BEROSE (page 1 of 4)

Heloisa Torres at the Heart of Brazilian Anthropology, by Domingues

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Portuguese) dedicated to a legendary figure in the history of Brazilian anthropology as the first woman who directed the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro.

Domingues, Heloisa Maria Bertol, 2024. “Da arqueologia à etnografia, da museologia ao ativismo: trajetórias cruzadas de Heloisa Alberto Torres e da antropologia brasileira,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

Brazilian anthropologist Heloisa Alberto Torres (1895–1977) played a decisive role in the introduction of cultural anthropology in Brazil. In research, university courses or as director of the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, where she remained for 17 years, Heloisa Alberto Torres favored studies that highlighted the cultural diversity of the country’s populations, both ancient and contemporary. Not only did she produce compelling scientific work, but she also encouraged the collection of material and immaterial objects with the aim of preserving and learning about cultures. In this beautifully illustrated article, H. Domingues thoroughly analyzes her work and concludes that dona Heloisa – as she was courteously called – also took an incisive political stance, proposing public policies that exalted traditions while contributing to maintaining cultural alterity, relations with the environment and, depending on the wishes of each group, with society in general. Heloisa Torres valued both archaeology and ethnology, relating the past and present of cultures within an entangled historicity of colonization and everyday life. She proclaimed the protection of the “original culture of the Indians,” which she defined geographically and amid migration movements, exchanges and encounters of knowledge between different peoples. By putting forward the concept of “deculturation,” which referred to the ways in which the colonial power sought to impose the same patterns of thought, thus creating social inequality, she fought with all her might for the association of scientific and political goals. According to Domingues, Heloisa’s ideals resurface in Black and Indigenous voices, which are increasingly audible in Brazilian society and academia. 

International Fieldwork in Türkiye in Retrospect, by Magnarella and Sipahi

HAR is pleased to announce two of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles (in English) portraying key figures in the history of anthropological research conducted in Türkiye in the twentieth century, including a self-portrait by Paul Magnarella.

Sipahi, Ali, 2024. “An Ethnographic Moment in Turkey during the Long 1968: Portraits of Anthropologists from the Chicago Circle and Beyond,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

Magnarella, Paul J., 2024. “My Anthropological Adventures in Turkey (1963–present),” with an introduction by Ali Sipahi, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Between 1966 and 1971, seven anthropologists—six American and one Norwegian—conducted a year-long ethnographic research in different places in Turkey, with different questions in mind. The University of Chicago professor, Lloyd A. Fallers and his students Michael E. Meeker, Peter Benedict and Alan Duben composed the so-called “Chicago group.” In addition, Paul J. Magnarella from Harvard, June Starr from Berkeley, and Reidar Grønhaug from Bergen were in the field for dissertation research in the same period. Such a concentration of intensive fieldwork by international scholars in Turkey was exceptional. Five of them were even simultaneously in the field in spring of 1967 although there was no team mission in question. It was a particular moment that brought them together: the encounter between the Cold War social sciences and the critical turn in the late 1960s. Understanding this ethnographic moment contributes to the literatures on Cold War anthropology, politics of fieldwork, and the history of American anthropology. In the first article, Ali Sipahi presents short portraits of the anthropologists of Turkey in the long 1968, starting with the Chicago group. In the second article, Paul J. Magnarella describes in autobiographical mode the familial, residential, and educational experiences that influenced his anthropological research in Turkey. In 1969 he embarked on a broad community study of Susurluk—a town undergoing major industrial, economic, demographic, and social changes. He resided in the town for over a year with a local family and combined participant observation, elaborate questionnaires, local archival research, and extensive interviews with hundreds of residents to portray a rich picture of the town’s history, society, culture, religious practices, economic organization, and politics. Using similar research techniques, he also studied a village that had been settled by Georgian immigrants during the late Ottoman period.

History of Andean Kinship Studies and Computational Analysis, by Sendón

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Spanish) on the history of Andean kinship studies.

Sendón, Pablo F., 2024. “Revisitando los estudios de parentesco en los Andes: entre la historia de la antropología y el análisis computacional de fuentes parroquiales,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article reassesses the anthropological studies on kinship in the Andes in the light of new research on the ayllu among contemporary Indigenous peasant and Quechua-speaking populations of the southern Peruvian Andes. Through the prism offered by computational tools, the ayllu (groupings of individuals who are related to each other as kin and share a common territory) is reframed as an institution that, far from being strictly Indigenous, is inseparable from the local history of Christianity. Additionally, some salient characteristics of the earlier studies in question are highlighted, not with the intention of questioning the exceptional quality of what has been done in the past, but rather to contribute to a reflection on the ways in which ongoing anthropological research in the Andes may affect the writing of a particular chapter in the history of the discipline. The case study in question suggests an approach to the problem of the ayllu from the present to the past, and not the other way around, as has classically been done by postulating more or less hypothetical models of social morphology. The temporal information recorded in the new databases allows us to follow the trail of this institution until at least the middle of the 19th century. Two major records shape the corpus—genealogies and parish registers available in peasant villages in the southern Peruvian Andes—and allow us to offer a fresh characterization not only of the ayllu but also of its historical vicissitudes. Far from being a timeless entity, the ayllu transforms itself in the diachrony not only from exogenous and conjunctural factors but also from endogenous and structural regularities that also explain its continuity over time. Due to the volume of basic information, as well as the complexity of the combination of weighted variables, this dialogue with the history of anthropology would be impossible and unmanageable without the use of computational tools.

The Victorian Anthropology of Indian Tribes, Castes and Society, by Fuller

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English), on Victorian anthropologists of British India 1850–1871.

Fuller, Chris, 2024. “Victorian Ethnology in British India: The Study of Tribes, Castes and Society, circa 1850–1871,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Between 1850 and 1871, when the decennial censuses of India began, the most influential colonial ethnologist was George Campbell, a member of the Indian Civil Service. Campbell’s history, Modern India (1852), briefly described Indian society, but a long article (1866) set out an “ethnological skeleton” for classifying India’s “races and classes” according to five criteria: physical appearance (indicating racial division), followed by languages, religions, laws, and manners plus mental characteristics. The Indian population was divided into the “black aboriginal tribes of the interior hills and jungles,” “modern Indians” belonging to various Hindu and Muslim tribes and castes, who made up the vast majority, and a small category of tribal groups of mixed descent on the northern frontiers. The principal division was primarily racial, rather than linguistic, because tribal people spoke both Dravidian and “Kolarian” (Ho-Munda) languages, and the majority population both Dravidian and Aryan. Campbell’s article, which included a short ethnographic survey of tribal groups and a longer one of caste groups, was more comprehensive than any previous. 

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The Rio de Janeiro Anthropological Exhibition of 1882, by M. Agostinho

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Portuguese), on the Anthropological Exhibition that took place at the Museu Nacional of Rio Janeiro in 1882.

Agostinho, Michele de Barcelos, 2024. “A Exposição Antropológica Brasileira de 1882: história, ciência e poder no Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

The Museu Nacional of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is a bicentennial scientific institution, the first in Brazil, which had one of the largest collections of natural and anthropological sciences in Latin America, much of which disappeared in the fire that struck its historical building on September 2, 2018. Initially called the Royal Museum, then the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, its trajectory occupies a prominent place in the country’s history insofar as the disciplinary knowledge produced there was closely linked to state policies aimed at managing territories and populations. At the end of the 19th century, the concern with consolidating and legitimizing anthropological science in Brazil, inscribing indigenous peoples in national history, and demanding a museum from the imperial government which specialized in ethnography motivated the then director of the Museu, Ladislau Netto, to hold the Brazilian Anthropological Exhibition of 1882, the first and only of its kind in Brazil. The exhibition lasted three months, displayed hundreds of indigenous objects and received thousands of visitors. This study analyzes the intentions of those who conceived it, the practices of representation that constituted the exhibition order and its repercussions with the public. In this lavishly illustrated article, Michele Agostinho takes readers on a true guided tour, which is also a travel in time.

Corso’s Erotic and Exotic Anthropology, by Coppola

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article published in three languages (Italian, French, and Spanish), on Italian anthropologist Raffaelle Corso.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2024. “Uno ‘folklorista di ieri’? Un ritratto di Raffaele Corso, tra etnografia legale, erotica ed esotica,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2024. “Un ‘folkloriste d’hier’? Raffaele Corso entre ethnographie juridique, érotique et exotique,”in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2024. “¿Un ‘folklorista de ayer’? Un retrato de Raffaele Corso, entre etnografía jurídica, erótica y exótica,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Raffaele Corso (1883–1965) was one of the leading figures in the history of anthropological disciplines in Italy in the first half of the 20th century. Both in Italy and abroad, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s, he was a renowned scholar in the domain of “folklore”, which he defined as the study of the popolino, that is, the urban or rural working classes of so-called “civilized” societies; but he also dedicated himself to “ethnography”, understood as the study of non-European peoples.

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Portuguese Anthropology in Retrospect, by Almeida, Cachado and Saraiva

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles in English and Portuguese, respectively, that overview the history – and the historiography – of Portuguese anthropology.

Almeida, Sónia Vespeira de & Rita Cachado, 2023. “Beyond the “Carnation Revolution”: An Overview of Contemporary Histories of Portuguese Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3078.html

Saraiva, Clara, 2023. “Histórias e Memórias da Antropologia Portuguesa,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article2906.html

The history of anthropology in Portugal began to be systematized after the 1974 “Carnation Revolution,” which put an end to the longest fascist-type dictatorship in Europe. In the first paper, Almeida and Cachado look at how the history of Portuguese anthropology has been studied. Historical perspectives on Portuguese anthropology before the revolution tend to emphasize the connections between anthropologists’ work and the dictatorship project, while the work of anthropologists after the revolution is viewed as being more in tune with international or cosmopolitan anthropologies. An attentive reading of this literature shows that there were more than two historically distinctive ways of practicing anthropology. The article explores both the history and the historiography of the discipline in Portugal, highlighting some of the fundamental contributions that have been made to understand and contextualize this peculiar anthropological tradition within and beyond old nation- and empire-building motives. On the one hand, the main ideas and discussions contained in that bibliography – mostly written in Portuguese – are analyzed and synthesized, while on the other hand suggesting possible paths which the historiography of anthropology in Portugal could take in the future. 

In the second article entitled “Histories and Memories of Portuguese Anthropology,” Saraiva reviews some of the major publications on the history of Portuguese anthropology and adds a more personal perspective related to the author’s path from her training in Lisbon and the United States to her presidency of the Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA) – including her close association with key figures in the recent history of Portuguese anthropology. The text underlines the continuities and ruptures that occurred at different moments and reveals the ambivalences of the discipline during the dictatorship of the Estado Novo, as well as the tensions or connections between the nation-building and empire-building projects. Along with the intellectual and political changes resulting from the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974, new forms of institutionalization emerged, both in the universe of academia and at the professional level with the creation of the APAin 1989. The text takes us to the summer of 2021, two years before the 50th anniversary of the death of Jorge Dias, a leading figure in modern Portuguese anthropology.

Museums in Native American Country, by Thomas Grillot

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English that historicizes local and community-oriented museal institutions in the reservation of Standing Rock.

Grillot, Thomas, 2023. “Familiar in Many Shapes: A Historical (and Contemporary) Overview of Museums in Native American Country,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3160.html

Discussions of the role of museums in Native lives and communities often overestimate their alienness in Native American country. In fact this institution is, Grillot proposes, quietly familiar, and should be studied as such. A view of the problem from the Dakota/Lakota reservation of Standing Rock emphasizes the very diverse presence of the museum in Native lives as a means of producing culture and identities. It shows how networks of local actors developed museum-like forms of exhibiting Native cultural artifacts that nourished reservation life. From powwows to school outings, from window cases in shops to exhibits inside Native homes, from employment in museums to the building of private collections by tribal members, museums in Dakota/Lakota country inspire and sponsor myriad practices, some intimate, others very much public-oriented. Familiar, even if regularly contested, these museum-like practices have always been appropriated from within relationships that tie together craftspeople and artists and their families, on the one hand, and discrete institutions, rather than “museums” in general, on the other. In this study based both on fieldwork experience and archival sources, Grillot reconstitutes this history through vignettes centered on the Standing Rock reservation that emphasize the importance of replacing museums in regional geographies, and the living tradition of creating local and community-oriented museal institutions in Native country.

Jan Czekanowski between Africanist and Slavicist studies, by Bar and Tymowski

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on Polish ethnographer and anthropologist Jan Czekanowski.

Bar, Joanna & Michał Tymowski, 2023. “Jan Czekanowski, a Polish Anthropologist between Two Eras of European Cultural History,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article2971.html

This article recaptures the trajectory and describes the ethnographic and anthropological work of Polish Africanist and Slavicist Jan Czekanowski (1882–1965). After developing a new method in the study of racial classification, he took part in the German Central-African Expedition of 1907–1909, during which he conducted fieldwork in the interlacustrine region of Africa. The article analyses the results of his anthropological and ethnographic researches in central Africa—including his comprehensive photographic documentation—which were published between 1911 and 1927 in a five-volume work, Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet. The article also highlights Czekanowski’s studies on the ethnogenesis of the Slavs, which he conducted after and under the effect of World War I, as well as his role as creator of the Lwów school of physical anthropology, concomitant with his academic career as a professor at the University of Lwów from 1913 to 1941. Based on both published sources and archival materials largely ignored outside of Poland, the article reassesses Czekanowski’s place in disciplinary history as a cosmopolitan anthropologist connected to numerous European scholarly societies.

Marcel Mauss Revisited, by Thomas Beaufils

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French on the correspondence between Marcel Mauss and Dutch scholars.

Beaufils, Thomas, 2023. “Marcel Mauss, la Hollande et les Hollandais. Correspondance de 1898 à 1938,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3115.html

The sheer volume of articles and books devoted to both the published texts and the manuscripts of Marcel Mauss (1872–1959) over the decades suggests that all facets of the French scholar’s personality and intellectual activity have been widely explored. However, although a very serious and patient effort has been made in recent years to assemble and describe the relevant archives, the task of locating unpublished documents has not yet been completed. In fact, Mauss’s work is characterized by the extreme dispersion of the writings he bequeathed; and all his known correspondence has yet to be fully transcribed. The present piece is a contribution to this tireless work of compilation and translation, in order to give as accurate a picture as possible of the scientific output of the “father of French anthropology.” The correspondence transcribed here comprises mostly letters exchanged between Mauss and Dutch scholars, and also with the Amsterdam rabbinate, including one in German. The collection spans the period from 1898, when Mauss was only 26 and still a student, to 1938, when the great scholar was at the height of his fame. The aim of this dossier is to draw up an inventory of the links that existed between Marcel Mauss and the Netherlands during this period. The content of this correspondence is often personal, and therefore not exclusively scientific. This piece appears within the BEROSE encyclopedic dossier dedicated to Marcel Mauss, which comprises over fifty resources, both primary and secondary sources. 

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Friedl’s Anthropological and Ethnographic Legacy, by Peter S. Allen

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on Ernestine Friedl as an accidental feminist anthropologist.

Allen, Peter S., 2023. “From New York to Vasilika: Ernestine Friedl, an Accidental Feminist in a Greek Village,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3117.html

This article is a comprehensive account of the life and work of Ernestine Friedl (1920–2014), a professional anthropologist, teacher, and university administrator. Born in Hungary, she immigrated to New York and settled in the Bronx. Her academic career began with her graduation from Hunter College and a PhD from Columbia University, where her doctoral dissertation concerned the Chippewa, whom she had studied on their reservation in Wisconsin. Friedl then taught at Queens College of the State University of New York for more than 20 years before becoming the chair of the Anthropology Department at Duke University in 1973. Meanwhile, she accompanied her husband, classicist Harry Levy, to Greece where she conducted fieldwork in a small village, resulting in her monograph, Vasilika: A Village in Modern Greece (1967), a pioneering work of European ethnography. She was the first American female anthropologist to conduct modern—if not innovative—ethnographic fieldwork in Greece beyond folklore studies, and one of the first to do so in a European society. The article outlines Friedl’s peculiar place in a broader history of anthropological research on Europe, while focusing on feminism and discrimination within her academic and scientific milieu. A special section reveals the ethnographer in the field, her coping with local ways, and the privileged but not necessarily easy interactions of an “American wife” with Greek interlocutors, both female and male. Friedl’s stature in the discipline is testified to by her presidencies of the American Ethnological Society (1967) and the American Anthropological Association (1975), her service on the Board of the National Science Foundation (1980–1988), and her editorship of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies (1986–1990). Friedl concluded her career by spending five years as the dean of arts and sciences at Duke and several years teaching at Princeton University.

Robert de Wavrin as Visual Anthropologist, by Moderbacher and Winter

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in French, on the Belgian explorer, ethnographer and visual anthropologist Robert de Wavrin.

Moderbacher, Christine & Grace Winter, 2023. “La vie et l’œuvre du Marquis Robert de Wavrin, un des premiers anthropologues visuels”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2908.html

Born into a noble family from Belgian Flanders, Robert de Wavrin (1888–1971) was an explorer, ethnographer and visual anthropologist who spent most of his life in Latin America. Financially independent (thanks to the family fortune from coal mines), he lived in Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. His first contacts with Amerindian populations, around 1915, led him to join learned societies of geography and anthropology in Brussels and Paris, where his empirical observations were appreciated in line with the theoretical views of the time. From his first trip, he used photography to illustrate the Indigenous way of life, which he actually shared. He was soon introduced to the film camera and, from 1919 onwards, visually recorded the daily life of various communities. His 2,000 photographs and four films represent an important contribution to the history of visual anthropology. He is also the author of 14 books and numerous articles.

In this pioneering article, Moderbacher and Winter trace the life and work of Wavrin, with a focus on his film work as a contribution to the history of visual anthropology. Although fragments of his work are known to some researchers in South America, Wavrin is almost entirely absent from historical studies and largely forgotten in the anthropological and Americanist fields. Although his work cannot be studied outside the colonial context of this discipline and the legacy of Eurocentrism, according to Moderbacher and Winter his visual contribution provides remarkable historical insights and deserves the attention of researchers.

The Declaration of Barbados and Brazilian Anthropology, by João Pacheco de Oliveira

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the impact of the Declaration of Barbados of 1971 in Brazilian anthropology.

Oliveira, João Pacheco de, “‘Not mere objects of study’: The Declaration of Barbados (1971) and the Remaking of Brazilian Anthropology”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2897.html

In 1971, young anthropologists who were gathered on the island of Barbados denounced the dramatic situation in which Indigenous peoples lived. With its context in the histories of social sciences in Latin America, the resulting manifesto criticized conservative governments and Christian missions, while calling for a new attitude in anthropology. Social studies should not be based solely on the theoretical agendas of hegemonic sociologies and anthropologies, it argued; they should address ethical and political issues related to processes of liberation and decolonization of Indigenous populations. In the following decades, military coups and intense political repression meant that teaching and research in the social sciences were placed under tight surveillance in various Latin American countries. Pushed to the margins of the intellectual and political scene, the Barbados message had a limited impact in many academic spaces, but there were a few exceptions – including Brazil.

In this illuminating article, Pacheco de Oliveira explores the trajectories of the political legacy of the Barbados statement in Brazilian anthropology, through lasting debates and practices around themes such as Indigenous agency, decolonization, and dialogic anthropologies. The current plurality of anthropology demands a fresh reading of the 1971 document as both a historical landmark and an inspirational statement for generations to come.

Scholar, Activist, Humanist: A Portrait of Eric Wolf in Charlottesville, by Jeffrey L. Hantman

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, portraying Eric Wolf’s humanist scholarship and activism in the1950s.

Hantman, Jeffrey L., 2023. “Scholar, Activist, Humanist: A Portrait of Eric Wolf (the Charlottesville Years 1955-1958)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2894.html


Eric R. Wolf (1923–1999) was a leading figure in American anthropology throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Austria, Wolf escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and moved with his family to New York City in 1939. He earned his Ph.D. in 1951 at Columbia University. He was a leader among those who sought to restore historically and regionally situated understandings of power relations to anthropological study. Wolf conducted ethnographic research in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Southern Italy. He is best known for his book, Europe and the People Without History (1982), and is remembered as well for organizing academic responses to American wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. This article focuses on a little-known chapter of Eric Wolf’s career as an activist when he was a young professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in the 1950s. Wolf spoke out against racism through an anthropological lens while working in the white supremacist environment of Virginia’s flagship state university and state government. Always mindful of the value of interdisciplinarity, he joined with the few other faculty across the university who took the then dangerous step of lecturing publicly on race and inequality in the South. Wolf’s early exposure to Southern U.S. regional tensions, rooted in class and race-based inequality, and his discussion of anthropology’s apparent retreat from activism provide context for his actions in Charlottesville over a three-year span.

Hantman draws on Wolf’s brief references to his time in Charlottesville in published interviews, but especially from the correspondence he maintained with his close friend, Sidney Mintz. The article is thus a biography of Wolf, a comment on anthropological activism in the 1950s, and an account of his unique efforts in Virginia that foretold his well-known political engagement while teaching later at the University of Michigan and Lehman College (CUNY) in New York City.

Jean-Baptiste Vaudry as Accidental Visual Anthropologist, by Isabelle Combès

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Spanish on Jean-Baptiste Vaudry, a French ethnographer working in Bolivia in the early twentieth century.

Combès, Isabelle, 2023. “Los aportes de Jean-Baptiste Vaudry a la antropología boliviana”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

French civil engineer Jean-Baptiste Vaudry (1875–1938) worked for the Bolivian government between 1902 and 1913 on commissions to delimit the borders with Argentina and Brazil. In the 1920s, he worked for several years in the tin mines of the altiplano. Although widely distributed at the time, the more than 500 photographs he took during those years fell into oblivion until recently. Beyond exoticism, they show Indigenous people from the Chaco, the Chiquitania, the altiplano and the valleys, in the most varied situations: workers on the haciendas or in the mines, in remote communities or in the streets of the cities, giving a realistic and lively testimony of a colorful Bolivia in the early twentieth century. In this profusely illustrated article, Combès minutely explores photographic material that was rediscovered in the 2010s, and explains how Vaudry portrayed a multi-ethnic Bolivia where indigenous people were in contact with each other within national society. Along with both published texts and unpublished manuscripts, Vaudry’s iconography is thus reassessed as that of an accidental “visual anthropologist” who gains a peculiar but important place in disciplinary history, and within Bolivian studies.

The Puerto Rican Ethnography of John Alden Mason, by Rafael Ocasio

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in Spanish, on Boasian ethnographer John Alden Mason.

Ocasio, Rafael, 2023. “De la criollización a la compilación del folclore puertorriqueño: el legado de John Alden Mason y de sus colaboradores jíbaros en el campo de Puerto Rico”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

US anthropologist John Alden Mason (1885–1967) was a student of Alfred L. Kroeber with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He did fieldwork under Franz Boas’ supervision, namely within the “Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” which began in 1914–1915 as a multidisciplinary study under the auspices of the New York Academy of Sciences. The earliest part of the twentieth century after the Spanish American War of 1898 can be characterized as the beginning of an intense exploration in the United States of Puerto Rican culture. This interest led to active scientific fieldwork by representatives of American academic institutions. Boas’ and Mason’s was among the first research trips of this kind. They oversaw the gathering of hundreds of oral riddles, folk poetry, and stories, which were published in The Journal of American Folklore from 1916 through 1929. Mason considered this collection of folk tales as being among the largest from a Spanish-speaking country or territory. Following the publication of Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico (Ocasio, Rutgers University Press, 2020), this article focuses on Mason’s ethnographic endeavors and discusses some of the special categories of folk tales that Mason – and Boas – presented as exemplary representations of a well grounded Puerto Rican identity. The published folktales favor rural cultural practices of the peasants known as “Jíbaro,” while ignoring folk data gathered in Loíza, a traditional fishing village inhabited by African descendants. Indeed, the choice to highlight Jíbaro oral folklore not only determined the geographical scope of the project (rural and inland culture) but also the types of native characters that stand as representatives of a Puerto Rican identity to this day. The Penn Museum, an institution for which Mason served as curator of the American Section from 1926 until his retirement in 1955, celebrates him as “one of the last of the great generalist anthropologists of the 20th century”, but his legacy is inseparable from his descriptive ethnography and the folk materials he compiled.

Florestan’s Insight into Brazilian Society, by Christophe Brochier

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International
Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology
: an article, in French, on the influential Brazilian sociologist Florestan Fernandes.

Brochier, Christophe, 2023. “Florestan Fernandes: ‘patron’ de la sociologie pauliste et chercheur engagé”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Florestan Fernandes (1920–1995), of immigrant origin and from a very poor background, was arguably one of the most influential Brazilian sociologists of the second half of the twentieth century and one of its great modernizers, who tirelessly tried to understand the singularities, changes, and challenges of Brazilian society. In this ambitious article, Brochier traces the professional career and scholarly production of Florestan – as he is known in Brazil – starting with an examination of his formative years as an atypical student from the working classes at the University of São Paulo. Florestan’s intellectual brightness was noticed by French anthropologist Roger Bastide, who encouraged him and supervised his first research into folklore and race relations in São Paulo. His doctoral research was then devoted to the historical anthropology of the Tupinambá. The article reveals how the study of functionalism in anthropology was a starting point in Florestan’s development of a series of precepts and ideas concerning the epistemology of the social sciences in the 1950s. The way in which his intellectual and life trajectories were strongly affected by the military coup in 1964 is the theme of the second part of the article: clearly opposed to academic conservatism, Florestan abandoned epistemology and devoted himself to the study of the political and economic transformations of Brazilian society from a critical perspective. Finally, the last phase of his activity is recounted, when he was a deputy of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Brazilian Labor Party) in the 1980s and 1990s, during which he tried to analyze the Brazilian political situation in real time. In conclusion, a draft assessment of Florestan’s work is proposed, in an effort to create a distance from the hagiographic perspective generally in use. He eventually emerges as a key figure in a wider history of sociology, anthropology, and the social sciences in general.

The Amazonian Utopia of Stefano Varese, by Irène Favier

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, published both in Spanish and in French, on Stefano Varese as a key figure of applied anthropology, with a focus on Amazonian activism.

Favier, Irène, 2023. “Utopía y consuelo amazónico. Stefano Varese como antropólogo activista, hitos biográficos” (translated by Isabelle Combès), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Favier, Irène, 2023. “Utopie et consolation amazonienne. Stefano Varese en anthropologue activiste, jalons biographiques”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Genoa in 1939, anthropologist Stefano Varese left Italy for Peru in 1956. His ethno-historical doctoral researches on the Asháninka of the Gran Pajonal region resulted in La sal de los cerros (1968), a milestone in the history of Peruvian Amazon studies. In the late 1960s, Varese gave up his position at the University of San Marcos to participate in the agrarian reform carried out by the new military government. While pursuing his studies of the Amazonian worlds, he contributed to a decree recognizing the legal existence of native communities as late as 1974. From being an intellectual under construction, Varese found himself propelled to the rank of a figure in the “strange revolution” carried out by the state apparatus between 1968 and 1975. Following the demise of this political experience, he went into exile, first in Mexico, then in the United States. Migration movements in Latin America and the United States became one of his fundamental research topics. In this compelling article, Irène Favier shows how the biographical itinerary of this Italian-Peruvian anthropologist crosses the second half of the twentieth century, while giving an account of the dynamics that affected anthropology at the time. Favier reveals how Varese continued to produce knowledge and to raise awareness of indigenous issues, thus becoming a key figure in the development – and the history – of applied anthropology, to which he gave a stronger political dimension. Apart from teaching – namely at the University of California, Davis, where he helped create the Native American Studies department in 1988 – Varese pursued international activities of expertise on indigenous issues. This article retraces this trajectory by restoring its historical context, and attempts to identify Varese’s legacy in the long and complex history of applied anthropology.

The Histories of Keith Hart’s Anthropology

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: a special issue, in English, on Keith Hart’s trajectories as reflected in his recent volume (2022).

Shakya, Mallika & Keith Hart (eds.). 2022. “Keith Hart’s Anthropology: Auto-Ethnography, World History and Humanist Philosophy” (with the participation of Arjun Appadurai, Yasmeen Arif, Supriya Singh and John Tresch), BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Manchester, Keith Hart (1943–) studied classics and social anthropology at Cambridge University. His research focuses on economic anthropology, Africa, money in all its forms and the digital revolution. He developed the concept of the informal economy in the field of development studies. He carried out fieldwork in Ghana in 1965–1968. In the 1970s, he advised on development policy in the Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and West Africa. After immersion in the street economy, his experience of participant observation as a high-level adviser of governments and international organizations was crucial for his evolution as an anthropologist. He has taught at a dozen universities (Manchester, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, West Indies, London School of Economics, Pretoria, etc.), including Cambridge University between 1984 and 1998, where he directed the Centre for African Studies for six years. In 1993, with Anna Grimshaw, he created the collection Prickly Pear Pamphlets, which had a dozen issues. Edited by Mallika Shakya and Keith Hart himself, this special issue features two book launches of his Self in the World: Connecting Life’s Extremes (Oxford and New York, Berghahn Books, 2022), held on May 10, 2022, at the London School of Economics, and on June 13, 2022, at Delhi’s South Asian University. Commentary from the Delhi launch by Mallika Shakya, Arjun Appadurai, Yasmeen Arif and Supriya Singh is followed by an open discussion. A review from the LSE launch by John Tresch (first published in History of Anthropology Review) and a summary of his book by the author conclude this presentation. Keith Hart has written and edited several other books including: Money in a Human Economy (2017); Economy For and Against Democracy (2015); The Memory Bank: Money in an Unequal World (2000), The Political Economy of West African Agriculture (1982), Market and Society: The Great Transformation Today (2009) and Economic Anthropology (2011) with Chris Hann and The Human Economy: A Citizen’s Guide (2010) with J-L. Laville & A. D. Cattani). Keith Hart is also a writer of fiction and professional gambler.

Michel Giacometti’s Ethnography as Anti-Fascist Resistance, by Luísa Tiago de Oliveira

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in Portuguese, on French ethnographer Michel Giacometti and his revolutionary trajectory in Portugal.

Oliveira, Luísa Tiago de, 2023. “Um etnógrafo corso em Portugal: uma biografia de Michel Giacometti”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

French ethnographer Michel Giacometti (1929–1990) became an essential figure in the history of Portuguese anthropology. With a focus on his life trajectory, and considering various works and exhibits dedicated to him in Portugal as well as archival material, this article highlights the intellectual, political and even existential motives behind Giacometti’s strenuous safeguarding of folk culture – particularly folk music – in Portugal. He was part of and contributed to weaving a network of anti-fascist resistance that lasted beyond the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974. In this perspective, Giacometti’s ethnomusicology is inseparable from the fact that he both shared and built a culture of resistance and public intervention. The Portuguese Communist Party (a clandestine organization during Salazar’s dictatorship) was a point of reference in this process. Giacometti founded the Arquivos Sonoros Portugueses (Portuguese Sound Archives) soon after his arrival in Portugal in the late 1950s, and from then on, his anthropological praxis was subtly but steadily oriented towards a cultural and civic militancy that was revolutionary. The article reveals how Giacometti’s activities during the democratic transition process in the 1970s culminated in the creation of the Museu do Trabalho (Labour Museum), an institution that today bears his name and plays a leading role in the enhancement of his legacy, along with other institutions that preserve his vast collection of materials. The present article is thus a biography of Giacometti’s work, which can be situated between ethnographic praxis and political intervention.

Bulgarian Ethnomusicology and Nation-building Communism, by Marie-Barbara Le Gonidec

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in French, on ethnomusicology in post-WWII communist Bulgaria.

Le Gonidec, Marie-Barbara, 2023. “Entre passé et présent: l’ethnologie bulgare au service du façonnage d’une tradition à des fins idéologiques”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

From the early 1950s, Bulgarian folkloristi – a category comprising ethnologists and ethnomusicologists as well – were engaged in the safeguarding of peasant traditions, not just from a salvage ethnography perspective but with the aim of reactivating and projecting them into the future of the country. Bulgarian music played a key role in this post-WWII project – both a nation-building and a communist project – as the folk tunes of the agro-pastoral world would enable composers to forge a new musical tradition of the Bulgarian People’s Republic. This vibrant article explains how the narodna muzika (official folk music) was established with the help of the folkloristi and in accordance with the new ideals adopted by the communist authorities of this Balkan country, following the abolition of the (pro-Nazi) monarchy in September 1944, the liberation from German occupation, and the fall into the Soviet sphere of influence.

Theories of Caste and British Colonial Ethnography, by Chris Fuller

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on theories of caste in late nineteenth-century colonial ethnography.

Fuller, Chris, 2023. “Colonial Ethnography and Theories of Caste in Late-Nineteenth-Century India”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

None of the colonial anthropologists of the British Raj were widely read by metropolitan anthropologists, but their rival theories of caste crucially influenced early sociologists writing on the topic – notably Célestin Bouglé and Max Weber. Even though both men criticized it, the occupational theory put forward in late-nineteenth-century India has indirectly but significantly influenced modern scholars of South Asian society. This article explores the ethnographic and theoretical writings on caste of three prominent colonial anthropologists in late-nineteenth-century India: Sir Denzil Ibbetson (1847–1908) and Sir Athelstane Baines (1847–1925), who were both members of the Indian Civil Service, and John Nesfield (1836–1919), who belonged to the educational service. In 1883, Ibbetson completed a land revenue settlement report pertaining to the rural district of Karnal in the Punjab, which included copious ethnographic material, as well as a proto-functionalist description of the local village community. He also finished his superintendent’s report on the 1881 census of the Punjab, whose chapter on ‘races, castes and tribes’ was particularly outstanding. Baines was the superintendent for the 1881 census of Bombay province and later the commissioner in overall charge of the 1891 census of India. Using 1881 census data, Nesfield wrote a book on caste in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh (modern Uttar Pradesh). In these works, Ibbetson, Baines and Nesfield presented slightly different versions of an occupational theory of caste, in which they classified castes mainly by hereditary occupation or politico-economic function. They also explained the ‘closed’ caste system (in contrast to the ‘open’ class system in Europe) as the distinctively Indian outcome of the evolution of the division of labour. The occupational theory of caste was particularly criticised by Herbert Risley (1851–1911), who argued that the system’s origins lay in racial inequality and that its defining feature was ‘social precedence’ or hierarchical ranking, rather than occupational differentiation. By examining this largely forgotten literature, this article adds historical depth to a fundamental debate in the history of anthropology and sociology.

Manuel Querino as Visionary Black Anthropologist, by Sabrina Gledhill

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the Afro-Brazilian anthropologist Manuel Querino.

Gledhill, Sabrina, 2023. “A Pioneering Afro-Brazilian Ethnologist: The Life and Work of Manuel Querino”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Afro-Brazilian polymath Manuel Raymundo Querino (1851–1923) was the first Black scholar to study the history, culture and origins of the enslaved Africans and their descendants in Brazil. At a time when pseudoscientific racism was widespread in Brazilian scientific circles, Querino put forward alternative, positive views based on his personal experience and respectful interviews with elderly Africans who had survived the transatlantic crossing and enslavement. Orphaned at the age of four by a cholera epidemic, he was entrusted to a white guardian who taught him to read and write and had him apprenticed to become a painter-decorator. After being drafted into the armed forces to fight in the Paraguayan War (1864–1870), Querino was appointed as a clerk to the battalion and was later demobilized. Following his return to Salvador in 1871, he became an abolitionist, journalist, labour leader, politician, folklorist, ethnologist, food scholar and art historian – among other activities. During his lifetime and until the 1930s, he was considered one of the pioneers of ethnology in Brazil. However, in the following decades, numerous attempts were made to disparage his scholarship and disqualify his scholarship as amateur. The fact that he was of African descent and often described as “self-taught” led to the assumption that he was illiterate, despite being the author of several books. But Querino’s visionary anthropology has also been the subject of numerous reappraisals in Brazil and internationally. Now, he is once again being recognized for his ground-breaking work as a Black vindicationist, anthropologist, art historian and food scholar. This article is part of a decades-long effort to restore Querino to his rightful place in the pantheon of Brazilian anthropologists.

Éric de Dampierre at the Heart of French Ethnology, by Margaret Buckner

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the trajectory and legacy of French ethnologist Éric de Dampierre.

Buckner, Margaret, 2023. “Éric de Dampierre: Social Scientist and Discreet Builder of French Ethnology”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Ethnologist and sociologist Éric de Dampierre (1928–1998) was one of the main driving forces behind French ethnology from the 1960s to the 1990s. After studying literature, law and political science, he spent two decisive years (1950–1952) at the University of Chicago as a member of the Committee on Social Thought. A former student of Dampierre, Margaret Buckner traces his scholarly activities and contributions by drawing on both published and unpublished material, as well as personal conversations. She vividly outlines the exceptional trajectory of Dampierre from early scholarship to a position of leadership in the Parisian academia at the University of Nanterre, while highlighting his meticulous, long-term fieldwork experience in Africa. After discovering the Nzakara-Zande country in 1954, Dampierre set up a “sociological mission” in the Haut-Oubangui territory of French Equatorial Africa (now the Central African Republic) and he returned there almost every year until 1987. Having mastered the language and its poetry, he had an unequaled understanding of the Zande-Nzakara peoples and their neighbors. In this article, Buckner intertwines the main themes of Dampierre’s researches and his strategic contributions to the affirmation of ethnology and the social sciences in France. Despite his mentorship of generations of students and junior colleagues, his many publishing projects, and his shrewd maneuvering in institutional circles, Dampierre’s role in the history of the discipline is often overlooked. Less known internationally than a Claude Lévi-Strauss or a Georges Balandier, this “discreet” key figure is now brought to the fore. Buckner’s in-depth study is also a personal portrait and a tribute to her former teacher.

Traveller-Scientist Wilhelm Joest and the Shaping of Völkerkunde, by Carl Deußen

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on German ethnographer and collector Wilhelm Joest.

Deußen, Carl, 2022. “An Obscure Forschungsreisender ? Wilhelm Joest and the Shaping of Ethnology in Late 19th Century Germany”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Cologne as the eldest son of a family of wealthy Protestant sugar merchants, German ethnographer and collector Wilhelm Joest (1852–1896) started his career with an extensive collecting journey through Asia (1879–1881). A disciple of Adolf Bastian (1826–1905), who supervised his doctoral thesis on the Gorontalo or Hulontalo language spoken in Indonesia by the Gorontalo people, Joest published his first scientific articles in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1892. These publications and his travelogues, together with his strategic donating of artefacts to various German ethnographic museums, quickly earned Joest a reputation. He went on two more expeditions, to Southern Africa (1883–1884) and to the Guianas (1890), published his main work Tätowiren, Narbenzeichnen und Körperbemalen (Tattooing, Ornamental Scars and Bodypainting) in 1887 and, finally, received his titular professorship in 1890. After his death, his collection fell to his sister Adele Rautenstrauch (1850–1903), an influential patron and benefactor who lobbied for the creation of an ethnographic museum in their hometown of Cologne. The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum opened in 1906. This path-breaking article on a forgotten figure in disciplinary history traces Joest’s introduction into Völkerkunde as an avid collector of ethnographic artefacts on a global scale, as well as his career as a scholar and travel writer. It highlights Joest’s ideal of the Forschungsreisender, or traveller-scientist, and how this methodology influenced his understanding of racialised Others within an imperial context. Joest excelled in travelogues geared towards larger audiences, which became his most influential writing. Carl Deußen argues that although Joest did not have a marked theoretical influence on the development of German ethnology, his contribution was still crucial to the emergence of the discipline in the late 19th century.

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