Sarah Pickman (page 1 of 3)

Call for Papers: Journal of Anthropology Research

The Journal of Anthropology Research (JAR) is looking for papers on the history of different national traditions of anthropology as well as international connections and networks, concentrating on any of the subfields of anthropology. Of particular interest are papers that contextualize the history of anthropology within the history of the sciences and humanities more generally, and/or within political history including colonialism, decolonization, and nation building.

Submission details and more information about the journal can be found on its homepage.

Most recently, JAR ran a special issue on Decolonization and the History of American Anthropology featuring articles from HAR editor Nick Barron, Grant Arndt, and David Dinwoodie (as well as an introductory essay from Arndt).

New Publication: Benjamin Breen’s “Tripping on Utopia”

The HAR editors wish to bring readers’ attention to a new publication by Professor Benjamin Breen: Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science (Hachette/Grand Central). The book tells the history of social scientists’ fascination with psychedelic drugs and their possibilities during the middle of the twentieth century, and how that fascination and optimism soured over time. Breen focuses his narrative on Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, and the diverse circle of scholars, artists, and government agents that gathered around the pair. We anticipate that the book will be of interest to many HAR readers.

To learn more about Tripping on Utopia, we invite you to read David Lipset’s interview with Breen about the book, recently published in the Los Angeles Times. Congratulations, Dr. Breen!

History of the Human Sciences Early Career Prize

History of the Human Sciences – the international journal of peer-reviewed research, which provides a leading forum for work in the social sciences, humanities, human psychology and biology that reflexively examines its own historical origins and interdisciplinary influences – is delighted to announce details of its annual prize for early career scholars. The intention of the annual award is to recognize a researcher whose work best represents the journal’s aim to critically examine traditional assumptions and preoccupations about human beings, their societies and their histories in light of developments that cut across disciplinary boundaries. In the pursuit of these goals, History of the Human Sciences publishes traditional humanistic studies as well work in the social sciences, including the fields of sociology, psychology, political science, the history and philosophy of science, anthropology, classical studies, and literary theory. Scholars working in any of these fields are encouraged to apply.

Guidelines for the Award

Scholars who wish to be considered for the award are asked to submit an up-to-date two-page CV (including a statement that confirms eligibility for the award) and an essay that is a maximum of 12,000 words long (including notes and references). The essay should be unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere, based on original research, written in English, and follow History of the Human Science’s style guide. Scholars are advised to read the journal’s description of its aims and scope, as well as its submission guidelines.

Entries will be judged by a panel drawn from the journal’s editorial team and board. They will identify the essay that best fits the journal’s aims and scope.

Eligibility

Scholars of any nationality who have either not yet been awarded a PhD or are no more than five years from its award are welcome to apply. The judging panel will use the definition of “active years,” with time away from academia for parental leave, health problems, or other relevant reasons being disregarded in the calculation. They will also be sensitive to the disruption that the Covid 19 pandemic has had on career progression and will take such factors into account in their decision making. Candidates are encouraged to include details relating to any of these issues in their supporting documents.

Scholars who have submitted an essay for consideration in previous years are welcome to do so again. However, new manuscripts must not be substantially the same as any they have submitted in the past.  

Prize

The winning scholar will be awarded £250 and have their essay published in History of the Human Sciences (subject to the essay passing through the journal’s peer review process). The intention is to award the prize to a single entrant but the judging panel may choose to recognize more than one essay in the event of a particularly strong field.

Deadlines

Entries should be made by Friday, January 26, 2024. The panel aims to make a decision by Friday, May 10, 2024. The winning entry will be submitted for peer review automatically. The article, clearly identified as the winner of the History of the Human Sciences Early Career Prize, will then be published in the journal as soon as the production schedule allows. The winning scholar and article will also be promoted by History of the Human Sciences, including on its website, which hosts content separate from the journal.

Previous Winners

2022-23: Freddy Foks (Manchester), “Finding modernity in England’s past: social anthropology and the transformation of social history in Britain, 1959-1977”

2021-22: Harry Parker (Cambridge), “The regional survey movement and popular autoethnography in early 20th century Britain”. Special commendation: Ohad Reiss Sorokin (Princeton), “‘Intelligence’ before ‘Intelligence Tests’: Alfred Binet’s Experiments on his Daughters (1890-1903)”

2020-21: Liana Glew (Penn State), “Documenting insanity: Paperwork and patient narratives in psychiatric history”, and Simon Torracinta (Yale), “Maps of desire: Edward Tolman’s Drive Theory of Wants”. Special commendation: Erik Baker (Harvard), “The ultimate think tank: The rise of the Santa Fe Institute Libertarian”

2019-20: Danielle Carr (Columbia), “Ghastly Marionettes and the political metaphysics of cognitive liberalism: Anti-behaviourism, language, and The Origins of Totalitarianism”. Special commendation: Katie Joice (Birkbeck), “Mothering in the Frame: cinematic microanalysis and the pathogenic mother, 1945-67”

You can read more about these essays in interviews with the authors on the journal’s website.

To Apply

Entrants should e-mail an anonymized copy of their essay, along with an up-to-date CV, to hhs@histhum.com

Further Enquiries

If you have any questions about the prize, or anything relating to the journal, please email hhs@histhum.com.

“The Remnants of Race Science: UNESCO and Economic Development in the Global South” with Sebastián Gil-Riaño

The American Philosophical Society invites all who are interested to a Lunch at the Library series presentation from Sebastián Gil-Riaño, who will be discussing his new book, The Remnants of Race Science: UNESCO and Economic Development in the Global South (Columbia University Press, 2023).

After World War II, UNESCO launched an ambitious international campaign against race prejudice. Casting racism as a problem of ignorance, it sought to reduce prejudice by spreading the latest scientific knowledge about human diversity to instill “mutual understanding” between groups of people. This campaign has often been understood as a response led by British and U.S. scientists to the extreme ideas that informed Nazi Germany. Yet many of its key figures were social scientists either raised in or closely involved with South America and the South Pacific.

The Remnants of Race Science traces the influence of ideas from the Global South on UNESCO’s race campaign, illuminating its relationship to notions of modernization and economic development. Sebastián Gil-Riaño examines the campaign participants’ involvement in some of the most ambitious development projects of the postwar period. In challenging race prejudice, these experts drew on ideas about race that emphasized plasticity and mutability, in contrast to the fixed categories of scientific racism. Gil-Riaño argues that these same ideas legitimated projects of economic development and social integration aimed at bringing ostensibly “backward” indigenous and non-European peoples into the modern world. He also shows how these experts’ promotion of studies of race relations inadvertently spurred a deeper reckoning with the structural and imperial sources of racism as well as the aftermath of the transatlantic slave trade.

Shedding new light on the postwar refashioning of ideas about race, this book reveals how internationalist efforts to dismantle racism paved the way for postcolonial modernization projects.

This event will take place on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. ET in the Society’s Benjamin Franklin Hall and will also be livestreamed. This event is free to attend but registration is required. Please register to attend in-person and online. Lunch will be provided to those attending in person.


Sebastián Gil-Riaño is an Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Colombia and raised in Canada, he is a historian of science who studies transnational scientific conceptions of race, culture, and indigeneity in the twentieth century. His first book, The Remnants of Race Science: UNESCO and Economic Development in the Global South was published by Columbia University Press on August 29th, 2023.

CFP: Ninth Annual Conference on the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS)

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.

May 31-June 1, 2024

This two-day conference of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS), at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will bring together researchers working on the history of post-World War II social science. It will provide a forum for the latest research on the cross disciplinary history of the post-war social sciences, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, and sociology as well as related fields like area studies, communication studies, design, history, international relations, law, linguistics, and urban studies. The conference aims to build upon the recent emergence of work and conversation on cross-disciplinary themes in the postwar history of the social sciences.

Submissions are welcome in such areas including, but not restricted to:

  • The interchange of social science concepts and figures among the academy and wider intellectual and popular spheres
  • Comparative institutional histories of departments and programs
  • Border disputes and boundary work between disciplines as well as academic cultures
  • Themes and concepts developed in the history and sociology of natural and physical science, reconceptualized for the social science context
  • Professional and applied training programs and schools, and the quasi-disciplinary fields (like business administration) that typically housed them
  • The traffic of social science into science and technology programs
  • The role of social science in post-colonial state-building governance
  • Social science adaptations to the changing media landscape
  • The role and prominence of disciplinary memory in a comparative context
  • Engagements with matters of gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, disability and other markers of identity and difference

The two-day conference will be organized as a series of one-hour, single-paper sessions attended by all participants. Ample time will be set aside for intellectual exchange between presenters and attendees, as all participants are expected to read pre-circulated papers in advance.

Proposals should contain no more than 1000 words, indicating the originality of the paper. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 2, 2024. Final notification will be given in early March 2024 after proposals have been reviewed. Completed papers will be expected by May 1, 2024.

Please note that published or forthcoming papers are not eligible, owing to the workshop format.

The organizing committee consists of Jamie Cohen-Cole (George Washington University), Bregje van Eekelen (TU Delft & Erasmus University Rotterdam), Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay), Leah Gordon (Brandeis University), and Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College).

All proposals and requests for information should be sent to submissions@hisress.org.

History of Anthropology Panels at HSS, 2023

The annual meeting of the History of Science Society will be held in-person in Portland, Oregon from November 9-12, 2023.

The HAR News editors are please to share a selection of panels that may be of interest to our readers. Other panels and additional details can be found in the conference program.

Thursday, November 9

Authors Roundtable: Global Histories
Authors Roundtable Session
12:30 to 2:00 pm

Participants:
Empires of the Dead: Inca Mummies and the Peruvian Ancestors of American Anthropology,
Christopher Heaney, Penn State
The Remnants of Race Science: UNESCO and Economic Development in the Global South,
Sebastián Gil-Riaño, University of Pennsylvania
Surgery and Salvation: The Roots of Reproductive Injustice in Mexico, 1770-1940, Elizabeth O’Brien, Johns Hopkins University

Intimacy, Indigeneity and Science: Knowledge Production under Settler Colonialism
2:30 to 4:00 pm

Participants:
Indigenous Vibrations: Science, Time, and Affect in the Indianist Music Movement, Eli Nelson
Colonial Botany, Romantic Performativity, and “Go-Betweens” in Aotearoa New Zealand, Geoffrey Bil, University of Delaware
Intimacies of Past and Present: Scientific Ghosts in Indigenous Brazil, Rosanna Dent, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Bureaucratic Intimacy: Research Sovereignty in Alaska, Jennifer K. Brown
Session Organizer:
Ahmed Ragab, John Hopkins University
Chair:
Ahmed Ragab, John Hopkins University
Commentator:
Sonya Atalay, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Friday, November 10

Forum for the History of Human Science Distinguished Lecture and Business Meeting
9:00 to 10:30 am


Chair:
Jamie Cohen-Cole, George Washington University
Lecturer:
How are You? The History of Sentiment Analysis, Worker Surveillance, and Internment Camps,
Wendy Chun, Simon Fraser University

Exclusion, Adaptation, and Expansion: Defining Standards in Mathematics and its History
Sponsored by Forum for the History of Mathmatical Sciences
11:00 to 12:30 pm


Participants:
Indigenous Mathematics: Standards of Exclusion of Anthropological and Historical Research in the American Southwest (1880 – 1920), Alma S. McKown, Simon Fraser University
An “Acknowledged National Standard” for All?: Views on Pedagogical Standards in Black Educators’ Adaptations of Charles Davies’s Mathematics Textbooks, Amy Ackerberg-Hastings,
MAA Convergence
The Expansion of Mathematics Classroom Benchmarks, Standards, and Testing into US Education Policy, Emily Hamilton, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Session Organizer:
Emily Hamilton, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Chair:
Emily Hamilton, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Shifting Methodologies in Sexual Science: Sexology and the Human Sciences in South Asia
2:00 to 3:30 pm


Participants:
Studying Science and Signs of Sex in Early Modern North India, Sonia Wigh, Independent Scholar
Gender Appropriation Through Imagination in an Alternative Science of Sex, Anuj Kaushal, University of Texas-Austin
The Not So “Noble Savage”: Colonial Anthropology and the Construction of Pathology in Indian Sexual Science, Arnav of Bhattacharya, University of Pennsylvania
Sexology, Confession, and the Racial Life of the Case History in Colonial India, Rovel Sequeira, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Session Organizer:
Arnav of Bhattacharya, University of Pennsylvania
Chair:
Caleb Shelburne, Harvard University

Founder Effects and Disciplinary Memory in the History of Science and Linguistics
4:00 to 5:30 pm


Participants:
Sound and Text: The Study of Phoneme and the Formation of Language Studies, Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, Academica Sinica
Medium, Genre, and Geopolitics in George Sarton’s Disciplinary Projects, Alex Csiszar, Harvard University
Linguistic Historiography Remembered and Remade, Judith Kaplan, Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Session Organizer:
Judith Kaplan, Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Chair:
Kristine Palmieri, University of Chicago
Commentator:
Kristine Palmieri, University of Chicago

Saturday, November 11

Categorising Humanity: Paper Tools and the Nascent Human Sciences
9:00 to 10:30 am


Participants:
Seeing Data: The Visual Strategies of Joseph Priestley, Daniel Rosenberg, University of Oregon
Deracialising Health: ‘Africans’, ‘Europeans’ and William Fergusson’s Colonial Reports from Sierra Leone, Matthew Eddy, Durham University
Race, Tribe and Nation in Franz Boas’s Anthropometric Studies of Native Americans, Staffan Mueller-Wille, Cambridge University
Silent Architects: Negotiating Categories in the German Commission for the Study of Native Law, c. 1907/08, Anna Echterhölter, University of Vienna
Session Organizer:
Matthew Eddy, Durham University
Chair:
Matthew Eddy, Durham University

Eugenics and Racial Science
2:00 to 3:30 pm


Participants:
The Communal Creed: Eugenic Knowledge Production and the International Dissemination of Eugenics, Abigail Grace Cramer, Kent State University
Inherited Landscapes: Imagery and Eugenics in the Sierra Nevada, Margaret Maeve Spaulding, UCLA
The work of João Baptista de Lacerda (1846-1915): connections with evolutionary theories and scientific racism, Anderson Ricardo Carlos University of Sao Paulo; Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes, University of Sao Paulo
The Emergency: a Historian & an Anthropologist Investigate Modern Eugenics, Erik L. Peterson, The University of Alabama; Lesley Jo Weaver, The University of Oregon

Sunday, November 12

Human and Social Sciences at the Computer Interface
Sponsored by the Forum for the History of Human Science
9:00 to 10:30 am


Participants:
Determining Races with Computers: William Howells and Multivariate Analysis in Postwar Physical Anthropology, Iris Clever, University of Chicago
The Limits to Formalization: Logic, Embodiment, and Human Cognition at the University of Illinois in the 1960s-1970s, Ekaterina Babintseva, Purdue University
Thinking Red, White, and Blue: Machine Political Intelligence in the 1980s National Security State, Joy Rohde, University of Michigan
Operationalizing the Inner Life: On Facebook’s Contagion Experiment of 2012, Rebecca Lemov, Harvard University
Session Organizer:
Ekaterina Babintseva, Purdue University
Chair:
Stephanie Dick, Simon Fraser University

Bodies and the Law in the Colonial Iberian World
9:00 to 10:30 am


Participants:
The Latent Man: Fixing Sex to Anatomy and the Government of Reproductive Futurity, Patrícia Martins Marcos, UCLA
Medics, Enslaved Litigants, and the Construction of Disability in Late Colonial Lima, Peru, Adam Warren, University of Washington
Of Traveling Wombs, Mothers, and Freedom: Enslaved Motherhood in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Iberian World, Elizabeth O’Brien
Session Organizer:
Elizabeth O’Brien, Johns Hopkins University
Chair:
Elizabeth O’Brien, Johns Hopkins University

New Study Group on Philosophy of Anthropology

The organizers of the Australian Research Council-Discovery Project “Keeping Kinship in Mind,” directed by Prof. Rob Wilson, are excited announce a study group on philosophy of anthropology. This group will meet online and is open to all.

The study group will run fortnightly, starting on the 8th of November. All the readings will be sent to participants’ email, together with the Zoom/Teams link to the meeting. 

Meetings will be 1:30 hours long, starting at 1:00 pm, Perth time (7:00 am Central European Summer Time; 1:00 am Eastern Daylight Time). 

There will be four meetings before the end of December, which will be focused on the concept of kinship in anthropology. After a winter break, the group will explore the recent literature on the concept of animism, continuing the discussions started in the Project’s seminar with Dr. Jeff Kochan, a visiting research fellow of the “Keeping Kinship in Mind” Project for August 2023.  

Philosophy of anthropology is an exciting and unexplored area, and this study group offers a great introduction to some of its issues. The study group is open to all and will be particularly relevant to those in the humanities and social sciences, both undergraduates and postgraduates.  

Feel free to join all or selected meetings, according to your availability and interest. If you plan to attend, please let the organizers know by sending an email to Jorge Mendonca. More information can also be found on the “Keeping Kinship in Mind” website.

Reading list 

8th of November 

Introduction: Conceiving Kinship in the Twenty-First Century. Bamford, S. (2019). The Cambridge Handbook of Kinship (1st ed). Cambridge University Press. Pp. 1-18.

Schneider, D. M. (1984). A critique of the study of kinship. University of Michigan Press. Pp. 95-112.

22nd of November 

Shapiro, W. (2015). Not “From the Natives’ Point of View.”—Why the New Kinship Studies Need the Old Kinship Terminologies. Anthropos, 110(1), 1–14.  

Wilson, R. A. (2022). Kinmaking, progeneration, and ethnography. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 91, 77–85.  

6th of December 

Chapter 1, Introduction. Leaf, M. J., & Read, D. (2020). Introduction to the Science of Kinship. Rowman & Littlefield. Pp. 1-13.

Voorhees, B., Read, D., & Gabora, L. (2020). Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of CooperationCurrent Anthropology, 61(2), 194–218.  

(Only pages 194-204) 

20th of December 

One of the issues raised in the discussion of the new kinship studies is the over-inclusivity of the term “kinship” in its performativist version. In the fourth meeting, Levine (2008) extends our kinship horizons, discussing new forms of kinship present in our society. In this meeting, we will also look at a concept that risks being conflated with kinship and is often neglected in anthropology, namely, friendship.  

Readings: 

Levine, N. E. (2008). Alternative kinship, marriage, and reproductionAnnual Review of Anthropology, 37, 375-389. 

Beer, B., & Gardner, D. (2015). Friendship, Anthropology of. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (pp. 425–431).  

[Dates for the next meetings to be determined] 

First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies: Online Conference Program Announced

In the past few decades, interest in the histories of anthropology in Europe and worldwide has expanded steadily in terms of numbers of scholars, publications, and research activities, moving from the margins to the center of discussions about anthropological practice within the discipline. Today, contemporary anthropological theory and practice pose a challenge to historians of anthropology about their actual and prospective roles in studying, practicing and structuring the discipline.

Against this backdrop, the key stakeholders in the field of the histories of anthropology have decided to collaboratively organize a conference in order to discuss the methodological and theoretical, pedagogical, and ethical aspects of the histories of anthropologies as a step toward sustainable capacity-building for the global community of historians of anthropologies.

The First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies, “Doing Histories, Imagining Futures,” will be hosted online between December 4-7, 2023. As the first event of this kind, the conference will allow historians of anthropologies from around the world to meet with one another, share their personal and disciplinary experiences, and enhance their ability to address current debates in anthropology.

To view the full conference program, please visit the Conference’s website. Attendance is free and pre-registration is not required; links to access the Conference’s streaming sessions will be available through the website. Conference participants include a number of History of Anthropology Review editors and contributors, and HAR is an official stakeholder in the Conference’s organization. The Conference organizers look forward to seeing you online in December!

Watch Paul Wolff Mitchell’s Talk on the Politics of Human Remains

HAR News Editor Paul Wolff Mitchell (University of Amsterdam) recently presented a talk for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas entitled “The Politics of Disarticulation: Strategic Depersonalization, the traffic in human remains, and the afterlives of colonial science in museum collections.” The complete talk can now be viewed on YouTube.

Comparative anthropological human remains collections began in the second half of the eighteenth century in northwestern Europe. These collections arose when medical-anatomical expertise met questions about the nature and origins of racial difference posed by Europeans in colonial encounters. In this presentation, Mitchell focuses on how practices and presumptions filling dissection halls with the bodies of socially marginalized people in Europe, and later North America, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were extended into expanding colonial-imperial networks to amass the bones of racialized others for collection and study. Through attention to cases entangled in anthropology’s disciplinary formation, centered in present-day Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, Scotland, Australia, Liberia, and the United States, he will trace a “politics of disarticulation” – acts of strategic concealment and depersonalization by which anatomists intentionally detached identities and histories from human remains to enable collection of these remains in the face of resistance from the deceased’s kin and community. These cases suggest that much of what is unknown about the history of the bodies in historical anthropological human remains collections may be by design. Moreover, they show how colonial power relations structure what information anatomists recorded and published about the human remains they collected. Mitchell concludes with reflections on how the emergence and persistence of anthropological human remains collections has always crucially hinged on acts of strategic concealment and depersonalization, and how these histories complicate present ethical considerations concerning repatriation and the embodied afterlives of racial science.

University of Groningen Postdoc: History of Anthropology or Religious Studies

The University of Groningen seeks a highly motivated candidate for a postdoc position within a project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), for a period of 35 months.

The project is entitled “Culture Wars and Modern Worldviews: A Transnational Conceptual History” and is located in the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas. The core research team will consist of the P.I., Prof. Dr. Todd H. Weir, and two postdoctoral scholars, with one focusing on the history of anthropology and/or religious studies, and the second providing expertise in digital humanities.

The aim of this project is to develop a model of the formative power of culture wars in shaping modern thought, politics and religion by investigating the history of the concept of “worldview.” It is a transnational and multilingual project, that traces the history of worldview from its popularization in nineteenth-century Germany, to its invocation by Dutch and North American Christian thinkers, to its use by political ideologies such as National Socialism, to its contemporary usage in Latin America in the context of arguments about indigenous rights.

The postdoctoral scholar will contribute to research into the impact of worldview-thinking on theory production in academic disciplines concerned with religion and the secular. Following training in the project methodology, which combines conceptual history with digital humanities techniques, the postdoc will co-design and then carry out research into the role of worldview in the history of religious studies and anthropology from around 1900 to the recent calls for replacing religious studies with “worldview studies.” In particular, the postdoc will look at the role of international anthropological research in the translation of Weltanschauung into the Spanish cosmovisión and its application to indigenous cultures in Latin America. The project team is interested in the role of theories of worldview/cosmovisión in the “ontological turn” in contemporary anthropology and will explore its appropriation by public actors advocating for indigenous rights.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Semi-autonomous research in the history of anthropology and/or religious studies from ca. 1900 to the present, with the ability to engage in transnational investigations
  • Learning and utilization of digital humanities techniques of conceptual history
  • Presenting research results at conferences and workshops
  • Publishing academic articles
  • Participating in regular meetings with the other project team members
  • Participation in teaching activities related to the research
  • Assisting in communication tasks, such as co-managing project website, writing blog posts, participating actively in creation of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

Applications are due October 5, 2023. For more information, including salary and desired qualifications, please visit the full job posting page. Questions can be directed to Prof. Dr. Todd Weir.

“Histories of Latin American Anthropologies: Contemporary Experiments,” June 12-15, 2023, São Paulo & Campinas (Brazil)

The international conference “Histories of Latin American Anthropologies: Contemporary Experiments,” held at the Centro Universitário Maria Antonio (University of São Paulo) and the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (University of Campinas) between June 12 and 15, 2023, is dedicated to the history of ethnography and anthropology in several Latin American countries (19th–21st centuries) from a comparative and transatlantic perspective.

In order to compose a diverse and heterogeneous picture of anthropologies as practiced in the south of the continent and in the Caribbean, the conference explores the uses and meanings of the past within the anthropologies practiced today and projected for the future. Contemporary experiments around the histories of Latin American anthropologies can be of various types: experiments with (and against) history; theoretical and methodological experiments; institutional experiments (museographic and museological experiments); experiments with various types of knowledge (academic and non-academic); also with the natural sciences, arts and literature. In this sense, participants are encouraged to present case studies allowing wider reflections on the transits of knowledge and transatlantic flows; materials and materialities; inflections of gender, race and sexuality; new museographic knowledge and shared curatorships. The guiding idea of the conference is to radically play with the idea of experimentation, bringing new topics, new actors and their problematics to the fore as a reflection of risky and daring experiments. By listening to them and thinking with them, alternative tools and unexpected memories and histories of anthropology may emerge. The central goal of this meeting is thus to review – and play with – the diverse anthropologies developed in Latin America, and to consider their potential for a broader reflection on anthropological knowledge and its reconfigurations.


This conference is organized by Fernanda Arêas Peixoto (USP), Christiano Tambascia (Unicamp), Gustavo Rossi (Unicamp), Stefania Capone (CNRS, EHESS, Césor), Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima (PPGAS – Museu Nacional, UFRJ) within the HITAL International Research Network (IRN), made up of researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, France and Portugal, in collaboration with BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. The conference program is now accessible online.

FHHS Article Prize – June 1 Deadline

The Forum for History of Human Science awards a biennial prize (a nonmonetary honor) for the best article published recently on some aspect of the history of the human sciences. The article prize is awarded in odd-numbered years. The winner of the prize is announced at the annual History of Science Society meeting.

Entries are encouraged from authors in any discipline, as long as the work is related to the history of the human sciences, broadly construed, and is in English. To be eligible, the article must have been published within the three years previous to the year of the award. Preference will be given to authors who have not won the award previously.

The submission deadline will be June 1, 2023. Please submit your article (in PDF format) to eherman@uoregon.edu

2021 Prize: Carola Ossmer, “Normal Development: The Photographic Dome and the Children of the Yale Psycho-Clinic,” Isis, vol. 111, no. 3, 2020. 

New Documentary Film on the Life and Career of James C. Scott

HAR readers may be interested in the new film In A Field All His Own: The Life and Career of James C. Scott, a documentary that offers an unprecedented look at the lauded Yale political scientist and activist. Created and produced by UC Berkeley Oral History Center (OHC) historian Todd Holmes, the film draws from nearly thirty hours of oral history interviews with Scott and affiliated scholars at Yale and UC Berkeley to trace the intellectual journey of the award-winning social scientist from his childhood in New Jersey through each of the ground-breaking works he produced throughout his accomplished career. Overall, the film presents an intellectual biography of one of the world’s preeminent academics.

The documentary is currently available for viewing online on YouTube, and more information about the film can be found on the Berkeley Library’s website. In a Field All His Own developed out of the Yale Agrarian Studies Oral History Project, which Dr. Holmes conducted between 2018 and 2020.

Geographical Relativities: Online Conference on the Legacy of Boas in Geography

The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group presents an online conference, “Geographical Relativities,” on April 14, 2023.

This conference marks the publication of Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt’s recent work, Franz Boas: Shaping Anthropology and Fostering Social Justice (2022), the follow up installment to Franz Boas, The Emergence of the Anthropologist (2019).

Franz Boas (1858 – 1942) has been memorialized for his important role in fostering of cultural relativity, a key research methodology in social anthropology. Yet, as a boy, Boas was interested in geography. Later, at the time of his doctoral studies his interests swung from physics to anthropology, a move that was sealed during his 1883-84 fieldwork on Baffin Island. Boas also authored an early paper about geography (1887). However, with a few exceptions (Bravo 2009; Powell 2015) Boas has received less attention from geographers and historians of geography, and his fashioning of the geographies of geography has been little explored. Why was this so? In what ways does Boas’s own disciplinary shift inform the epistemological, disciplinary and institutional flux of the twin disciplines of fin-de-siècle anthropology and geography? With him we can examine the tensions between anthropogeography, geography and anthropology (and ethnology) in universities and other institutions such as savant societies and museums. We can also locate where he fits into the longer running entanglement of anthropogeography, cultural ecology in anthropology, and political ecology. 

This conference affords the chance to share reflections on the place or absence of Boas in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century geographical and historical geographical research. The evolutionism, historicism, cosmography and the productive dynamism of attempts to reconcile understandings of local conditions and universality seen in Boas’s works are similarly features in late nineteenth-century geographers, including anarchist geographers. It explores wider concepts, and practices, of relativity in geography and historical geography. In addition, it asks what the shift in Boas’s interests tells us about broader disciplinary and institutional transformations, and how these might inform the relationships between emergent geographical practices and practitioners and those in cultural ecology, and cultural, social and physical anthropology. It seeks to reflect upon the spatial aspects of his thought and his spatializing practices. The papers in this conference address Boas’s work on race and anthropometric measurements, his subsequent resonance across the transnational histories of geographical theory, as well as methods and practice around the turn of the 19th and 20th century in British and European thought and practice. They attend to the places and subsequent resonance of his ideas across the interdisciplinary fields of geography, anthropology and their shifting places within wider epistemic maps. Other papers bring to light broader historical geographies of relativist geographical, ‘cultural’ or other, frames of understanding. 

The conference is open to both faculty and postgraduate students and will take place online on Friday, April 14th, from 15h00 – 18h00 (GMT)

To attend, please email: Dr. Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University) or visit the conference Eventbrite page. More information can also be found on the RGS website or on the homepage for the RGS-IBG History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG).

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

15h00 –15h15: Emily Hayes – Welcome and Introduction

15h15-16h00 (GMT): Rosemary Zumwalt, Keynote: Franz Boas’s Cartographic and Ethnographic work on Baffin Island (1883 – 1884)

16h00-16h20 (GMT): Federico Ferretti, The relativity of cultures between geography and anthropology: Early anarchist geographers in humane and empathetic sciences, and Franz Boas 

16h20-16h40 (GMT): Peter R. Martin, Franz Boas and the Search for the ‘Origins of the Inuit’

16h40-17h00 (GMT): Emily Hayes, ‘[T]he relativity of all cultivation’ (Boas, December 23, 1883 in Cole, 1983, 33): a short comparative study of Boas and Mackinder

Upcoming Event: Sex and Gender in the Ethnographic Encounter in the Highlands of the American Colonial Philippines

The HAR editors are pleased to draw your attention to an upcoming event: this year’s Gatty Lecture, delivered by Juan Fernandez (Ph.D. candidate, Cornell University), on “Sex and Gender in the Ethnographic Encounter in the Highlands of the American Colonial Philippines.” The lecture will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 12:30pm EST.

This talk examines three foundational ideas in the history and anthropology of sex and gender in Southeast Asia in the context of the colonial Philippines: the “high” status of women; the image of the man of prowess; and the concept and practice of gender pluralism. Drawing from episodes of the ethnographic encounter between the earliest generation of American anthropological field-workers during the first decade of the twentieth century and their Indigenous interlocutors, the talk aims to rethink the assumptions behind the axioms of the study of gender and sexuality in the region, as well as tracing their roots in the history of anthropology.

Juan Fernandez is a historian of modern Southeast Asia. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his B.A. from the University of the Philippines at Baguio. He has two forthcoming publications: one is a contribution to an edited volume on Indigenous Studies in the Philippines, and the other is an article in the journal Philippine Studies, entitled “‘From Savages to Soldiers’: The Igorot Body, Militarized Masculinity, and the Logic of Transformation in Dean C. Worcester’s Philippine Photographs.” He will be joining the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Fall 2023 first as an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently as assistant professor of history in Fall 2024.

This Gatty Lecture will take place in-person at the Kahin Center at Cornell University, but guests are also welcome to join on Zoom. Online attendees must register in advance at this registration link.

More information can be found on the event page. For questions, contact seapgatty@cornell.edu.

CFP: Eighth Annual Conference on the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS)

CFP: Eighth Annual Conference on the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS)

Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University

June 9-10, 2023

This two-day conference of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS), at Uppsala University in Sweden, will bring together researchers working on the history of post-World War II social science. It will provide a forum for the latest research on the cross-disciplinary history of the post-war social sciences, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, and sociology as well as related fields like area studies, communication studies, history, international relations, law, and linguistics. The conference aims to build upon the recent emergence of work and conversation on cross-disciplinary themes in the postwar history of the social sciences.

Submissions are welcome in such areas including, but not restricted to:

  • The interchange of social science concepts and figures among the academy and wider intellectual and popular spheres
  • Comparative institutional histories of departments and programs
  • Border disputes and boundary work between disciplines as well as academic cultures
  • Themes and concepts developed in the history and sociology of natural and physical science, reconceptualized for the social science context
  • Professional and applied training programs and schools, and the quasi-disciplinary fields (like business administration) that typically housed them
  • The role of social science in post-colonial state-building governance
  • Social science adaptations to the changing media landscape
  • The role and prominence of disciplinary memory in a comparative context
  • Engagements with matters of gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality, disability and other markers of identity and difference

The two-day conference will be organized as a series of one-hour, single-paper sessions attended by all participants. Ample time will be set aside for intellectual exchange between presenters and attendees, as all participants are expected to read pre-circulated papers in advance.

Proposals should contain no more than 1000 words, indicating the originality of the paper. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 3, 2023. Final notification will be given in early March 2023 after proposals have been reviewed. Completed papers will be expected by May 5, 2023.

Please note that published or forthcoming papers are not eligible, owing to the workshop format.

The organizing committee consists of Jenny Andersson (Uppsala University), Jamie Cohen-Cole (George Washington University), Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay), Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College), and Per Wisselgren (Uppsala University).

All proposals and requests for information should be sent to submissions@hisress.org

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

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

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

Congratulations, Dr. Heaney!

Alice Kehoe awarded Choice Award for “Girl Archaeologist”

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

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

New journal announced: History of Social Science

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

History of Anthropology Events at HSS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Between Natural and Human Histories

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

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

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

Friday, November 17, 5:00 – 5:45 p.m.

HSS Listening Session

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

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

Forum for the History of Human Science Meeting and Distinguished Lecture

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

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

Roundtable: Digitizing and Decolonizing Collections: Challenges and Experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Medicalizing Colonial Subjects: Peoples, Poisons, and Pupils

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explorations, Expeditions, and Extractions

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

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

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

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

Gender and Eugenics in Applied Social Sciences

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

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

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

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

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

Paradigms of Scientific Knowledge in Colonial Contexts

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

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

Sarah Qidwai, University of Regensburg: Situated Scientific Knowledge

Online Event: Decolonization and Photography in Africa (June 10)

Work on post-war African photographies over the last several years has attempted definitively to leave behind blunt understandings of the medium and practice as only an instrument of colonial control. Instead, scholars have shown the active role that photography and its institutions played in reimagining political citizenship and possibility in the waning colonial and newly independent African states, even as the continent was subjected to the wider geopolitical machinations of the Cold War. In this online session, we shall consider some of the most recent work on photography in Africa, and reflect on methodological issues and prospects in its study.

Drew Thompson, Darren Newbury, and Jennifer Bajorek are featured speakers, followed by a discussion.

Drew Thompson (Bard Graduate Center) – “Decolonization in Africa and Photography

This story begins in Maputo and takes you to Cambridge (Massachusetts) via Johannesburg. I will start in April of 1974, when a coup toppled the Portuguese regime and initiated the end of colonial rule in Mozambique. Settlers left behind the photography business they started. To establish order the independent state nationalized the entire photography industry. Almost 8,000 miles away, Black American workers at the Polaroid Corporation’s U.S. headquarters protested the company’s business in South Africa. How then does the end of colonial rule in Mozambique connect to boycotts over Polaroid’s South African business? To answer this question, I highlight how the Polaroid worker protests conflicted with certain material realities and the protests unfolding in South(-ern) Africa. Decolonization in Southern Africa was anything but unified and straightforward, partially because of photography’s own disruptive nature.

Darren Newbury (University of Brighton) – “‘Don’t Touch Those Windows’: United States Information Service Exhibits in Africa

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the emergence of newly independent African nations on the world stage precipitated a contest for influence on the continent by the Cold War superpowers. One response of the US government was to mount a campaign of ‘photographic diplomacy’. This presentation considers the forms in which photographs were brought to audiences across Africa through United States Information Service (USIS) field posts. USIS offices provided the network of distribution points for photographs arriving from the US either as specific field requests or in regular packets, and many had windows facing onto the street that were used to curate a changing series of exhibitions and displays. The monthly reports, frequent memos and occasional photographs that record these activities enable a kind of historical ethnography of photographic practice. They provide insights into the work that the photographs were being asked to perform, how the task was understood by those on the ground and the impact of local circumstances.

 Jennifer Bajorek (Hampshire College/VIAD Research Centre, University of Johannesburg) – “What we thought we knew

We remain in a frenzy of activity thinking, rethinking, and reframing the nexus of photography and decolonization, perhaps particularly, but not exclusively, in Africa. How have the hypotheses and presuppositions that may once have sparked our research/art practice on this question been transformed by more recent work? What are the consequences of these transformations for how we understand both photography and decolonization? I am particularly interested in the persistent tensions between documentary or evidentiary and imaginative or poetic functions of the photographic image, or those between the grain of the voice (in oral history or testimony) and the grain of the image. I will touch on my own and others’ research and/or art practice.

Hosted by Birkbeck’s History and Theory of Photography Research Centre

Decolonization and Photography in Africa: Drew Thompson, Darren Newbury, and Jennifer Bajorek 
Friday, 10 June, 16:00 – 18:00 (BST) | 17:00-19:00 (CET)
Online, via Microsoft Teams

Please register in advance through the registration website.

Zoom Event with Ricardo Roque: “Scientific Occupation” and the Timor Anthropological Mission in the Late Portuguese Colonial Empire

An online lecture with Ricardo Roque (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon): “Scientific Occupation” and the Timor Anthropological Mission in the late Portuguese Colonial Empire

Presented by Pacific Circle

Please register using the Zoom registration site
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – 7:00 pm Honolulu time/1:00 am New York time/6:00 am Lisbon time

Abstract: Between the 1930s and 1974, several anthropological expeditions were organized by the Portuguese imperial state to the then Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and finally East Timor – Portugal’s small remnant colony in the Asia-Pacific region. These state-sponsored expeditions aimed at collecting field data for the purposes of “colonial anthropology,” an eclectic form of racial science, also known as “anthropobiology.” They were also a political means to realize so-called “scientific occupation,” a prominent concept in Portuguese late imperial policy. This talk considers the history of the field studies and data produced by the latest of these expeditions – the ‘Timor Anthropological Mission,’ launched in 1953-54 – and reflects on its enduring legacies.

Ricardo Roque is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon and an Honorary Associate in the Department of History, University of Sydney. Dr. Roque’s research focuses on the history and ethnography of the human sciences, colonialism, race, and cross-cultural contact in the Portuguese-speaking world, from 1800 to the twentieth century. Among his publications are Headhunting and Colonialism: Anthropology and the Circulation of Human Skulls in the Portuguese Empire (Palgrave 2010) and the edited volumes, Crossing Histories and Ethnographies: Following Colonial Historicities in Timor-Leste (with E. G. Traube, Berghahn 2019) and Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism (with W. Anderson and R. Ventura Santos, Berghahn 2019).

Call For Papers/Special Issue: “Psychological Anthropology: Theory and Practice”

The eighth issue of Etnografia. Praktyki, Teorie, Doświadczenia will focus on psychological anthropology, a subdiscipline of cultural anthropology that looks into interactions linking cultural phenomena with human psychological processes. Papers submitted in Polish or English may address both historical and contemporary topics of psychological anthropology. This special issue will focus on the intersection of cultural anthropology and psychology in the context of ethnographic research, exploring theoretical and practical dimensions involved in the translation of psychological concepts into broadly understood ethnographic methods of inquiry into human realities. How do psychological concepts translate into ethnographic practice?


Editor: Michał Żerkowski.
The call for papers is now open, until April 30, 2022.
Papers can be submitted via the journal’s website or to the editorial e-mail address.

CFP: “The Legacy of Bronisław Malinowski in Present-Day Social Sciences and Humanities”

From September 26-27, 2022, this Centennial Conference of Argonauts of the Western Pacific will take place at the Institute of Sociology of Jagiellonian University (Krakow). The organizers Grażyna Kubica-Heller (UJ Kraków), Dariusz Brzeziński (IFiS PAN, Warsaw), and Karol Piotrowski (UJ Kraków) encourage representatives of the social sciences and humanities to participate in this international conference. Paper abstracts (250 word maximum, in Polish or English) should be sent to malinowski2022@uj.edu.pl by April 30, 2022.


The hundredth anniversary of the publication of Malinowski’s monograph Argonauts of the Western Pacific presents an excellent opportunity to reflect upon its significance for contemporary social sciences and humanities. The following themes may be considered for paper presentations:

  1. Reflection on the Polish context of the life and work of Bronisław Malinowski
  2. The importance of Bronisław Malinowski for the formation of the identity of the humanities and social sciences in Poland
  3. The importance of Bronisław Malinowski’s method of intensive fieldwork for the methodological and theoretical development of social sciences and humanities
  4. Reinterpretation of the legacy of Bronisław Malinowski in the context of contemporary social and philosophical thinking
  5. The concept of “practical anthropology” developed by Bronisław Malinowski and his vision of the role of anthropologists in a changing world
  6. The concept of sociocultural change in the late works of Bronisław Malinowski
  7. The author of Argonauts of the West Pacific as an iconic figure in cultural texts
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