The History of Anthropology Working Group of the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine will hold its first online meeting of 2024 on Wednesday, January 10th (12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST). If you are not a member already, you can request membership on the working group’s homepage. This will allow you to access the meeting link and reading.
The first meeting of the year will revolve around the work of Sam Holley-Kline (University of Maryland, College Park).
Title: Managing Archaeology at the United Fruit Company, 1908-1952
Abstract: Maya archaeologists collaborated with the United Fruit Company during the first half of the twentieth century. In Guatemala, the Company funded research projects in Quiriguá (1910-1915) and Zaculeu (1946-1949). While scholarship increasingly recognizes the interpretative convergences between archaeological and corporate interests in the context of U.S. imperialism, the day-to-day administration of funds and management of workers have been relatively less examined. Based on archival research, I suggest that focusing on these areas draws archaeology into the political economy of U.S. imperialism and broader practices of racial discrimination—but these worked differently based on corporate objectives and local socioeconomic conditions. I conclude by advocating for bottom-up approaches to the history of archaeology that cross established historiographic boundaries.
Our commentators will be Christopher Heaney (Pennsylvania State University) and Matthew Watson (Mount Holyoke College).