News (page 1 of 13)

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

Call for Applications: Associate Editors, History of Anthropology Review (HAR)

The History of Anthropology Review (HAR) seeks applications from graduate students, early career scholars, or other interested parties to join its editorial team as Associate Editors. HAR has remained a critical venue for conversations and publications on the histories of the practice and impact of anthropology since 1973. We aim to continue this legacy by providing a platform for innovative and reflexive interdisciplinary dialogue on the discipline of anthropology, and the many ways of narrating its past, present, and future.

We seek new members interested in expanding the boundaries of the history of anthropology and challenging normative interpretations of the field and its purview. This includes, but is not limited to, those with interests that decenter Western Europe and North America as the primary sites of the discipline’s development, and white, Western experts as its only arbiters of knowledge production. Applicants should have or be pursuing graduate training in Anthropology, Museum Studies, Area Studies, History, History of Science, or a related field.

Please submit a CV, a short statement of no more than 500 words describing your academic work, your interest in the position, and, if applicable, relevant background or experience with editing. We particularly encourage applications from those with a geographical focus in Africa, Asia, and/or the Pacific and Oceania. Applicants may specialize in any time period. Please indicate which of HAR’s sections you are interested in joining (see “more information” below): News, Bibliographies, or Field Notes sections. We regret that all positions at HAR are unpaid.

Please send materials via email to notes@histanthro.org with the subject heading “Associate Editor.” The deadline for Associate Editor applications is September 02, 2022.


More information:

The following sections seek new members: News gathers announcements and current events relevant to anthropology and its history. Bibliographies correlates and publishes citations of recently published works in all formats and covering all aspects of the history of anthropology. We also publish announcements of publishing projects, web sites, electronic resources, and archival collections, as well as longer essays on both retrospective and newer resources. Field Notes is devoted to focused reflections and original essays engaging the history of anthropology, broadly construed. We publish non-peer-reviewed special focus sections and single-authored short essays including empirical work, theoretical musings, and explorations of historical or methodological issues. Examples of recent work in this direction include our Special Focus Sections on “Engaging ‘The Second Generation of African American Pioneers in Anthropology’,” “Structures,” and “The Morton Cranial Collection and Legacies of Scientific Racism in Museums.”

Associate editors’ primary responsibilities include gathering and posting announcements about happenings in the field; collecting and publishing information on new publications; inviting contributions for Field Notes, Generative Texts, or Archival Developments; designing and coordinating special focus sections; and conceptual, line, and copy editing for our non-peer reviewed online publications. 

REVIEW: Essays on A. L. Kroeber (1876–1960) and the Unnaming of Kroeber Hall

Editors’ note: The following review by Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt, the accomplished historian of anthropology and folklore, reflects on a collection of essays recently published about the 2020 decision by officials of the University of California Berkeley to change the name of Alfred Kroeber Hall. At the time, HAR reported on the controversy, with links to comments by Berkeley professors Rosemary Joyce and Nancy Scheper-Hughes; readers may also wish to read Berkeley linguist Andrew Garrett’s later 38-page evaluation of the issues or Native American scholar David Shane Lowry’s 2021 essay in Anthrodendum. Professor Zumwalt’s essay represents her views and not necessarily those of HAR’s editors.

The 2021 meeting of the American Anthropological Association included a panel of six papers focusing on “Alfred Louis Kroeber: The Man, His Work and His Legacy.” These six papers have now been revised and published in BEROSE. Herbert Lewis explains the panel’s genesis: “On January 27, 2021, the University of California, Berkeley, removed the name of Alfred Kroeber from the building that housed the Department of Anthropology and the Museum of Anthropology—institutions he had built.”

My own interest in the controversy around the unnaming of Kroeber Hall has both professional and personal roots. I spent eight intense years in Kroeber Hall working toward my Master’s in folklore (1978) and my PhD in anthropology (1982). From 1977 to 1980, I was on the editorial board of the Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers (KAS) – established in 1950 and the longest running student publication in the United States – and was an organizer of the Kroeber Anthropological Society Meetings. (It was touching to me to read Nancy Scheper-Hughes’s recollection of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s visit to the department in 1984, and his request “to see the Kroeber Anthropological Society Journal, a graduate student journal that he much admired”.)[1]The KAS journal that Lévi-Strauss perused was Opportunity, Constraint and Change: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth Colson, Nos. 63–64, 1984. I remember one day sitting in the afternoon sun on a wooden bench just off to the side of the front wall with the name that has now been chiseled from the building, “Kroeber Hall,” pondering the treacherous, demanding journey toward a PhD. I visualized myself in a tunnel, too far down to turn back, and not close enough to the end to see the light of possibility; I perceived also that my only practical option was to continue through the tunnel. This struggle and perseverance are connected in my mind always with Alfred Louis Kroeber.

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References

References
1 The KAS journal that Lévi-Strauss perused was Opportunity, Constraint and Change: Essays in Honor of Elizabeth Colson, Nos. 63–64, 1984.

Cuban poet Nicolas Guillén’s time in Haiti with Jacques Roumain, by Maud Laëthier

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén’s time in Haiti, after being invited by the Haitian novelist and ethnologist Jacques Roumain in 1942.

Laëthier, Maud, 2022. “L’affinité des marges. Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén et le “moment cubain” dans l’Haïti des années 1940,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Between September and October 1942, the famous Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén stayed in Haiti, invited by his no less famous friend, Jacques Roumain. This article by French anthropologist Maud Laëthier proposes to analyze the political and scientific stakes and the effects of this visit. By exploring the Haitian press, we follow Guillén in his lectures, interviews and meetings with elite Haitian figures, whose reflections on national identity were nourished by the anthropological paradigm and by dissonant political ideas. The intellectual fraternity generated by Guillén, the Cuban champion of mixed-race identity, gave way to contrasting literary, scientific, and political commitments. Studying this fraternity sheds light on the collision/collusion of race, culture and society, which singled out the Haitian intellectual scene of the time. Laëthier carefully analyzes this crucial period of the building of Haitian anthropology in the 1940s.

Laurette Séjourné (1914-2003), archaelogist and anthropologist in Mexico, by Ian Merkel

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in French and English) about the life and work of Laurette Séjourné.

Merkel, Ian William, 2022. “Art, Archaeology and Socialism: The Life and Work of Laurette Séjourné, Interpreter of Mesoamerica”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article examines the life and work of Laurette Séjourné (1914–2003), archaeologist and anthropologist of Mexico. As the first of its kind in any language, the article written by Ian William Merkel provides a biographical portrait, covering Séjourné’s early career as a film editor and her archaeological work in Mexico with the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). It introduces Séjourné’s field-based monographs on Teotihuacan and Quetzalcoatl, her broader synthetic works such as Pensamiento y religión en el México antiguo, and her more politically engaged writings during the early years of Cuban socialism. Despite occupying a somewhat controversial role as a cultural interpreter at a time in which the discipline of archaeology became much more professionalized and scientific, Séjourné influenced scholars such as Miguel León-Portilla through her studies on religion and Teotihuacan. The article concludes by examining some of these controversies in light of the challenges that Séjourné faced as a woman and a foreigner in earning recognition for her work.

A History of the Harvard-Irish Mission (1930-1936), by Anne Byrne

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English) about the Harvard-Irish Mission.

Byrne, Anne, 2022. “‘Observers of the Minutiae of Social Life’: A History of the Harvard‑Irish Mission (1930‑1936)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Led by American academics and endorsed by the Irish government, the Harvard-Irish Mission (1930–1936) to Ireland was composed of three strands, physical anthropology, archaeology and social anthropology. The Mission’s publications and archives remain a significant point of reference to those engaged in understanding social change and the deep transformation of the Irish economy, culture and society across the twentieth century. Continuing to excite public, professional and artistic attention, the Harvard-Irish Mission is the basis of interrogative scholarly work in Irish social anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology and related academic disciplines such as sociology, history and geography. In Ireland, the professionalization of anthropology, sociology and archaeology are grounded in this history. The scholarly legacy of Family and Community in Ireland (1940) by American anthropologists Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball is evident in later writings and publications on community studies and anthropological methods, and it provides a rich theoretical and methodological resource for contemporary scholars of social and political change. This landmark monograph is based on the first modern social anthropological study to take place in Ireland, if not in Europe. Utilizing structural-functionalist theory and innovative field research methods, including qualitative interviews, Arensberg and Kimball’s influential ethnography stimulated debate and influenced anthropological inquiry for generations of Irish, US and European anthropologists. Moreover, artists, film, TV and radio documentary makers frequently revisit the Mission publications and archives to give expression to their engagement with and vision of historical and contemporary issues in rural Ireland. Film and radio productions evoke nostalgic ideas of Irish identity posited on the security of the past, the continuity of land ownership, the tie between, place, family home and farm while showing the fragmentation and disruption of the rural economy by forces of capitalist modernity. Arensberg and Kimball’s understanding of the traditional structure and the interpersonal relationships of the small farm family alerted readers to the forces of modernisation and change. While the family offered “strong resistance to slow assault,” they  predicted that change would come from within the family structure itself (1940: 223). In this article resulting from a lifelong dedication to the subject, Byrne provides an essential introduction to the Harvard-Irish Mission with a primary focus on the background, fieldwork, publications, reception and legacy of the social anthropology investigation in Ireland. 

Eva Lips (1906-1988), German Anti-Fascist Anthropologist, by Ingrid Kreide-Damani

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English ) about German anthropologist Eva Lips.

Kreide–Damani, Ingrid, 2022. “The Grande Dame of Ethnology in Leipzig: A Biography of Eva Lips”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

German anthropologist Eva Lips (1906–1988) was an opponent of the Nazi regime who established herself in the United States in 1934 with her husband, anthropologist Julius Lips (1895–1950). She was a successful anti-fascist exile writer, and she supported her husband in his field research on the economy and law of North American First Nations and African American minorities. In 1948, the couple returned to Leipzig in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany. In this fascinating article, Kreide-Damani unveils the biography of Eva Lips, who was born in Leipzig into an upper-middle-class family and grew up in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the educated middle class. She married Julius Lips at the age of 18, and they both moved to Cologne in 1925, where he was appointed director of the Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum of Ethnology in 1928 and associate professor of ethnology and sociology at the University of Cologne in 1930. The couple emigrated to the United States following Julius Lips’ dismissal from his Cologne posts in 1933 as an opponent of National Socialism.  When her husband died suddenly in 1950, Eva Lips succeeded him as director of the Julius Lips Institute for Comparative Sociology of Law and Ethnology and advanced to become one of the first female professors at the University of Leipzig. Closely associated with Julius Lips’ scientific approaches, she trained more than half of the graduate ethnologists in the GDR until the beginning of the third university reform in 1968. As a committed but unconventional and individually undogmatic citizen, Eva Lips played a decisive role in shaping the profile of ethnology in the GDR.

The Summer Institute of Linguistics, by Élise Capredon & Thomas Grillot

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in French) on the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).

Capredon, Élise & Thomas Grillot, 2022. “Une anthropologie au service de l’évangélisation : histoire(s) du Summer Institute of Linguistics”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Founded in the United States in 1934 by William Cameron Townsend (1896-1982), the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) is an evangelical missionary organization. It was founded in the context of the expansion of Protestant missionary evangelism to Latin America. The SIL specializes in translating the Bible into indigenous languages. The interest of the SIL’s missionary-translators in indigenous peoples and the work of translation led them to call upon anthropology and linguistics. For a long time, the SIL was led by the linguist Kenneth Pike (1912–2000), president from 1942 to 1978. After the Second World War, it expanded in Latin America (contemporary with the Indigenist moment), but also in Asia and Africa. The strategy of erasing the missionaryism behind the scientific objectives was essential to this success. From the 1970s onwards, the SIL was the object of virulent criticism which led to the expulsion of the organization from Brazil, Mexico, etc. Far from disappearing, it restructured itself, enhancing the higher education of its members in its International Linguistic Center, affiliated to the University of Texas in Dallas. Due to the number of its missionaries and the extension of its network, it occupies a central place in the Christian missionary movement. In spite of its descriptive aspect, Capredon and Grillot point out that the work of cataloguing and teaching languages proposed by SIL linguists is still essential today.

Francisco Martins Lage (1888-1957), Portuguese Ethnographer, by Maria Barthez

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English, French, and Portuguese) on Francisco Martins Lage, a recognized Portuguese ethnographer-intellectual outside of the university in the first half of the 20th century.

Barthez, Maria, 2022. “Ethnographer without a Chair, Playwright of ‘Portuguese Folklore’: The Life and Work of Francisco Lage”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Francisco Martins Lage (1888-1957) was part of a group of recognized Portuguese intellectuals who were ethnographers without a chair during the first half of the 20th century. Detached from the University – cultural anthropology and ethnology would take longer to be part of academic curricula in Portugal) –, this generation studied the Portuguese people and built a “demotic culture”. This was as an extension of the “ethnographic sensibility” of Portuguese anthropology and ethnography, composed in the 1st Republic (1910-1926) and the early years of dictatorship, from 1926 to 1933. It was centred on folk art (in its ’decorative essence’ and aesthetic exaltation), as a vehicle for the construction of the identity of the Portuguese nation. This set of ideas, based on an approach to the field of folk art, is evident in an ideological vision of the rural world, as a paradigm of folk traditions and the culture of the Portuguese people. This marked the discourse/programme of the Secretariado da Propaganda Nacional (SPN, National Bureau of Propaganda), a state organism of the Estado Novo regime (1933-1974), the dictatorial regime led by António de Oliveira Salazar (1889-1970).

More than sixty years after his death, Francisco Lage remains an unknown figure, both within the history of Portuguese anthropology in the 1930s and and within the history of the Estado Novo, and its actions of nationalist propaganda. However, Lage’s collaboration in international and national exhibitions, including the Aldeia mais portuguesa de Portugal, was decisive, and his activities multifaceted, as editor of several books dedicated to Portuguese ethnography, also as playwright of the Teatro do Povo, and the Verde Gaio ballets, as a gastronome – associated with the menus offered in Pousadas Portuguesas (regional historical hotels) , and finally in setting the Museu de Arte Popular.

H.H. Risley, Ethnologist of the British raj, by Chris Fuller

HAR is pleased to announce a recent release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in English) on ethnography and racial theory in the British India in the late 19th century.

Fuller, Chris, 2022. “Ethnography and Racial Theory in the British Raj: The Anthropological Work of H. H. Risley”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The systematic anthropology of British India developed alongside the decennial censuses, which started in 1871–2, and its declared purpose was always both ‘scientific’ and ‘administrative’ : to contribute to modern, European scientific knowledge and also to strengthen and improve British rule. Various labels have been adopted in the literature for colonial anthropologists in India, including ‘official anthropologists’, a term that usefully indicates both their status as officials and the fact that their work – ‘official anthropology’ – was mostly undertaken on behalf of the government. From the middle of the nineteenth century until the First World War, official anthropologists had a virtual monopoly in the field, because very few Indians and very few academics carried out anthropological research in India. The majority of them belonged to the Indian Civil Service (ICS), the elite administrative corps of the British raj, whose members were known as ‘civilians’, and the remainder were members of other government services or army officers. Sir Herbert Risley, a civilian who always signed himself ‘H. H. Risley’, was British India’s pre-eminent official anthropologist, though before 1900 or thereabouts he often called his field ‘ethnology’, rather than ‘anthropology’. This biographical article focuses almost entirely on Risley’s anthropological work and only briefly mentions his duties as a civil servant, which are described in the forthcoming book Anthropologist and Imperialist : H. H. Risley and British India, 1873-1911 on which this article is based.

New Publication and Virtual Book Launch: ETHNOGRAPHERS BEFORE MALINOWSKI, edited by Frederico D. Rosa and Han F. Vermeulen

The History of Anthropology Review is pleased to announce the release of the edited volume Ethnographers before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922. Published by Berghahn Books in June 2022 this lengthy tome is the result of over three years of dedicated effort by the editors and a team of twelve scholars from ten countries in four continents, exploring largely neglected aspects of the ethnographic archive and renovating the history of anthropology. Focusing on some of the most important ethnographers in early anthropology, this volume explores twelve defining works in the foundational period from 1870 to 1922. It challenges the assumption that intensive fieldwork and monographs based on it emerged only in the twentieth century. The so-called age of armchair anthropologists was also the era of ethnographers, including female practitioners and Indigenous experts.

The volume is a 540-page comment on the thesis that Bronisław Malinowski invented intensive fieldwork, and that he and A. R. Radcliffe-Brown founded social anthropology in the annus mirabilis 1922. Largely neglected by their followers, 220 ethnographers worldwide produced at least 365 ethnographic monographs in the fifty years before 1922. Presenting a selection from this vast archive, the twelve case studies demonstrate that sensitive fieldwork resulted in ethnographic accounts with multiple layers of meaning, style, and content. By proposing a new reading of this largely neglected literature, Ethnographers Before Malinowski is a vital source for recapturing—and rewriting—the history of anthropology.

For the Table of Contents and more information about the book: https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/RosaOther

A virtual book launch will take place during a Round Table at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, 7 July, 1.00pm-4.30pm (BST) / 2.00-5.30pm (CET). Chaired by David Shankland and Thomas Hylland Eriksen, this two-part event, entitled “Before and After Malinowski,” celebrates both the appearance of the edited volume Ethnographers Before Malinowski (2022) and the centennial of Bronisław Malinowski’s Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922). An invitation has been sent to all fellows of the RAI and all members of the History of Anthropology Network (HOAN). The programme and further details are now live.

Three theses will drive discussion during this Round Table:

1. In the fifty years before the publication of Argonauts of the Western Pacific at least 220 ethnographers produced 365 ethnographic monographs worldwide, but much of their work was side-tracked or neglected by Malinowski and his followers.

2. Malinowski is still celebrated as the inventor of intensive fieldwork in a single society, despite the fact that he had many predecessors in other societies and continents pursuing the same goal.

3. The success of British social anthropology has been partly due to its marginalizing the relative importance of other approaches such as non-functionalist ethnographies, comparative studies and ethnohistory.

Rosa, Frederico Delgado and Han F. Vermeulen (eds.) Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork, 1870-1922. Foreword by Thomas Hylland Eriksen. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books (EASA Series 44), June 2022. xviii + 522 pp.  

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.

New Book from Adriana Petryna: Horizon Work

The History of Anthropology Review (HAR) is pleased to announce the release of former HAR contributor Adriana Petryna‘s new book Horizon Work: At the Edges of Knowledge in an Age of Runaway Climate Change. Published this past April by Princeton University Press, Petryna’s work examines the twinned wildfire and climate crises through the frame of “horizoning,” a mode of reckoning that considers unnatural disasters against a horizon of expectation in which societies can still act. 

A full description of the book can be found below:

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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

Upcoming HOAN Meeting: Lecture from Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt

The next meeting of HOAN (History of Anthropology Network) will take place via Zoom on April 22, 2022, at 5:00 PM (CET). The distinguished keynote speaker will be Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt, with a lecture entitled “Franz Boas: Working for Social Justice and Battling Social Inequality.”

Abstract: Elsie Clews Parsons wrote Robert Lowie about her reactions to the chapter on Boas in his History of Ethnological Theory (1937). While offering praise for his “very just and discerning appraisal,” she remarked, “You do not mention his ardor in combating the scientific fallacies which bolster up social injustices. This has been more marked, of course, in recent years but it was always there and is an essential part of his make-up.” She mentioned a studio portrait of himself that Boas had given Parsons with the inscription, “Elsie Clews Parsons, fellow in the struggle for freedom from prejudice.” Parsons concluded, “I began that way and he ends that way. I suppose somewhere our trails crossed.” In this paper, I will draw from my recent manuscript – Franz Boas: Shaping Anthropology and Fostering Social Justice (University of Nebraska, fall 2022) – for a focus on Boas’s work for social justice, specifically with respect to race.

HOAN Correspondents will present the historiography of anthropological sciences in their respective countries, thus enriching our knowledge and perspectives. HOAN cordially invites all members of HOAN and sister organizations to attend the meeting by using this link (no password required).

Announcement: Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship

HAR would like to bring this petition to reinstate the SSRC’s Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program to the attention of our readers.  The IDRF is a tremendous source of support for international research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, and it is also a vital source of support for international students pursuing doctoral degrees at US institutions (where other fellowship opportunities often require US citizenship).

The fields of anthropology and the history of anthropology have benefited heavily from this program, and the IDRF supports a huge amount of scholars across different disciplines (for example, in 2019 there were 70 fellows). More information about the program can be found on the SSRC website.

The full text of the SSRC’s announcement regarding the end of this program can be found here, below:

An Announcement from the SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program

After an extraordinary 25-year run supporting graduate students conducting research across the globe, the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program is coming to a close. The 2022 IDRF cohort, to be announced this spring, will be the program’s final class of fellows. We are immensely grateful to IDRF’s selection committee members, evaluators, and fellows, whose dedicated work over the past two and a half decades has ensured the program’s success and cemented its enduring legacy.

Since its inception in 1997, in partnership with the Mellon Foundation, the International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program has funded more than 1,600 emerging scholars pursuing research that advances knowledge about non-US cultures, histories, politics, and societies around the world, as well as about US Indigenous communities. IDRF fellows have had a meaningful impact on the landscape of higher education, making significant achievements in scholarship, teaching, and beyond.

Few of the Mellon Foundation’s grantmaking commitments have extended for as long as its quarter of a century of support for IDRF, and during that time, IDRF accomplished many of the goals it had set for itself. “The Mellon Foundation is privileged to have supported the invaluable mission of IDRF, and the work of many cohorts of graduate students. Over the last 25 years, the program has demonstrated to the academy and beyond the indispensable value of immersive international research to first-rate scholarly production,” said Phil Harper, program director for Higher Learning at the Mellon Foundation.  

Although the IDRF program is coming to an end, promoting global research and collaboration remains a key commitment of the Council’s work. “Global scholarship has been central to the mission of the SSRC, and over the last 25 years the International Dissertation Research Fellowship has been critical to fulfilling that mission,” said SSRC president Anna Harvey. “Going forward, we will continue to develop new opportunities to support social and behavioral science around the world, including directly funding the work of researchers in the global South.” 

While the program will not hold any further fellowship competitions, its current fellows, as well as members of the soon-to-be announced 2022 cohort, will continue to receive the support of the Council through their fellowship terms. We thank the Mellon Foundation for their many years of past support and look forward to future partnerships.

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History of Anthropology Working Group with John L. Jackson, Jr., Wednesday, April 6, 2022

The next meeting of the 2022 History of Anthropology Working Group hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine will be held on Wednesday, April 6 at 12:00pm ET via Zoom. The topic of the discussion will be “thin description” with John L. Jackson, Jr., Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Please join us for a discussion about the politics and poetics of ethnography, past and present.
 
Main Readings (included as PDF):

  • John L. Jackson, Jr., Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, Harvard University Press, 2013. Chapters 1-4 and 20 (“Thin”) (1-38, 149-155)
  • Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture,” 1973, 14 pp.
  • John L. Jackson, Jr. “Bewitched by Boas,” 18-22, in Hau- Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7, no. 3 (2017): 18-22.

Additional readings (also included as PDF):

  • Jackson, Thin Description, Chapter 5, “Chicago.”
  • The rest of the special section of Hau which contains “Why do we read the classics?” with pieces by Fred Myers, Anastasia Piliavsky, Yarimar Bonilla, Adia Benton, and Paul Stoller. Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7, no. 3 (2017): 1-38.

Additional details about the group, access to the readings, and information on how to attend may be found on the Consortium website. Questions may be directed to John Tresch at john.tresch@sas.ac.uk.

A.L. Kroeber’s Work and Legacy, by Herbert Lewis et al.

Following the removal of Kroeber’s name from “Alfred Kroeber Hall” at the University of California-Berkeley in January 2021, a series of six papers dedicated to Kroeber was released in March 2022 by BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, in a dossier edited by Herbert S. Lewis. Originally delivered at the 2021 AAA conference in the session, “Alfred L. Kroeber: The Man, His Work and His Legacy,” the six papers offer retrospectives on the work of this major figure in the history of American anthropology. They are available at the links below:

Lewis, Herbert S., 2022. “Alfred L. Kroeber’s Career and Contributions to California’s Indigenous Peoples”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Brandes, Stanley, 2022. “The Anthropologist as Cultural Historian: Alfred Kroeber and the Forging of a Discipline”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Stanlaw, James, 2022. “Alfred Kroeber and the Development of Linguistic Anthropology: A Brief Reassessment”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Glazier, Jack, 2022. “The Kroeber‑Ishi Story: Three Cinematic Versions”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Barron, Nicholas, 2022. “Alfred Kroeber’s Handbook and Land Claims: Anthros, Agents, and Federal (Un)Acknowledgment in Native California”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy, 2022. “Goodbye Kroeber, Kroeber Hall, and the Man We Know as Ishi, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

From the 1940s until his death, Alfred Louis Kroeber (1876–1960) was considered by many as the “Dean of American Anthropology.” A New Yorker from a German immigrant family, Kroeber studied English at Columbia University, earning an M.A. degree. He left literature for anthropology and became Franz Boas’ first PhD at Columbia University in 1901; that year he left New York for a life in California. He was the founder and predominant intellectual force in the University of California-Berkeley Department of Anthropology from 1901 until his retirement in 1946, publishing more than 550 works—books, monographs, papers, reviews—on a wide range of topics in ethnology, linguistics, history, and archaeology, addressing the whole world of humans and their cultures, their pasts and their interconnections. He collected texts in Indian languages, recorded songs, and engaged in participant observation, while publishing works of theory, generalization, and worldwide cultural comparison.

Kroeber’s Handbook of the Indians of California is the foundation for the study of the indigenous peoples of that state. His linguistics, ethnography, and recordings have been invaluable to many California Indian groups and individuals; his research and testimony were central to the success of several California Indian groups in Land Claims cases against the United States government. His book, Anthropology (1948), remains a landmark, while his massive edited enterprise, Anthropology Today (1953), encompassed the wide scope of the field at that time. Kroeber became known outside of anthropology as a result of Theodora Kroeber’s book Ishi in Two Worlds (1961), published soon after her husband’s death. Despite their serious intellectual disagreements, Kroeber was one of the principal successors to Franz Boas and their legacies are closely entwined.


New Resource: Special Focus on “Fields” in Isis, Vol 113, no.1 (March 2022): 108-156.

A special focus on “fields” has just been published in the March 2022 issue of Isis.

Featuring contributions from our very own HAR editors Cameron Brinitzer and Rosanna Dent, this focus section grapples with the seemingly straightforward but surprisingly unexamined question “What is a field?” Through highlighting some of the many transformations that have taken place in the field sciences since the mid-twentieth century, this collection of articles shows that rather than operating as fixed sites or practices, fields and fieldwork are dynamic phenomena,  situated in particular times and places, and guided by scientific personas, epistemological premises, rhetorical aims, and historical processes.

The full text version of this special focus can be found here.

Theory and Iconography in J.F. Blumenbach (1952-1840), by Mario Marino

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

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

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

Fonseca Cardoso (1865-1912) and Portuguese Colonial Anthropology, by Ricardo Roque

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

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

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

The Cornell Project in Peru (1951-1966), by Thomas Grillot

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

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

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

Job Opportunity: Assistant Professor, General Faculty, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia

The University of Virginia’s Department of Anthropology invites applications for a three-year general faculty (non-tenure-track) position to teach regularly offered courses that serve our undergraduate major and graduate program, particularly in the history and theory of anthropology, ethnographic research and design, and ethnographic writing and representation. The successful applicant will be appointed as assistant professor, general faculty. This is a three-year, tenure-ineligible appointment with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon available funding, satisfactory performance, and need for the position. The successful candidate must have a PhD in anthropology. Preference will be given to candidates with at least five years’ university teaching experience (not including graduate school teaching assistantships), significant experience mentoring graduate students (advising, seminar, research design, and professional preparation) and a record of research and publication. Preference will be given to those who demonstrate commitment to teaching anthropology to diverse undergraduate and graduate audiences. Region and topic of specialization is open. Responsibilities of the position include teaching core courses in the undergraduate major and graduate program (as described above) and courses in the applicant’s area of interest (with a 3/3 load). The appointment start date is August 25, 2022.

Review of applications will begin on March 18, 2022 and the position will remain open until filled.

Additional details and instructions on how to apply may be found here.

History of Anthropology Working Group with Anand Pandian, March 2, 2022

The next meeting of the 2022 History of Anthropology Working Group hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine will be held on Wednesday, March 2 at 12:00pm ET via Zoom.

As part of our ongoing series on the relations between current anthropological practice and the discipline’s history, we’ll be engaging with work from Anand Pandian (The Johns Hopkins University) and resonances with Levi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques.

Readings include:

Anand Pandian, “A Method of Experience: Reading, Writing, Teaching, Fieldwork,” pp.44-76, in A Possible Anthropology: Methods for Uneasy Times (Duke, 2019).
 
Claude Levi-Strauss, from Tristes Tropiques (John and Doreen Weightman, trans., NY, Atheneum, 1975): “The Quest for Power” (37-45); and “The Making of an Anthropologist” (51-61). The full text of Tristes Tropiques is available here for borrowing.

Additional details about the group, access to the readings, and information on how to attend may be found on the Consortium website. Questions may be directed to John Tresch at john.tresch@sas.ac.uk.

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