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.  

Sarah Pickman: contributions /