Regna Darnell

Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Founding Director of First Nations Studies at University of Western Ontario

Ira Jacknis, 1952-2021

Editor’s Note: With sadness, the History of Anthropology Review notes the death of Ira Jacknis, research anthropologist at the Hearst Museum at Berkeley. He was a valued contributor to this publication and a supportive member of our Advisory Board. Ira reflected on his own career and current projects as part of changing interests in the history of anthropology for HAR’s online relaunch in 2016; his essay, “Doing the History of Anthropology as the History of Visual Representation” is available here.

We are grateful to Ira’s longtime collaborator, Professor Regna Darnell, for the following reminiscence.

I have known Ira Jacknis since he was a graduate student. Our work intersected in multiple contexts and locations. Ira and I shared interdisciplinary interests in Native Americans, collaborative research, objects, museums as sites of interpretation and contemporary engagement, public education, audiences among multiple publics, and the history of anthropology. Ira’s integration of these topics appeared seamless because it grew out of personal experience rather than grand theoretical models in a vacuum. 

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Revitalization and Reminiscence: On the History of the History of Anthropology Newsletter

Since its inception in 1973, the History of Anthropology Newsletter has played a major role in establishing the history of anthropology as a legitimate sub-discipline of anthropology. Under the leadership of George W. Stocking, Jr., HAN attracted a subscription list of non-specialists, mostly anthropologists, who needed historical background for their major research; readers were often contributors, as well, adding occasional pieces notable for their careful attention to the minutiae of ethnographic context. Having been in on HAN from the beginning, the revitalization of the Newsletter seems a good opportunity to reminisce and speculate on the more interdisciplinary and theoretical future we might envision for the history of anthropology.

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Special Focus: History of the History of Anthropology Newsletter

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