News (page 1 of 9)

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.

New Release from BEROSE – Guimarães on de Azevedo

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo, written in Portuguese by Antonio Guimarães (transl: “Racial Democracy and Folk Religiosity in Thales de Azevedo: Portrait of a Chatolic Anthropologist”).

Guimarães, Antonio Sérgio Alfredo, 2021. “Democracia racial e religiosidade popular em Thales de Azevedo: retrato de um antropólogo católico”, in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Brazilian anthropologist Thales de Azevedo (1904-1995) has stood out in the history of anthropology since the 1950s, when he was part of a major study on race relations in Brazil sponsored by UNESCO. In this sensitive article, Antonio Guimarães argues that Azevedo was a politically engaged Catholic whose conservatism was counterbalanced by his sense of social justice. His studies of Catholicism sought to apply anthropology to the understanding of folk religiosity in Brazil. With a focus on Brazilian folk cultures, Azevedo conducted ethnographic fieldwork and wrote about daily life and its rites. Azevedo was among the first generations of scholars who instituted anthropology as an academic discipline in Brazil and he was a central figure in the foundation and later the direction of the Brazilian Association of Anthropology. Azevedo’s vast work includes As elites de cor (1955), Catolicismo no Brasil (1955), Social Change in Brazil  (1963), and Democracia racial: ideologia e realidade (1975).

CFP: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures Special Issue on “Decolonizing Europe: national and transnational projects”

The Anthropological Journal of European Cultures is inviting expressions of interest for a special themed issue on ‘Decolonizing Europe: national and transnational projects’ that will be edited by Patrícia Ferraz de Matos (Universidade de Lisboa) and Livio Sansone (Universidade Federal da Bahia) and published in the Fall 2021.

Pieces should be no longer than 3000 words (including references). Editors particularly welcome contributions from early career scholars and postgraduates–although they welcome submissions from established scholars too.

Interested contributors should submit a brief expression of interest outlining the proposed chapter (circa 300 words) to Patrícia Ferraz de Matos (patricia_matos@ics.ulisboa.pt) and Livio Sansone (sansone@ufba.br) by 5 March 2021.

More information on the thematic focus of this special issue is provided below.

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Activist Realignments in the History of Anthropology: The Association of Senior Anthropologists’ Panels at “Raising our Voices”

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, an online event titled “Raising our Voices” was offered as a substitute. I had organized a history of anthropology-themed panel for the cancelled meeting, but along with my fellow panelists, elected to put it on hold as we all prepared for the transition of service and teaching to online platforms. I was therefore delighted when the Association of Senior Anthropologists announced that they had organized two panels for “Raising our Voices.” It was clear from the panel abstracts that the ASA sought to bring an historical dimension to the activist theme implied by the title of the new event, emphasizing the continuity of activism throughout the history of the discipline.

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CFP: Préhistoire et anthropologie entre science, philosophie, politique et internationalisme. Colloque international sur Gabriel de Mortillet, Paris

On the occasion of the bicentennial of the prehistorian Gabriel de Mortillet’s (1821-1898) birth, the Musée d’archéologie nationale and the French research centres “Natural History of Prehistoric Man” and “Archaeology and Philology of the East and the West” are organizing an international conference entitled: Préhistoire et anthropologie entre science, philosophie, politique et internationalisme. À propos de Gabriel de Mortillet (Prehistory and anthropology between science, philosophy, politics and internationalism. About Gabriel de Mortillet).

The conference will be held in Paris (École Normale Supérieure) and Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Musée d’archéologie nationale) on 25-26 November 2021.

Organizers are currently accepting submissions for this event’s three thematic sessions:

  1. Penser et faire l’anthropologie et l’archéologie préhistorique au XIXe siècle
  2. Les archives du sol et les archives documentaires : un regard croisé et multidisciplinaire
  3. Gabriel de Mortillet préhistorien et voyageur scientifique sans frontières

Interested speakers are invited to submit their proposals online (via the registration section). The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2021.

More information about this event can be found here.

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Reminder: Native American Scholars Initiative (NASI) Pre- and Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities, American Philosophical Society, Upcoming Deadline

A reminder that the deadline to apply for pre and postdoctoral fellowships at the Library & Museum of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia is Friday, January 29, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET

The Library & Museum of the American Philosophical Society invites applications for predoctoral, postdoctoral, and short-term research fellowships from scholars at all stages of their careers, especially Native American scholars in training, tribal college and university faculty members, and other scholars working closely with Native communities on projects in Native American and Indigenous Studies and related fields and disciplines. 

Fellows will be associated with the APS’s Center for Native American and Indigenous Research (CNAIR), which promotes greater collaboration among scholars, archives, and Indigenous communities. CNAIR focuses on helping Indigenous communities and scholars to discover and utilize the APS collection in innovative ways. The Collections comprise a vast archive of documentary sources (including manuscript materials, audio recordings, and images) related to over 650 indigenous cultures, predominantly from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The Indigenous Subject Guide may be accessed through the CNAIR webpage: http://www.amphilsoc.org/CNAIR

See individual fellowship descriptions below for more information and instructions on how to apply. 

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CFP: Антропологии/ Anthropologies Special Issue on the History of European Anthropologies

The Russian open access journal Антропологии/Anthropologies, published by the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology (Russian Academy of Sciences), is currently seeking contributions for a special issue on the histories of anthropology in Europe.

The aim of the issue is to provide the journal’s (mainly) Russian speaking readership with an idea of the current state of the field of history of anthropology in Europe or as practiced by European scholars. Editors are interested in research articles that exemplify current practices of writing the history of anthropology. Contributions that reflect on purposes and trends in this field are also welcome. Submissions do not need to be fully original research articles. Rather, they might present versions of already published research or works that are expected to be published in languages other than Russian.

Articles should be approximately 9,000 words. Submissions can be written in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and French, and will be accepted until 15 March 2021.

Original English texts will be published in both English and Russian versions of the journal.

More information about the journal and the submission process can be found here.

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Online Seminar: Anthropology After Gluckman, January 21, 2021

On 21 January 2021, from 5:00-6:30pm, the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford is hosting a special panel discussion on Richard Werbner’s book: Anthropology After Gluckman: The Manchester School, Colonial and Postcolonial Transformations (2020).

The panel features author Richard Werbner (University of
Manchester) in conversation with Marilyn Strathern (University of Cambridge), Adam Kuper, (Boston University), Richard Fardon (SOAS), and Sakkie Niehaus (Brunel University). The discussion will be moderated by Wale Adebanwi (University of Oxford).

The meeting can be joined by following this link.

RSVP: Brenda McCollum (brenda.mccollum@kellogg.ox.ac.uk)

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Reminder: History of Anthropology Working Group, “Antiblackness and Indigeneity,” January 6, 2021

The next meeting of the History of Anthropology Working Group, hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The topic for the discussion will be “Antiblackness and Indigeneity.”

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New Release from BEROSE – Faeta on Cancian

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in two versions – English and Italian – on the visual ethnography of U.S. anthropologist Frank Cancian, who sadly just passed away on November 24, 2020.

Faeta, Francesco, 2020. “‘I never left Lacedonia’. The 1950s Italian Mezzogiorno in Frank Cancian’s Visual Ethnography,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Faeta, Francesco, 2020. “«I never left Lacedonia». Il Mezzogiorno italiano degli anni Cinquanta nell’etnografia visuale di Frank Cancian,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

When the iconic U.S. visual anthropologist Frank Cancian – who died on November 24, 2020 – was a 23-year old, he did path-breaking fieldwork in Southern Italy, the Mezzogiorno. In the late 1950s, this region was in the forefront of community studies, but social scientists were divided between a commitment for knowledge, reformist and ideological perspectives, or simply the aspiration to describe a supposedly archaic world that was finally embracing “modernity.” While some shed a gloomy light on the supposed lack of agency of the Mezzogiorno peasants, Frank Cancian conducted his systematic photographic survey in the village of Lacedonia with utmost respect for the inhabitants and attention to their daily community social life. Away from ideological prejudice, he showed a desire for visual experimentation within a frame of reciprocity. In this illustrated article, which was written in dialogue with Cancian and now pays tribute to his legacy, Francesco Faeta claims that no anthropologist who studied the South of Italy during those years has left us with a more vivid and complete photographic portrait of its communities. Cancian experienced the desire to understand the dark side of the observed society, manifest through emigration, unemployment, social disparity, mistrust, disenchantment, and an ambiguous relationship with looming modernity. Faeta gives the reader an in-depth historical, theoretical, and methodological account of the issues at stake in Cancian’s visual ethnography and Italian studies of the post-war period. Fifty years later, in 2017, Frank Cancian bequeathed 1,801 photographs and his field notebooks to the community of Lacedonia, so passing on an invaluable testimony which is displayed in a photographic exhibition curated by Francesco Faeta, held in Rome at the Museo delle Civiltà (Museum of Civilizations) until January 2021.

New release from BEROSE – Cavalcanti on Nogueira

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in two versions – English and Portuguese – on Brazilian anthropologist Oracy Nogueira.

Cavalcanti, Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, 2020. “Racial Prejudice and Stigma of Disease: The Pioneering Work of Oracy Nogueira,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Cavalcanti, Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, 2020. “Preconceito racial e estigma da doença na obra pioneira de Oracy Nogueira,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Oracy Nogueira (1917-1996), a Brazilian sociologist with broad anthropological training, took groundbreaking approaches to the study of racial prejudice and the stigma of disease. In this article published in two versions – Portuguese and English – Maria Laura Cavalcanti highlights the fact that Nogueira had himself experienced the stigma of disease as he had to isolate himself for tuberculosis treatment as a young man, between 1936 and 1938. His intellectual trajectory, prior to and following his Ph.D. studies at the University of Chicago in the 1940s, expresses the fecundity of Brazilian social sciences during the decisive period from the 1930s to the early 1960s. According to Cavalcanti, Nogueira’s anthropology, particularly his studies of the relations between black and white populations both in Brazil and the United States, allow us to place him in the pantheon of classic authors in Brazilian social sciences.

New Release from BEROSE – Lewis on the 1906 Boas Anniversary Volume

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. It is a “Who’s Who in the Age of Boas,” written by Herbert S. Lewis.

Lewis, Herbert S., 2020. “Who’s Who in the Age of Boas: The Sponsors of Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas (1906)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

In 1906, when Franz Boas was 48 years old, he was honored with Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas, “Presented to Him on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of His Doctorate.” This massive volume, containing 43 scholarly papers, gives powerful testimony to the impact of Franz Boas on the establishment of anthropology as an academic and scientific discipline in America even at that early date. In this ambitious article, Herbert S. Lewis describes a complex, intercontinental network of scholars and sponsors, including unexpected figures such as two whaling captains known to Boas from his Baffin Island fieldwork in 1883-84. Boas’s continuing direct and active connection to European scholarship is evident in the fact that about a third of the contributions are from that continent, particularly from Germany and Austria. Lewis highlights the fact that the contributions of a younger generation pointing in the direction of what would become modern American anthropology was counterbalanced by a majority of papers by “pre-Boasian” ethnologists and antiquarians. Something else that the volume indicates is the extent to which Franz Boas had reached beyond the scholarly community to the world of wealthy and powerful men who supported his anthropological projects. Approximately 50 individuals were listed as backers of this fundamental volume and their backgrounds are revealing of the patronage for this new science at the birth of its institutionalization and professionalization. By rediscovering the lives of these numerous and largely ignored personalities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lewis reveals how the Boas Anniversary Volume marks the transition to a new anthropology in the United States. 1906 was, in this sense, a key moment in the history of the discipline.

New release from BEROSE – Argyriadis & Laëthier on Anthropologies and Nation-Building in Haiti and Cuba

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This is an article by Kali Argyriadis and Maud Laëthier, presenting the research theme they co-direct for BEROSE about anthropologies and nation-building in Haiti and Cuba (1930-1990). The article is published in three languages: English, Spanish, and French.

Laëthier, Maud & Kali Argyriadis, 2020. “Anthropologies and Nation-building in Cuba and Haiti (1930-1990),” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This article sketches the outlines of a comparative history of social and cultural anthropology in Cuba and Haiti. It examines the role played by the discipline in the construction of the national cultural identities of both countries, and the peculiar interweaving of anthropological thought and political discourse. With a focus on the period from the 1930s to the 1970s, Kali Argyriadis and Maud Laëthier shed light on a complex circulation of people and ideas both within and beyond the Caribbean through transnational networks and artistic movements that claimed to be anti-imperialist, socialist, or communist. They highlight the role played by iconic figures such as Fernando Ortiz, Jean-Price Mars or Jacques Roumain in reshaping the concept of race and exploring a new national imagination. The meaning of being Haitian or Cuban was not necessarily a matter of racial dignity so much as of cultural authenticity, and the debates in question had an international impact to the point of affecting the notion of ‘Otherness’ in the United States and Europe.

Reminder: History of the Human Sciences: Early Career Prize, 2020-21

History of the Human Sciences – the international journal of peer-reviewed research that provides the 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 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 C.V. (including a statement that confirms eligibility for the award) and an essay that is a maximum of 12,000 words long (including notes and references). The essay should be unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere, based on original research, written in English, and follow History of the Human Science’s style guide. Scholars are advised to read the journal’s description of its aims and scope, as well as its submission guidelines.

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

Eligibility

Scholars of any nationality who have either not yet been awarded a Ph.D. 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.

Prize

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

Deadlines

Entries should be made by Friday, January 29th, 2021. The panel aims to make a decision by Friday, April 30th, 2021. 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 to the journal.

Previous Winners

2019-20’s winner was Danielle Carr (Columbia University) for their essay, “Ghastly Marionettes and the political metaphysics of cognitive liberalism: Anti-behaviourism, language, and The Origins of Totalitarianism.” The committee also awarded a special commendation to Katie Joice (Birkbeck University) for their essay “Mothering in the Frame: cinematic microanalysis and the pathogenic mother, 1945-67.” You can read more about these essays in interviews with Danielle and Katie on the journal’s website.

To Apply

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

Further Enquiries

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

Recognition in Unexpected Places: The Yaqui Indians and the 89th Wenner-Gren International Symposium with Nicholas Barron

The School for Advanced Research (SAR) presents its next online salon: “Recognition in Unexpected Places: The Yaqui Indians and the 89th Wenner-Gren International Symposium,” with speaker Nicholas Barron. The salon will take place on Tuesday, December 8th at 2:00 pm U.S. Mountain Standard Time.

In November of 1981, an assortment of academics gathered in Tucson, Arizona for the 89th Wenner-Gren International Symposium. Organized in collaboration with the newly federally recognized Pascua Yaqui Tribe and local anthropologists, the symposium promised a public reenactment and interdisciplinary examination of Yaqui rituals and performances. A relatively forgotten event in a seemingly out-of-the-way place, the gathering served as an installment in a longstanding and mutually constructive history of Indigenous recognition and anthropological authority in the Southwest.  

Nicholas Barron is the 2020 William Y. and Nettie K. Adams Summer Scholar at SAR. Barron is associate faculty of anthropology at Mission College and managing editor at the History of Anthropology Review. In his talk, he will llustrate how the International Symposium became a consequential participant in the ongoing efforts to re-present the Yaqui as a newly recognized American Indian tribe. Yaqui intellectuals and activists strategically embraced and challenged anthropological institutions and authority in order to affirm their newfound political status—even in unexpected places such as an academic conference. 

Advance registration is required. To register for this event, please visit the SAR website here.

New release from BEROSE – Kuba on Frobenius and World War I

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This release is a fascinating paper by Richard Kuba about Leo Frobenius’s activities during World War I, and is extensively illustrated.

Kuba, Richard, 2020. “An Ethnologist on the Warpath: Leo Frobenius and the First World War,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Leo Frobenius (1873–1938), one of the most famous and controversial German ethnologists of the twentieth century, emphasized the historicity of African cultures and his work was inspirational to the representatives of the “Négritude” movement who aimed at re-establishing the cultural self-awareness of African peoples. Richard Kuba demonstrates, however, that any portrait of Frobenius is incomplete – if not distorted – if his activities and writings as an ethnologist engaged in World War I are not taken into account. Frobenius spent the war years not only as a researcher, but as the leader of a secret mission, propagandist, and director of a prisoner-of-war camp. As dazzling as his war experience may seem, it nevertheless reveals a great deal about the basic orientations of this rather unusual founding father of early twentieth-century anthropology and of the embedded-ness of the discipline in greater political regimes.

New release from BEROSE – Gonçalves on Luís Cascudo

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This article, in Portuguese, presents Brazilian anthropologist and folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo. It is published as part of the research theme “Histories of Anthropology in Brazil,” which was edited by Stefania Capone and Fernanda Peixoto.

Gonçalves, José Reginaldo Santos, 2020. “O folclore no Brasil na visão de um etnógrafo nativo: um retrato intelectual de Luís da Câmara Cascudo”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Brazilian anthropologist and folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo (1898-1986), who specialized in the folk cultures of his own country, is an under-acknowledged figure in the history of the discipline. In this compelling article in Portuguese, J. R. Santos Gonçalves portrays Cascudo as a “native ethnographer,” whose work is capable of igniting our contemporary imagination. Cascudo focused his attention on the most humble, material, earthly aspects of daily life, be they a sleeping hammock, a raft, food and cachaça, or popular gestures and expressions. In many of Cascudo’s studies, the human body was present as a fundamental, unavoidable mediator. Santos Gonçalves also highlights the fact that this “excluded ancestor,” while spending all his life in his hometown of Natal, in the legendary Nordeste, was part of the Brazilian Modernist movement in the 1920s and 1930s. Associated as Cascudo was with “folklore” studies, his importance remained unacknowledged by the academic community of anthropologists. He is the author of numerous books that vividly recreate the universe of folk cultures in Brazil and continue to be re-printed, while his works remain important sources for current researchers.

New release from BEROSE – Mary on Leenhardt

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This latest release is a paper, in French, about the French Protestant missionary and ethnologist Maurice Leenhardt.

Mary, André, 2020. “Maurice Leenhardt, un ethnologue en mission,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

This ambitious biographical essay restores the complexity and depth of Maurice Leenhardt’s (1878-1954) missionary and ethnological endeavors in New Caledonia over more than twenty years. André Mary also evokes Leenhardt’s “second” career after he returned to France, where he was soon recognized as a first-class ethnologist, in dialogue with luminaries such as Paul Rivet, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl and Marcel Mauss. His academic career did not prevent Leenhardt from remaining deeply committed to the Protestant world at the heart of a working-class neighborhood in Paris. He also reflected on the paradoxes of the missionary condition, and dedicated himself to a comparative history of missions abroad. Far from the postmodern and postcolonial critique, Mary analyses Leenhardt’s masterpiece Do Kamo (1947) by remaining as truthful as possible to the missionary’s ethnolinguistic inquiry, while evoking his conversations with Indigenous interlocutors on Kanak notions of person and body, mythical consciousness, and worldview.

New release from BEROSE – Thubauville on Jensen

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in English, concerns the German ethnographer Adolf Jensen, disciple of Leo Frobenius, who did fieldwork in southern Ethiopia in the 1930s and 1950s.

Thubauville, Sophia, 2020. “Of Phallic Stele, Heroes and Ancient Cultures. Adolf Ellegard Jensen’s Research in Southern Ethiopia,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Adolf Ellegard Jensen (1899-1965), a major disciple of the legendary Leo Frobenius, was himself one of the most influential German anthropologists of his time. His intellectual activity mainly concerned the fields of religion, myth, and ritual. A new article by Sophia Thubauville is dedicated to Jensen’s pioneering expeditions to southern Ethiopia in the 1930s and 1950s. Jensen’s research took place before Protestant missions converted the local population in large numbers and before the socialist revolution led to radical cultural and social change among the peoples of Ethiopia. As there exist no other descriptions of this region from that time, his accounts are a cultural archive for anthropologists, historians, and the people of southern Ethiopia. In addition to his extensive publications, Jensen also succeeded in interesting numerous young researchers in the region; their students and successors collaborate with a new generation of German anthropologists pursuing anthropological research in present-day southern Ethiopia.

New release from BEROSE – Pallares-Burke on Rüdiger Bilden

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in English, is about a forgotten figure in Afro-Brazilian studies, Rüdiger Bilden.

Pallares–Burke, Maria Lúcia G., 2020. “An Intellectual Portrait of Rüdiger Bilden, Forgotten Forerunner of Gilberto Freyre,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

In her touching portrait of a forgotten figure in Afro-Brazilian studies, Maria Lúcia Pallares-Burke brings to life German anthropologist Rüdiger Bilden (1893-1980), disciple of Franz Boas and colleague of Melville Herskovits at Columbia University. As early as 1929, Bilden coined the expression which identified Brazil as a “laboratory of civilizations,” a concept that has been highly controversial ever since. Bilden’s analyses of the effects of slavery on Brazilian society and culture are little known, however, in comparison to the thesis of his lifelong friend, the famous Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Freyre. Bilden did not finish his Ph.D. at Columbia in the 1920s, published little and was unable to build a career. At a broader level, Bilden’s most important contribution concerned the question of race relations in the United States, a cause to which he gave increasing attention as the prospect of finishing his ambitious volumes on Brazilian slavery was diminishing. 

New release from BEROSE – Palisse on Roumain and Damas

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in French, concerns Haitian author Jacques Roumain, French Guyanese poet and politician Léon-Gontran Damas, and Haitian anthropology intellectual networks in the 1930s-1940s.

Palisse, Marianne, 2020. “Jacques Roumain, Léon-Gontran Damas, et les filiations de l’anthropologie haïtienne des années 1930-1940 : vers la constitution d’espaces intellectuels transcoloniaux ?,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The article builds on the crossing of paths of the Haitian Jacques Roumain and the French Guyanese Léon-Gontran Damas, and tries to shed light on the intellectual networks that inspired the practice of anthropology in the French-speaking Black Americas in the 1930s-1940s. The Institut d’Ethnologie de Paris, where Roumain and Damas studied, had a big influence on their own ideas of anthropology. But Damas and Roumain were also active members of Black intellectual networks on both sides of the Atlantic. These networks were connected with antifascist and antiracist groups of intellectuals but also with surrealism groups. Within these linkages, Haiti played a special role. Damas and Roumain saw anthropology as a tool for their project of improving the status of Black cultures and popular cultures. From their viewpoints as intellectuals from colonized countries and their refusal of assimilation, they took part in an in-depth reinterpretation of the discipline.

Upcoming History of Anthropology Talks at the HSS/SHOT Virtual Forum

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the History of Science Society (HSS) and the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will not hold their planned in-person joint meeting this October, but will hold an online-only Virtual Forum, with a full schedule of talks, roundtables, social activities, flash talks, book presentations, and more. It will take place from October 8 through October 11, 2020.

The HAR News editors would like to highlight several events on the program related to the history of anthropology. Please note that the event times given are in Eastern Standard Time (U.S.) Registration for the Virtual Forum is required; a discounted registration rate is available for graduate students and unemployed and precariously employed scholars, and grant funding is available to fully reimburse graduate student registration fees. Please note that events are subject to change and it is best to check the program regularly for the events you are interested in.

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Call for Applications: History of the Human Sciences Early Career Prize

History of the Human Sciences– an international journal of peer-reviewed research, which provides the 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 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 as 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.

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New release from BEROSE – Pouillon on Van Gennep in Algeria

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. This paper, in French, examines Arnold Van Gennep’s fieldwork in Algeria in 1911 and 1912, his only ethnographic work outside of Europe.

Pouillon, François, 2020. “Arnold Van Gennep en Algérie. Le détour exotique d’un ethnologue de l’Europe,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Arnold van Gennep is best known today for his rites of passage theory, his contributions to the international debate on totemism, and his folklore studies. In this paper, François Pouillon reveals a less known facet: Van Gennep’s field experience in a colonial context, namely in Algeria, from 1911-1912. He invites the reader to browse through Van Gennep’s articles, archives, and his fascinating monograph En Algérie (In Algeria, 1914). Van Gennep developed a demanding research practice and a kind of reflexivity that was quite innovative at the time. Pouillon convincingly demonstrates that this Algerian experience was indeed a turning point in Van Gennep’s career, as it encouraged him to pursue his ethnography in rural France for reasons related to the predicaments of research in Muslim countries under European rule. Pouillon’s reading of the fascinating key text Les demi-savants (The Semi-Scholars, 1911), written in the same period, sheds further light on Van Gennep’s personality and on his singular place in the history of anthropology.

Webinar: The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn? Race, Racism, and Its Reckoning in American Anthropology

The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research will host a webinar on September 23rd at 2:00 PM PST/5:00 PM EST on “The Case for Letting Anthropology Burn? Race, Racism, and Its Reckoning in American Anthropology,” sponsored by the UCLA Department of Anthropology Race, Racism, Policing and State Violence Committee, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

To register for this event click here.

Moderators: Kamari M. Clarke & Deborah Thomas

Introduction by Danilyn Rutherford, President, Wenner-Gren Foundation

Lucia Cantero, Assistant Professor of International Studies, University of San Francisco

Ryan Jobson, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago

Chris Loperena, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, CUNY Graduate Center

Jonathan Rosa, Associate Professor of Education, Stanford University

Savannah Shange, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz

Zoe Todd, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Carleton University

Tripod: Performance, Media, Cybernetics by Jennifer Cool

A New Way of “Staging” the History of Anthropology

Jennifer Cool, Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Anthropology at the University of Southern California, is both a social anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that she has spent the past few years experimenting with staged performances and film in an attempt to draw out what she has described as “the performative entanglements of media.”[1]

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