News (page 1 of 17)

The News section gathers announcements and current events relevant to anthropology and its history. To submit such news, please email us at

Call for Papers – Sources, Data, and Methods for the History of Sociology

First ISA-RC08 Online Conference
October 16, 2024 – 11:00-17:00 CET

The International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee on the History of Sociology (RC08) proposes an ongoing series of online conferences with three main objectives in mind: (1) creating a new, institutional venue to stimulate new research and new researchers in the history of global sociologies; (2) keeping every member of RC08 up-to-date about the most recent developments in research; (3) maintaining and strengthening scientific and social ties between RC08 members, and creating the preconditions for shared research projects.

A maximum of five papers will be selected for each half-day conference to save time for exchanges and debate. No fee will be charged for the online conference. The first ISA-RC08 online conference will focus on methods. Explicit reflection on research methods is still at an embryonic stage in
the history of sociology, especially when the latter is practiced by sociologists, whose methodological training is focused on techniques for the collection and treatment of contemporary data. We thus invite our colleagues to submit proposals on the following topics:

1) Selecting our objects and avoiding (or embracing) a whiggish understanding of the discipline(s);
2) Selecting a unit of analysis (actors, ideas, institutions, instruments, contexts), model cases, or samples;
3) Working in the archive;
4) Utilizing various kinds of sources (fieldnotes, diaries, letters, unpublished papers, questionnaires, interviews, machines, data matrixes, etc.);
5) Using oral histories and interviews collected by others;
6) The use of unconventional (especially digital or visual) sources;
7) Re-furbishing and re-calculating quantitative data;
8) Preparing comparative work. In particular, we would like to discuss with our junior and senior
colleagues about their work, research design, and troubleshooting: the selections they made, the difficulties they found, the decisions they took when finding themselves collecting and analysing historical data.

July 31, 2024 – Deadline for submitting title and abstract (max 250 words).

August 31, 2024 – Selected papers announced.
October 16, 2024 – Online conference.

Titles and abstracts (max 250 words) must be submitted by the deadline of July 31, 2024 to both organizers:
Matteo Bortolini:
Giovanni Zampieri:

Announcement: Next HOAN Meeting

The 6th HOAN (History of Anthropology Network) Meeting will be held on May 24 at 5:00 pm CET. No registration is required; just use this Zoom Link.

The 6th HOAN Meeting will be opened by a keynote speech from John Tresch (Warburg Institute, University of London, History of Anthropology Review). The title of his talk is From Cosmologies to Cosmograms: Updating a Concept from the History of Anthropology and the abstract of his talk is available at the HOAN Meetings page.

Program of the Meeting:

17:00 Welcome by HOAN convenors, Fabiana Dimpflmeier and Hande Birkalan-Gedik

17:05 Keynote speaker: John Tresch (Warburg Institute; University of London)
From Cosmologies to Cosmograms: Updating a Concept from the History of Anthropology

17:25 Open forum for questions and comments

17:30 HOAN Correspondents presentation: Michael Edwards (Australia)

17:35 Dorothy L. Zinn (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano): presentation of Ernesto De Martino The End of the World: Cultural Apocalypse and Transcendence, University of Chicago Press, 2023.

17:45 Han Vermeulen (Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Beatrice Di Brizio (MODI – University of Bologna): presentation of the research project Early Ethnographers in the Long Nineteenth Century (2024-2026)

17:55 Open forum for questions and comments

18:00 Closing and farewell words by HOAN convenors 

Forum for the History of Human Science Awards

The Forum for the History of Human Science of the History of Science Society is pleased to announce the call for its annual awards. The deadline for both awards is June 1.

Dissertation Prize: The Forum for History of Human Science awards a biennial prize of US $250 for the best recent doctoral dissertation on some aspect of the history of the human sciences.The competition takes place during even-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. To be eligible, the dissertation must be in English and have been formally filed within the three years previous to the year of the award. A dissertation may be submitted more than once, as long as it meets the submission requirements.

Burnham Award: The Forum for History of Human Science (FHHS) and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Science (JHBS) encourage researchers in their early careers to submit unpublished manuscripts for the annual John C. Burnham Early Career Award, named in honor of this prominent historian of the human sciences and past-editor of JHBS. The publisher provides the author of the paper an honorarium of US $500 at the time the manuscript is accepted for publication by JHBS. (see details below). Unpublished manuscripts in English dealing with any aspect of the history of the human sciences are eligible. The paper should meet the publishing guidelines of the JHBS. Eligible scholars are those who do not hold tenured university positions (or equivalent) and are not more than seven years beyond the Ph.D. Graduate students and independent scholars are encouraged to submit. Manuscripts may be re-submitted for the prize, as long as they have not been published or submitted to another journal and the submitting scholar is still in early career. The manuscript cannot be submitted to any other journal and still qualify for this award. Please also submit a CV. Past winners are not eligible to submit again.

Full details about the awards can be found on the Forum’s website. Submissions should be sent in PDF format to

Mariza Corrêa’s Search for Women (and Other) Anthropologists, by Corrêa and Serafim

HAR is pleased to announce three of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two posthumous articles (in English) by Brazilian historian of anthropology Mariza Corrêa, and an introductory study on her archive:

Serafim, Amanda Gonçalves, 2024. “In Mariza Corrêa’s Archive: A Brief Introduction to Two Key Documents,”in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Corrêa, Mariza, 2024 [1985]. “History of Anthropology in Brazil (1930‑1960): Testimonies,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Corrêa, Mariza, 2024 [1989]. “Women Anthropologists & Anthropology Research Project,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Amanda Serafim introduces two key documents from the archive of Brazilian anthropologist Mariza Corrêa (1945–2016), held by the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth at the University of Campinas, Brazil. The two manuscripts in question, now transcribed and translated from Portuguese, are themselves made available in BEROSE as a posthumous publication. They summarize Corrêa’s fundamental research projects on “The History of Anthropology in Brazil” and on “Women Anthropologists and Anthropology,” respectively. The original documents were typewritten in 1985 and 1989, and are now accessible in English for the first time. A key figure in the history of Brazilian anthropology, Corrêa dedicated herself to three main areas of research: gender relations, racial issues, and the history of anthropology in Brazil, playing a leading role in pushing disciplinary historiography forward. While coordinating “The History of Anthropology in Brazil Project,” which began in 1984 and lasted for more than two decades, she worked alongside students and researchers to collect testimonies and documents from the earlier generations of anthropologists from the 1930s until the 1970s, when the first postgraduate programs in anthropology were created in Brazil. Corrêa developed an offshoot of this initiative in the “Women Anthropologists & Anthropology Project,” which began in 1989 and aimed at uncovering gender relations in anthropology, the encounters and “misencounters” with female characters who were active but forgotten in the history of the discipline. Her project was intended to be a feminist counterpart to Adam Kuper’s Anthropologists and Anthropology (1973), whose Brazilian translation, Antropólogos e antropologia, may be read as “male anthropologists and anthropology.” In 2003, she eventually published Antropólogas & Antropologia (Women anthropologists and anthropology), a compilation of her own writings as a feminist historian of anthropology. Among her institutional contributions to anthropology in Brazil, her role in creating and participating in the Center for Gender Studies Pagu and her presidency of the Associação Brasileira de Antropologia (Brazilian Anthropological Association) between 1996 and 1998 stand out. Mariza Corrêa pushed writing the history of science forward; but while her legacy is particularly enduring in Brazil, the potential of her insights as a historian of anthropology is yet to be fully grasped on a broader level. The two posthumous articles and Serafim’s brief introduction are also available in Portuguese—along with other resources in the encyclopedic dossier dedicated to Mariza Corrêa.

References cited:

Corrêa, Mariza. 2003. Antropólogas e Antropologia. Belo Horizonte: Editora UFMG.

Kuper, Adam. 1973.  Anthropologists and Anthropology: the British School, 1922-1972. New York: Pica Press.Kuper, Adam. 1978. Antropólogos e Antropologia. Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Alves.

Call for Proposals: Following Knowledge Forward: A Gathering to Mark a Decade of Indigenous Knowledge and Collaboration at CNAIR

October 10-11, 2024
American Philosophical Society (APS)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR) at the APS’s Library & Museum, this hybrid conference will be an opportunity for people to gather together and share their experiences, insights, and visions for the future surrounding collaborative, community-engaged work in language and cultural revitalization, particularly the relationships between Indigenous knowledge and archives. 

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024

The conference committee welcomes proposals for presentations from Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants throughout North America, Latin America, and beyond. They hope this event will facilitate a space to create new connections and reaffirm long-standing relationships and reflect upon what they can teach for cultivating newer ones, to give mutual encouragement and inspiration, and to spotlight emerging new initiatives and approaches.

For this hybrid conference, we welcome proposals for in-person or virtual presentations. This gathering is intended especially to highlight the work happening within and by Indigenous communities. We envision this conference being attended by members of Indigenous communities working in many capacities, museum and archives professionals, academic researchers, and anyone else with an interest in these topics.

Suggested topics include:

  • Current work by Indigenous archives and cultural centers
  • Language revitalization: Current work in teaching Indigenous languages, or the use of archives for language reclamation.
  • Beyond paper: how Indigenous knowledge in archives is activated in everyday life, or how it relates to land, ethnobotany, art-making, material culture, law, and more.
  • Reflections and relationships: conversations with former fellows or interns, or how archival materials impact relationships within communities, and beyond.
  • Relational reciprocity in scholarship: what are some best practices, models of successful partnerships, or the place of archives in such work
  • Projects that engage with collections at the APS

The committee welcomes a wide variety of creative and unique presentation styles such as:

  • Group conversation or panel discussion
  • Workshop, training, or class
  • Talk story or show-and-tell
  • Performance, reading, or art sharing
  • Listening session
  • Tour
  • Presentation
  • Community sharing
  • Propose your own format! 

Anyone interested is encouraged to reach out to staff at CNAIR ( to discuss their idea for presenting.

Applicants should submit a title and a 250-word proposal related to these themes by May 31, 2024 via Interfolio:

Proposals will be accepted in EnglishSpanishFrench, and Portuguese. Proposals in Indigenous languages are also welcome as long as a translation into one of the above languages is provided. Spanish interpretation will be offered for all of the conference sessions online.

Decisions will be announced in July. 

All in-person presenters will receive travel subsidies and hotel accommodations. Accepted presenters will be asked to prepare remarks appropriate for a broad range of audiences and for video streaming. Presenters who wish to create a scholarly journal-style version of their presentation will have the opportunity to publish such a version of their presentation in the APS’s Transactions

For more information contact CNAIR at

Early Ethnographers in the Long Nineteenth Century: Call for References

A transnational and interdisciplinary research project from March 2024 to December 2026

coordinated by Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Fabiana Dimpflmeier (Gabriele d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara), Maria Beatrice Di Brizio (Centro di Ricerca Mobilità Diversità Inclusione sociale (MODI)–Università di Bologna)

supported by the History of Anthropology Review (HAR), the History of Anthropology Network (HOAN), and BEROSE International Encyclopedia of the Histories of Anthropology

Project Statement:

This project focuses on ethnographic accounts from the long nineteenth century, either based on fieldwork or borrowing descriptive and comparative data on “peoples and nations” from firsthand reports by travelers and other in situ observers. Adopting a widely inclusive transnational perspective, this project explores European and extra-European intellectual traditions. It envisages early ethnographic studies as a fundamental part of the history of anthropology and ethnography.

Call for Bibliographical References: Early Ethnographers in the Long Nineteenth Century

In Primitive Culture, Edward B. Tylor recognized the crucial role of ethnographers, as they provided the empirical basis for the generalizations and historical reconstructions produced by a “science of culture” and vouchsafed the credibility of its data. If Primitive Culture (1871) envisaged the “ethnographer’s business” as comparative and classificatory research work, mainly conducted in the study, other essays by Tylor paid tribute to in situ observers of modern populations (Tylor 1884). After Tylor, Alfred Cort Haddon credited missionaries, early explorers, travelers, and colonial officers for their fieldwork contributions to the growth of ethnography, “the foundation on which the science of ethnology has been and is being laboriously built” (Haddon, 2nd ed. 1934: 103).

Notwithstanding these early acknowledgments, ethnographic research, particularly before the early twentieth century – whether field-based or performed in the library – has long been neglected by historians of anthropology. For example, the three editions of Haddon’s History of Anthropology (1910, 1934, 1949) focus on the theoretical development of the discipline, giving limited attention to collectors of ethnographic material. The same may be said of the majority of narratives on the history of anthropology, such as Marvin Harris, The Rise of Anthropological Theory (1968) or T. H. Eriksen and F. S. Nielsen, A History of Anthropology (2nd ed. 2013).

A significant departure from this historiographical posture was made by James Urry (1973) and George W. Stocking Jr., who worked on the history of fieldwork (Stocking 1983), on the ethnographic data of British nineteenth-century ethnology (Stocking 1987), on fieldwork-based anthropology before and after World War I (Stocking 1995), and on the very notion of ethnography (Stocking 1971, 1984). More recently, Efram Sera-Shriar (2011, 2013, 2015) and Han F. Vermeulen (2015) have drawn attention to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ethnographies, while specialists exploring the history of colonial anthropology and the development of area studies have highlighted the relevance of pre-Malinowskian ethnographies based on fieldwork (Sibeud 2002; Gardner & Kenny 2016). Their significance for the disciplinary development of anthropology has been recognized by scholarly encyclopedias and reviews, notably BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology and the History of Anthropology Review (see the dossiers on early ethnographers in the section “Anthropologists and Ethnographers” of BEROSE, and articles on the history of ethnography in HAR).

Building on this expanded historiographical sensitivity to ethnography, Frederico Delgado Rosa and Han F. Vermeulen (2022a-c) prepared a selective bibliography of 365 ethnographic accounts, dating from the period ca. 1870-ca. 1922 – that is, recorded during the fifty years preceding the publication of Bronislaw Malinowski’s Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) and Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown’s The Andaman Islanders (1922). Produced by 220 authors belonging to various national research traditions and written in various languages, these were fieldwork-based monographs “on a single group or various groups within a relatively circumscribed cultural region” and “compilations of oral texts, or corpora inscriptionum” (Vermeulen and Rosa 2022: 476).

In order to complement and enlarge Rosa and Vermeulen’s bibliography of the period 1870-1922, we propose to prepare a bibliography of ethnographic works written or published in the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). While this period partly overlaps with that of Rosa and Vermeulen and adopts their transnational perspective, it significantly expands their timeframe. Accordingly, we will consider works written by English- and non-English-speaking authors, belonging to the most diverse national research traditions, and include works resulting from their authors’ empirical research in the field, either at home or abroad, both overseas and in Europe. Moreover, since the history of the term ethnography reveals that equating ethnography with fieldwork leads to a marginalization of “other kinds of Völker-Beschreibung (description of peoples and nations), from statistical questionnaires to armchair compilations” (Vermeulen and Rosa 2022: 476), we also take into account library studies, whose descriptive and comparative data on “peoples and nations” were culled from firsthand reports by travelers and other categories of in situ observers.

Such a vast bibliographical endeavor, aiming at a comprehensive but inevitably selective inventory of the ethnographic archive, can best be realized as a collaborative project. We are therefore launching a Call for References. We invite researchers to share references of ethnographic accounts recorded during the long nineteenth century, either based on firsthand observation or compiled by so called “armchair anthropologists” who derived their empirical data from published and/or manuscript sources. All contributions will be credited in the list of contributors associated to the final version of our bibliography. The underlying assumption of this collective and collaborative pursuit will be that early ethnographies, though long neglected and sidelined, are “a fundamental part of the history of ethnography and anthropology” (Vermeulen and Rosa 2022: 476).

The Research Project “Early Ethnographers in the Long Nineteenth Century” will unfold over a 3-year period ending in 2026 and will result in the publication of a selected bibliography of ethnographic accounts and a special issue or an edited volume collecting the results.

Divided into four stages, the project is designed as follows:

  • A Call for References will be issued in March 2024, followed by a Call for Papers in May 2024;
  • A Conference will be held on 6 December 2024 to present and discuss case studies;
  • A Workshop will be organized in September 2025 to present and discuss papers;
  • The papers will be included in a special issue or an edited volume to be published in 2026.

The result will be a vital contribution to the history of anthropology and to studies of the ethnographic archive. As part of the first stage, we invite the international community of scholars to communicate bibliographical references from the ethnographic archive dating back to the long nineteenth century, providing perspectives on early ethnographers from European and extra-European traditions, at home or abroad.

Please submit your bibliographical entries to: The Call for References will be open until 31 December 2024.

Style samples of entries:


Haddon, Alfred Cort 1910. History of Anthropology. London: Watt’s & Co.

Article in journal:

Tylor, Edward Burnett 1884. “How the Problems of American Anthropology Present Themselves to the English Mind.” Science, vol. 4, pp. 545-551.

Article in book:

Stocking, George Ward, Jr. 1983. “The Ethnographer’s Magic: Fieldwork in British Anthropology from Tylor to Malinowski.” In George Ward Stocking, Jr. (ed.) The Ethnographer’s Magic: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 70-120.

References Cited

Eriksen, Thomas Hylland and Finn Sivert Nielsen 2013. A History of Anthropology. 2nd ed. London: Pluto Press (1st ed. 2001).

Gardner, Helen and Robert Kenny 2016. “Before the Field: Colonial Anthropology Reassessed.” Oceania, vol. 86, issue 3, pp. 218-224.

Haddon, Alfred Cort 1910. History of Anthropology. London: Watt’s & Co (2nd rev. ed. 1934; 3rd impression 1949).

Harris, Marvin 1968. The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Malinowski, Bronislaw Kaspar 1922. Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea. Preface by Sir James George Frazer. London: George Routledge & Sons.

Rosa, Frederico Delgado and Han F. Vermeulen (eds.) 2022a. Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922. Foreword by Thomas Hylland Eriksen. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books (EASA Series 44).

Rosa, Frederico Delgado and Han F. Vermeulen 2022b. “Online Interactive Archive: Ethnographic Monographs before Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1870-1922)” in History of Anthropology Review 46 (2022), Online 21 November 2022: [introducing an expandable research bibliography of 365 monographs by 220 ethnographers working in the fifty years preceding the publication of Malinowski’s classic monograph, 1870-1922.]

———. 2022c. “Opening the Archive: Selected Bibliography of Ethnographic Accounts, ca. 1870-1922” in Bérose – Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l’anthropologie, Paris. 31 pp. Online 23 November 2022.

Sera-Shriar, Efram 2011. “Observing ‘Man’ in situ: Edward Burnett Tylor’s Travels through Mexico.” History of Anthropology Newsletter, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 3-8.

——— 2013. The Making of British Anthropology, 1813-1871. London: Pickering & Chatto.

——— 2015. “Arctic Observers: Richard King, Monogenism and the Historicisation of Inuit through Travel Narratives.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 51, pp. 23-31.

Sibeud, Emmanuelle 2002. Une Science impériale pour l’Afrique? La construction des savoirs africanistes en France, 1878-1930. Paris: Éditions de l’EHESS.

Stocking, George Ward, Jr. (ed.) 1971. “What’s in a Name? The Origins of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1837-1871.” Man (n.s.) vol. 6, issue 3: 369-390.

——— 1983. “The Ethnographer’s Magic: Fieldwork in British Anthropology from Tylor to Malinowski.” In George Ward Stocking Jr. (ed.) The Ethnographer’s Magic: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 70-120.

——— 1984. “Qu’est-ce qui est en jeu dans un nom? (‘What’s in a Name?’ II). La ‘Société d’Ethnographie’ et l’historiographie de l’‘anthropologie’ en France.” In: Britta Rupp-Eisenreich (ed.) Histoires de l’Anthropologie (XVIe-XIXe siècles). Paris: Klincksieck, pp. 421-431.

——— 1987. Victorian Anthropology. New York: The Free Press.

——— 1995. After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888-1951. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Tylor, Edward Burnett1871. Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom. 2 vols. London: John Murray. German translation 1873.

——— 1884. “How the Problems of American Anthropology Present Themselves to the English Mind.” Science, vol. 4, pp. 545-551.

Urry, James 1973. “Notes and Queries on Anthropology and the Development of Field Methods in British Anthropology, 1870-1920”. Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, issue 1972, pp. 45-57.

Vermeulen, Han F. 2015. Before Boas: The Genesis of Ethnography and Ethnology in the German Enlightenment. Lincoln and London, NE: University of Nebraska Press (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology).

Vermeulen, Han F. and Frederico Delgado Rosa 2022. “Appendix. Selected Bibliography of Ethnographic Accounts, ca. 1870-1922.” In: Frederico Delgado Rosa and Han F. Vermeulen (eds.) Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 474-501.

New Exhibition: “A woman in the field: Susan Drucker-Brown’s photographs and anthropological fieldnotes (Mexico 1957-1958)”

This exhibition at CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge), curated and researched by Paula López Caballero, displays photographs and ethnographic fieldnotes produced by Cambridge-based anthropologist Susan Drucker-Brown (1936-2023) in the Mixtec-speaking village of Jamiltepec (Oaxaca, Mexico) in 1957 and 1958. She was one of the first women anthropologists in Mexico, and a pioneer in the study of women’s clothing and the changes clothes were undergoing, with the replacement of handmade (loom) garments by industrial ones.

The exhibition not only presents this little-known aspect of Drucker-Brown’s work, it also invites us to reflect on three topics: firstly, the processes of mestizaje, indigeneity and modernization experienced in Mexico in the mid-twentieth century at an indigenous and rural locality. Secondly, the everyday life of ethnographic research and, in particular, the role of women in fieldwork. And thirdly, the afterlives of the materials produced during fieldwork, either as collections in museums or archives, or as part of restitution efforts to the villages where the anthropologists worked.

HAR readers may be familiar with the exhibition’s curator, López Caballero’s, recent HAR piece on medical practices in Zinacantán, Mexico, in the 1940s.

The exhibition on Drucker-Brown’s work will be open from April 22 to May 31, 2024 at CRASSH. An opening reception will be held on April 22, along with the related symposium ‘Rethinking anthropological fieldwork in historical perspective,’ held by CRASSH and the Cambridge Department of Social Anthropology on the same date. For more information about the exhibition and these events, please see the exhibition page.

This exhibition is organized with the support of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Biblioteca de Investigación Juan de Córdova, Fundación Harp Helú, Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, Department of Social Anthropology, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Brown Family.

Heloisa Torres at the Heart of Brazilian Anthropology, by Domingues

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

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

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

International Fieldwork in Türkiye in Retrospect, by Magnarella and Sipahi

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

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

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

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

History of Andean Kinship Studies and Computational Analysis, by Sendón

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

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

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

DEADLINE EXTENDED: CFP: Reimagining Europe: Decolonizing Historical Imaginaries and Disciplinary Narratives in Folklore, Ethnology and Beyond

HAR’s editors are pleased to share this CFP, which now includes a new deadline of March 22, 2024.

Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis Working Group Interim Meeting

Where? Herder Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung (Marburg, Germany), and online (a hybrid event).

When? June 13-14, 2024


Europe can be approached from various angles: as a geographical, political, and economic historical entity; as an embodiment of cultural diversity rooted in national, regional, and local identities, histories, and languages; and as a subject of yearning or a cultural construct. Contemporary transnational and post colonial viewpoints perceive Europe as a dynamic, complex web of wider transnational interactions and exchanges, highlighting the influences of intertwined and intersecting, yet simultaneously contested and competing historical narratives, memories, and identities. These encounters in the past and present have played a significant role in the historical imagination and contemporary formation of Europe, as they shaped distinct practices, methodologies, and traditions in the disciplinary landscape of folklore studies, European ethnology, and social and cultural anthropology across the continent.

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Authors Meet Critics: “The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall” with Andrew Garrett

HAR readers will be interested in the recent event “The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall,” which was recorded and is now available for viewing or listening online.

Recorded on January 19, 2024, this “Authors Meet Critics” panel centered on the book, The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall: Language, Memory, and Indigenous California, by Andrew Garrett, Professor of Linguistics and the Nadine M. Tang and Bruce L. Smith Professor of Cross-Cultural Social Sciences in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Garrett was joined in conversation by James Clifford, Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz; William Hanks, Berkeley Distinguished Chair Professor in Linguistic Anthropology; and Julian Lang (Karuk/Wiyot), a storyteller, poet, artist, graphic designer, and writer, and author of “Ararapikva: Karuk Indian Literature from Northwest California.” Leanne Hinton, Professor Emerita of Linguistics at UC Berkeley, moderated the panel. The event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology, Department of Linguistics, Department of Ethnic Studies, Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, and Native American Studies. 

About the Book

In January 2021, at a time when many institutions were reevaluating fraught histories, the University of California removed anthropologist and linguist Alfred Kroeber’s name from a building on its Berkeley campus. Critics accused Kroeber of racist and dehumanizing practices that harmed Indigenous people; university leaders repudiated his values. In “The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall,” Andrew Garrett examines Kroeber’s work in the early twentieth century and his legacy today, asking how a vigorous opponent of racism and advocate for Indigenous rights in his own era became a symbol of his university’s failed relationships with Native communities. Garrett argues that Kroeber’s most important work has been overlooked: his collaborations with Indigenous people throughout California to record their languages and stories. “The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall” offers new perspectives on the early practice of anthropology and linguistics and on its significance today and in the future. Kroeber’s documentation was broader and more collaborative and multifaceted than is usually recognized. As a result, the records Indigenous people created while working with him are relevant throughout California as communities revive languages, names, songs, and stories. Garrett asks readers to consider these legacies, arguing that the University of California chose to reject critical self-examination when it unnamed Kroeber Hall.

Watch the panel on YouTube, or listen to it as a podcast on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corso’s Erotic and Exotic Anthropology, by Coppola

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

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

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

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

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

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CFP: Reimagining Europe: Decolonizing Historical Imaginaries and Disciplinary Narratives in Folklore, Ethnology and Beyond

Historical Approaches in Cultural Analysis Working Group Interim Meeting

Where? Herder Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung (Marburg, Germany), and online (a hybrid event).

When? 13-14 June 2024


Europe can be approached from various angles: as a geographical, political, and economic historical entity; as an embodiment of cultural diversity rooted in national, regional, and local identities, histories, and languages; and as a subject of yearning or a cultural construct. Contemporary transnational and post colonial viewpoints perceive Europe as a dynamic, complex web of wider transnational interactions and exchanges, highlighting the influences of intertwined and intersecting, yet simultaneously contested and competing historical narratives, memories, and identities. These encounters in the past and present have played a significant role in the historical imagination and contemporary formation of Europe, as they shaped distinct practices, methodologies, and traditions in the disciplinary landscape of folklore studies, European ethnology, and social and cultural anthropology across the continent.

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From Subfield to Field: The First Histories of Anthropologies International Conference

Anthropologists habitually regard the history of anthropology as a “subfield,” a hobby for retired anthropologists. Yet the first “Histories of Anthropologies International Conference” (HOAIC), taking place online, December 47, 2023, with the support of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and the University of Pisa, Italy, shows that this is an outdated view: the subfield has become a genuine and lively field in its own right.

The conference was organized by HOAN convenors Fabiana Dimpflmeier (University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy) and Hande Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe University, Germany). They were supported by ten stakeholders in this growing field, including HAR and the HOA Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association; History of Anthropology Working Groups in the US (CHSTM) and Germany (DGSKA); the Historical Approaches to Cultural Analysis Working Group (HACA) of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF); the Royal Anthropological Institute in London; the International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology BEROSE in Paris; as well as three book series: “Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology” and the “Histories of Anthropology Annual” (both University of Nebraska Press), and “Anthropology’s Ancestors” (Berghahn Books).

The European initiative updates efforts in the US, the UK and elsewhere to professionalize the history of anthropology as a subject worth pursuing internationally. Fifty years ago, George W. Stocking, Jr. established the History of Anthropology Newsletter in Chicago. He and several colleagues used the logo “HoA” (History of Anthropology) on the cover of the first HAN, in the Fall of 1973. This newsletter went digital in Pennsylvania in June 2016, to be soon converted into the History of Anthropology Review (HAR). That same year, the History of Anthropology Network (HOAN) was founded at the EASA conference in Milan in July 2016, and the online encyclopedia BEROSE was refounded in Paris in September 2016. Since then, the field has become dynamic and transnational. HAR and BEROSE have been very productive, publishing articles and volumes online and in print. And now, at the initiative of HOAN convenors, key stakeholders in the history of anthropology came together for an online conference in virtual Pisa, which produced nine scholarly panels, one roundtable, two keynotes, and many conversations. Out of a total of 133 submitted papers, 98 were accepted and 87 were actually presented. They provoked lively discussions, online, with hundreds of conversations that were managed and recorded with the technical assistance of NomadIT. The recordings are now available online.

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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).

Actors – Narratives – Strategies: Constellations of Transnational Folklore Research, 1875‒1905

This essay by Frauke Ahrens and Christiane Schwab (Institute for European Ethnology and Cultural Analysis, LMU Munich) introduces their new project examining European folklore research of the late nineteenth century. It is a shortened version of a presentation from the First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies (HOAIC), on December 5, 2023, as part of the Panel, “Challenging Narratives and Frameworks of Knowledge in Histories of Anthropology,” convened by Robert Oppenheim (University of Texas at Austin) and Grant Arndt (Iowa State University). Thanks to Fabiana Dimpflmeier, one of the conference organizers, for commissioning this essay for HAR.


The historiography of folklore studies has been traditionally pursued within national frameworks – not at least because the interest in popular traditions and nationalism were deeply intertwined. However, especially from the 1870s onwards, folklore studies were shaped by transnational exchange. Our project “Actors ‒ Narratives ‒ Strategies: Constellations of Transnational Folklore Research, 1875‒1905,” funded by the German Research Foundation, aims to investigate folklore studies, taking into account new approaches in the history of knowledge. It scrutinizes “transnational folklore research” as both an object and an interpretative framework, allowing us to reconsider established histories of folklore and anthropologies. The project addresses the potential and scope of the concept of transnational folklore research in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, inquiring into the extent to which transnational processes contributed to the formation, professionalization, and systematization of folkloristic knowledge and practice.

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Now Online: First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies (HOAIC) Recorded Talks

We are happy to announce that recordings of the talks from the First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies, “Doing History, Imagining Futures” (on-line, 4-7 December 2023), are now available on the HOAIC Website (under ProgramPanelsKeynotes and Roundtable) and on the HOAN Webpage.

Thanks to Fabiana Dimpflmeier & Hande Birkalan-Gedik, convenors of the History of Anthropology Network (HOAN) and HOAIC organizers.  

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.


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.  


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.


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

Further Enquiries

If you have any questions about the prize, or anything relating to the journal, please email

“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.

The Politics of AAA in Action: From Pseudo to Epitomizing Events


When corresponding with a colleague about the 2023 American Anthropological Association Meeting in Toronto, I caught myself referring to the association’s business meeting as a “historic event.” Before sending the email, I decided to qualify my rather grand statement with the phrase “at least I think so.” The qualification did not stem from the bureaucratic sterility of academic association business meetings that most folks have come to expect. The meeting was a matter of business, but not in any mundane sense of the term. Something of note most definitely took place. Upon reflection, I realized that my decision to qualify my initial description (i.e., a historic event) had less to do with the adjective (i.e., historic) and more to do with the noun (i.e., event). The business meeting was most certainly an event, but an event composed of references to other events. More specifically, these other events were of a particular kind. At play in the business meeting was the nature and significance of nonevents and their connection to the history of the AAA as a site for political action.

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History of Anthropology Working Group

The History of Anthropology Working Group of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine will hold its first online meeting of 2024 on Wednesday, January 10th (12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST). If you are not a member already, you can request membership on the working group’s homepage. This will allow you to access the meeting link and reading.

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