News (page 2 of 17)

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.

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 sharlottedonnelly@gmail.com 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 submissions@hisress.org.

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

Participants:
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

Participants:
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
Chair:
Ahmed Ragab, John Hopkins University
Commentator:
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


Chair:
Jamie Cohen-Cole, George Washington University
Lecturer:
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


Participants:
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
Chair:
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


Participants:
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
Chair:
Caleb Shelburne, Harvard University

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


Participants:
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
Chair:
Kristine Palmieri, University of Chicago
Commentator:
Kristine Palmieri, University of Chicago

Saturday, November 11

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


Participants:
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
Chair:
Matthew Eddy, Durham University

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


Participants:
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


Participants:
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
Chair:
Stephanie Dick, Simon Fraser University

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


Participants:
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
Chair:
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.  

Readings: 

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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Friedl’s Anthropological and Ethnographic Legacy, by Peter S. Allen

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on Ernestine Friedl as an accidental feminist anthropologist.

Allen, Peter S., 2023. “From New York to Vasilika: Ernestine Friedl, an Accidental Feminist in a Greek Village,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

URL BEROSE: article3117.html

This article is a comprehensive account of the life and work of Ernestine Friedl (1920–2014), a professional anthropologist, teacher, and university administrator. Born in Hungary, she immigrated to New York and settled in the Bronx. Her academic career began with her graduation from Hunter College and a PhD from Columbia University, where her doctoral dissertation concerned the Chippewa, whom she had studied on their reservation in Wisconsin. Friedl then taught at Queens College of the State University of New York for more than 20 years before becoming the chair of the Anthropology Department at Duke University in 1973. Meanwhile, she accompanied her husband, classicist Harry Levy, to Greece where she conducted fieldwork in a small village, resulting in her monograph, Vasilika: A Village in Modern Greece (1967), a pioneering work of European ethnography. She was the first American female anthropologist to conduct modern—if not innovative—ethnographic fieldwork in Greece beyond folklore studies, and one of the first to do so in a European society. The article outlines Friedl’s peculiar place in a broader history of anthropological research on Europe, while focusing on feminism and discrimination within her academic and scientific milieu. A special section reveals the ethnographer in the field, her coping with local ways, and the privileged but not necessarily easy interactions of an “American wife” with Greek interlocutors, both female and male. Friedl’s stature in the discipline is testified to by her presidencies of the American Ethnological Society (1967) and the American Anthropological Association (1975), her service on the Board of the National Science Foundation (1980–1988), and her editorship of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies (1986–1990). Friedl concluded her career by spending five years as the dean of arts and sciences at Duke and several years teaching at Princeton University.

University of Groningen Postdoc: History of Anthropology or Religious Studies

The University of Groningen seeks a highly motivated candidate for a postdoc position within a project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), for a period of 35 months.

The project is entitled “Culture Wars and Modern Worldviews: A Transnational Conceptual History” and is located in the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas. The core research team will consist of the P.I., Prof. Dr. Todd H. Weir, and two postdoctoral scholars, with one focusing on the history of anthropology and/or religious studies, and the second providing expertise in digital humanities.

The aim of this project is to develop a model of the formative power of culture wars in shaping modern thought, politics and religion by investigating the history of the concept of “worldview.” It is a transnational and multilingual project, that traces the history of worldview from its popularization in nineteenth-century Germany, to its invocation by Dutch and North American Christian thinkers, to its use by political ideologies such as National Socialism, to its contemporary usage in Latin America in the context of arguments about indigenous rights.

The postdoctoral scholar will contribute to research into the impact of worldview-thinking on theory production in academic disciplines concerned with religion and the secular. Following training in the project methodology, which combines conceptual history with digital humanities techniques, the postdoc will co-design and then carry out research into the role of worldview in the history of religious studies and anthropology from around 1900 to the recent calls for replacing religious studies with “worldview studies.” In particular, the postdoc will look at the role of international anthropological research in the translation of Weltanschauung into the Spanish cosmovisión and its application to indigenous cultures in Latin America. The project team is interested in the role of theories of worldview/cosmovisión in the “ontological turn” in contemporary anthropology and will explore its appropriation by public actors advocating for indigenous rights.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Semi-autonomous research in the history of anthropology and/or religious studies from ca. 1900 to the present, with the ability to engage in transnational investigations
  • Learning and utilization of digital humanities techniques of conceptual history
  • Presenting research results at conferences and workshops
  • Publishing academic articles
  • Participating in regular meetings with the other project team members
  • Participation in teaching activities related to the research
  • Assisting in communication tasks, such as co-managing project website, writing blog posts, participating actively in creation of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

Applications are due October 5, 2023. For more information, including salary and desired qualifications, please visit the full job posting page. Questions can be directed to Prof. Dr. Todd Weir.

Job Opportunity: Assistant Professor, Rhetoric of Global Imaginaries of Race or Environmental Rhetoric, Department of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley

The Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level either in the Rhetoric of Global Imaginaries of Race, or, in Environmental Rhetoric. Applicants who work at the intersection of these two fields are also encouraged to apply.

In the field of the Rhetoric of Global Imaginaries of Race, the Department seeks applicants whose research and teaching are focused by the discursive structures and practices that shape imaginaries of race and racialization globally. In the field of Environmental Rhetoric, it seeks applicants whose research and teaching centers around the rhetorics that inform natural or built environments, or their interfaces. 

Rhetoric is a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary department distinguished by its ongoing interrogation of existing and emerging fields of knowledge at their boundaries. While the Department is open to all disciplines in the humanities or the humanistic social sciences, it strongly values theoretical approaches that cross conventional disciplinary divisions. For more information about Rhetoric, visit the Department’s homepage.

Applicants should demonstrate evidence of a strong humanistic research agenda and scholarly potential in areas that complement existing strengths in the Department, as well as an ability to teach a wide range of courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, to mentor graduate students in the Ph.D. program, and to participate in departmental and campus life.

Review of applications will begin September 26, 2023.

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

Working Group on Language Sciences at CHSTM

Members of the HAR community may be interested in a new working group on the history of the language sciences hosted by the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine. The group’s thematic focus this year will be on questions of epistemic transfer, highlighting historical connections to physical anthropology, archaeology, comparative philology, and ethnomethodology, among other topics. Anyone interested is encouraged to preview the schedule and sign up for membership here.

The first meeting of this working group will take place on September 12th, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. It will be an opportunity for framing, orientation, and introductions. Participants who want to attend are asked to read a short position paper in advance and to bring an object (possibly from summer reading, research, or lived experience) for show-and-tell. Further information, registration, readings, and the video conference link are available at the History of the Language Sciences working group page. The co-conveners hope to see some of you there!

CFP: RAI CONFERENCE: ANTHROPOLOGY AND EDUCATION

The Royal Anthropological Institute is delighted to announce the call for panels for a major conference on Anthropology and Education that will take place at Senate House, University of London, 25 to 28 June 2024.

Please browse the Conference Website to learn more!

The Call for Panels will close on 13 October 2023. The Call for Papers will follow, opening on 1 November 2023. Registration will open 26 February 2024.

The RAI has chosen Anthropology and Education as the theme of the conference, a focus that is sparked by the multiple contemporary challenges that we are faced with as a discipline as we seek to teach and educate. We are equally convinced that the best way to face these challenges is to share best practice and new responses. For this reason, we are delighted to welcome as co-organisers the Education Commission of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, the Teaching Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, and the Council on Anthropology and Education of the American Anthropological Association.

The conference will be face to face only. However, in order to have as wide a possible a discussion as possible, we will be running a series of virtual events with our partners beforehand. These will be recorded and placed on our website in order to ensure their wide dissemination.

There will be distinct strands which we invite delegates to explore, of which we offer a brief explanation below. However, panel proposals are also invited on any topic that may be found of interest. In no particular order of priority these are:

Indigenous Boarding Schools The historic phenomenon of boarding schools which take indigenous peoples away from their homelands for education is well discussed, notably with regard to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, there has been something of a return to this system in other countries. This strand invites panel proposals that will enable comment and discussion, as well as whether it will be possible to develop suggestions for best practice in this regard that might be adopted at an international level.

Anthropology in Pre-University Environments There are often attempts to teach anthropology at the school level, a notable example of which is the International Baccalaureate in Anthropology, a qualification that is well-established. Other initiatives may be pursued at the national level, both with regard to primary and secondary school, with varying degrees of success. We invite panels that seek to share experiences, both with regard to success and failure as to how anthropology can be strengthened in schools.

Translating Cultures and Diaspora Communities Anthropologists have long regarded themselves as translating cultures, but there is a striking more recent phenomenon, which is the way that Diaspora communities have started to codify for teaching purposes their hitherto predominantly oral cultures, often seeking formal recognition they do so from their host society. One instance of this is the Alevi community originally from Turkey, but there are many others. Proposals are welcome that seek to unravel the complexity of the pedagogic issues that come to the fore when such texts books have to be written where none have previously existed.

Anthropology, AI and Media The recent Covid lockdown made us all realise that traditional anthropology teaching will have to adapt and change if it is to remain and flourish in the classroom. This strand invites panels which seek to share this, and similar experiences in using innovative media in the classroom. In this connection, it may be noted that there will be a film stream at the conference, and panel proposals concerning film and pedagogy are also welcome.

Anthropology, Teaching and Museums One of the most interesting aspects of anthropology in recent decades is the gradual rapprochement between anthropology teaching and ethnographic museums. This relationship, having been in the second half of the twentieth century often rather distant, now is a central and creative part of our discipline. Panels are invited that reflect upon the implications of this growing proximity, and consider how we can build further on it.

Anthropology, Representation and Ethics The intensification of globalisation has rendered ethical understandings of the way that our discipline can be taught in need of reconsideration and revision. How is anthropology going to adapt and change as it becomes only one of a number of multiple actors in this complex process of mutual interaction?

Academic Teaching and Truth University teaching can be nothing without freedom of expression. Yet, from various parts of the world there appears to be increasing intolerance of a plurality of views. How can we as anthropologists contribute toward maintaining the integrity of our Higher Education institutions, wherever they may be found? Panel proposals are particularly invited that give instances of these potential problems, from whatever location.

Public Anthropology The interface between anthropology as an academic discipline and its public presence is one of the most crucial questions facing the subject today. How can it appeal to a wider, non-specialist audience? How can it teach the subject in a transparent way that ensures that it gains and attracts wider interest without compromising its intellectual message? Proposals are most welcome that will help us address this dilemma.

Anthropology in Non-Anthropology Departments All around the world, anthropologists may find a teaching position in a non-anthropology department, and likewise many universities may not have a distinct departmental structure. What implications does this have for individual careers, teaching and intellectual trajectories of the subject? Panels are invited that consider any aspect of this fascinating question as to the relationship between individual anthropologists, anthropology as a discipline and the wider structures of academia.

CONFERENCE SUMMARY DETAILS

DATES: 25 June – 28 June 2024

LOCATION: Senate House, University of London

CONFERENCE TYPE: In person

IMPORTANT DATES:

Call for Panels opens on 1 June 2023 and closes on 13 October 2023

Call for Papers opens on 1 November 2023 and closes on 13 January 2024

Registration opens on 26 February 2024

CONFERENCE FEES:

RAI Fellows; EASA Members; AAA Members; IUAES Members: £320

RAI Members: £390

Non-members: £420

Concessions (students; unemployed; retired persons): £150

Delegates with low income from low income countries (https://g2lm-lic.iza.org/call-phase-iv/list-of-lic/): £100

All conference delegates must register and pay the conference fee.

CO-ORGANISERS:

RAI Education Committee

IUAES Commission on Anthropology and Education

EASA Teaching Anthropology Network

Council on Anthropology and Education, A section of the American Anthropological Association

New Resource: Information on Deceased 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.

I have organized a list of more than 1,200 deceased anthropologists using the free online site Find a Grave. It accomplishes goals absent in other sites, such as the American Anthropology Obituary Index, which is a list of people whose obituaries have appeared in either the American Anthropologist and/or the Anthropology Newsletter from 1899 through early 2003, Recent Obituary Articles in American Anthropologist, which has actual obituaries from 2018 through 2023, and Royal Anthropological Institute Obituaries, which is mostly limited to distinguished members of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

My ongoing list of 1,200+ anthropologists is located online through this link. With some editing the goal is to have a photo, short bio (or some other pertinent information, such as published books), and grave location (or confirmation of cremation) for each individual. There are hundreds of anthropologists’ existing graves/cremations yet to be located on Find a Grave, which has no index, and hundreds more anthropologists’ graves/cremations yet to be created for Find a Grave. The Find a Grave site has several advantages including the large number of individuals there, a diversity of anthropologists from the entire world, its free to use status, the ease of adding or correcting information on all individuals, and the breadth of individuals defined as “anthropologist.” For the Find a Grave site, “anthropologist” includes Ph.D. professors (like Franz Boas), proto-anthropologists (like John Aubrey), honorary anthropologists (like James Neel), almost anthropologists (like Alan Dundes), amateur anthropologists (like George McJunkin), and unintended anthropologists (like Ishi).

To participate on the Find a Grave site, go to the Find a Grave homepage to join for free. You can then add new graves, add photos to any grave, and correct or add to any particular site by contacting the individual site manager through the edit tab. To gain “famous” status for anyone on the list who does not already have famous status, you may email Find a Grave to make a case for famous status. To get someone added to the deceased anthropologist list, contact me, Sharlotte Neely, via email.

Robert de Wavrin as Visual Anthropologist, by Moderbacher and Winter

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 Belgian explorer, ethnographer and visual anthropologist Robert de Wavrin.

Moderbacher, Christine & Grace Winter, 2023. “La vie et l’œuvre du Marquis Robert de Wavrin, un des premiers anthropologues visuels”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2908.html

Born into a noble family from Belgian Flanders, Robert de Wavrin (1888–1971) was an explorer, ethnographer and visual anthropologist who spent most of his life in Latin America. Financially independent (thanks to the family fortune from coal mines), he lived in Paraguay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. His first contacts with Amerindian populations, around 1915, led him to join learned societies of geography and anthropology in Brussels and Paris, where his empirical observations were appreciated in line with the theoretical views of the time. From his first trip, he used photography to illustrate the Indigenous way of life, which he actually shared. He was soon introduced to the film camera and, from 1919 onwards, visually recorded the daily life of various communities. His 2,000 photographs and four films represent an important contribution to the history of visual anthropology. He is also the author of 14 books and numerous articles.

In this pioneering article, Moderbacher and Winter trace the life and work of Wavrin, with a focus on his film work as a contribution to the history of visual anthropology. Although fragments of his work are known to some researchers in South America, Wavrin is almost entirely absent from historical studies and largely forgotten in the anthropological and Americanist fields. Although his work cannot be studied outside the colonial context of this discipline and the legacy of Eurocentrism, according to Moderbacher and Winter his visual contribution provides remarkable historical insights and deserves the attention of researchers.

The Declaration of Barbados and Brazilian Anthropology, by João Pacheco de Oliveira

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on the impact of the Declaration of Barbados of 1971 in Brazilian anthropology.

Oliveira, João Pacheco de, “‘Not mere objects of study’: The Declaration of Barbados (1971) and the Remaking of Brazilian Anthropology”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2897.html

In 1971, young anthropologists who were gathered on the island of Barbados denounced the dramatic situation in which Indigenous peoples lived. With its context in the histories of social sciences in Latin America, the resulting manifesto criticized conservative governments and Christian missions, while calling for a new attitude in anthropology. Social studies should not be based solely on the theoretical agendas of hegemonic sociologies and anthropologies, it argued; they should address ethical and political issues related to processes of liberation and decolonization of Indigenous populations. In the following decades, military coups and intense political repression meant that teaching and research in the social sciences were placed under tight surveillance in various Latin American countries. Pushed to the margins of the intellectual and political scene, the Barbados message had a limited impact in many academic spaces, but there were a few exceptions – including Brazil.

In this illuminating article, Pacheco de Oliveira explores the trajectories of the political legacy of the Barbados statement in Brazilian anthropology, through lasting debates and practices around themes such as Indigenous agency, decolonization, and dialogic anthropologies. The current plurality of anthropology demands a fresh reading of the 1971 document as both a historical landmark and an inspirational statement for generations to come.

Scholar, Activist, Humanist: A Portrait of Eric Wolf in Charlottesville, by Jeffrey L. Hantman

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, portraying Eric Wolf’s humanist scholarship and activism in the1950s.

Hantman, Jeffrey L., 2023. “Scholar, Activist, Humanist: A Portrait of Eric Wolf (the Charlottesville Years 1955-1958)”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

URL BEROSE: article2894.html


Eric R. Wolf (1923–1999) was a leading figure in American anthropology throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Austria, Wolf escaped Nazi-occupied Europe and moved with his family to New York City in 1939. He earned his Ph.D. in 1951 at Columbia University. He was a leader among those who sought to restore historically and regionally situated understandings of power relations to anthropological study. Wolf conducted ethnographic research in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Southern Italy. He is best known for his book, Europe and the People Without History (1982), and is remembered as well for organizing academic responses to American wars in Southeast Asia in the 1960s. This article focuses on a little-known chapter of Eric Wolf’s career as an activist when he was a young professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in the 1950s. Wolf spoke out against racism through an anthropological lens while working in the white supremacist environment of Virginia’s flagship state university and state government. Always mindful of the value of interdisciplinarity, he joined with the few other faculty across the university who took the then dangerous step of lecturing publicly on race and inequality in the South. Wolf’s early exposure to Southern U.S. regional tensions, rooted in class and race-based inequality, and his discussion of anthropology’s apparent retreat from activism provide context for his actions in Charlottesville over a three-year span.

Hantman draws on Wolf’s brief references to his time in Charlottesville in published interviews, but especially from the correspondence he maintained with his close friend, Sidney Mintz. The article is thus a biography of Wolf, a comment on anthropological activism in the 1950s, and an account of his unique efforts in Virginia that foretold his well-known political engagement while teaching later at the University of Michigan and Lehman College (CUNY) in New York City.

“Histories of Latin American Anthropologies: Contemporary Experiments,” June 12-15, 2023, São Paulo & Campinas (Brazil)

The international conference “Histories of Latin American Anthropologies: Contemporary Experiments,” held at the Centro Universitário Maria Antonio (University of São Paulo) and the Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth (University of Campinas) between June 12 and 15, 2023, is dedicated to the history of ethnography and anthropology in several Latin American countries (19th–21st centuries) from a comparative and transatlantic perspective.

In order to compose a diverse and heterogeneous picture of anthropologies as practiced in the south of the continent and in the Caribbean, the conference explores the uses and meanings of the past within the anthropologies practiced today and projected for the future. Contemporary experiments around the histories of Latin American anthropologies can be of various types: experiments with (and against) history; theoretical and methodological experiments; institutional experiments (museographic and museological experiments); experiments with various types of knowledge (academic and non-academic); also with the natural sciences, arts and literature. In this sense, participants are encouraged to present case studies allowing wider reflections on the transits of knowledge and transatlantic flows; materials and materialities; inflections of gender, race and sexuality; new museographic knowledge and shared curatorships. The guiding idea of the conference is to radically play with the idea of experimentation, bringing new topics, new actors and their problematics to the fore as a reflection of risky and daring experiments. By listening to them and thinking with them, alternative tools and unexpected memories and histories of anthropology may emerge. The central goal of this meeting is thus to review – and play with – the diverse anthropologies developed in Latin America, and to consider their potential for a broader reflection on anthropological knowledge and its reconfigurations.


This conference is organized by Fernanda Arêas Peixoto (USP), Christiano Tambascia (Unicamp), Gustavo Rossi (Unicamp), Stefania Capone (CNRS, EHESS, Césor), Antonio Carlos de Souza Lima (PPGAS – Museu Nacional, UFRJ) within the HITAL International Research Network (IRN), made up of researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, France and Portugal, in collaboration with BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. The conference program is now accessible online.

FHHS Article Prize – June 1 Deadline

The Forum for History of Human Science awards a biennial prize (a nonmonetary honor) for the best article published recently on some aspect of the history of the human sciences. The article prize is awarded in odd-numbered years. The winner of the prize is announced at the annual History of Science Society meeting.

Entries are encouraged from authors in any discipline, as long as the work is related to the history of the human sciences, broadly construed, and is in English. To be eligible, the article must have been published within the three years previous to the year of the award. Preference will be given to authors who have not won the award previously.

The submission deadline will be June 1, 2023. Please submit your article (in PDF format) to eherman@uoregon.edu

2021 Prize: Carola Ossmer, “Normal Development: The Photographic Dome and the Children of the Yale Psycho-Clinic,” Isis, vol. 111, no. 3, 2020. 

CFP: First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies: Doing Histories, Imagining Futures

The History of Anthropology Network (HOAN) of the European Association for Social Anthropology is happy to announce a call for papers for the First International Conference of the Histories of Anthropologies, Doing Histories, Imagining Futures.

The event will be held on-line between 4-7 December 2023 and it is collaboratively organised by key stakeholders in our field to discuss methodological, theoretical, pedagogical, and ethical aspects of the histories of anthropologies.

Please browse the Conference Website and Panels to discover more!

The call for papers will close on June 30, 2023. Notifications of accepted papers will be sent by July 15, 2023.

This is an exciting opportunity for everyone working in the field of history of anthropology to gather and learn from each other and set new directions for the field. You are warmly invited to join us and submit a paper proposal.

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