The editorial collective at the History of Anthropology Review (HAR) is pleased to announce the launch of a new reading group, hosted in collaboration with the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (CHSTM). The “History of Anthropology Working Group” will allow anyone interested in the history of anthropology to take part in monthly discussions about topics of vital interest to the field. We warmly invite all HAR readers to join us for these online conversations. This year, spurred by Black Lives Matter protests, the reading group’s focus will be anthropology’s relationships to (and studies of) racism, racial science, white supremacy, anti-racism, and policing.
This reading group arises from HAR’s editors’ wish for a forum in which to discuss and develop the issues that drive the journal beyond what is published on the site, and to connect with our editors, contributors, and readers more directly. We’re grateful to the Consortium for providing that space.
Over the six years since HAR’s online relaunch we’ve seen the field of history of anthropology expand beyond an earlier focus on classic texts and figures to incorporate global traditions of anthropology, approaches from Indigenous Studies, STS and the History of Science, museology, library and information science, and the politics of collecting and displaying cultures.
The history of anthropology has also become a lively object (and target) for reflection on how to confront centuries of imperial violence and racism—legacies clearly still alive with the open return of white supremacy with the Trump presidency and other resurgent ethno-nationalisms, but also, as many critiques have made clear, built into the fabric of Western societies. This year’s readings were chosen out of a strong wish to interrogate the field’s past, present, and future, seeking to combine contemporary ethnography with historically-oriented work.
The Working Group is open to anyone who wants to reflect on the histories of anthropology—anthropologists, historians, interested others. A full schedule and information for how to join may be found on the Consortium website.