HAR is pleased to announce two of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: two articles (in English) portraying key figures in the history of anthropological research conducted in Türkiye in the twentieth century, including a self-portrait by Paul Magnarella.

Sipahi, Ali, 2024. “An Ethnographic Moment in Turkey during the Long 1968: Portraits of Anthropologists from the Chicago Circle and Beyond,” in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

Magnarella, Paul J., 2024. “My Anthropological Adventures in Turkey (1963–present),” with an introduction by Ali Sipahi, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.

Between 1966 and 1971, seven anthropologists—six American and one Norwegian—conducted a year-long ethnographic research in different places in Turkey, with different questions in mind. The University of Chicago professor, Lloyd A. Fallers and his students Michael E. Meeker, Peter Benedict and Alan Duben composed the so-called “Chicago group.” In addition, Paul J. Magnarella from Harvard, June Starr from Berkeley, and Reidar Grønhaug from Bergen were in the field for dissertation research in the same period. Such a concentration of intensive fieldwork by international scholars in Turkey was exceptional. Five of them were even simultaneously in the field in spring of 1967 although there was no team mission in question. It was a particular moment that brought them together: the encounter between the Cold War social sciences and the critical turn in the late 1960s. Understanding this ethnographic moment contributes to the literatures on Cold War anthropology, politics of fieldwork, and the history of American anthropology. In the first article, Ali Sipahi presents short portraits of the anthropologists of Turkey in the long 1968, starting with the Chicago group. In the second article, Paul J. Magnarella describes in autobiographical mode the familial, residential, and educational experiences that influenced his anthropological research in Turkey. In 1969 he embarked on a broad community study of Susurluk—a town undergoing major industrial, economic, demographic, and social changes. He resided in the town for over a year with a local family and combined participant observation, elaborate questionnaires, local archival research, and extensive interviews with hundreds of residents to portray a rich picture of the town’s history, society, culture, religious practices, economic organization, and politics. Using similar research techniques, he also studied a village that had been settled by Georgian immigrants during the late Ottoman period.

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