News (page 1 of 15)

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.

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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On the Planned Closure of Berkeley’s Anthropology Library

On 23 February 2023, the University of California, Berkeley announced in a campus-wide email its intention to close its George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library, long housed in the Anthropology and Art Practice Building on campus.

Although a small departmental library was already present in the early years of Berkeley’s Anthropology Department and Museum (both founded in 1901), it was only in 1956 that the Anthropology Library was established as an official branch of the Berkeley system, after vigorous efforts by Berkeley archaeologist John Howland Rowe (1918–2004). It has since acquired significant collections of some 80,000 volumes in the department’s four subfields (sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology), as well in related fields such as folklore, medical anthropology, and ethnic studies.

In 1997, the Anthropology Library was officially renamed to honor cultural anthropologist George McClelland Foster (1913–2006), professor at Berkeley from 1953 to 1979 and expert in Mexican peasant societies, who also helped found the joint Berkeley-UCSF program in medical anthropology in 1975, as well as the anthropological linguist Mary (Mickie) LeCron Foster (1914–2001), who specialized in the anthropology of peace and the origins of language. It currently remains one of only a handful of dedicated anthropology libraries in the United States (leaving aside anthropological collections in the libraries of natural history and art museums), including the Tozzer Library at Harvard University, the Penn Museum Library at the University of Pennsylvania, the John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology at the Smithsonian, and the Anthropology Library at SUNY Buffalo.

Under the university’s current plans, which cite an estimated $400,000 in annual savings, the library’s dedicated space would be closed and its volumes would be merged with the collections of the Main (Gardner) Stacks Library, with many volumes held in storage off-site. The university’s announcement drew immediate criticism from both students and faculty in the Department of Anthropology, as well as the wider public, including public figures such as Ralph Nader and former Governor of California Jerry Brown. Several have noted that this closure is the culmination of longstanding resource and budgetary reductions to the library; indeed, opening hours were only maintained after two previous student sit-in protests in 2009 and in 2012. The Anthropology Department’s website hosts both testimonials and an open letter related to the closure, and students have been engaged in a continuous occupation of the library since April 21 in protest, prompting coverage in national news outlets such as the New York Times.

Jean-Baptiste Vaudry as Accidental Visual Anthropologist, by Isabelle Combès

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Spanish on Jean-Baptiste Vaudry, a French ethnographer working in Bolivia in the early twentieth century.

Combès, Isabelle, 2023. “Los aportes de Jean-Baptiste Vaudry a la antropología boliviana”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

French civil engineer Jean-Baptiste Vaudry (1875–1938) worked for the Bolivian government between 1902 and 1913 on commissions to delimit the borders with Argentina and Brazil. In the 1920s, he worked for several years in the tin mines of the altiplano. Although widely distributed at the time, the more than 500 photographs he took during those years fell into oblivion until recently. Beyond exoticism, they show Indigenous people from the Chaco, the Chiquitania, the altiplano and the valleys, in the most varied situations: workers on the haciendas or in the mines, in remote communities or in the streets of the cities, giving a realistic and lively testimony of a colorful Bolivia in the early twentieth century. In this profusely illustrated article, Combès minutely explores photographic material that was rediscovered in the 2010s, and explains how Vaudry portrayed a multi-ethnic Bolivia where indigenous people were in contact with each other within national society. Along with both published texts and unpublished manuscripts, Vaudry’s iconography is thus reassessed as that of an accidental “visual anthropologist” who gains a peculiar but important place in disciplinary history, and within Bolivian studies.

The Puerto Rican Ethnography of John Alden Mason, by Rafael Ocasio

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in Spanish, on Boasian ethnographer John Alden Mason.

Ocasio, Rafael, 2023. “De la criollización a la compilación del folclore puertorriqueño: el legado de John Alden Mason y de sus colaboradores jíbaros en el campo de Puerto Rico”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

US anthropologist John Alden Mason (1885–1967) was a student of Alfred L. Kroeber with a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He did fieldwork under Franz Boas’ supervision, namely within the “Scientific Survey of Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” which began in 1914–1915 as a multidisciplinary study under the auspices of the New York Academy of Sciences. The earliest part of the twentieth century after the Spanish American War of 1898 can be characterized as the beginning of an intense exploration in the United States of Puerto Rican culture. This interest led to active scientific fieldwork by representatives of American academic institutions. Boas’ and Mason’s was among the first research trips of this kind. They oversaw the gathering of hundreds of oral riddles, folk poetry, and stories, which were published in The Journal of American Folklore from 1916 through 1929. Mason considered this collection of folk tales as being among the largest from a Spanish-speaking country or territory. Following the publication of Race and Nation in Puerto Rican Folklore: Franz Boas and John Alden Mason in Porto Rico (Ocasio, Rutgers University Press, 2020), this article focuses on Mason’s ethnographic endeavors and discusses some of the special categories of folk tales that Mason – and Boas – presented as exemplary representations of a well grounded Puerto Rican identity. The published folktales favor rural cultural practices of the peasants known as “Jíbaro,” while ignoring folk data gathered in Loíza, a traditional fishing village inhabited by African descendants. Indeed, the choice to highlight Jíbaro oral folklore not only determined the geographical scope of the project (rural and inland culture) but also the types of native characters that stand as representatives of a Puerto Rican identity to this day. The Penn Museum, an institution for which Mason served as curator of the American Section from 1926 until his retirement in 1955, celebrates him as “one of the last of the great generalist anthropologists of the 20th century”, but his legacy is inseparable from his descriptive ethnography and the folk materials he compiled.

Florestan’s Insight into Brazilian Society, by Christophe Brochier

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 influential Brazilian sociologist Florestan Fernandes.

Brochier, Christophe, 2023. “Florestan Fernandes: ‘patron’ de la sociologie pauliste et chercheur engagé”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Florestan Fernandes (1920–1995), of immigrant origin and from a very poor background, was arguably one of the most influential Brazilian sociologists of the second half of the twentieth century and one of its great modernizers, who tirelessly tried to understand the singularities, changes, and challenges of Brazilian society. In this ambitious article, Brochier traces the professional career and scholarly production of Florestan – as he is known in Brazil – starting with an examination of his formative years as an atypical student from the working classes at the University of São Paulo. Florestan’s intellectual brightness was noticed by French anthropologist Roger Bastide, who encouraged him and supervised his first research into folklore and race relations in São Paulo. His doctoral research was then devoted to the historical anthropology of the Tupinambá. The article reveals how the study of functionalism in anthropology was a starting point in Florestan’s development of a series of precepts and ideas concerning the epistemology of the social sciences in the 1950s. The way in which his intellectual and life trajectories were strongly affected by the military coup in 1964 is the theme of the second part of the article: clearly opposed to academic conservatism, Florestan abandoned epistemology and devoted himself to the study of the political and economic transformations of Brazilian society from a critical perspective. Finally, the last phase of his activity is recounted, when he was a deputy of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Brazilian Labor Party) in the 1980s and 1990s, during which he tried to analyze the Brazilian political situation in real time. In conclusion, a draft assessment of Florestan’s work is proposed, in an effort to create a distance from the hagiographic perspective generally in use. He eventually emerges as a key figure in a wider history of sociology, anthropology, and the social sciences in general.

New Documentary Film on the Life and Career of James C. Scott

HAR readers may be interested in the new film In A Field All His Own: The Life and Career of James C. Scott, a documentary that offers an unprecedented look at the lauded Yale political scientist and activist. Created and produced by UC Berkeley Oral History Center (OHC) historian Todd Holmes, the film draws from nearly thirty hours of oral history interviews with Scott and affiliated scholars at Yale and UC Berkeley to trace the intellectual journey of the award-winning social scientist from his childhood in New Jersey through each of the ground-breaking works he produced throughout his accomplished career. Overall, the film presents an intellectual biography of one of the world’s preeminent academics.

The documentary is currently available for viewing online on YouTube, and more information about the film can be found on the Berkeley Library’s website. In a Field All His Own developed out of the Yale Agrarian Studies Oral History Project, which Dr. Holmes conducted between 2018 and 2020.

Upcoming Conference – Imagining Lost Origins: Migration and the Politics of the Deep Past

The editors of HAR would like to draw your attention to this conference, which will be held in person and online May 19-20, 2023. Those interested in attending should register with Dr. Frederika Tevebring (frederika.tevebring@kcl.ac.uk).

Culture has always been on the move, but the notion that culture is itself a product of movement is relatively recent. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, scholars hypothesised that the world’s cultures developed not by linear evolution, but through migration, invasion, conquest, trade and exchange. Diffusionism became a master paradigm across several disciplines. The fascination and concern with how movement had shaped cultures historically reflected the anxieties of a time that witnessed more global migrations of people than ever before. Further, the modern quest for lost origins was (and is) inherently entangled in contemporary debates about the rights to land and resources.

This conference explores the relation between scientific and artistic imaginings of prehistoric migrations. To map cultural diffusion is also to theorize the relationship between bodies, place, art, and innovation. When investigating societies who have left no written records, the visual has a dual role: it is both the means by which these cultures are reconstructed, and the tool by which knowledge about them is disseminated. We ask how artists and scholars influenced one another in reconstructing lost origins, and probe the ways that these images were embedded in contemporary debates about race and migration.

The conference will take place in the River Room, King’s College London (The Strand, London WC2R 2LS) and online. Dates and times are as follows: Friday, May 19th, from 6pm – 8pm (BST) and Saturday, May 20th, 10am – 5pm (BST).

PROGRAMME

Friday, 19 May
18.00 – Keynote lecture: Michael Kunichika (Amherst): ‘Debating the Origins of Art: Case Studies from the Prehistoric Front of the Cold War’
Response: Maria Stavrinaki (Paris)
Wine reception

Saturday, 20 May
10.00 – Introductory remarks by Frederika Tevebring and Matthew Vollgraff
10.30 – Felix Wiedemann (Berlin): ‘Pure and Mixed Types. The Anthropological Reading of Ancient Works of Art and Their Use as Visual Evidence in Bio-historical Narratives at the Turn of the 20th Century’
10.50 – Frederika Tevebring (London): ‘Women are from Venus, Men are from the Russian Steppe: Gendering Prehistoric Migration’
11.10 – Response: John Robb (Cambridge)
11.20 – Discussion

11.50 – Carlotta Santini (Paris): ‘Under Western Eyes. Prehistoric Art and the Migration of Culture in the Work of Leo Frobenius’
12.10 – Matthew Vollgraff (London): ‘The Monarch and Medusa: Wilhelm II, Leo Frobenius and the Quest for Sacred Kingship’
12.30 – Response: John Tresch (London)
12.40 – Discussion

Lunch Break

14.30 – Jonathan Dentler (Paris): ‘Revisiting “Red Atlantis”: Hilaire Hiler’s Aquatic Park Mural Project (1936-1939) and the Transatlantic Frontier’
14.50 – Eva Miller (London): ‘Only America Can Americanize: Immigration, Inheritance, and Civic Art’
15.10 – Response: Alison Boyd (Utrecht)
15.20 – Discussion

15.50 – Hans Hönes (Aberdeen): ‘Prehistoric Art, Climate Change and 19th-Century Geographies of Culture’
16.10 – Sria Chatterjee (London): ‘The Robbery of the Soil: Vitalism, Nationalism, and Art in Early Twentieth-Century India’
16.30 – Response: Chris Manias (London)
16.40 – Discussion

Link to conference flyer

Recent Obituary Articles in American Anthropologist

Readers of History of Anthropology Review may be interested in the obituaries that are published in American Anthropologist. Each one is a fascinating portrait of an individual’s life and contribution to anthropology—an intimate history. Collectively they are a fabulous resource for learning about the recent history of anthropology and its diversity.

The following obituary essays have appeared in American Anthropologist during the last five years:

Nancy Oestreich Lurie by Grant Arndt (June 2018)

Paula G. Rubel by Lesley A. Sharp (June 2019)

Wendy Ashmore by Patricia Urban and Edward Schortman (Sept 2019)

Sydel Silverman by Jane Schneider (Dec 2019)

Charles Goodwin by Frederick Erickson (Dec 2019)

Deanna Jeanne Trakas by Athena McLean (Dec 2019)

Deborah Bird Rose by Thom van Dooren (Mar 2020)

Richard King Nelson by Sharon Bohn Gmelch and George Gmelch (June 2020)

Constance R. Sutton by Antonio Lauria-Perricelli, Linda Basch, A. Lynn Bolles, Nina Glick Schiller, Linden Lewis, Susan Makiesky Barrow, William P. Mitchell, David Sutton, Deborah A. Thomas, and Andrea J. Queeley (June 2020)

Jane H. Hill by Susan U. Philips (June 2020)

Napoleon A. Chagnon by William Irons (Sept 2020)

Kenelm O. L. Burridge by Dan Jorgensen (Dec 2020)

Jamie Pearl Bloom (James F. Weiner) by Alex Golub (Mar 2021)  

Abraham Rosman by Lesley A. Sharp and Maxine Weisgrau (Mar 2021)

Frederick George Bailey by Elisa J. Sobo, Kevin Avruch, David Lipset, and Paula Levin (June 2021)

June C. Nash by Christine Kovic (June 2021)

Saba Mahmood by Noah Salomon (June 2021)

Lambros Comitas by Gerald Murray (Sept 2021)

Sally Engle Merry by Mark Goodale (Sept 2021)

Audrey Smedley by Faye V. Harrison and Janis Hutchinson (Sept 2021)

Leith P. Mullings by Lee D. Baker (Dec 2021)

Marshall David Sahlins by Robert Brightman (Dec 2021)

Michael Silverstein by Susan Gal (March 2022)

Amelia Louise Susman Schultz by Jay Miller (March 2022)

Nancy D. Munn by Robert J. Foster and Webb Keane (June 2022)

Steven Gregory by Arlene Dávila (June 2022)

Jan Vansina by Nancy Rose Hunt (Sept 2022)

Frederick K. Errington by Martha Macintyre (Dec 2022)

Paul Rabinow by Talia Dan-Cohen and Nicolas Langlitz (Dec 2022)

Mary Catherine Bateson by William O. Beeman (Mar 2023)

Roy Wagner by Ira Bashkow and Justin Shaffner (June 2023) (early version)

Douglas Feldman by Tiantian Zheng (forthcoming in Sept 2023)

American Anthropologist has been publishing obituaries for a long time. Sydel Silverman edited them from 2001 to 2017. In her last years she was assisted by Flemming Daugaard-Hansen. I began serving as the journal’s Associate Editor for Obituaries in 2018.

I wish to publicly thank all of the authors who have written obituaries. These biographical articles require extensive research, and they are an effortful form of service to the history of anthropology and to the memory of colleagues, teachers, and friends. Many obituary authors are HAR subscribers and regular readers.

He also thanks the previous and current editors-in-chief of American Anthropologist, Deborah A. Thomas and Elizabeth J. Chin, for continuing to support the publication of substantive obituaries.

In addition, I hope everyone is aware of the shorter “In Memoriam” articles regularly published by Anthropology News, which is currently edited by Natalie Konopinski. Readers can find these articles online in Anthropology News. They, too, are an excellent history of anthropology resource.

And of course, there are obituaries of anthropologists in other scholarly journals, such as Transforming Anthropology, Ethnohistory, and the Journal of Anthropological Research.

Upcoming Event: A Rosetta Stone for Erving Goffman

The editors of HAR would like to draw your attention to the following upcoming event: a free online discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community”—newly published as an open access book. The event will take place on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 15:00 UTC (11am EDT/4pm BST/ 5pm CET). It will run 45 minutes.

Details:

Discussants:

  • Yves Winkin, University of Liège
  • Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
  • Peter Lunt, University of Leicester
  • Greg Smith, University of Salford
  • Filipa Subtil, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa

Join Yves Winkin, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Peter Lunt, Greg Smith, and Filipa Subtil for a discussion of Erving Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, “Communication Conduct in an Island Community”, recently published as an open access book with a new introduction by Winkin. This free Zoom session, sponsored by mediastudies.press, marks the dissertation’s publication with a discussion of the work’s significance by Winkin and other leading Goffman scholars.

Canadian-born Erving Goffman (1922–1982) was the twentieth century’s most important sociologist writing in English. Goffman’s 1953 dissertation, based on fieldwork on a remote Scottish island, presents in embryonic form the full spread of his thought. Framed as a “report on a study of conversational interaction,” the dissertation lingers on the modest talk of island “crofters.” It is trademark Goffman: ambitious, unconventional in form, and brimmed with big-picture insight. The thesis is that social order is made and re-made in communication—the “interaction order” he re-visited in a famous and final talk before his death in 1982. The dissertation is, as Winkin writes in the new introduction, the “Rosetta stone for his entire work.” It was here, in 360 dense pages, that Goffman revealed, quietly, his peerless sensitivity to the invisible wireframes of everyday life.

mediastudies.press is a scholar-led, nonprofit, no-fee open access publisher in the media, film, and communication studies fields.

Questions? Email press@mediastudies.press

CFP: RAI Workshop on Fieldwork Sketches

The Anthropology of Art Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) will host an in-person workshop on “Fieldwork Sketches: Blurring the Lines between Art and Anthropology,” 16 February 2024 at the RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street, London.

Deadline for abstract proposal submissions: 1 September 2023

Fieldwork sketches, drawings, diagrams, and illustrations have been used by anthropologists since the beginning of the discipline. From Franz Boas, to Levi-Strauss, Raymond Firth and more recently Michael Taussig and Tim Ingold among others, ethnographers have variably used or discussed them as helpful aids to the construction of anthropological knowledge.

Capitalising on examples from the rich visual material stored in the RAI collections, the present workshop intends to bring together researchers and scholars to discuss the nature, roles, and modes of communication embodied in fieldwork sketches with the aim of evaluating what kind of information can be elicited from a study of images made for ethnographic purposes.

The workshop is intended to be a first step towards recognising the significance of this much neglected area of anthropological data within its own discipline, but also with reference to cognate fields such as art history, folklore, and visual culture studies. Raising methodological and theoretical questions related to the production, use, purpose, and not least anthropology’s inattention to this vast field of enquiry, the workshop hopes to contribute to the recent ‘graphic turn’ in anthropology, a disciplinary stance concerned with the potential of images, pictures, drawings, and illustrations to elicit and construct anthropologically-rich information that complements textual based knowledge.

The RAI invites presentations focused but not limited to the following topics:

  • Production of images in fieldwork settings
  • Drawing as ethnography
  • Illustrations’ relationship to Visual Anthropology
  • Case studies (from RAI collections, from external sources)
  • Comparisons between anthropological traditions
  • Fieldwork illustrations/drawings as art
  • Fieldwork illustrations/drawings as data
  • Fieldwork illustrations/drawings between Folklore Studies and Visual Anthropology
  • Images in anthropological books
  • Illustrations and photography
  • Style, aesthetics, accuracy, objectivity, naturalism in ethnographic drawings and illustrations
  • Art with ethnographic subjects as anthropological data

The workshop will be held in form of a study day during which there will be ample time for discussion following presentations. The aim is twofold: draw the attention to the RAI collections; encourage research, discussion and further study of this important facet of anthropological knowledge construction.

Proposals should consist of a title and an abstract of 200 words (maximum) and be sent to: admin@therai.org.uk no later than 1 September 2023. Refreshments will be provided on the day, and there is no conference fee.

Geographical Relativities: Online Conference on the Legacy of Boas in Geography

The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group presents an online conference, “Geographical Relativities,” on April 14, 2023.

This conference marks the publication of Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt’s recent work, Franz Boas: Shaping Anthropology and Fostering Social Justice (2022), the follow up installment to Franz Boas, The Emergence of the Anthropologist (2019).

Franz Boas (1858 – 1942) has been memorialized for his important role in fostering of cultural relativity, a key research methodology in social anthropology. Yet, as a boy, Boas was interested in geography. Later, at the time of his doctoral studies his interests swung from physics to anthropology, a move that was sealed during his 1883-84 fieldwork on Baffin Island. Boas also authored an early paper about geography (1887). However, with a few exceptions (Bravo 2009; Powell 2015) Boas has received less attention from geographers and historians of geography, and his fashioning of the geographies of geography has been little explored. Why was this so? In what ways does Boas’s own disciplinary shift inform the epistemological, disciplinary and institutional flux of the twin disciplines of fin-de-siècle anthropology and geography? With him we can examine the tensions between anthropogeography, geography and anthropology (and ethnology) in universities and other institutions such as savant societies and museums. We can also locate where he fits into the longer running entanglement of anthropogeography, cultural ecology in anthropology, and political ecology. 

This conference affords the chance to share reflections on the place or absence of Boas in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century geographical and historical geographical research. The evolutionism, historicism, cosmography and the productive dynamism of attempts to reconcile understandings of local conditions and universality seen in Boas’s works are similarly features in late nineteenth-century geographers, including anarchist geographers. It explores wider concepts, and practices, of relativity in geography and historical geography. In addition, it asks what the shift in Boas’s interests tells us about broader disciplinary and institutional transformations, and how these might inform the relationships between emergent geographical practices and practitioners and those in cultural ecology, and cultural, social and physical anthropology. It seeks to reflect upon the spatial aspects of his thought and his spatializing practices. The papers in this conference address Boas’s work on race and anthropometric measurements, his subsequent resonance across the transnational histories of geographical theory, as well as methods and practice around the turn of the 19th and 20th century in British and European thought and practice. They attend to the places and subsequent resonance of his ideas across the interdisciplinary fields of geography, anthropology and their shifting places within wider epistemic maps. Other papers bring to light broader historical geographies of relativist geographical, ‘cultural’ or other, frames of understanding. 

The conference is open to both faculty and postgraduate students and will take place online on Friday, April 14th, from 15h00 – 18h00 (GMT)

To attend, please email: Dr. Emily Hayes (Oxford Brookes University) or visit the conference Eventbrite page. More information can also be found on the RGS website or on the homepage for the RGS-IBG History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group (HPGRG).

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

15h00 –15h15: Emily Hayes – Welcome and Introduction

15h15-16h00 (GMT): Rosemary Zumwalt, Keynote: Franz Boas’s Cartographic and Ethnographic work on Baffin Island (1883 – 1884)

16h00-16h20 (GMT): Federico Ferretti, The relativity of cultures between geography and anthropology: Early anarchist geographers in humane and empathetic sciences, and Franz Boas 

16h20-16h40 (GMT): Peter R. Martin, Franz Boas and the Search for the ‘Origins of the Inuit’

16h40-17h00 (GMT): Emily Hayes, ‘[T]he relativity of all cultivation’ (Boas, December 23, 1883 in Cole, 1983, 33): a short comparative study of Boas and Mackinder

The Amazonian Utopia of Stefano Varese, by Irène Favier

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, published both in Spanish and in French, on Stefano Varese as a key figure of applied anthropology, with a focus on Amazonian activism.

Favier, Irène, 2023. “Utopía y consuelo amazónico. Stefano Varese como antropólogo activista, hitos biográficos” (translated by Isabelle Combès), in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Favier, Irène, 2023. “Utopie et consolation amazonienne. Stefano Varese en anthropologue activiste, jalons biographiques”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Genoa in 1939, anthropologist Stefano Varese left Italy for Peru in 1956. His ethno-historical doctoral researches on the Asháninka of the Gran Pajonal region resulted in La sal de los cerros (1968), a milestone in the history of Peruvian Amazon studies. In the late 1960s, Varese gave up his position at the University of San Marcos to participate in the agrarian reform carried out by the new military government. While pursuing his studies of the Amazonian worlds, he contributed to a decree recognizing the legal existence of native communities as late as 1974. From being an intellectual under construction, Varese found himself propelled to the rank of a figure in the “strange revolution” carried out by the state apparatus between 1968 and 1975. Following the demise of this political experience, he went into exile, first in Mexico, then in the United States. Migration movements in Latin America and the United States became one of his fundamental research topics. In this compelling article, Irène Favier shows how the biographical itinerary of this Italian-Peruvian anthropologist crosses the second half of the twentieth century, while giving an account of the dynamics that affected anthropology at the time. Favier reveals how Varese continued to produce knowledge and to raise awareness of indigenous issues, thus becoming a key figure in the development – and the history – of applied anthropology, to which he gave a stronger political dimension. Apart from teaching – namely at the University of California, Davis, where he helped create the Native American Studies department in 1988 – Varese pursued international activities of expertise on indigenous issues. This article retraces this trajectory by restoring its historical context, and attempts to identify Varese’s legacy in the long and complex history of applied anthropology.

The Histories of Keith Hart’s Anthropology

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: a special issue, in English, on Keith Hart’s trajectories as reflected in his recent volume (2022).

Shakya, Mallika & Keith Hart (eds.). 2022. “Keith Hart’s Anthropology: Auto-Ethnography, World History and Humanist Philosophy” (with the participation of Arjun Appadurai, Yasmeen Arif, Supriya Singh and John Tresch), BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Manchester, Keith Hart (1943–) studied classics and social anthropology at Cambridge University. His research focuses on economic anthropology, Africa, money in all its forms and the digital revolution. He developed the concept of the informal economy in the field of development studies. He carried out fieldwork in Ghana in 1965–1968. In the 1970s, he advised on development policy in the Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and West Africa. After immersion in the street economy, his experience of participant observation as a high-level adviser of governments and international organizations was crucial for his evolution as an anthropologist. He has taught at a dozen universities (Manchester, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, West Indies, London School of Economics, Pretoria, etc.), including Cambridge University between 1984 and 1998, where he directed the Centre for African Studies for six years. In 1993, with Anna Grimshaw, he created the collection Prickly Pear Pamphlets, which had a dozen issues. Edited by Mallika Shakya and Keith Hart himself, this special issue features two book launches of his Self in the World: Connecting Life’s Extremes (Oxford and New York, Berghahn Books, 2022), held on May 10, 2022, at the London School of Economics, and on June 13, 2022, at Delhi’s South Asian University. Commentary from the Delhi launch by Mallika Shakya, Arjun Appadurai, Yasmeen Arif and Supriya Singh is followed by an open discussion. A review from the LSE launch by John Tresch (first published in History of Anthropology Review) and a summary of his book by the author conclude this presentation. Keith Hart has written and edited several other books including: Money in a Human Economy (2017); Economy For and Against Democracy (2015); The Memory Bank: Money in an Unequal World (2000), The Political Economy of West African Agriculture (1982), Market and Society: The Great Transformation Today (2009) and Economic Anthropology (2011) with Chris Hann and The Human Economy: A Citizen’s Guide (2010) with J-L. Laville & A. D. Cattani). Keith Hart is also a writer of fiction and professional gambler.

CFP: AAA/CASCA Panel on Fieldwork Technologies

CFP: Fieldwork Technologies: Transitional Histories of Ethnographic Mediation (Panel)

AAA/CASCA 2023 Call for Papers

Organizers: Jennifer Hsieh (University of Michigan), Matthew C. Watson (Mount Holyoke College)

Mythologies of ethnographic research – past and present – often construct fieldwork as a series of unmediated intersubjective encounters. But particular tools routinely enable, shape, and frame ethnographers’ field experiences. This panel rethinks the mediation of anthropologists’ embodied sensory, technical, and epistemic labors through fine-grained attention to historically-specific fieldwork technologies. We expect the panel to draw together work on past and present fieldwork technologies in order to reframe constructions of the field’s history and rethink the contemporary techno-politics of extended ethnographic embodiment. How might attention to technologies aid us to recompose fieldwork’s history and to reimagine the technical, ethical, and epistemic contours of ethnography today? How have anthropologists, and the tools that they use, uniquely constructed ethnographic fieldwork at a specific time and place? 

While a longstanding literature – bridging anthropological subfields – examines the social production of technologies, comparatively little attention has been directed to ethnography’s own tools of mobility, recording and documentation, and inscription. Work on the practical, aesthetic, and epistemic shapes of film and photography comprises a clear exception to this technical aversion. But the ethnographic imagination also forms through technologies of travel and mobility, audio recording tools, and varied inscription devices – ranging from pen and paper to typewriters to contemporary tablets and computers. Such tool-enabled recording and textualization are not just objects for use by the researcher; they produce ethnographic insights and modes of theorization—in cases when the tools are deployed as intended, and in cases when they aren’t. These technologies further invite consideration of the limits and potentials of ethnographic embodiment and access in terms that might engage disability studies critiques.

We invite presenters to track the role of technologies in affecting the sensorial, political, and ethical shapes of ethnographic labor across fieldwork, interpretation, and exposition. While panelists should situate ethnographic fieldwork and writing in specific sociotechnical contexts, this work of contextualization may take up diverse theoretical inspirations, including research in the anthropologies of technology and the body, science & technology studies, disability studies, digital ethnography, feminist assemblage theory, and affect theory.

Orienting questions for historical and critical work on this topic may include:

  • How is the sensory and bodily experience of fieldwork constrained or extended through technological mediation?
  • How have technological transitions and transformations shifted the very construction (including the imaginable site) of the ethnographic “field?”
  • How have shifts in technologies of mobility shaped the imagination, planning, and practice of fieldwork?
  • How have transitions in inscription technologies – e.g., typewriters and computers – reshaped the evidentiary, analytical, and expository work of ethnography?
  • How have transitions in computer technology shaped the interpretation of ethnographic data and, hence, the field’s prevailing narratives of theoretical development and change?
  • How do computer programs, software, or apps yield distinct kinds of ethnographic reasoning and analysis?
  • How has the development of cellphones into discrete and ubiquitous audiovisual devices affected the terms and practices of recording and analysis in the field?
  • How have technologies of record keeping – e.g., bibliographies, filing cabinets, computer hard-drives, the “cloud” – affected modes of ethnographic reasoning and reportage?
  • How have anthropologists adapted technologies, using them in unintended ways?

For consideration, please send a draft abstract to jchsieh@umich.edu and mcwatson@mtholyoke.edu by Friday, March 17, 2023.

Recent Interview with Linguist Andrew Garrett on Alfred Kroeber

The HAR editors would like to draw your attention to a recent interview with linguist Andrew Garrett on Alfred Kroeber. The interview, which relates to previous posts on this site, is in the podcast series created by the History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences group, where you will regularly find content on the history of linguistic anthropology.

This episode of the podcast series is described by HPLS as follows:

In this episode we talk to Andrew Garrett about the life, work and legacy of American anthropologist Alfred Kroeber. Kroeber achieved a number of firsts in American anthropology: he was Boas’ first Columbia PhD and the first professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. But Kroeber is not only of historical interest. The recent “denaming” of Kroeber Hall at UC Berkeley illustrates the clash of the past with our present-day social and political concerns.

Michel Giacometti’s Ethnography as Anti-Fascist Resistance, by Luísa Tiago de Oliveira

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in Portuguese, on French ethnographer Michel Giacometti and his revolutionary trajectory in Portugal.

Oliveira, Luísa Tiago de, 2023. “Um etnógrafo corso em Portugal: uma biografia de Michel Giacometti”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

French ethnographer Michel Giacometti (1929–1990) became an essential figure in the history of Portuguese anthropology. With a focus on his life trajectory, and considering various works and exhibits dedicated to him in Portugal as well as archival material, this article highlights the intellectual, political and even existential motives behind Giacometti’s strenuous safeguarding of folk culture – particularly folk music – in Portugal. He was part of and contributed to weaving a network of anti-fascist resistance that lasted beyond the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974. In this perspective, Giacometti’s ethnomusicology is inseparable from the fact that he both shared and built a culture of resistance and public intervention. The Portuguese Communist Party (a clandestine organization during Salazar’s dictatorship) was a point of reference in this process. Giacometti founded the Arquivos Sonoros Portugueses (Portuguese Sound Archives) soon after his arrival in Portugal in the late 1950s, and from then on, his anthropological praxis was subtly but steadily oriented towards a cultural and civic militancy that was revolutionary. The article reveals how Giacometti’s activities during the democratic transition process in the 1970s culminated in the creation of the Museu do Trabalho (Labour Museum), an institution that today bears his name and plays a leading role in the enhancement of his legacy, along with other institutions that preserve his vast collection of materials. The present article is thus a biography of Giacometti’s work, which can be situated between ethnographic praxis and political intervention.

Bulgarian Ethnomusicology and Nation-building Communism, by Marie-Barbara Le Gonidec

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in French, on ethnomusicology in post-WWII communist Bulgaria.

Le Gonidec, Marie-Barbara, 2023. “Entre passé et présent: l’ethnologie bulgare au service du façonnage d’une tradition à des fins idéologiques”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

From the early 1950s, Bulgarian folkloristi – a category comprising ethnologists and ethnomusicologists as well – were engaged in the safeguarding of peasant traditions, not just from a salvage ethnography perspective but with the aim of reactivating and projecting them into the future of the country. Bulgarian music played a key role in this post-WWII project – both a nation-building and a communist project – as the folk tunes of the agro-pastoral world would enable composers to forge a new musical tradition of the Bulgarian People’s Republic. This vibrant article explains how the narodna muzika (official folk music) was established with the help of the folkloristi and in accordance with the new ideals adopted by the communist authorities of this Balkan country, following the abolition of the (pro-Nazi) monarchy in September 1944, the liberation from German occupation, and the fall into the Soviet sphere of influence.

Theories of Caste and British Colonial Ethnography, by Chris Fuller

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on theories of caste in late nineteenth-century colonial ethnography.

Fuller, Chris, 2023. “Colonial Ethnography and Theories of Caste in Late-Nineteenth-Century India”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

None of the colonial anthropologists of the British Raj were widely read by metropolitan anthropologists, but their rival theories of caste crucially influenced early sociologists writing on the topic – notably Célestin Bouglé and Max Weber. Even though both men criticized it, the occupational theory put forward in late-nineteenth-century India has indirectly but significantly influenced modern scholars of South Asian society. This article explores the ethnographic and theoretical writings on caste of three prominent colonial anthropologists in late-nineteenth-century India: Sir Denzil Ibbetson (1847–1908) and Sir Athelstane Baines (1847–1925), who were both members of the Indian Civil Service, and John Nesfield (1836–1919), who belonged to the educational service. In 1883, Ibbetson completed a land revenue settlement report pertaining to the rural district of Karnal in the Punjab, which included copious ethnographic material, as well as a proto-functionalist description of the local village community. He also finished his superintendent’s report on the 1881 census of the Punjab, whose chapter on ‘races, castes and tribes’ was particularly outstanding. Baines was the superintendent for the 1881 census of Bombay province and later the commissioner in overall charge of the 1891 census of India. Using 1881 census data, Nesfield wrote a book on caste in the North-Western Provinces and Oudh (modern Uttar Pradesh). In these works, Ibbetson, Baines and Nesfield presented slightly different versions of an occupational theory of caste, in which they classified castes mainly by hereditary occupation or politico-economic function. They also explained the ‘closed’ caste system (in contrast to the ‘open’ class system in Europe) as the distinctively Indian outcome of the evolution of the division of labour. The occupational theory of caste was particularly criticised by Herbert Risley (1851–1911), who argued that the system’s origins lay in racial inequality and that its defining feature was ‘social precedence’ or hierarchical ranking, rather than occupational differentiation. By examining this largely forgotten literature, this article adds historical depth to a fundamental debate in the history of anthropology and sociology.

Manuel Querino as Visionary Black Anthropologist, by Sabrina Gledhill

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 Afro-Brazilian anthropologist Manuel Querino.

Gledhill, Sabrina, 2023. “A Pioneering Afro-Brazilian Ethnologist: The Life and Work of Manuel Querino”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Afro-Brazilian polymath Manuel Raymundo Querino (1851–1923) was the first Black scholar to study the history, culture and origins of the enslaved Africans and their descendants in Brazil. At a time when pseudoscientific racism was widespread in Brazilian scientific circles, Querino put forward alternative, positive views based on his personal experience and respectful interviews with elderly Africans who had survived the transatlantic crossing and enslavement. Orphaned at the age of four by a cholera epidemic, he was entrusted to a white guardian who taught him to read and write and had him apprenticed to become a painter-decorator. After being drafted into the armed forces to fight in the Paraguayan War (1864–1870), Querino was appointed as a clerk to the battalion and was later demobilized. Following his return to Salvador in 1871, he became an abolitionist, journalist, labour leader, politician, folklorist, ethnologist, food scholar and art historian – among other activities. During his lifetime and until the 1930s, he was considered one of the pioneers of ethnology in Brazil. However, in the following decades, numerous attempts were made to disparage his scholarship and disqualify his scholarship as amateur. The fact that he was of African descent and often described as “self-taught” led to the assumption that he was illiterate, despite being the author of several books. But Querino’s visionary anthropology has also been the subject of numerous reappraisals in Brazil and internationally. Now, he is once again being recognized for his ground-breaking work as a Black vindicationist, anthropologist, art historian and food scholar. This article is part of a decades-long effort to restore Querino to his rightful place in the pantheon of Brazilian anthropologists.

Upcoming Event: Sex and Gender in the Ethnographic Encounter in the Highlands of the American Colonial Philippines

The HAR editors are pleased to draw your attention to an upcoming event: this year’s Gatty Lecture, delivered by Juan Fernandez (Ph.D. candidate, Cornell University), on “Sex and Gender in the Ethnographic Encounter in the Highlands of the American Colonial Philippines.” The lecture will take place on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 12:30pm EST.

This talk examines three foundational ideas in the history and anthropology of sex and gender in Southeast Asia in the context of the colonial Philippines: the “high” status of women; the image of the man of prowess; and the concept and practice of gender pluralism. Drawing from episodes of the ethnographic encounter between the earliest generation of American anthropological field-workers during the first decade of the twentieth century and their Indigenous interlocutors, the talk aims to rethink the assumptions behind the axioms of the study of gender and sexuality in the region, as well as tracing their roots in the history of anthropology.

Juan Fernandez is a historian of modern Southeast Asia. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his B.A. from the University of the Philippines at Baguio. He has two forthcoming publications: one is a contribution to an edited volume on Indigenous Studies in the Philippines, and the other is an article in the journal Philippine Studies, entitled “‘From Savages to Soldiers’: The Igorot Body, Militarized Masculinity, and the Logic of Transformation in Dean C. Worcester’s Philippine Photographs.” He will be joining the faculty of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Fall 2023 first as an Anna Julia Cooper Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently as assistant professor of history in Fall 2024.

This Gatty Lecture will take place in-person at the Kahin Center at Cornell University, but guests are also welcome to join on Zoom. Online attendees must register in advance at this registration link.

More information can be found on the event page. For questions, contact seapgatty@cornell.edu.

Éric de Dampierre at the Heart of French Ethnology, by Margaret Buckner

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 trajectory and legacy of French ethnologist Éric de Dampierre.

Buckner, Margaret, 2023. “Éric de Dampierre: Social Scientist and Discreet Builder of French Ethnology”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Ethnologist and sociologist Éric de Dampierre (1928–1998) was one of the main driving forces behind French ethnology from the 1960s to the 1990s. After studying literature, law and political science, he spent two decisive years (1950–1952) at the University of Chicago as a member of the Committee on Social Thought. A former student of Dampierre, Margaret Buckner traces his scholarly activities and contributions by drawing on both published and unpublished material, as well as personal conversations. She vividly outlines the exceptional trajectory of Dampierre from early scholarship to a position of leadership in the Parisian academia at the University of Nanterre, while highlighting his meticulous, long-term fieldwork experience in Africa. After discovering the Nzakara-Zande country in 1954, Dampierre set up a “sociological mission” in the Haut-Oubangui territory of French Equatorial Africa (now the Central African Republic) and he returned there almost every year until 1987. Having mastered the language and its poetry, he had an unequaled understanding of the Zande-Nzakara peoples and their neighbors. In this article, Buckner intertwines the main themes of Dampierre’s researches and his strategic contributions to the affirmation of ethnology and the social sciences in France. Despite his mentorship of generations of students and junior colleagues, his many publishing projects, and his shrewd maneuvering in institutional circles, Dampierre’s role in the history of the discipline is often overlooked. Less known internationally than a Claude Lévi-Strauss or a Georges Balandier, this “discreet” key figure is now brought to the fore. Buckner’s in-depth study is also a personal portrait and a tribute to her former teacher.

Traveller-Scientist Wilhelm Joest and the Shaping of Völkerkunde, by Carl Deußen

HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article, in English, on German ethnographer and collector Wilhelm Joest.

Deußen, Carl, 2022. “An Obscure Forschungsreisender ? Wilhelm Joest and the Shaping of Ethnology in Late 19th Century Germany”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Born in Cologne as the eldest son of a family of wealthy Protestant sugar merchants, German ethnographer and collector Wilhelm Joest (1852–1896) started his career with an extensive collecting journey through Asia (1879–1881). A disciple of Adolf Bastian (1826–1905), who supervised his doctoral thesis on the Gorontalo or Hulontalo language spoken in Indonesia by the Gorontalo people, Joest published his first scientific articles in the Zeitschrift für Ethnologie in 1892. These publications and his travelogues, together with his strategic donating of artefacts to various German ethnographic museums, quickly earned Joest a reputation. He went on two more expeditions, to Southern Africa (1883–1884) and to the Guianas (1890), published his main work Tätowiren, Narbenzeichnen und Körperbemalen (Tattooing, Ornamental Scars and Bodypainting) in 1887 and, finally, received his titular professorship in 1890. After his death, his collection fell to his sister Adele Rautenstrauch (1850–1903), an influential patron and benefactor who lobbied for the creation of an ethnographic museum in their hometown of Cologne. The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum opened in 1906. This path-breaking article on a forgotten figure in disciplinary history traces Joest’s introduction into Völkerkunde as an avid collector of ethnographic artefacts on a global scale, as well as his career as a scholar and travel writer. It highlights Joest’s ideal of the Forschungsreisender, or traveller-scientist, and how this methodology influenced his understanding of racialised Others within an imperial context. Joest excelled in travelogues geared towards larger audiences, which became his most influential writing. Carl Deußen argues that although Joest did not have a marked theoretical influence on the development of German ethnology, his contribution was still crucial to the emergence of the discipline in the late 19th century.

René Depestre and the Metamorphoses of Cuban Anthropology, by Kali Argyriadi

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 contributions of Haitian writer René Depestre to Cuban anthropology.

Argyriadis, Kali, 2022. “Réné Depestre à Cuba: un ‘faire savoir’ anthropologique”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Haitian poet and novelist René Depestre (1926– ) is also known for his Marxist reflections on color, his critique of the concept of Négritude (Blackness) being considered a major contribution to Caribbean anthropological debates. In 1945, he was one of the founders of the newspaper La Ruche, which opposed the ruling elite associated with President Élie Lescot and eventually contributed to triggering the 1946 revolution in Haiti. Depestre lived in France, where he met numerous influential literary and political figures from diverse European, Latin American, Caribbean and African backgrounds but was eventually expelled from the country. He then began a journey that took him from Czechoslovakia to Chile, then to Brazil and back to France, before returning to Haiti in 1957. An opponent of the new regime of François Duvalier and a critic of his “noiriste” theories, Depestre moved to Cuba in March 1959 and lived there for almost twenty years. In addition to his literary production, he published numerous anthropological essays in Havana. Based on an interview with Depestre in 2015, this article analyses his writings and those of his contemporaries in the first two decades of the Revolución Cubana, while looking in detail at his contributions to the renewal of Cuban anthropology. By following Depestre’s views on topics such as decolonization and pan-Africanism, Argyriadis unveils both the political debates of the time and the turbulent transformations of anthropology in Cuba, a discipline that first highlighted the African element of Cuban national identity but later gave way to a Soviet-style rural ethnography. Depestre returned to France and worked at UNESCO. A key figure within a vast international network of visionary intellectuals and artists, he promoted dialogue between worlds separated by language, history or geopolitical affiliations. According to Argyriadis, this unique figure in the history of anthropology was “expelled from both sides of the Iron Curtain.”

Ethnography and Anthropology Before and After Malinowski – a Special Issue Edited by Vermeulen and Rosa

HAR is pleased to announce a new release from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: a special issue including thirteen short papers originally delivered at a virtual round table held on July 7, 2022, at the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), London, to celebrate the centennial of Bronisław Malinowski’s Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922–2022) and the appearance of the edited volume Ethnographers Before Malinowski: Pioneers of Anthropological Fieldwork 1870-1922 (Rosa and Vermeulen, Berghahn Books, EASA Series, 2022).

Vermeulen, Han F. & Frederico Delgado Rosa (eds.). 2022. “Before and After Malinowski: Alternative Views on the History of Anthropology [A Virtual Round Table at the RAI]”, BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Chaired by David Shankland and Thomas Hylland Eriksen, with Andrew Lyons as discussant, the two-part round table at the RAI in London highlighted the history of ethnography before Malinowski’s Argonauts, the genesis of British social anthropology in 1922, and its aftermath in Britain and beyond. The resulting papers discuss the three theses that opened the round table: (1) In the fifty years before the publication of Argonauts of the Western Pacific, a growing number of ethnographers produced hundreds of ethnographic monographs worldwide, but much of their work was sidetracked or neglected by Malinowski and his followers; (2) Malinowski is still celebrated as the inventor of intensive fieldwork in a single society, despite the fact that he had many predecessors in other societies and continents pursuing the same goal; and (3) the success of British social anthropology has been partly due to its marginalizing the relative importance of other approaches such as non-functionalist ethnographies, comparative studies and ethnohistory. Participants in the round table/contributors to this special issue are (in alphabetical order): Sophie Chevalier, Barbara Chambers Dawson, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Michael Kraus, Adam Kuper, Herbert S. Lewis, Andrew Lyons, David Mills, Frederico Delgado Rosa, David Shankland, James Urry, Han F. Vermeulen, and Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt.

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