BEROSE (page 1 of 3)

New Release from BEROSE – Marino on Blumenbach

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English) on the “inventor” of the race concept, German anthropologist J. F. Blumenbach.

Marino, Mario, 2022. “At the Roots of Racial Classification: Theory and Iconography in the Work and Legacy of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) was undoubtedly the most influential German anthropologist of his time. Blumenbach’s name is linked to physical and racial anthropology, due, among other reasons, to his division of mankind into five principal racial groups, which is regarded as the first modern racial classification. In this lavishly illustrated article, Marino intertwines Blumenbach’s work and racial iconography, with a special focus on the establishment of the term “Caucasian” for the type including Europeans. The article discusses the development of Blumenbach’s anthropology and racial classification by exploring the connections he made between natural and cultural factors in explaining human variation. Through a close analysis of different editions of Blumenbach’s most influential works, Marino shows the theoretical shifts as well as the ambiguities behind Blumenbach’s classification. According to Marino, Blumenbach did not resolve some theoretical shortfalls of his doctrine, such as the inclusion of the category of beauty as a defining trait of the “Caucasian” race, but nineteenth-century racism cleared these contradictions by developing a unilateral, radically racist interpretation of Blumenbach’s anthropology. A doctor of medicine, professor at the University of Göttingen and curator of the university museum, Blumenbach carried out a long-term research program connecting teaching and scientific collections, including his famous private collection of more than 200 skulls, which by the end of his life was probably the largest worldwide, and is now conserved at the University of Göttingen. At the time, the Kingdom of Hanover was under the British Crown, which meant enjoying easier contact with the international scientific community, and above all direct and privileged access to the naturalist and ethnological materials coming from the British colonies and from James Cook’s travels. Blumenbach led an increasingly revered existence as a scholar at the center of a great network of international exchanges, but his place in the history of science remains controversial.

New Release from BEROSE –Roque on Portuguese Colonial Anthropology

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article about the origins of Portuguese colonial anthropology.

Roque, Ricardo, 2022. “Equivocal Connections: Fonseca Cardoso and the Origins of Portuguese Colonial Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The history of anthropology is strongly intertwined with colonial history. Yet, more still needs to be known about how anthropological texts were actually read and why and how they were used, or not, by colonial agents. How did anthropological texts become, or fail to become, connected to colonial projects, events, and materials across their histories of production and reception? This article addresses these issues by discussing the unstable trajectories of production and consumption of racial anthropometric texts, before, during, and after fieldwork. Roque focuses on the work and biography of Captain Artur da Fonseca Cardoso (1865-1912), an army officer and racial anthropologist who was posthumously celebrated as the ‘founding father’ of the Portuguese physical and racialist discipline of ‘colonial anthropology.’ The article critically reexamines this origin story by following the trajectory of production and consumption of the first published study of Portuguese racial anthropology in the colonies (the text ‘O Indígena de Satari’), between the 1890s and the 1930s. The analysis highlights the unsteady binding of anthropology and colonialism across time. Rather than a straightforward tale of the origins of colonial anthropology, the case of Fonseca Cardoso and ‘O Indígena de Satari’ shows anthropology’s attachment to colonialism can emerge as a chain of equivocal connections.

New Release from BEROSE – Grillot on the Cornell Project in Peru (1951-1966)

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about the Cornell Project in Peru (1951-1966).

Grillot, Thomas, 2022. “L’hacienda de Vicos, laboratoire d’anthropologie appliquée. Le Projet Cornell au Pérou (1951‑1966),” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Grillot notes that the ‘Cornell Project in Peru’ remains in the history of anthropology as one of the most controversial examples of the practical value of the discipline. Initially conceived as a place of experimentation that would allow for brilliant theorizations of cultural change, the hacienda of Vicos has above all secured its place as a location of memory for the profession. At the end of the 1940s, when the experiment began, anthropology was still widely perceived by the general public as a technique for the physical and cultural identification of ethnic and racial groups. At Vicos, it was thought of and presented differently, as a ‘technique of technique,’ a knowledge of supervision and transmission that rightfully belonged to the ‘social sciences.’ Even if it never allowed Allan Holmberg, the initiator of the experiment, to reach the holy grail of ‘transferability,’ the site reveals the transferability of the Vicos anthropologists themselves, whether they are ‘local’ or ‘foreign.’ Taking them from site to site, from South American field to U.S. field, from discipline to discipline, and moving them from the position of researchers to that of community organizers or trainers, their itineraries invite us to question the image of a transmission of knowledge that would start from a (U.S.) transmitting center and be ‘received’ elsewhere. On the contrary, the golden age of applied anthropology appears to be a time when anthropologists learn to define their specificity through the project, at the intersection of tangled ‘scenes’: the academic world, the development circle, local societies and survey sites.

New Release from BEROSE – Le Menestrel on Halifax

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English about the U.S. anthropologist and Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax.

Le Menestrel, Sara, 2022. “Intersecting Cultural Anthropology, Religious Authority and Medicine: A Portrait of Joan Halifax,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

While Joan Halifax (1942-) is known as a major figure in Buddhism and a Zen roshi expert on end-of-life care and spirituality, her career as an anthropologist working alongside prominent academic figures of the discipline is less well-known. Her academic career began in the 1960s at Columbia University with Alan Lomax. Her stay at the Musée de l’Homme and her meeting with Roger Bastide and Jean Rouch sparked her interest in mental health and dying. She is one of the key figures in the popularization and institutionalization of shamanism in the West. The process of building her respectability as a religious expert is the result of multiple circulations – geographical (between the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia), disciplinary (between ethnomusicology, medical anthropology, shamanism, transpersonal psychology, palliative care, and Buddhism) and statutory, navigating between the academic institution and its margins. According to Le Menestrel in her challenging article, Joan Halifax’s itinerary epitomizes the intertwining of spiritual and academic authority, leading to the respectability of religious experts in the public sphere.

New Release from BEROSE – Petschelies on Steinen

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (published both in English and in Portuguese) about the German ethnographer and ethnologist Karl von den Steinen.

Petschelies, Erik, 2021. “The Doyen of South American Ethnography: Life and Work of Karl von den Steinen,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Petschelies, Erik, 2021. “O Decano da etnografia sul‑americana: vida e obra de Karl von den Steinen,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

In 1924, the first post-war conference of Americanists was held in Gothenburg (Sweden) through the concerted efforts of Franz Boas and a small circle of Americanist scholars from different European countries. The presence of German ethnologist Karl von den Steinen (1855-1929), who had undertaken the first two ethnological expeditions to the Xingu River basin in Central Brazil in 1884 and in 1877-88, thus inaugurating Amerindian ethnography of the South American lowlands, was considered mandatory. But he refused to participate, arguing that it would not be possible to ignore the imposed peace by the winners of the war. Eventually, von den Steinen was convinced to participate by his colleagues, who appealed to the international nature of ethnology and to the fundamental contribution that he could offer to its reconstruction. The encounter between von den Steinen and French Americanist Paul Rivet represented the unity of scientists overcoming differences of nationality and the conflicts in which their countries were involved.

What is less known is that von den Steinen’s private life was falling apart. He was depressed, his wife was gravely ill, and his family’s financial resources were practically non-existent. In this biographical essay based on archival sources held in institutions in Germany, Sweden, and the United States, with a focus on both personal and scientific correspondence, Petschelies aims to describe how anthropology entangled with the personal life of this legendary figure in the history of anthropology by addressing the network of social relations he created and by which he was carved. Von den Steinen, professor at the universities of Marburg and Berlin, chief and director of the Americanist section of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and president of the Anthropological Society of Berlin, was also a loving husband and father of eight children, a good friend, and a complex human being. 

New Release from BEROSE – Coppola on Toschi

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology:  two articles (both in Italian and French) on the Italian folklorist Paolo Toschi.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2021. “Paolo Toschi et le folklore italien : vies parallèles” [Transl.: “Paolo Toschi and Italian Folklore: Parallel Lives”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2021. “Paolo Toschi, entre Benedetto Croce et Benito Mussolini. Une histoire du folklore italien pendant le fascisme” [Transl.: “Paolo Toschi between Benedetto Croce and Benito Mussolini. A History of Italian folklore during Fascism”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Despite being a little-known figure internationally, Paolo Toschi (1896-1974) occupies a prominent place in the history of Italian anthropology, particularly in the field of folklore. Coppola devotes two complementary articles to him. The first outlines Toschi’s life and work, particularly his studies on folk poetry and theatre in Italy and Europe. Toschi’s contribution to the institutional, namely academic recognition of folklore as an academic discipline – which he termed “history of folk traditions” – was fundamental. He also contributed to the foundation of the Museo Nazionale di Tradizioni Popolari in Rome. At the end of the 1940s, he took over the direction of the journal Lares, a position he occupied until his death. Based on a thorough archival survey, the second article focuses on a dark period in the history of the discipline in Italy, when Fascism took folklore studies by storm. In search of institutional support for the development of this field of research, Toschi attempted a rapprochement with political visions as opposed as those of liberal philosopher Benedetto Croce or of Benito Mussolini himself. Toschi and the Duce shared common Romagna origins. In short, the Italian folklorist frequented intellectual and literary circles that rallied to Fascism. Toschi’s biography allows us to understand the institutionalization of folklore in Italy and its complex connections to nation-building before, during, and after Fascism.

New Release from BEROSE – Gray and Winter on Firth

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Raymond Firth in Australia and New Zealand.

Gray, Geoffrey and Christine Winter, 2021. “Raymond Firth in the Antipodes: A ‘Capacity for Organising and Administration as well as First-Rate Anthropology’,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

New Zealand-born Raymond Firth, anthropologist and successor to Malinowski at the London School of Economics, has been described as an “organisation man, both in his theory and in his administrative activities…In administration he was a consistent and fair-minded advocate for anthropology at home and abroad.’ It is this aspect – a consistent and fair-minded advocate for anthropology – that this article examines. It is a persona that is clearly seen after World War II. There were hints before then, such as his role in putting the needs of the institution ahead of personal friendship in enabling Adolphus Peter Elkin to succeed him as professor at the University of Sydney in 1932. After World War II Firth was consulted on all senior academic appointments between 1946 and 1965 during this crucial foundation and consolidation time for academic anthropology in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. An unexpected consequence was that through these appointments, he introduced new ways of thinking about the discipline that contrasted with what existed in Australia before the war, which is particularly evident in the appointments of Siegfried Frederick Nadel and John Arundel Barnes. Grown and nurtured in the Antipodes, Gray and Winter argue, Firth’s Southern sensibilities remained throughout his career, and allowed him in turn to bring fresh approaches to anthropology in the Antipodes. 

New Release from BEROSE – Adler on Anthropologists and the Bible

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about three anthropologists (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Edmund Leach, Mary Douglas) and the anthropology of the Bible.

Adler, Alfred, 2021. “L’anthropologie structurale et l’interprétation de textes bibliques” [Transl. “Structural Anthropology and the Interpretation of Biblical Texts”], in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The structural analysis of myths as theorized and practiced by Lévi-Strauss has proved its worth, as is shown by the imposing sum constituted by his Mythologiques. It was the philosopher Paul Ricoeur who pointed out the limits of this method by asking why it should only be applied to the myths of non-literate societies and why it is inappropriate for texts such as the Bible. Two eminent British anthropologists, Edmund Leach and Mary Douglas, and indeed Lévi-Strauss himself, overrode this ‘taboo’ as if to challenge not the limits of structural analysis itself, but the status of the Bible as ‘holy scripture,’ which is nonetheless amenable to a strictly scientific approach.

Leach in his essay “The Legitimacy of Solomon” sought to shed light on what he called the ideology of kingship in ancient Israel by analyzing the contradictions between settlement in a promised land populated by idolatrous tribes and the religious ideal of purity involving endogamy. As a result, his object is not myth per se but a hybrid material, “myth-history,” which cannot be the subject of a structural analysis. Mary Douglas, in Purity and Danger, dealt with the theme of the “abominations of Leviticus,” which were part of the priestly code. In this erudite article, Adler considers that this is undoubtedly a well-conducted structural analysis, but that it stumbles over the notion of holiness, a divine attribute that does not fit into the framework of oppositions between pure and impure or sacred and profane, familiar in religious anthropology. Finally, Lévi-Strauss, in the brief article “Exodus on Exodus,” a challenge and also a playful exercise, made a piquant but hazardous comparison between circumcision, the initiation ritual among the ancient Hebrews, and the removal of the penile sheath in initiation among the Bororo of Brazil. Lévi-Strauss shed little light on the three very mysterious biblical verses that recount the circumcision of Moses, who was first threatened with death by a demon god who descended upon him in the desert, only to let him accomplish his mission with the Pharaoh: to bring the people of Israel out of slavery. Why are these three essays disappointing, why do they add little to the discipline of Biblical criticism? This is what French Africanist anthropologist Alfred Adler attempts to answer in a thorough and sophisticated analysis.

New Release from BEROSE – Harries-Jones on Bateson

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an in-depth analysis of Gregory Bateson’s theoretical body of work by Peter Harries-Jones.

Harries-Jones, Peter, 2021. “‘From Anthropology to Epistemology’: Extensions to an Autobiography of Gregory Bateson,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Great Britain and trained at Cambridge (in particular by A. C. Haddon), Gregory Bateson (1904–1980) was an anthropologist who crossed disciplinary boundaries and profoundly altered the epistemology of the human sciences. Peter Harries-Jones gives an in-depth analysis of his theoretical body of work. His first fieldwork took place between 1927 and 1930 in New Guinea among the Baining, the Sulka, and then the Iatmul. His analysis of one of their rituals inspired him to coin the concept of schismogenesis, which he used in his famous book Naven: A Survey of the Problems Suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe Drawn from Three Points of View (1936). He spent two years in Bali (1936-1938) with Margaret Mead, whom he married in 1936, focusing on the education of children. They made a documentary film, Dance and Trance in Bali (1942), which marked a milestone in the history of ethnographic films. During WWII, he worked for the OSS in Southeast Asia. As one of the first participants in the Macy Lectures in the 1940s, along with Margaret Mead, he understood the importance of cybernetic theory and the centrality of information in cultural and biological processes. When working as an ethnologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, he founded the Palo Alto School, which developed an innovative approach to schizophrenia by forging the double-bind theory in 1956, making him one of the pioneers of family therapy. He developed an ambitious anthropology of communication linked to a theory of learning and social interactions and to a systems theory that embraced his holistic vision of the relationship between culture, evolution, and the environment. In his book Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), he expressed his deep and aesthetic commitment to an ecological anthropology that rejects the dualism of nature/culture and body/spirit. He is one of the founders of biosemiotics.

After reading this piece, the reader grasps how much Bateson’s anthropology is still deeply relevant to our changing world, a world challenged by environmental upheavals and new scientific discoveries in cultural, biological and cognitive processes.

New Release from BEROSE – Fardon & Kuba on Arriens & Frobenius’s The Voice of Africa

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English about the intertwined works of the artist Carl Arriens and Africanist anthropologist Leo Frobenius in the latter’s famous book, Und Afrika Sprach (The Voice of Africa).

Fardon, Richard & Richard Kuba, 2021. “Adding Colour to Und Afrika Sprach: Carl Arriens’ Image and Leo Frobenius’ Text” (Colourization by Agnès Boulmer), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The prolific artist Carl Arriens, one of three European members of Leo Frobenius’s fourth Africa expedition to Nigeria and Kamerun in 1910–12, provided many of the striking images that accompany the text of Frobenius’s monumental account of their research, quickly published in the three volumes of Und Afrika Sprach (The Voice of Africa) in 1912–13. In this illustrated essay Fardon and Kuba draw upon a range of evidence, including archives and ethnography as well as the published narrative, to question the relationship between what the members of the expedition did and saw, and how their experience went on to be represented to a readership in words and images. Their analysis was provoked by Arriens’s vivid depiction of a scene that, at once, could never have occurred and yet is congruent both with the text and with other images. Using this as an exemplary instance, their analysis radiates out to examine a range of images in different mediums that reflect concerns and presumptions shared by the narrative. Arriens’s exemplary image, they conclude, was produced by a technique of totalizing combinatorial collage, which is also, the two authors argue, the method behind Frobenius’s evocations of The Voice of Africa.

New Release from BEROSE – Bondi on Steinthal

HAR is please to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about the German anthropologist, philologist and philosopher Heymann Steinthal.

Bondi, Davide, 2021. “La Psychologie des peuples, entre histoire, langue et culture : la pensée et l’œuvre de Heymann Steinthal” [Transl.: “Völkerpsychologie, between History, Language and Culture: The Thought and Work of Heymann Steinthal”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Heymann Steinthal, together with his brother-in-law and friend Moritz Lazarus, was the founder of the journal Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft, one of the most influential forums of European philosophical discussion in the second half of the nineteenth century. The theoretical project of the journal was linked to the legacy of Hegel and Herbart, taking from the former the idea that the mind is a “subject” and from the latter the proposal of “psychology” as a fundamental science of the mind. The “psychology of peoples” could then become a field of elaboration and coordination of the concepts inherent in the multiple sciences that study cultural phenomena. This is because these phenomena are the result and symbolic expression of the psychic processes of historical or living societies. In his writings, Steinthal turned in particular to the problems of language from the description of the grammatical structures of different African, Asian and European languages. From the descriptive to the reflexive level, he developed a theory of the evolution of speech communities which emphasised the plurality of spiritual centres that could be systematically reconstructed by means of a ‘morphological classification’ which is attentive to differences. In this ambitious article unfolding Steinthal’s thinking, Bondi points out that the episteme thus developed served as a stimulus for the development of sociology and ethnology in the twentieth century.

New Release from BEROSE – Espagne on Theodor Waitz

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in French) on the German anthropologist and philosopher Theodor Waitz.

Espagne, Michel, 2021. “Une anthropologie sans races” : vie et œuvre de Theodor Waitz” [Transl.: “An Anthropology Without Races: Life and Work of Theodor Waitz”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article gives a theoretical overview of Theodor Waitz (1821-1864), a German philosopher who became a key figure in the anthropological and ethnological sciences in the nineteenth century. Initially interested in individual psychology as an integral part of the natural sciences, he eventually placed the social context in its ethnic diversity at the centre of his attention. His major work, Anthropologie der Naturvölker, consisting of six volumes published between 1859 and 1864, systematised a vast ethnographic and philological literature and proposed a psychology of peoples that was more empirical than speculative. In this challenging article, Espagne reveals that Waitz was attentive to the symbolic perception of reality in different human societies; that he did not ignore physiological data, but radically questioned the notion of race. At the crossroads of several disciplines, his anthropology had international repercussions and remains an essential reference point in the history of the discipline. His body of work is one of the sources of the notion of Geisteswissenschaften as coined by Dilthey.

New Release from BEROSE – Ortiz on Spanish Anthropology

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Spanish) on the transformations of a journal of paramount importance in the history of Spanish anthropology. 

Ortiz García, Carmen, 2021. “Metamorfosis antropológica (y política) de un proyecto editorial español: Una historia de la Revista de Dialectologia y Tradiciones Populares” [Transl.: “Anthropological (and Political) Metamorphosis of a Spanish Journal: A History of the Revista de Dialectologia y Tradiciones Populares“], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The Revista de Dialectología y Tradiciones Populares (1944-) was created during the early years of the Franco regime, within the central body that controlled scientific research in Spain. The journal was intended as an organ for the dissemination of studies on traditional culture and folklore. Its publication has continued without interruption, going through different historical periods – from the dictatorship to the democratic transition. In 2018 the journal underwent its most radical change, with a re-foundation and the change of its former title to Disparidades. Revista de Antropología. In this ambitious article, Ortiz highlights the fact that the journal can be considered as a representative product of the successive periods through which anthropological research has passed in Spain. There have been discontinuities, but also tenuous lines of continuity within the institutional maintenance of a discipline which cannot be seen as separate from the ideological and political circumstances which have marked the history of Spain from the Republican era, the Civil War, the Franco dictatorship, and democracy.

New Release from BEROSE – Laurière on Americanism

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles (in French) on two major Americanist institutions in anthropology.

Laurière, Christine, 2021. “La construction d’une discipline. Histoire des congrès internationaux des américanistes (1875-1947)” [Transl.: “The construction of a discipline. History of the international congresses of Americanists (1875-1947)”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Laurière, Christine, 2021. “La Société des Américanistes de Paris (1895-) : ombres et lumières de l’américanisme français” [Transl.: “The Paris Society of Americanists (1895-): Shadows and Lights of French Americanism”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Organized for the first time in 1876 in Nancy, France, the International Congresses of Americanists have been a highlight for researchers studying the American continent. The congress crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1895 for a session in Mexico. Since then, it has been held alternately in Europe and America – first organized on a biennial basis and then, from 1976, every three years. For many decades, the congresses were dominated by the anthropological sciences, and dedicated exclusively to the continent’s first inhabitants, the Amerindians. The historical and scholarly specificities of the host nation were salient on each occasion, combined with international scientific considerations that made the congresses an unparalleled record of research trends. The faith in scientific internationalism and neutralism was jeopardized after WWI, when a group of scholars wanted to prevent German-speaking Americanists from participating. But Franz Boas, Paul Rivet, and Erland Nordenskiöld worked hand-in-hand to thwart such an attempt. Against all odds, the 1924 congress in Gothenburg reunited the Americanist community and restored the cardinal value of internationalism, reinforcing the importance and legitimacy of the congress.

On Erland Nordenskiöld’s initiative, a strong symbolic gesture was created with a photograph of the French Paul Rivet shaking hands with the German Karl von den Steinen – a close friend of Franz Boas – on the front page of a Gothenburg daily newspaper. In her unexpected article, Laurière concludes that neither WWI nor WWII broke the Americanist momentum. Since the 1980s, the definition of Americanism has broadened considerably to include sociology, history, educational sciences, political science, and applied anthropology. There has been a profound transformation of Americanist practice, with an unprecedented expansion of universities and research in South America, enhancing the dialogue between scholars from the center and the periphery who cooperate in international projects. The second article by Laurière further explores the European (particularly French) side of the coin, by unravelling the history of the Société des Américanistes de Paris, founded in 1895 by Ernest-Théodore Hamy. This learned society has published the Journal de la Société des Américanistes since 1896, bringing together researchers in various anthropological sciences: ethnologists and anthropologists, linguists and philologists, archaeologists and prehistorians. After Hamy’s death in 1908, Paul Rivet played an essential role in the development and international influence of the Société and its journal for half a century. It was the first learned society in the world to claim to be Americanist, but Laurière reveals its worldwide connections.

New Release from BEROSE – Grillot on the Native American Church and Anthropology

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in French) on the intersections between the history of the Native American Church and the history of anthropology from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Grillot, Thomas, 2021.  “La Native American Church, l’anthropologie états-unienne et le peyote” [Transl. “The Native American Church, Anthropology in the United States and Peyote”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The Native American Church (NAC) is an example of a co-creation involving anthropologists and the peoples they study. Incorporating in its rituals the consumption of a hallucinogen of Mexican origin, peyote, the NAC offers a privileged point of view on a little-known aspect of anthropological work: the contribution of some of the representatives of the discipline to the crossing or reinforcement of borders. This issue is addressed through an analysis of expert testimony, defending peyote consumption as a religious right of Native American tribal communities. James Mooney (1861-1921) played a founding role in the development of this professional tradition of testimony that contributes as much to legitimizing a practice as to setting its standards. A second generation took over in the 1930s. After the Second World War, it played the role of gatekeeper, when consumption extended beyond the members of the NAC and a small circle of American and European elites.

The great popularity of Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998)’s writings marks a turning point in this respect. While they shed light on the existence of other practices of peyote consumption across the U.S.-Mexico border, the controversy that soon surrounded them also tainted this openness with a suspicion of fraud. The consumption of peyote was largely enshrined in the various laws protecting the freedom of worship of Native American populations in the United States between the 1970s and 1990s, but strictly reserved for the NAC. It is then as a distinct and essentially American tradition that the rituals of this church come to irrigate a trans-American Amerindian spirituality in selected sites in Mexico. This surprising article by Grillot traces the history of the NAC and its crossings with the history of anthropology.

New Release from BEROSE – Villar on Lips

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French on Julius Lips, the German anthropologist exiled to the U.S. after fleeing Nazi Germany with his wife Eva.

Villar, Diego, 2021. “Julius Lips, précurseur de l’anthropologie inversée” [Transl. “Julius Lips, Forerunner of Reverse Anthropology”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Julius Lips (1895-1950) was a German ethnologist trained under the diffusionist school who studied material culture and non-Western art from a comparative perspective. Professor at the University of Cologne (1929-1933) and director of the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum (1928-1933), he organized controversial exhibitions together with his wife Eva Wiegandt (1906-1988), such as Masken der Menschen (The Masks of Men) in which African ritual masks rubbed shoulders with expressionist paintings, Melanesian skulls, and the death masks of Beethoven and Napoleon. Accused of subversive relativism, he left Germany one year after Hitler’s rise to power and went into exile in the United States. He was supported by Franz Boas at Columbia University (1934-1936) and was a visiting professor at Howard University (1937-1939).

In North America, Lips consolidated his professional career, carried out ethnographic fieldwork among Algonquian-speaking communities, and published – in 1937 – his most important anthropological contribution: The Savage Hits Back, or the White Man through Native Eyes, with a preface by none other than Bronislaw Malinowski. Villar’s article reviews the trajectory of Lips before and after WWII and pays special attention to the collection of ethnographic objects and pictures gathered by Lips in The Savage Hits Back to document the ways in which “savage art” represented the “White man.” While unveiling the ambiguities of his work, Villar considers that Lips anticipates “reverse anthropology,” namely the Indigenous capacity to objectify foreign observers. In 1948, Lips returned to Germany (GDR) where he wanted to promote an ethnology compatible with socialism. He directed the Institute of Ethnology, founded the Institute of Comparative Legal Sociology, and became rector of Leipzig University in 1949. He died in 1950, but Eva Lips continued his work and defended his/their anthropological legacy to the end.

New Release from BEROSE – Kan on Goldenweiser

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English on the career of Alexander Goldenweiser. 

Kan, Sergei, 2021. “An Unorthodox Boasian: Life and Work of Alexander Goldenweiser,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

In the annals of the history of anthropology, Alexander Goldenweiser (1880-1940) usually occupies a less prominent place than his fellow Boasians. His academic career suffered from his own difficult personality and erratic behavior, and for this reason, plus the fact that quite a few of his writings appeared in non-anthropological journals, he receives little attention. In this important article, Kan sustains that a careful reading of the entire corpus of Goldenweiser’s work reveals the brilliant mind of a highly erudite scholar. Usually identified as the author of a seminal work on totemism, which offered a thorough criticism of this concept as developed by late nineteenth-century evolutionist anthropologists, Goldenweiser also introduced such important notions as “the limited possibility in the development of culture” and “cultural involution.” Moreover, along with Edward Sapir and Paul Radin, he insisted on the key role of the individual in culture and promoted a rapprochement between anthropology and psychology. Finally, he was also a strong advocate of an interdisciplinary approach to the social sciences, combining anthropological with historical, psychological, and sociological interpretations of culture history. 

Alexander Alexandrovich Goldenweiser was born in Kiev (Ukraine, Russian Empire) into a Russian Jewish family. He studied under Franz Boas at Columbia University, where he taught until 1919. He did fieldwork among the Iroquois, but Kan reveals that he dedicated himself mostly to anthropological theory and had an important role as a progressive public intellectual. His work includes one of earliest textbooks in anthropology in the U.S., Early Civilization: An Introduction to Primitive Culture (1937), a popular book called Robots and Gods: An Essay on Craft and Mind (1931), as well as a collection of essays, History, Psychology and Culture (1933).

New Release from BEROSE – Seymour on Du Bois

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English on Cora Du Bois by her biographer, Susan Seymour.

Seymour, Susan C., 2021. “A 20th Century American Anthropologist and ‘First Woman’: The Life and Work of Cora Du Bois,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Cora Du Bois (1903-1991) was an American anthropologist whose life spanned much of the twentieth century and whose professional career reflects major developments in the history of that discipline. In addition, Du Bois was a twentieth-century “first woman,” one of the few women of her generation to succeed in having a career that included both university teaching and research but also government service. During World War II, Du Bois served as a high-ranking intelligence officer and then as a Southeast Asia specialist in the State Department in Washington, D.C. Her prominence as an anthropologist was established during the 1930s when she did groundbreaking research in culture and personality. In 1954, Du Bois was appointed the Zemurray-Stone Radcliffe professor of anthropology and social relations at Harvard University, the university’s first tenured woman in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In this seminal article by Du Bois’s biographer, Seymour concludes that Du Bois’s “intense intellect, curiosity, and formidable character had propelled her through a series of unprecedented accomplishments in both government service and academe,” as she moved from “salvage” anthropology to pioneering research in culture and personality, and then to a new form of research on a complex society through time, using an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach.

New Release from BEROSE – Sansone on Melville and Frances Herskovits in Brazil

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English on the Brazilian experience of Melville and Frances Herskovits.

Sansone, Livio, 2021. “‘No Sun Helmets!’ Melville & Frances Herskovits in Brazil,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Among the representatives of culturalism, Melville Herskovits (1895-1963) stands out for his pronounced inclination to African studies, bringing Africa and the Americas closer together around cultural issues, without neglecting the challenges of the historical framework of slavery. From the 1920s, he was active in several African-American and African research contexts. 

Between 1935 and 1943, the city of Salvador, Bahia in Brazil received different degrees of attention from a large number of foreign scholars and intellectuals, all of them impressed—if not seduced—by the “magic” of this city, largely the result of its Black popular culture. Among them were Frances Shapiro Herskovits (1897-1975) and her husband Melville Jean Herskovits. In this article, Sansone explores the manifold reasons for the lasting success of Melville and Frances’s fieldwork in Brazil, in spite of the fact that they never published the book they had planned. Their painstaking, detailed, and focused fieldwork in Brazil benefited from the experience, reputation, images, and recordings they had built up elsewhere in the Americas and Africa. The notion of African survivals or Africanism was in those days politically convenient and fitted with the priorities of the local modernist elites. Moreover, their presence and interest was convenient to the candomblé community, and the cult houses used the Herskovitses as leverage for local political support. Sansone concludes that Frances and Melville Herskovits were “the right people, with the right ideas, at the right time and place.” 

New Release from BEROSE – Pinho on Hasenbalg

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Portuguese on Argentinian/Brazilian anthropologist Carlos Hasenbalg. 

Pinho, Osmundo, 2021. “Sociologia crítica do racismo à brasileira: um retrato intelectual e político de Carlos Hasenbalg” [Transl.: “Critical Sociology of Racism in Brazil: an Intellectual and Political Portrait of Carlos Hasenbalg”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Buenos Aires, sociologist Carlos Hasenbalg (1942-2014) pursued his academic career abroad, following the Argentine military coup of 1966. From Chile, where he studied for two years, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he worked until his retirement. In the early 1970s, he did his doctoral studies in Berkeley in the United States, under the guidance of American sociologist Robert Blauner. His book Discriminação e Desigualdades Raciais no Brasil (Discrimination and Racial Inequalities in Brazil), from 1979, posits that the development of capitalism, the industrialization of the economy and the modernization of social relations do not guarantee an end to racism, its structural foundations, and its consequences. In this revealing article, Pinho argues that Carlos Hasenbalg’s place in the history of Brazilian anthropology, sociology, and social sciences in general is at the epicenter of a vast Brazilian and international debate marked by sociological discussions on race, class, and racial stratification. Hasenbalg’s work was a decisive influence on later studies of race relations.

New Release from BEROSE – Peatrik on Kenyatta

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: a fascinating article, in English, on Jomo Kenyatta, the famous Kenyan disciple of Malinowski. 

Peatrik, Anne–Marie, 2021. “Jomo Kenyatta’s Facing Mount Kenya and its Rival Ethnographies: The Kikuyu in the Mirror of Colonial Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born around 1895 in southern Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta (c. 1895-1978) or Kamau wa Ngengi (his name from his youth) was a Kenyan pan-African activist and politician. As a representative of an association defending the land interests of the Kikuyu dispossessed by the white settlers, he went to London in 1929, and remained in Europe until 1946, meeting more and more with the English-speaking and anti-colonial intelligentsia. A hero of Kenyan decolonization, he became the first president of the newly independent country from 1964 until his death in 1978. Jomo Kenyatta was also an anthropologist. In 1938, he published Facing Mount Kenya, The Traditional Life of the Gikuyu, a book based on a master’s degree in anthropology under the supervision of Bronislaw Malinowski. It was the first academic anthropological monograph to be written by an African about his people. In this challenging article, Peatrik unveils the tumultuous trajectory of Jomo Kenyatta’s monograph, which was ignored, disparaged, and celebrated in turn. Particularly from the 1930s until the period following the Second World War, other writers engaged in relations of anthropological rivalry with Kenyatta, clashing over the legitimate representation or anthropological truth of the Kikuyu. By unravelling the ways in which these competing versions affected the status of Facing Mount Kenya, Peatrik eventually reveals the hidden or forgotten story of a major work in the history of anthropology. 

New Release from BEROSE – Aranzadi, López and Sánchez on Spanish colonial ethnography in Africa

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles (in Spanish) on Spanish colonial ethnography in Africa.

Aranzadi, Juan, 2021. “Estereotipos étnicos de los indígenas en los primeros estudios coloniales sobre la Guinea española (1900-1936)” [Transl: “Ethnic stereotypes of indigenous people in early colonial studies of Spanish Guinea (1900-1936)”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

López Sanz, Hasan G. & Nicolás Sánchez Durá, 2021. “Imaginación colonial y formas de aproximación gráfica de las poblaciones negro africanas. El caso de la Guinea española (1880-1968)” [Transl: “Colonial imagination and graphic representations of Black African populations. The case of Spanish Guinea (1880-1968)”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Often overlooked in the historiography of anthropology, Spanish colonialism in Africa is the subject of these two interconnected articles. The Instituto de Estudios Africanos, founded in 1945 after Francisco Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), promoted ethnological studies on the populations of Spanish Guinea. Despite their “scientific” pretensions and uneven quality, they are imbued with the national-Catholic ideology of the Franco regime and inherit the ethnic stereotypes of Guinean indigenous peoples elaborated in early colonial publications (1900-1936). These earlier sources are analyzed in the first article, by Aranzadi, including missionary writings on the island of Fernando Po, where the Claretian Fathers of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary arrived in 1883. The second article, by López and Sánchez, is dedicated to some forms of popular iconographic representation of Black African populations, especially the little-known case of Spanish Guinea, now Equatorial Guinea. This lavishly illustrated article results from the exhibition “Let’s Bring Blacks Home! Colonial Imagination and Graphic Representations of Africans (1880-1968),” which was held in 2020 at the Cultural Center La Nau of the University of Valencia (Spain), illustrating different aspects of anthropological investigation through objects, photographs, popular periodicals, books, documentaries, and fragments of fictional films.

New Release from BEROSE – Oliveira on Ramos

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English) on Brazilian anthropologist Arthur Ramos, a leading figure of Afro-Brazilian studies during the first half of the twentieth century.

Oliveira, Amurabi, “Afro-Brazilian Studies From Psychoanalysis to Cultural Anthropology: An Intellectual Portrait of Arthur Ramos,” in BEROSE  International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Arthur Ramos (1903-1949) was one of the most prominent Brazilian anthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century, specializing in Afro-Brazilian populations. In his intellectual portrait of this paramount figure in the history of Brazilian anthropology, Oliveira retraces his path from racialized psychoanalysis to cultural anthropology. From 1935 on, Ramos had fruitful exchanges with Melville J. Herskovits and maintained his connections with U.S. anthropology in various ways – including his polemical critique of Ruth Landes’s “fantastic conclusions about a matriarchal cult and male ritual homosexuality among Black Brazilians.” Oliveira reveals that Ramos insisted on the importance of comparing Afro-American to African models to avoid “distorting” views. As Professor of anthropology and ethnography at the Universidade do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro beginning in 1939 and founder of the Brazilian Society of Anthropology and Ethnology in 1941, Ramos also had a relevant role in the institutionalization of anthropology in Brazil. He became the first head of the Department of Social Sciences at UNESCO in 1949, but he held this position for only a short time, as he died a few months after his arrival in Paris. Although his legacy for Brazilian anthropology and his influence over generations of Brazilian anthropologists are particularly significant, his place in disciplinary history is gaining wider international recognition within the world anthropologies paradigm.

New Release from BEROSE – Link on the Center for the Study of Man

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.

New Release from BEROSE – Coyault on Laman

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.

URL: https://www.berose.fr/article2268.html?lang=en

[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.

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