuing with his studies in London and his visit to the Exposition Internationale in Paris, through his sojourn in Bahia and finally into his visit to African countries, Amos reveals how Turner could always connect his audiences to other peoples by playing his recordings. Much of the material collected by Lorenzo Dow Turner among the U.S. Gullah, in Brazil, and in Africa, remains unexplored to this day. Appearing in a BEROSE topical dossier giving access to audio and video files, photographs, and other resources at Anacostia Community Museum and other institutions, Amos’s article encourages a new generation of researchers to dedicate themselves to further explorations of this important material.
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 archaeological museums in Colombia.
García Roldan, Daniel, 2021. “La invención de los museos arqueológicos en Bogotá, Colombia (1935-1955): geografías del conocimiento y concepciones de patrimonio arqueológico”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
English translation: “The Invention of Archaeological Museums in Bogotá, Colombia (1935-1955): Geographies of Knowledge and Conceptions of Archaeological Heritage”
URL BEROSE: article2180.html
This article is dedicated to the history of archaeological museums in Colombia. It reconstructs the process of establishing national museums in Bogotá starting in the 1930s and highlights the different notions of archaeological heritage that were forged in each case. In the National Archaeological Museum, the concept of archaeological heritage was closely connected to education, research, and archaeological fieldwork, while in El Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum) it was associated with the sumptuous aspects of pre-Colombian objects; their aesthetic, technical, and even monetary value. Daniel García Roldan identifies the geographies of knowledge behind the history of both museums, analyzes the local institutional contexts in which they emerged, and explores the global processes of knowledge circulation and appropriation in which they participated.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Scottish anthropologist Adam Ferguson, by Robert Launay.
Launay, Robert, 2021. “Savagery in 18th-Century Scotland: An Intellectual Portrait of Adam Ferguson,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
An eminent representative of the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was one of the most important theoreticians of progress of the era and author of the famous Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767). He was one of the very first thinkers to propose a theory of the origins of civilization in four stages (hunting, pastoralism, agriculture, trade). In his Essay, he defined “savagery” as not a state but a stage. Just as much as so-called “civilized” people, savages were portrayed by Ferguson as fully social beings. He insisted on the importance of the economy in characterizing social organization – private property, social inequalities and division of labor being decisive criteria in defining a society. In this challenging article, Robert Launay rediscovers Ferguson’s work, which was admired in the twentieth century by E.E. Evans-Pritchard and Ernest Gellner.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo, written in Portuguese by Antonio Guimarães (transl: “Racial Democracy and Folk Religiosity in Thales de Azevedo: Portrait of a Chatolic Anthropologist”).
Guimarães, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo, 2021. “Democracia racial e religiosidade popular em Thales de Azevedo: retrato de um antropólogo católico”, in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo (1904-1995) has stood out in the history of anthropology since the 1950s, when he was part of a major study on race relations in Brazil sponsored by UNESCO. In this sensitive article, Antonio Guimarães argues that Azevedo was a politically engaged Catholic whose conservatism was counterbalanced by his sense of social justice. His studies of Catholicism sought to apply anthropology to the understanding of folk religiosity in Brazil. With a focus on Brazilian folk cultures, Azevedo conducted ethnographic fieldwork and wrote about daily life and its rites. Azevedo was among the first generations of scholars who instituted anthropology as an academic discipline in Brazil and he was a central figure in the foundation and later the direction of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology. Azevedo’s vast work includes As elites de cor (1955), Catolicismo no Brasil (1955), Social Change in Brazil (1963), and Democracia racial: ideologia e realidade (1975).
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in two versions – English and Italian – on the visual ethnography of U.S. anthropologist Frank Cancian, who sadly just passed away on November 24, 2020.
Faeta, Francesco, 2020. “‘I never left Lacedonia’. The 1950s Italian Mezzogiorno in Frank Cancian’s Visual Ethnography,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Faeta, Francesco, 2020. “«I never left Lacedonia». Il Mezzogiorno italiano degli anni Cinquanta nell’etnografia visuale di Frank Cancian,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
When the iconic U.S. visual anthropologist Frank Cancian – who died on November 24, 2020 – was a 23-year old, he did path-breaking fieldwork in Southern Italy, the Mezzogiorno. In the late 1950s, this region was in the forefront of community studies, but social scientists were divided between a commitment for knowledge, reformist and ideological perspectives, or simply the aspiration to describe a supposedly archaic world that was finally embracing “modernity.” While some shed a gloomy light on the supposed lack of agency of the Mezzogiorno peasants, Frank Cancian conducted his systematic photographic survey in the village of Lacedonia with utmost respect for the inhabitants and attention to their daily community social life. Away from ideological prejudice, he showed a desire for visual experimentation within a frame of reciprocity. In this illustrated article, which was written in dialogue with Cancian and now pays tribute to his legacy, Francesco Faeta claims that no anthropologist who studied the South of Italy during those years has left us with a more vivid and complete photographic portrait of its communities. Cancian experienced the desire to understand the dark side of the observed society, manifest through emigration, unemployment, social disparity, mistrust, disenchantment, and an ambiguous relationship with looming modernity. Faeta gives the reader an in-depth historical, theoretical, and methodological account of the issues at stake in Cancian’s visual ethnography and Italian studies of the post-war period. Fifty years later, in 2017, Frank Cancian bequeathed 1,801 photographs and his field notebooks to the community of Lacedonia, so passing on an invaluable testimony which is displayed in a photographic exhibition curated by Francesco Faeta, held in Rome at the Museo delle Civiltà (Museum of Civilizations) until January 2021.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in two versions – English and Portuguese – on Brazilian anthropologist Oracy Nogueira.
Cavalcanti, Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, 2020. “Racial Prejudice and Stigma of Disease: The Pioneering Work of Oracy Nogueira,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Cavalcanti, Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, 2020. “Preconceito racial e estigma da doença na obra pioneira de Oracy Nogueira,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Oracy Nogueira (1917-1996), a Brazilian sociologist with broad anthropological training, took groundbreaking approaches to the study of racial prejudice and the stigma of disease. In this article published in two versions – Portuguese and English – Maria Laura Cavalcanti highlights the fact that Nogueira had himself experienced the stigma of disease as he had to isolate himself for tuberculosis treatment as a young man, between 1936 and 1938. His intellectual trajectory, prior to and following his Ph.D. studies at the University of Chicago in the 1940s, expresses the fecundity of Brazilian social sciences during the decisive period from the 1930s to the early 1960s. According to Cavalcanti, Nogueira’s anthropology, particularly his studies of the relations between black and white populations both in Brazil and the United States, allow us to place him in the pantheon of classic authors in Brazilian social sciences.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. It is a “Who’s Who in the Age of Boas,” written by Herbert S. Lewis.
Lewis, Herbert S., 2020. “Who’s Who in the Age of Boas: The Sponsors of Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas (1906)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
In 1906, when Franz Boas was 48 years old, he was honored with Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas, “Presented to Him on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of His Doctorate.” This massive volume, containing 43 scholarly papers, gives powerful testimony to the impact of Franz Boas on the establishment of anthropology as an academic and scientific discipline in America even at that early date. In this ambitious article, Herbert S. Lewis describes a complex, intercontinental network of scholars and sponsors, including unexpected figures such as two whaling captains known to Boas from his Baffin Island fieldwork in 1883-84. Boas’s continuing direct and active connection to European scholarship is evident in the fact that about a third of the contributions are from that continent, particularly from Germany and Austria. Lewis highlights the fact that the contributions of a younger generation pointing in the direction of what would become modern American anthropology was counterbalanced by a majority of papers by “pre-Boasian” ethnologists and antiquarians. Something else that the volume indicates is the extent to which Franz Boas had reached beyond the scholarly community to the world of wealthy and powerful men who supported his anthropological projects. Approximately 50 individuals were listed as backers of this fundamental volume and their backgrounds are revealing of the patronage for this new science at the birth of its institutionalization and professionalization. By rediscovering the lives of these numerous and largely ignored personalities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lewis reveals how the Boas Anniversary Volume marks the transition to a new anthropology in the United States. 1906 was, in this sense, a key moment in the history of the discipline.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This is an article by Kali Argyriadis and Maud Laëthier, presenting the research theme they co-direct for BEROSE about anthropologies and nation-building in Haiti and Cuba (1930-1990). The article is published in three languages: English, Spanish, and French.
Laëthier, Maud & Kali Argyriadis, 2020. “Anthropologies and Nation-building in Cuba and Haiti (1930-1990),” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
This article sketches the outlines of a comparative history of social and cultural anthropology in Cuba and Haiti. It examines the role played by the discipline in the construction of the national cultural identities of both countries, and the peculiar interweaving of anthropological thought and political discourse. With a focus on the period from the 1930s to the 1970s, Kali Argyriadis and Maud Laëthier shed light on a complex circulation of people and ideas both within and beyond the Caribbean through transnational networks and artistic movements that claimed to be anti-imperialist, socialist, or communist. They highlight the role played by iconic figures such as Fernando Ortiz, Jean-Price Mars or Jacques Roumain in reshaping the concept of race and exploring a new national imagination. The meaning of being Haitian or Cuban was not necessarily a matter of racial dignity so much as of cultural authenticity, and the debates in question had an international impact to the point of affecting the notion of ‘Otherness’ in the United States and Europe.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This release is a fascinating paper by Richard Kuba about Leo Frobenius’s activities during World War I, and is extensively illustrated.
Kuba, Richard, 2020. “An Ethnologist on the Warpath: Leo Frobenius and the First World War,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Leo Frobenius (1873–1938), one of the most famous and controversial German ethnologists of the twentieth century, emphasized the historicity of African cultures and his work was inspirational to the representatives of the “Négritude” movement who aimed at re-establishing the cultural self-awareness of African peoples. Richard Kuba demonstrates, however, that any portrait of Frobenius is incomplete – if not distorted – if his activities and writings as an ethnologist engaged in World War I are not taken into account. Frobenius spent the war years not only as a researcher, but as the leader of a secret mission, propagandist, and director of a prisoner-of-war camp. As dazzling as his war experience may seem, it nevertheless reveals a great deal about the basic orientations of this rather unusual founding father of early twentieth-century anthropology and of the embedded-ness of the discipline in greater political regimes.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This article, in Portuguese, presents Brazilian anthropologist and folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo. It is published as part of the research theme “Histories of Anthropology in Brazil,” which was edited by Stefania Capone and Fernanda Peixoto.
Gonçalves, José Reginaldo Santos, 2020. “O folclore no Brasil na visão de um etnógrafo nativo: um retrato intelectual de Luís da Câmara Cascudo”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Brazilian anthropologist and folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo (1898-1986), who specialized in the folk cultures of his own country, is an under-acknowledged figure in the history of the discipline. In this compelling article in Portuguese, J. R. Santos Gonçalves portrays Cascudo as a “native ethnographer,” whose work is capable of igniting our contemporary imagination. Cascudo focused his attention on the most humble, material, earthly aspects of daily life, be they a sleeping hammock, a raft, food and cachaça, or popular gestures and expressions. In many of Cascudo’s studies, the human body was present as a fundamental, unavoidable mediator. Santos Gonçalves also highlights the fact that this “excluded ancestor,” while spending all his life in his hometown of Natal, in the legendary Nordeste, was part of the Brazilian Modernist movement in the 1920s and 1930s. Associated as Cascudo was with “folklore” studies, his importance remained unacknowledged by the academic community of anthropologists. He is the author of numerous books that vividly recreate the universe of folk cultures in Brazil and continue to be re-printed, while his works remain important sources for current researchers.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This latest release is a paper, in French, about the French Protestant missionary and ethnologist Maurice Leenhardt.
Mary, André, 2020. “Maurice Leenhardt, un ethnologue en mission,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
This ambitious biographical essay restores the complexity and depth of Maurice Leenhardt’s (1878-1954) missionary and ethnological endeavors in New Caledonia over more than twenty years. André Mary also evokes Leenhardt’s “second” career after he returned to France, where he was soon recognized as a first-class ethnologist, in dialogue with luminaries such as Paul Rivet, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and Marcel Mauss. His academic career did not prevent Leenhardt from remaining deeply committed to the Protestant world at the heart of a working-class neighborhood in Paris. He also reflected on the paradoxes of the missionary condition, and dedicated himself to a comparative history of missions abroad. Far from the postmodern and postcolonial critique, Mary analyses Leenhardt’s masterpiece Do Kamo (1947) by remaining as truthful as possible to the missionary’s ethnolinguistic inquiry, while evoking his conversations with Indigenous interlocutors on Kanak notions of person and body, mythical consciousness, and worldview.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in English, concerns the German ethnographer Adolf Jensen, disciple of Leo Frobenius, who did fieldwork in southern Ethiopia in the 1930s and 1950s.
Thubauville, Sophia, 2020. “Of Phallic Stele, Heroes and Ancient Cultures. Adolf Ellegard Jensen’s Research in Southern Ethiopia,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Adolf Ellegard Jensen (1899-1965), a major disciple of the legendary Leo Frobenius, was himself one of the most influential German anthropologists of his time. His intellectual activity mainly concerned the fields of religion, myth, and ritual. A new article by Sophia Thubauville is dedicated to Jensen’s pioneering expeditions to southern Ethiopia in the 1930s and 1950s. Jensen’s research took place before Protestant missions converted the local population in large numbers and before the socialist revolution led to radical cultural and social change among the peoples of Ethiopia. As there exist no other descriptions of this region from that time, his accounts are a cultural archive for anthropologists, historians, and the people of southern Ethiopia. In addition to his extensive publications, Jensen also succeeded in interesting numerous young researchers in the region; their students and successors collaborate with a new generation of German anthropologists pursuing anthropological research in present-day southern Ethiopia.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in English, is about a forgotten figure in Afro-Brazilian studies, Rüdiger Bilden.
Pallares–Burke, Maria Lúcia G., 2020. “An Intellectual Portrait of Rüdiger Bilden, Forgotten Forerunner of Gilberto Freyre,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
In her touching portrait of a forgotten figure in Afro-Brazilian studies, Maria Lúcia Pallares-Burke brings to life German anthropologist Rüdiger Bilden (1893-1980), disciple of Franz Boas and colleague of Melville Herskovits at Columbia University. As early as 1929, Bilden coined the expression which identified Brazil as a “laboratory of civilizations,” a concept that has been highly controversial ever since. Bilden’s analyses of the effects of slavery on Brazilian society and culture are little known, however, in comparison to the thesis of his lifelong friend, the famous Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre. Bilden did not finish his Ph.D. at Columbia in the 1920s, published little and was unable to build a career. At a broader level, Bilden’s most important contribution concerned the question of race relations in the United States, a cause to which he gave increasing attention as the prospect of finishing his ambitious volumes on Brazilian slavery was diminishing.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in French, concerns Haitian author Jacques Roumain, French Guyanese poet and politician Léon-Gontran Damas, and Haitian anthropology intellectual networks in the 1930s-1940s.
Palisse, Marianne, 2020. “Jacques Roumain, Léon-Gontran Damas, et les filiations de l’anthropologie haïtienne des années 1930-1940 : vers la constitution d’espaces intellectuels transcoloniaux ?,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
The article builds on the crossing of paths of the Haitian Jacques Roumain and the French Guyanese Léon-Gontran Damas, and tries to shed light on the intellectual networks that inspired the practice of anthropology in the French-speaking Black Americas in the 1930s-1940s. The Institut d’Ethnologie de Paris, where Roumain and Damas studied, had a big influence on their own ideas of anthropology. But Damas and Roumain were also active members of Black intellectual networks on both sides of the Atlantic. These networks were connected with antifascist and antiracist groups of intellectuals but also with surrealism groups. Within these linkages, Haiti played a special role. Damas and Roumain saw anthropology as a tool for their project of improving the status of Black cultures and popular cultures. From their viewpoints as intellectuals from colonized countries and their refusal of assimilation, they took part in an in-depth reinterpretation of the discipline.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in French, examines Arnold Van Gennep’s fieldwork in Algeria in 1911 and 1912, his only ethnographic work outside of Europe.
Pouillon, François, 2020. “Arnold Van Gennep en Algérie. Le détour exotique d’un ethnologue de l’Europe,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Arnold van Gennep is best known today for his rites of passage theory, his contributions to the international debate on totemism, and his folklore studies. In this paper, François Pouillon reveals a less known facet: Van Gennep’s field experience in a colonial context, namely in Algeria, from 1911-1912. He invites the reader to browse through Van Gennep’s articles, archives, and his fascinating monograph En Algérie (In Algeria, 1914). Van Gennep developed a demanding research practice and a kind of reflexivity that was quite innovative at the time. Pouillon convincingly demonstrates that this Algerian experience was indeed a turning point in Van Gennep’s career, as it encouraged him to pursue his ethnography in rural France for reasons related to the predicaments of research in Muslim countries under European rule. Pouillon’s reading of the fascinating key text Les demi-savants (The Semi-Scholars, 1911), written in the same period, sheds further light on Van Gennep’s personality and on his singular place in the history of anthropology.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in Portuguese, discusses notable Brazilian anthropologist Curt Nimuendajú. Its English title says it all: “‘I don’t know how to make a living’: the backstage of Curt Nimuendajú’s ethnography”.
Tambascia, Christiano Key, 2020. “‘Não sei como hei de viver’: osbastidores da etnografia de Curt Nimuendajú”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Nimuendajú occupies an exceptional, legendary place in the history of Brazilian anthropology. He exerted a lasting fascination for Americanist anthropologists who recognized him as a great ethnographer. His unconditional defense of Indigenous peoples and his criticism of Brazilian Indigenous politics contributed to building the figure of a romantic ethnologist entirely devoted to his profession. Through a meticulous ethnography of the archives, Cristiano Tambascia takes us through the looking glass and helps us understand the making of this reputation and the many difficulties that littered the life and ethnographic practice of Nimuendajú, who lived in material and institutional precariousness, heightened by an uncompromising professional ethic.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This article, in French, discusses one of the founding fathers of anthropology in the nineteenth century, the jurist-anthropologist of the British Raj, Sir Henry Sumner Maine.
Goetzmann, Marc, 2020. “Le juriste anthropologue du British Raj. Sir Henry Sumner Maine et son oeuvre”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
British Victorian jurist Henry Maine was one of the founding fathers of anthropology, and legal anthropology in particular. He is best known for Ancient Law (1861) and its famous thesis on the transition from status to contract in Indo-European societies. For seven years, beginning in 1862, Maine was legal adviser to the Council of the Governor General of India. He was interested in the dynamics between law and social change and the functioning of customary law in Indian village communities. His writings fostered the development of field investigations in India from the 1870-1880s and onwards. He is regarded as one of the main inspirations for the policy of indirect rule in the British Empire. His ideas were to be successful among Indian nationalists wishing to preserve Indian institutions, primarily village communities. As a professor of law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, he was also the author of Village Communities in East and West (1871), Lectures on the Early History of Institutions (1875), and Dissertations on Early Law and Custom (1883).
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This article, in English, discusses the ideological construction of the Nilgiris region in southern India as a tribal sanctuary, c. 1812-1950.
Mahias, Marie–Claude, 2020. “The Construction of the Nilgiris (South India) as a ‘Tribal Sanctuary’ (1812-1950)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Anthropologist Marie-Claude Mahias explains how the case of the Nilgiris region in India was used in modern anthropology to construct very different sociological models. It was equally easy to prove that the inhabitants of this region were isolated tribes or that they were part of a jajmânî-like system of interdependence, with either the Todas or the Badagas as the dominant caste. Mahias demonstrates that the basis of the British distinction between ‘caste’ and ‘tribe’ were never clearly defined, as scientific and political considerations have always been intertwined in the history of both concepts. Mahias questions the perception of the Nilgiri peoples during the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth and reveals that the choice of sociological concepts was never really discussed. This does not mean, however, that it was wholly arbitrary. ‘Caste’ and ‘tribe’ are the outcomes of a controversial epistemological construction that has evolved in complex ways over the course of time.
HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. These two articles, both in French, discuss the history of Nepalese anthropology and folklore.
Toffin, Gérard, 2020. “Les folkloristes népalais, entre sentiment national et diversité des cultures (XXe – début XXIe siècle)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
Toffin, Gérard, 2020. “Naissance de l’école népalaise d’anthropologie (1960-2020)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
French anthropologist Gérard Toffin traces the history of Nepalese folklore since the beginning of the 20th century. He analyzes how this movement has evolved over the last few decades, partly under the influence of the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage policy, introduced in the early 2000s, as opposed to the previous focus on the archaeological legacies of classical written cultures. The article concludes with a reflection on the relationship between scholarly and popular culture in South Asia and on the deep roots of the Nepalese folklore movement in the context of a multicultural country of 30 million people, with some 100 different ethnic groups and castes, speaking nearly 90 different languages.
The second article by Toffin deals with the insightful case of Nepalese anthropology as a new discipline, a World Anthropology that was not created by the colonial power, as in India by the British Raj. Nepalese universities, funded largely with the help of developed countries, are unable to provide for the needs of young local anthropologists, who are forced to contract with foreign agencies in order to make a living. Overarching and ambiguous, dependence on foreign countries dates back to the first generation of Nepalese anthropologists, often trained as assistants to Western anthropologists – as was the case with Dor Bahadur Bista, the founding father of Nepalese anthropology, who was the informant/collaborator of the London SOAS professor of anthropology, Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf. Their utilitarian approach within applied anthropology often distinguishes Nepalese anthropologists from their foreign colleagues.