News (page 1 of 13)

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

New Book from Adriana Petryna: Horizon Work

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

A full description of the book can be found below:

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Zoom Event with Ricardo Roque: “Scientific Occupation” and the Timor Anthropological Mission in the Late Portuguese Colonial Empire

An online lecture with Ricardo Roque (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon): “Scientific Occupation” and the Timor Anthropological Mission in the late Portuguese Colonial Empire

Presented by Pacific Circle

Please register using the Zoom registration site
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – 7:00 pm Honolulu time/1:00 am New York time/6:00 am Lisbon time

Abstract: Between the 1930s and 1974, several anthropological expeditions were organized by the Portuguese imperial state to the then Portuguese colonies of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and finally East Timor – Portugal’s small remnant colony in the Asia-Pacific region. These state-sponsored expeditions aimed at collecting field data for the purposes of “colonial anthropology,” an eclectic form of racial science, also known as “anthropobiology.” They were also a political means to realize so-called “scientific occupation,” a prominent concept in Portuguese late imperial policy. This talk considers the history of the field studies and data produced by the latest of these expeditions – the ‘Timor Anthropological Mission,’ launched in 1953-54 – and reflects on its enduring legacies.

Ricardo Roque is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon and an Honorary Associate in the Department of History, University of Sydney. Dr. Roque’s research focuses on the history and ethnography of the human sciences, colonialism, race, and cross-cultural contact in the Portuguese-speaking world, from 1800 to the twentieth century. Among his publications are Headhunting and Colonialism: Anthropology and the Circulation of Human Skulls in the Portuguese Empire (Palgrave 2010) and the edited volumes, Crossing Histories and Ethnographies: Following Colonial Historicities in Timor-Leste (with E. G. Traube, Berghahn 2019) and Luso-Tropicalism and Its Discontents: The Making and Unmaking of Racial Exceptionalism (with W. Anderson and R. Ventura Santos, Berghahn 2019).

Call For Papers/Special Issue: “Psychological Anthropology: Theory and Practice”

The eighth issue of Etnografia. Praktyki, Teorie, Doświadczenia will focus on psychological anthropology, a subdiscipline of cultural anthropology that looks into interactions linking cultural phenomena with human psychological processes. Papers submitted in Polish or English may address both historical and contemporary topics of psychological anthropology. This special issue will focus on the intersection of cultural anthropology and psychology in the context of ethnographic research, exploring theoretical and practical dimensions involved in the translation of psychological concepts into broadly understood ethnographic methods of inquiry into human realities. How do psychological concepts translate into ethnographic practice?


Editor: Michał Żerkowski.
The call for papers is now open, until April 30, 2022.
Papers can be submitted via the journal’s website or to the editorial e-mail address.

CFP: “The Legacy of Bronisław Malinowski in Present-Day Social Sciences and Humanities”

From September 26-27, 2022, this Centennial Conference of Argonauts of the Western Pacific will take place at the Institute of Sociology of Jagiellonian University (Krakow). The organizers Grażyna Kubica-Heller (UJ Kraków), Dariusz Brzeziński (IFiS PAN, Warsaw), and Karol Piotrowski (UJ Kraków) encourage representatives of the social sciences and humanities to participate in this international conference. Paper abstracts (250 word maximum, in Polish or English) should be sent to malinowski2022@uj.edu.pl by April 30, 2022.


The hundredth anniversary of the publication of Malinowski’s monograph Argonauts of the Western Pacific presents an excellent opportunity to reflect upon its significance for contemporary social sciences and humanities. The following themes may be considered for paper presentations:

  1. Reflection on the Polish context of the life and work of Bronisław Malinowski
  2. The importance of Bronisław Malinowski for the formation of the identity of the humanities and social sciences in Poland
  3. The importance of Bronisław Malinowski’s method of intensive fieldwork for the methodological and theoretical development of social sciences and humanities
  4. Reinterpretation of the legacy of Bronisław Malinowski in the context of contemporary social and philosophical thinking
  5. The concept of “practical anthropology” developed by Bronisław Malinowski and his vision of the role of anthropologists in a changing world
  6. The concept of sociocultural change in the late works of Bronisław Malinowski
  7. The author of Argonauts of the West Pacific as an iconic figure in cultural texts

Upcoming HOAN Meeting: Lecture from Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Announcement from the SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship Program

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

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

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

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

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

Source

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

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

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

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

Additional readings (also included as PDF):

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

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

A New Release from BEROSE – Lewis et al. on Kroeber

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

New Release from BEROSE – Marino on Blumenbach

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

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

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

New Release from BEROSE –Roque on Portuguese Colonial Anthropology

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

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

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

New Release from BEROSE – Grillot on the Cornell Project in Peru (1951-1966)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Readings include:

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

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

New Release from BEROSE – Le Menestrel on Halifax

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in English about the U.S. anthropologist and Buddhist teacher Joan Halifax.

Le Menestrel, Sara, 2022. “Intersecting Cultural Anthropology, Religious Authority and Medicine: A Portrait of Joan Halifax,” in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

While Joan Halifax (1942-) is known as a major figure in Buddhism and a Zen roshi expert on end-of-life care and spirituality, her career as an anthropologist working alongside prominent academic figures of the discipline is less well-known. Her academic career began in the 1960s at Columbia University with Alan Lomax. Her stay at the Musée de l’Homme and her meeting with Roger Bastide and Jean Rouch sparked her interest in mental health and dying. She is one of the key figures in the popularization and institutionalization of shamanism in the West. The process of building her respectability as a religious expert is the result of multiple circulations – geographical (between the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia), disciplinary (between ethnomusicology, medical anthropology, shamanism, transpersonal psychology, palliative care, and Buddhism) and statutory, navigating between the academic institution and its margins. According to Le Menestrel in her challenging article, Joan Halifax’s itinerary epitomizes the intertwining of spiritual and academic authority, leading to the respectability of religious experts in the public sphere.

In Memoriam: Jean Jamin

Jean Jamin, 1945-2022

The editors regret to inform HAR readers of the death of Jean Jamin last week in Paris; see the notice in Le Monde. A founder of Gradhiva, Revue d’histoire et d’archives de l’anthropologie, Jamin was a pre-eminent historian of anthropology who made significant contributions to the field in research, writing, teaching, editing, and mentorship, with a singular emphasis on anthropology’s relations to music, art, and museums. We had the pleasure of translating and publishing his essay on Lévi-Strauss, Leiris, and opera in HAR recently. He will be greatly missed.

New Release from BEROSE – Petschelies on Steinen

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (published both in English and in Portuguese) about the German ethnographer and ethnologist Karl von den Steinen.

Petschelies, Erik, 2021. “The Doyen of South American Ethnography: Life and Work of Karl von den Steinen,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Petschelies, Erik, 2021. “O Decano da etnografia sul‑americana: vida e obra de Karl von den Steinen,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

In 1924, the first post-war conference of Americanists was held in Gothenburg (Sweden) through the concerted efforts of Franz Boas and a small circle of Americanist scholars from different European countries. The presence of German ethnologist Karl von den Steinen (1855-1929), who had undertaken the first two ethnological expeditions to the Xingu River basin in Central Brazil in 1884 and in 1877-88, thus inaugurating Amerindian ethnography of the South American lowlands, was considered mandatory. But he refused to participate, arguing that it would not be possible to ignore the imposed peace by the winners of the war. Eventually, von den Steinen was convinced to participate by his colleagues, who appealed to the international nature of ethnology and to the fundamental contribution that he could offer to its reconstruction. The encounter between von den Steinen and French Americanist Paul Rivet represented the unity of scientists overcoming differences of nationality and the conflicts in which their countries were involved.

What is less known is that von den Steinen’s private life was falling apart. He was depressed, his wife was gravely ill, and his family’s financial resources were practically non-existent. In this biographical essay based on archival sources held in institutions in Germany, Sweden, and the United States, with a focus on both personal and scientific correspondence, Petschelies aims to describe how anthropology entangled with the personal life of this legendary figure in the history of anthropology by addressing the network of social relations he created and by which he was carved. Von den Steinen, professor at the universities of Marburg and Berlin, chief and director of the Americanist section of the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and president of the Anthropological Society of Berlin, was also a loving husband and father of eight children, a good friend, and a complex human being. 

New Release from BEROSE – Coppola on Toschi

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology:  two articles (both in Italian and French) on the Italian folklorist Paolo Toschi.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2021. “Paolo Toschi et le folklore italien : vies parallèles” [Transl.: “Paolo Toschi and Italian Folklore: Parallel Lives”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Coppola, Maurizio, 2021. “Paolo Toschi, entre Benedetto Croce et Benito Mussolini. Une histoire du folklore italien pendant le fascisme” [Transl.: “Paolo Toschi between Benedetto Croce and Benito Mussolini. A History of Italian folklore during Fascism”], in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Despite being a little-known figure internationally, Paolo Toschi (1896-1974) occupies a prominent place in the history of Italian anthropology, particularly in the field of folklore. Coppola devotes two complementary articles to him. The first outlines Toschi’s life and work, particularly his studies on folk poetry and theatre in Italy and Europe. Toschi’s contribution to the institutional, namely academic recognition of folklore as an academic discipline – which he termed “history of folk traditions” – was fundamental. He also contributed to the foundation of the Museo Nazionale di Tradizioni Popolari in Rome. At the end of the 1940s, he took over the direction of the journal Lares, a position he occupied until his death. Based on a thorough archival survey, the second article focuses on a dark period in the history of the discipline in Italy, when Fascism took folklore studies by storm. In search of institutional support for the development of this field of research, Toschi attempted a rapprochement with political visions as opposed as those of liberal philosopher Benedetto Croce or of Benito Mussolini himself. Toschi and the Duce shared common Romagna origins. In short, the Italian folklorist frequented intellectual and literary circles that rallied to Fascism. Toschi’s biography allows us to understand the institutionalization of folklore in Italy and its complex connections to nation-building before, during, and after Fascism.

New Release from BEROSE – Gray and Winter on Firth

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article on Raymond Firth in Australia and New Zealand.

Gray, Geoffrey and Christine Winter, 2021. “Raymond Firth in the Antipodes: A ‘Capacity for Organising and Administration as well as First-Rate Anthropology’,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

New Zealand-born Raymond Firth, anthropologist and successor to Malinowski at the London School of Economics, has been described as an “organisation man, both in his theory and in his administrative activities…In administration he was a consistent and fair-minded advocate for anthropology at home and abroad.’ It is this aspect – a consistent and fair-minded advocate for anthropology – that this article examines. It is a persona that is clearly seen after World War II. There were hints before then, such as his role in putting the needs of the institution ahead of personal friendship in enabling Adolphus Peter Elkin to succeed him as professor at the University of Sydney in 1932. After World War II Firth was consulted on all senior academic appointments between 1946 and 1965 during this crucial foundation and consolidation time for academic anthropology in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand. An unexpected consequence was that through these appointments, he introduced new ways of thinking about the discipline that contrasted with what existed in Australia before the war, which is particularly evident in the appointments of Siegfried Frederick Nadel and John Arundel Barnes. Grown and nurtured in the Antipodes, Gray and Winter argue, Firth’s Southern sensibilities remained throughout his career, and allowed him in turn to bring fresh approaches to anthropology in the Antipodes. 

2nd Notice – CFP: Seventh Annual Conference on the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS), Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, June 17-18, 2022

After a two-year pandemic delay, this two-day conference of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS) 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, history, international relations, law, and linguistics. 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 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 4, 2022. Final notification will be given in early March 2022 after proposals have been reviewed. Completed papers will be expected by May 13, 2022.

The organizing committee consists of Jamie Cohen-Cole (George Washington University), Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay), Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College), Mark Solovey (University of Toronto), and Marga Vicedo (University of Toronto).

All proposals and requests for information should be sent to submissions@hisress.org.

CFP: “Collaborations and Confrontations in World Anthropologies during the Cold War and Beyond,” IUAES Congress, St. Petersburg, 25-31 May 2022

Abstract:

Anthropologists and historians of anthropology have discussed the embeddedness of anthropology in imperialism and Western colonialism for decades (Asad 1973, Kucklick 1993, Stocking 1991). Several “waves” of decolonizing anthropology have given birth to a vision of a world anthropology, in which the power hierarchies of center and periphery, “local” and “global”, indigenous “informants” and Western academics would be flattened or even erased (Pels 2018). At the same time, globalization of scientific knowledge production entails imposing presumably universal Western-centered academic standards. Current research of the “Cold War anthropology” may serve as a pertinent example. Due to the work of David H. Price and other scholars, this concept gained currency (Price 2004, 2008, 2016; Wax, 2009). Still, this concept remains remarkably USA-centered and rarely takes into account activity of scholars from rival Cold War camp. The study of geopolitics of Cold War knowledge production is a vibrant emerging field (Djagalov 2020, Engerman, 2009, Hazard 2012, Rupprecht 2015), but it rarely focuses on anthropology (but Verdery 2018). Conveners of this panel claim that now it is high time to take stock of our understanding of the nature of relations between various “national” traditions and ideological inclinations within world anthropology (Bošković, Hann 2013).

This panel seeks contributions from anthropologists as well as historians of anthropology, which reflect on historical, political, and epistemological contexts (Stocking) of production of anthropological knowledge, including but not limited to those of the Cold War epoch. We are interested in accounts of both confrontations and collaborations of anthropologists from different national traditions and ideological “camps”. These cases might include histories of international conferences, joint expeditions, transfer of ideas, or life-histories of individual scholars, involved in such activities. We are especially interested in still poorly researched histories of collaborations between scholars of the second and third worlds in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, one should not collapse ideological and geographical space: leftist anthropologists in the West and “revisionists” in the East encountered similar issues in dealing with establishment. Another important line of research we look forward to deals with similarities and differences of decolonizing tendencies in the East and West and the role anthropologists play in them.

Keywords: World anthropology, history, decolonization

The deadline for proposals is February 15, 2022. Apply online.

Please contact Sergei Alymov (alymovs@mail.ru) or David Anderson
(david.anderson@abdn.ac.uk) for any questions.

Additional information may be found via the links below:
https://iuaes2022.spb.ru/results/panel/11/
https://iuaes2022.spb.ru/userfiles/files/docs/guides/guide_papers.pdf

New Series from Berghahn Books: Anthropology’s Ancestors

Berghahn Books has launched a new book series, Anthropology’s Ancestors, that will feature titles we believe will be of great interest to readers of HAR.  

Two titles in Anthropology’s Ancestors have appeared to date with a third scheduled for February, 2022. The descriptions below are from the publisher’s website:

Volume 1: Margaret Mead, by Paul Shankman (2021)

Tracing Mead’s career as an ethnographer, as the early voice of public anthropology, and as a public figure, this elegantly written biography links the professional and personal sides of her career. The book looks at Mead’s early career through the end of World War II, when she produced her most important anthropological works, as well as her role as a public figure in the post-war period, through the 1960s until her death in 1978. Criticisms of Mead are also discussed and analyzed. This short volume is an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to learn about, arguably, the most famous anthropologist of the twentieth century.

Volume 2: William Robertson Smith, by Aleksandra Bošković

William Robertson Smith’s influence on anthropology ranged from his relationship with John Ferguson McLennan, to advising James George Frazer to write about “Totem” and “Taboo” for the Encyclopaedia Britannica that he edited. This biography places a special emphasis on the notes and observations from his travels to Arabia, as well as on his influence on the representatives of the “Myth and Ritual School.” With his discussion of myth and ritual, Smith influenced generations of scholars, and his insistence on the connection between the people, their God, and the land they inhabited inspired many of the concepts later developed by Émile Durkheim.

Volume 3 : Françoise Héritier, by Gérald Gaillard (forthcoming, 2022)

A great intellectual figure, Françoise Héritier succeeded Claude Lévi-Strauss as the Chair of Anthropology at the Collège de France in 1982. She was both an Africanist, author of magnificent works on the Samo population, the scientific progenitor of kinship studies, the creator of a theoretical base to feminist thought, and an activist for many causes. This book follows the path of her life, which had a lasting impact on a generation of French anthropologists and continues to this day.

Berghahn has assembled an outstanding editorial board for the new series.

Anthropology’s Ancestors joins such well-established ongoing book series as Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology and Histories of Anthropology Annual (both from the University of Nebraska Press). HAR’s bibliography editors strive to include all titles in these series on HAR’s fully searchable Bibliography section, with complete contents added for edited works.  

New Release from BEROSE – Adler on Anthropologists and the Bible

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in French about three anthropologists (Claude Lévi-Strauss, Edmund Leach, Mary Douglas) and the anthropology of the Bible.

Adler, Alfred, 2021. “L’anthropologie structurale et l’interprétation de textes bibliques” [Transl. “Structural Anthropology and the Interpretation of Biblical Texts”], in BEROSE – International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

The structural analysis of myths as theorized and practiced by Lévi-Strauss has proved its worth, as is shown by the imposing sum constituted by his Mythologiques. It was the philosopher Paul Ricoeur who pointed out the limits of this method by asking why it should only be applied to the myths of non-literate societies and why it is inappropriate for texts such as the Bible. Two eminent British anthropologists, Edmund Leach and Mary Douglas, and indeed Lévi-Strauss himself, overrode this ‘taboo’ as if to challenge not the limits of structural analysis itself, but the status of the Bible as ‘holy scripture,’ which is nonetheless amenable to a strictly scientific approach.

Leach in his essay “The Legitimacy of Solomon” sought to shed light on what he called the ideology of kingship in ancient Israel by analyzing the contradictions between settlement in a promised land populated by idolatrous tribes and the religious ideal of purity involving endogamy. As a result, his object is not myth per se but a hybrid material, “myth-history,” which cannot be the subject of a structural analysis. Mary Douglas, in Purity and Danger, dealt with the theme of the “abominations of Leviticus,” which were part of the priestly code. In this erudite article, Adler considers that this is undoubtedly a well-conducted structural analysis, but that it stumbles over the notion of holiness, a divine attribute that does not fit into the framework of oppositions between pure and impure or sacred and profane, familiar in religious anthropology. Finally, Lévi-Strauss, in the brief article “Exodus on Exodus,” a challenge and also a playful exercise, made a piquant but hazardous comparison between circumcision, the initiation ritual among the ancient Hebrews, and the removal of the penile sheath in initiation among the Bororo of Brazil. Lévi-Strauss shed little light on the three very mysterious biblical verses that recount the circumcision of Moses, who was first threatened with death by a demon god who descended upon him in the desert, only to let him accomplish his mission with the Pharaoh: to bring the people of Israel out of slavery. Why are these three essays disappointing, why do they add little to the discipline of Biblical criticism? This is what French Africanist anthropologist Alfred Adler attempts to answer in a thorough and sophisticated analysis.

New Release from BEROSE – Harries-Jones on Bateson

HAR is pleased to announce the latest release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an in-depth analysis of Gregory Bateson’s theoretical body of work by Peter Harries-Jones.

Harries-Jones, Peter, 2021. “‘From Anthropology to Epistemology’: Extensions to an Autobiography of Gregory Bateson,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Great Britain and trained at Cambridge (in particular by A. C. Haddon), Gregory Bateson (1904–1980) was an anthropologist who crossed disciplinary boundaries and profoundly altered the epistemology of the human sciences. Peter Harries-Jones gives an in-depth analysis of his theoretical body of work. His first fieldwork took place between 1927 and 1930 in New Guinea among the Baining, the Sulka, and then the Iatmul. His analysis of one of their rituals inspired him to coin the concept of schismogenesis, which he used in his famous book Naven: A Survey of the Problems Suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe Drawn from Three Points of View (1936). He spent two years in Bali (1936-1938) with Margaret Mead, whom he married in 1936, focusing on the education of children. They made a documentary film, Dance and Trance in Bali (1942), which marked a milestone in the history of ethnographic films. During WWII, he worked for the OSS in Southeast Asia. As one of the first participants in the Macy Lectures in the 1940s, along with Margaret Mead, he understood the importance of cybernetic theory and the centrality of information in cultural and biological processes. When working as an ethnologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, he founded the Palo Alto School, which developed an innovative approach to schizophrenia by forging the double-bind theory in 1956, making him one of the pioneers of family therapy. He developed an ambitious anthropology of communication linked to a theory of learning and social interactions and to a systems theory that embraced his holistic vision of the relationship between culture, evolution, and the environment. In his book Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), he expressed his deep and aesthetic commitment to an ecological anthropology that rejects the dualism of nature/culture and body/spirit. He is one of the founders of biosemiotics.

After reading this piece, the reader grasps how much Bateson’s anthropology is still deeply relevant to our changing world, a world challenged by environmental upheavals and new scientific discoveries in cultural, biological and cognitive processes.

History of Anthropology Working Group, “HoA at HSS and AAA,” December 1, 2021

The next meeting of the 2021 History of Anthropology Working Group hosted by the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine will be held on Wednesday, December 1st at 12:00pm ET via Zoom. There are no advance readings: instead, we will be hearing and discussing the work of some of the editors of the History of Anthropology Review who presented papers at the 2021 American Anthropological Association (AAA) and History of Science Society (HSS) conferences this November.

They’ll summarize their work, discuss the conference reactions, and reflect on the state of History of Anthropology as shown in these two conferences:

PROVISIONAL SCHEDULE
Patricia Martins Marcos: Racialized Knowledges: Manipulating Nature, Blackness, and Epistemic Disciplining in the Portuguese Inquisition.
Tracie Canada: Vindication, Imagination, and Decolonization: African Americans and the Experience of Anthropology (George W. Stocking, Jr. Symposium).
Nick Barron: Cultural Islands: The Pluralistic Politics of Anthropology.
Cameron Brinitzer : Social Learning Mechanisms: The Evolution of Culture and Its Sciences.
Matthew Hoffarth: Interactions with the Rorschach: Anthony F.C. Wallace and Mel Spiro’s Criticisms of the Culture Concept.

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

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