Special Focus: Structures

In the course of the twentieth century, structure became a central category of thought across a wide array of sciences. From linguistics to anthropology, psychoanalysis and history, the epistemic aim of analyzing structures guided a diverse range of research programs. And yet, the quest for immaterial or timeless structures that might underlie, order, organize—let alone determine—more readily perceptible domains of reality today appears strange, even suspicious, to most cultural anthropologists and historians of science. To grapple with these changes in the epistemic virtues guiding the work of anthropologists and their historians, as well as structures’ many afterlives outside of the academy, this Special Focus Section aims to adopt a broader historical view of the phenomenon by shifting analytic attention away from specific structuralist texts, intellectuals, and institutions toward structures as epistemic things in the history of anthropology and adjacent domains of inquiry.

August 2021
‘Structures’ in Context
Cameron Brinitzer and Gabriel Coren
Lorraine Daston
1966: The Year of Light
François Dosse, Cameron Brinitzer and John Tresch
Nine Pails of Ashes: Social Networks, Genocide, and the Structuralists’ Database of Language
Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan
The Place of Structuralism on the Hungarian Intellectual Scene: Late 1960s – Early 1970s
Csaba Pléh
Structures of Contagion and Forms of the Social Environment
Frédéric Keck
Structures and Relations: Seeing the Entwined Lives of Concepts in an Exercise of Conceptual Flocculation
Helen Verran
Introduction to the New English Edition of “Twenty Days with Claude Lévi-Strauss in Korea”
Shin-pyo Kang
Selected Excerpts from October 14, 1981, “Kinship and Social Organization”
Shin-pyo Kang and Claude Lévi-Strauss