News (page 1 of 16)

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

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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2024 New Year’s Update from HAR Editors

The start of a new year seems a good time to look back on what has been happening and to give you, faithful HAR readers, a sense of what’s ahead with our online journal. As always, we are very grateful to you for checking in with us, submitting new works, alerting us to upcoming events and opportunities, and letting us know about the work you and others are doing.

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New List of Indigenous American Anthropologists

Editors’ note: today’s post is courtesy of Sharlotte Neely, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Northern Kentucky University. Our thanks to Dr. Neely for making this resource available. Dr. Neely has also contributed a general list of anthropologists’ graves; more information on that list can be found in this post.

I have organized a list of more than 70 deceased anthropologists who were American Indians. Dozens of tribes and nations are represented from every culture area in North America. Included are Ph.D. anthropologists (like Alfonso Ortiz), proto-anthropologists (like Black Hawk), amateur anthropologists (like Bodaga Pino), assistants to anthropologists (like Kopeli), key informants (like Will West Long), and unintentional anthropologists (like Ishi). The list can be viewed at Find a Grave. I would much appreciate being contacted at about additional people I should add to the list or corrections I should make, including editing individual entries and adding photos.

Two of the most interesting items I have learned in creating the list are, first, the number of non-Indian anthropologists who credited Indians who worked with them, often as co-authors, rather than anonymous informants, and, second, how many Indians with graduate degrees in anthropology worked professionally in the field of anthropology from the beginning of the discipline in the United States and Canada. 

Portuguese Anthropology in Retrospect, by Almeida, Cachado and Saraiva

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles in English and Portuguese, respectively, that overview the history – and the historiography – of Portuguese anthropology.

Almeida, Sónia Vespeira de & Rita Cachado, 2023. “Beyond the “Carnation Revolution”: An Overview of Contemporary Histories of Portuguese Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3078.html

Saraiva, Clara, 2023. “Histórias e Memórias da Antropologia Portuguesa,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article2906.html

The history of anthropology in Portugal began to be systematized after the 1974 “Carnation Revolution,” which put an end to the longest fascist-type dictatorship in Europe. In the first paper, Almeida and Cachado look at how the history of Portuguese anthropology has been studied. Historical perspectives on Portuguese anthropology before the revolution tend to emphasize the connections between anthropologists’ work and the dictatorship project, while the work of anthropologists after the revolution is viewed as being more in tune with international or cosmopolitan anthropologies. An attentive reading of this literature shows that there were more than two historically distinctive ways of practicing anthropology. The article explores both the history and the historiography of the discipline in Portugal, highlighting some of the fundamental contributions that have been made to understand and contextualize this peculiar anthropological tradition within and beyond old nation- and empire-building motives. On the one hand, the main ideas and discussions contained in that bibliography – mostly written in Portuguese – are analyzed and synthesized, while on the other hand suggesting possible paths which the historiography of anthropology in Portugal could take in the future. 

In the second article entitled “Histories and Memories of Portuguese Anthropology,” Saraiva reviews some of the major publications on the history of Portuguese anthropology and adds a more personal perspective related to the author’s path from her training in Lisbon and the United States to her presidency of the Portuguese Anthropological Association (APA) – including her close association with key figures in the recent history of Portuguese anthropology. The text underlines the continuities and ruptures that occurred at different moments and reveals the ambivalences of the discipline during the dictatorship of the Estado Novo, as well as the tensions or connections between the nation-building and empire-building projects. Along with the intellectual and political changes resulting from the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974, new forms of institutionalization emerged, both in the universe of academia and at the professional level with the creation of the APAin 1989. The text takes us to the summer of 2021, two years before the 50th anniversary of the death of Jorge Dias, a leading figure in modern Portuguese anthropology.

Museums in Native American Country, by Thomas Grillot

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English that historicizes local and community-oriented museal institutions in the reservation of Standing Rock.

Grillot, Thomas, 2023. “Familiar in Many Shapes: A Historical (and Contemporary) Overview of Museums in Native American Country,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3160.html

Discussions of the role of museums in Native lives and communities often overestimate their alienness in Native American country. In fact this institution is, Grillot proposes, quietly familiar, and should be studied as such. A view of the problem from the Dakota/Lakota reservation of Standing Rock emphasizes the very diverse presence of the museum in Native lives as a means of producing culture and identities. It shows how networks of local actors developed museum-like forms of exhibiting Native cultural artifacts that nourished reservation life. From powwows to school outings, from window cases in shops to exhibits inside Native homes, from employment in museums to the building of private collections by tribal members, museums in Dakota/Lakota country inspire and sponsor myriad practices, some intimate, others very much public-oriented. Familiar, even if regularly contested, these museum-like practices have always been appropriated from within relationships that tie together craftspeople and artists and their families, on the one hand, and discrete institutions, rather than “museums” in general, on the other. In this study based both on fieldwork experience and archival sources, Grillot reconstitutes this history through vignettes centered on the Standing Rock reservation that emphasize the importance of replacing museums in regional geographies, and the living tradition of creating local and community-oriented museal institutions in Native country.

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

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U.S.

May 31-June 1, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All proposals and requests for information should be sent to

History of Anthropology Panels at HSS, 2023

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

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

Thursday, November 9

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 11

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 12

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

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

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

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

History of Anthropology Panels at AAA, 2023 (Updated)

The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held online and in-person in Toronto from November 15-19, 2023.

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

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New Study Group on Philosophy of Anthropology

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading list 

8th of November 

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

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

22nd of November 

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

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

6th of December 

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

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

(Only pages 194-204) 

20th of December 

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


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

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

[Dates for the next meetings to be determined] 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan Czekanowski between Africanist and Slavicist studies, by Bar and Tymowski

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on Polish ethnographer and anthropologist Jan Czekanowski.

Bar, Joanna & Michał Tymowski, 2023. “Jan Czekanowski, a Polish Anthropologist between Two Eras of European Cultural History,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article2971.html

This article recaptures the trajectory and describes the ethnographic and anthropological work of Polish Africanist and Slavicist Jan Czekanowski (1882–1965). After developing a new method in the study of racial classification, he took part in the German Central-African Expedition of 1907–1909, during which he conducted fieldwork in the interlacustrine region of Africa. The article analyses the results of his anthropological and ethnographic researches in central Africa—including his comprehensive photographic documentation—which were published between 1911 and 1927 in a five-volume work, Forschungen im Nil-Kongo-Zwischengebiet. The article also highlights Czekanowski’s studies on the ethnogenesis of the Slavs, which he conducted after and under the effect of World War I, as well as his role as creator of the Lwów school of physical anthropology, concomitant with his academic career as a professor at the University of Lwów from 1913 to 1941. Based on both published sources and archival materials largely ignored outside of Poland, the article reassesses Czekanowski’s place in disciplinary history as a cosmopolitan anthropologist connected to numerous European scholarly societies.

Marcel Mauss Revisited, by Thomas Beaufils

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French on the correspondence between Marcel Mauss and Dutch scholars.

Beaufils, Thomas, 2023. “Marcel Mauss, la Hollande et les Hollandais. Correspondance de 1898 à 1938,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3115.html

The sheer volume of articles and books devoted to both the published texts and the manuscripts of Marcel Mauss (1872–1959) over the decades suggests that all facets of the French scholar’s personality and intellectual activity have been widely explored. However, although a very serious and patient effort has been made in recent years to assemble and describe the relevant archives, the task of locating unpublished documents has not yet been completed. In fact, Mauss’s work is characterized by the extreme dispersion of the writings he bequeathed; and all his known correspondence has yet to be fully transcribed. The present piece is a contribution to this tireless work of compilation and translation, in order to give as accurate a picture as possible of the scientific output of the “father of French anthropology.” The correspondence transcribed here comprises mostly letters exchanged between Mauss and Dutch scholars, and also with the Amsterdam rabbinate, including one in German. The collection spans the period from 1898, when Mauss was only 26 and still a student, to 1938, when the great scholar was at the height of his fame. The aim of this dossier is to draw up an inventory of the links that existed between Marcel Mauss and the Netherlands during this period. The content of this correspondence is often personal, and therefore not exclusively scientific. This piece appears within the BEROSE encyclopedic dossier dedicated to Marcel Mauss, which comprises over fifty resources, both primary and secondary sources. 

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