Announcements (page 4 of 11)

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

Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon’s Journals – Webinar and Book Launch

The Royal Anthropological Institute will host a webinar and book launch for Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon’s Journals from his Expeditions to Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898, with the book’s editors Dr. Anita Herle (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Jude Philp (University of Sydney) on April 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm GMT (7:00 am EST).

To register, please click here.

Recording Kastom brings readers into the heart of colonial Torres Strait and New Guinea with the personal journals of Cambridge zoologist and anthropologist Alfred Haddon. Haddon’s journals highlight his comprehensive vision of anthropology and preoccupation with documentation and reveal the central role played by named Islanders who worked with him to record their kastom. The work of Haddon and the members of the 1898 Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait was hugely influential on the nascent discipline of anthropology and remains of great interest to Islanders and scholars working in the region.

Join the authors and editors for a discussion of the content and process of publishing the journals, involving collaboration with Islander communities and descendants of the people with whom Haddon worked. The session will also provide an opportunity to reassess the importance of Haddon’s work and consider the far-reaching value of anthropological archives today.

Recording Kastom: Alfred Haddon’s Journals from his Expeditions to Torres Strait and New Guinea, 1888 and 1898 is published by Sydney University Press.

Reminder: History of Anthropology Working Group, “Visualization,” April 7, 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, April 7, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The topic for the discussion will be “Visualization.”

The discussion will be led by Abigail Nieves Delgado and Iris Clever, and will take a broad view of visualization from the 18th to 20th centuries across a range of traditions. It will focus on the following readings:

  • Keevak, Michael. 2011. “Taxonomies of Yellow: Linnaeus, Blumenbach, and the Making of a ‘Mongolian’ Race in the Eighteenth Century.” In Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking. Princeton University Press.
  • Qureshi, Sadiah. 2012. “Peopling the landscape: Showmen, displayed peoples and travel illustration in nineteenth-century Britain.” Early Popular Visual Culture 10(1): 23-36.
  • Evans, Andrew. 2020. “‘Most Unusual’ Beauty Contests: Nordic Photographic Competitions and the Construction of a Public for German Race Science, 1926–1935,” Isis 111(2): 289-309.
  • Stinson, Catherine. 2020. “Algorithms Associating Appearance and Criminality Have a Dark Past.” Aeon, May 15, 2020.….

The readings are available for download via the Working Group home page. Additional details about the group and information on how to attend may also be found on the site.

Two Articles on Ruth Landes (1908-1991), A “Scandalous” Boasian Writing Race and Gender, by Sally Cole and Jamie Lee Andreson

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles in English on Ruth Landes, the “scandalous” disciple of Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict. 

Andreson, Jamie Lee, 2021. “In the City of Women: The Life and Work of Ruth Landes,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL: article2218.html

Cole, Sally, 2021. “The End of Chastity and Modesty: Ruth Landes Writing Race and Gender in 1930s Anthropology,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL: article2219.html

Jamie Lee Andreson presents the life and work of American anthropologist Ruth Landes (1908-1991), the famous disciple of Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict who contributed to the development of Afro-American Studies and Feminist Anthropology. Landes did ethnographic fieldwork in Brazil from 1938 to 1939. Her work that had the greatest impact was the dynamic narrative ethnography, The City of Women (1947) published in Brazil as A Cidade das Mulheres (1967), which documented the lives of prominent head priestesses of Candomblé temples and argued that the religion was a matriarchy, based on the prominence of Black women’s leadership and community reverence for the priestesses as Mothers. Her close collaboration with Brazilian colleague Edison Carneiro granted her privileged access to research sites and subjects, producing an historical archive of Candomblé still available at the National Anthropological Archives (NAA) of the Smithsonian Museum. However, her research approach and relationships in the field were considered scandalous by prominent male colleagues, who negatively impacted her career opportunities in the United States. Nevertheless, her legacy remains strong in Brazil both in academia and among Candomblé practitioners themselves.

Sally Cole’s article focuses on Ruth Landes writing race and gender in 1930s anthropology. City of Women (1947) was anomalous in its time for its focus on women’s agency and gender fluidity among Afro-Brazilian Candomblé practitioners in 1930s Bahia and for its personal memoir writing style. Melville Herskovits (1895-1963) and Arthur Ramos (1903-1949), who were then working to establish the field of Afro-Brazilian studies, severely critiqued Landes’s study of cultural creativity and internal dynamics and her failure to engage in their search for African survivals.  Twenty-first-century historians of anthropology now describe the text as um espelho, a mirror, on gender and race in 1930s Brazil. This article traces the singularity of Landes’s ethnography to her autobiographical experience of gender conventions in the Russian Jewish labor Zionist immigrant milieu she was raised in; her training by Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) to pay attention to the experience of “culturally unprovided for” individuals; and, Landes’s method of intensive fieldwork with Indigenous collaborators – prior to coming to Brazil with Ojibwa elder Maggie Wilson (1879-1940) in Canada that resulted in the book, The Ojibwa Woman (1938) and, in Bahia, with Salvador-born folklorist, Edison Carneiro (1912-1971).  

Law and Caste in Colonial India, by Julie Marquet

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French on the caste system in Colonial India and more specifically about the production of law in British- and French-ruled territories in the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. 

Marquet, Julie, 2021. “Le régime des castes dans l’Inde coloniale. Productions du droit dans les territoires sous domination anglaise et française, XVIIIe‑XXe siècles” (“The Caste System in Colonial India. Making Law in the Territories under British and French Rule, 18th through 20th Centuries”), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.


As they gradually asserted their domination over parts of the Indian subcontinent, the British and the French initially committed themselves to respecting the rights, customs, and manners of Indian peoples. In matters of caste, they established a specific legal regime, constituted by local regulations, justice decisions actively sought by the Indians, and collections of jurisprudence. This surprising article by Julie Marquet focuses on this legal regime as a lost chapter in the history of anthropology. It sheds light on the constitution and implementation of the caste legal regime in colonial India, from the eighteenth century to independence. From a comparative historical perspective, it examines both the legal rules regulating the functioning of castes and the methods of their production. It is published as part of the BEROSE research theme “History of the Relationship between Law and Anthropology,” directed by Frédéric Audren (CNRS) and Laetitia Guerlain (University of Bordeaux).

A New Portrait of Arnold van Gennep – by Christine Laurière

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in French, on French anthropologist and folklorist Arnold van Gennep, who coined the famous concept of “rites of passage.”

Laurière, Christine, 2021. “L’ethnographie pour raison de vivre: un portrait d’Arnold van Gennep” (“Ethnography as a reason for living: A Portrait of Arnold van Gennep”), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.


Contrary to scholarly clichés, this biographical essay on French anthropologist and folklorist Arnold van Gennep does not treat him as a cursed figure under the shadow of the Durkheimian school. Nor should he be remembered solely for having coined the famous concept of “rites of passage” in 1909. Christine Laurière reconstructs disciplinary, ideological, institutional, and personal clashes underpinning van Gennep’s entire scientific career, which was marked by numerous failures and bifurcations, but was also remarkably productive.

The article follows his intellectual transformation in the course of exchanges with historians of religion and later attempts at rapprochement with Durkheimian sociologists. This failed due to theoretical and methodological divergences, but also for political reasons related to van Gennep’s anarchist Weltanschauung and his views on the place of the individual in society. This startling essay puts forward an alternative understanding of van Gennep’s trajectory, avoiding the trap of focusing on Rites of Passage or his later, impressive works on French folklore. To understand van Gennep’s career and scientific choices, it is necessary to consider his crucial yet underexplored rivalry with Marcel Mauss, rather than his opposition to Durkheim, which has been the subject of several studies.  Rivalry with Mauss, Laurière argues, is one of the main reasons for van Gennep’s definitive abandonment of “classical,” “exotic” anthropology to devote himself solely and entirely to the field of French folklore from the 1920s onwards. After burning all his bibliographical files on general anthropology, he fiercely defended ethnography as an autonomous discipline, rejected the great divide between “Us” and “Them,” and advocated the import of ethnographic fieldwork “at home.” Thanks to his many editorial and institutional initiatives, which never ceased to challenge and stimulate methodological and theoretical reshufflings in French anthropology and museology throughout the first half of the twentieth century, van Gennep was a dynamic maverick with a decisive role in the history of the discipline.

The Legacy of Lorenzo Dow Turner (1890-1972), African-American Linguist, by Alcione Amos

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English on Lorenzo Dow Turner, the first African-American linguist.

Amos, Alcione M., 2021. “Connecting Communities through Language: Life and Work of Lorenzo Dow Turner,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2198.html

The anthropological legacy of Lorenzo Dow Turner (1890-1972), the first African-American linguist, has an impact beyond linguistics, namely in African-American, Afro-Brazilian, and transatlantic history. Turner’s research started in the early 1930s in South Carolina and Georgia when he interviewed Gullah speakers. It continued in the 1940s in Brazil, when he worked with the people of the Candomblé houses of worship (terreiros); and in Africa in the 1950s, when he researched mostly in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In this inspiring article, Alcione Amos, curator at the Anacostia Community Museum, sustains that the essence of Turner’s linguistic ethnography consisted of connecting communities of the African diaspora – even before he was able to go to Africa – through language. Starting with his pioneering work among the Gullah, continuing with his studies in London and his visit to the Exposition Internationale in Paris, through his sojourn in Bahia and finally into his visit to African countries, Amos reveals how Turner could always connect his audiences to other peoples by playing his recordings. Much of the material collected by Lorenzo Dow Turner among the U.S. Gullah, in Brazil, and in Africa, remains unexplored to this day. Appearing in a BEROSE topical dossier giving access to audio and video files, photographs, and other resources at Anacostia Community Museum and other institutions, Amos’s article encourages a new generation of researchers to dedicate themselves to further explorations of this important material. 

‘The Self as Other: Franz Boas between Psychology and Anthropology’

The Warburg Institute presents an online seminar via Zoom: Noga Arikha (Associate Fellow, Warburg Institute): ‘The Self as Other: Franz Boas between Psychology and Anthropology’

March 3, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. GMT

Psychology and anthropology have deep connections, since both are concerned with the study of humankind. The one focuses on the functioning of the embodied mind. The other focuses on how minds create culture. The psychology of our day, especially that concerning the embodied self, which is Arikha’s central focus, has established (and continues to show) how culture, which anthropologist Margaret Mead defined as “experiments with what could be done with human nature,” is indeed an aspect of our nature, and how biological evolution is a handmaiden to cultural adaptations. Insofar as we humans have evolved as social animals, and that anthropology can also be seen as a type of comparative psychology, the respective realms of these disciplines overlap – as Aby Warburg knew well – and have done so since their formation in the nineteenth century, in particular after Darwin. Arikha’s current project, a commissioned intellectual biography of Franz Boas, the German founder of cultural anthropology who created the first ever chair in the subject at Columbia University (and was a teacher of Mead, inter alia), is an occasion to unravel the complex interplay of ideas about biological constants and cultural variations in light of the history of the debates about what we understand as nature and what as culture, what as individual and what as social, what as evolved and what as acquired. In this talk, she will show how the history of the inherently multidisciplinary field that is anthropology, navigating as it does between empirical investigation and theoretical speculation, can throw light on the origins of current concerns about the embodied self in psychology. 

The Work in Progress seminar explores the variety of subjects studied and researched at the Warburg Institute. Papers are given by invited international scholars, research fellows studying at the Institute, and advanced Ph.D. students.

This program is free, but registration is required. Please sign up for the seminar here.

Resource Spotlight: International Encyclopedia of Anthropology Foregrounds the History of the Discipline

The History of Anthropology Review (HAR) would like to bring to the attention of our readers the International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, a pioneering reference resource for the field of anthropology and interrelated areas. This online compendium contains over 1000 entries on the discipline’s key concepts, research and techniques–many of which touch on issues related to the history and histories of anthropology. HAR’s Bibliographies editor, Janet Steins, has kindly put together a brief summary of this resource.

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On Archaeological Museums in Colombia – by Daniel García Roldan

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Spanish on the history of archaeological museums in Colombia.

García Roldan, Daniel, 2021. “La invención de los museos arqueológicos en Bogotá, Colombia (1935-1955): geografías del conocimiento y concepciones de patrimonio arqueológico”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

English translation: “The Invention of Archaeological Museums in Bogotá, Colombia (1935-1955): Geographies of Knowledge and Conceptions of Archaeological Heritage”

URL BEROSE: article2180.html

This article is dedicated to the history of archaeological museums in Colombia. It reconstructs the process of establishing national museums in Bogotá starting in the 1930s and highlights the different notions of archaeological heritage that were forged in each case. In the National Archaeological Museum, the concept of archaeological heritage was closely connected to education, research, and archaeological fieldwork, while in El Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum) it was associated with the sumptuous aspects of pre-Colombian objects; their aesthetic, technical, and even monetary value. Daniel García Roldan identifies the geographies of knowledge behind the history of both museums, analyzes the local institutional contexts in which they emerged, and explores the global processes of knowledge circulation and appropriation in which they participated.

Online Event: “Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico”

On Wednesday, February 17 at 1:00 pm ET Dr. Rafael Ocasio will be presenting on his new book Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico (Rutgers University Press, 2020).

The event will be hosted by the American Philosophical Society and held via Zoom. The event is free of charge but registration is required. Additional details and registration may be found on the event website.

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CFP: “Changing Fields: Hilde and Richard Thurnwald’s Ethnology”

Conference: Paris, July 8-9, 2021   

Like Felix von Luschan, Richard Thurnwald started his career in the Habsburg Empire, before moving to Berlin. He was probably the most well-known German anthropologist outside of Germany between the two World Wars, when he developed what came to be known as historical functionalism. He was well integrated within ethnological research networks and being in contact with sociologists, he also tried to claim recognition in this field. His wife Hilde Thurnwald, who hadn’t been trained as an ethnologist, accompanied him in the field in East Africa (1930-31) and New Guinea (1933), developed her own research, and also began to publish in the 1930s. Although Richard Thurnwald expressed his opposition to the rising national-socialist party in letters, the couple left the USA in 1936 and returned to Germany, adapting to the new regime. After 1945, they both participated in the reorganization of ethnological research in Berlin, Hilde Thurnwald leading in fieldwork in 1946-47 about the situation of families and youth criminality, Richard Thurnwald (re)founding the review Sociologus (which still exists today), and continuing to publish. Their concessions to the Third Reich did not seem to overtly alert the Occupation Authorities, either Soviet or American. One can thus state that after 1945 the Thurnwalds were typical of the thematic and personal continuation of the previous era, a reason why, as with others, they were condemned in the 1960s when a new generation of German ethnologists started to investigate the history of the discipline.    

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Adam Ferguson (1723-1816), Savagery in the Scottish Enlightenment – by Robert Launay

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Scottish anthropologist Adam Ferguson, by Robert Launay.

Launay, Robert, 2021. “Savagery in 18th-Century Scotland: An Intellectual Portrait of Adam Ferguson,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

An eminent representative of the Scottish Enlightenment, Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was one of the most important theoreticians of progress of the era and author of the famous Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767). He was one of the very first thinkers to propose a theory of the origins of civilization in four stages (hunting, pastoralism, agriculture, trade). In his Essay, he defined “savagery” as not a state but a stage. Just as much as so-called “civilized” people, savages were portrayed by Ferguson as fully social beings. He insisted on the importance of the economy in characterizing social organization – private property, social inequalities and division of labor being decisive criteria in defining a society. In this challenging article, Robert Launay rediscovers Ferguson’s work, which was admired in the twentieth century by E.E. Evans-Pritchard and Ernest Gellner.

Online Event: Lee Baker on “W.E.B DuBois, Franz Boas, and ‘the Real Race Problem'”

On Friday, February 5, 2021, from 9:30am to 11:00am, Lee Baker is delivering a talk as part of Duke University’s tgiFHI speaker series. Entitled “W.E.B DuBois, Franz Boas, and ‘the Real Race Problem,” this presentation examines the racist anti-racism of American Anthropology, focusing particularly on the writings and activities of DuBois and Boas during the first decade of the 20th century.

The presentation will be virtual (via Zoom). There will be an opportunity to join a facilitated discussion with the speaker and other participants after the lecture. Registration information can be found here.

A short overview of the talk is provided below.

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Brazilian Anthropologist Thales de Azevedo (1904-1995) – by Antonio Guimarães

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 ( and Livio Sansone ( by 5 March 2021.

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

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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:

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 (

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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.


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.


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 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

Further Enquiries

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

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