In 1973, the first issue of the History of Anthropology Newsletter opened with a statement of purpose from the editorial committee, called “Prospects and Problems,” by George Stocking. The editors were self-consciously defining and claiming a field. They let loose with territorial metaphors: occupation, soil, furrows, forays. Now, as we continue our relaunch of HAN, we return to this 40-year-old manifesto as a starting point for thinking about the past, present, and future of the field.
The 1973 essay noted a sense of disciplinary crisis as a spur to growth; it asked whether this history should be done by anthropologists, intellectual historians on “one-book forays,” by “anthropologists manqué,” or by a new generation of interdisciplinarians; it announced the need for “landmarks” including lists of archival holdings, bibliographic aids, research in progress, recent publications—which HAN would provide. It ended with a call for participation from readers.
Seeking to continue HAN’s role as a site for debating the field’s present state and shaping its future, in late 2016 we invited a series of scholars from various fields to respond to this manifesto. In February 2017, eight distinguished authors responded with generosity, insight, experience, good humor—and impressive speed. Continuing our reappraisal of Stocking’s inaugural editorial statement, in August 2017 we added nine additional surveys of the field’s potential terrain. These contributions cover new ground, unearth skepticisms, and sow a set of new questions.
We encourage HAN readers and subscribers to make use of the comments section to respond to individual pieces, or to the section as a whole. Dig in and leave a mark.
This editorial was originally published on February 1, 2017. It was updated on August 15, 2017.
The “Histories of Anthropology: Transforming Knowledge and Power (1870-1970)” conference will be held on the 18th and 19th of September 2017 at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. The conference will examine the history of anthropology in terms of two broadly conceived themes. The first concerns the history of anthropology’s relationship with cognate disciplines. The second explores the political and social history of anthropology, its relationship to governance, colonialism and broader political and social transformations. Registration information and a complete schedule of the conference can be found on the event website.
Welcome to our biweekly roundup! For this new HAN feature, we’re compiling lists of new, interesting pieces on the history of anthropology our editors have been reading around the web. This installment spans July 21 – August 4.
Biological anthropology has long been plagued by its exclusionary past. Today, many biological anthropologists and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) are actively seeking to address this legacy by forging positive relationships between anthropologists and marginalized communities, and by encouraging new voices to contribute to the field. For example, the AAPA created the Increasing Diversity in Evolutionary Anthropological Sciences (IDEAS) program to increase participation by first-generation college students or students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in science (African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Latinos). The recent Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE) study (2014) conducted by Kate Clancy, Robin Nelson, Julienne Rutherford, and Katie Hinde also highlighted persistent issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the field.
TWO FHHS PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENTS : 30 June 2017 deadline
1. FHHS/JHBS John C. Burnham Early Career Award: Send manuscript and
curriculum vitae (PDF format) by June 30, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Forum for History of Human Science (FHHS) and the Journal of the History
of the Behavioral Science (JHBS) encourage researchers in their early careers
to submit unpublished manuscripts for the annual John C. Burnham Early Career
Award, named in honor of this prominent historian of the human sciences and
past-editor of JHBS. The publisher provides the author of the paper an
honorarium of US $500. (see details below). Continue reading
“Histories of Anthropology: Transforming Knowledge and Power (1870-1970)”
18-19 September 2017
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Deadline for abstracts: May 20, 2017
The “Histories of Anthropology: Transforming Knowledge and Power (1870-1970)” conference will be held at the University of Cambridge on 18-19 September 2017. The conference committee is currently accepting abstracts (max. 300 words) until 20 May 2017, and we are specifically looking for transnational and trans-colonial perspectives on the modern history of anthropology. Abstracts or questions can be emailed to the conference committee . We encourage submissions from academics at any stage of their careers. Accepted papers will be announced by early June and limited funding will be available to support travel and accommodation. A teleconferencing capability will also be present if participants are unable to travel. For more information, please refer to the CFP or email the conference committee.
The 14th biennial EASA conference was held at the University of Milano-Bicocca from July 20-23, 2016. Framed around the topic “Anthropological Legacies and Human Futures,” the conference included two panels on themes in the history of anthropology. The first panel was convened by David Shankland (Royal Anthropological Institute, London, UK) and Aleksandar Boskovic (University of Belgrade/Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia); the second by Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain) and Han F. Vermeulen. The second panel was the official panel of the Europeanist network for this conference. The panels were attended by between 30 and 40 people and received positive reactions. Based on the success of the conference, plans were made to publish one or more volumes. Subsequently, a network devoted to the history of anthropology (HOAN) was refounded (see below). Continue reading
The 2017 edition of the festival “FACA – Festa de Antropologia Cinema e Arte” [Festival of Anthropology, Cinema and Art] will take place at the National Ethnological Museum in Lisbon, from March 9 to 10, and at the National Film Library (Cinemateca de Lisboa) on March 11. Performances, lectures, and papers will be presented on the first two days; the last day will consist of an anthropological film festival.
The history of anthropology will be represented during the key note lecture “Remediating Ethnographic collections: Video Art and the Postcolonial Museum,” (Steffen Köhn, Freie Universität Berlin), focused on the history of ethnographic collecting. Several papers touch on similar subjects.
One of the film sessions of the last day (starting at 18:30) will be dedicated to ethnographic archives and feature a film by Inês Ponte about the late Angolan anthropologist Rui Duarte de Carvalho.
The program of the FACA festival and information about the film sessions are available.
From November 9-12, 2016, the American Society of Ethnohistory (ASE) convened its Annual Meeting at the Hutton Hotel in “Music City” Nashville, Tennessee. The meeting assembled scholars from a diverse range of fields including history, anthropology, linguistics, indigenous studies, and environmental and cultural studies, as well as representatives from various indigenous political, environmental, heritage, and cultural institutions. The canopy topic, “Ethnohistory of Native Space”, encouraged analyses that ranged from dwelling and diaspora notions of ‘home places’, to other experiences of space, place and time. This included inquiries into how native spaces are represented through narrative and performance and studies of different forms of colonial legacies. It also involved a focus on uses of mapping technologies employed to display place-based histories, interactions, and social transformations. Continue reading
Richard Warms (Texas State University) and Jon McGee (Texas State University) are looking for contributors to a AAA panel on “Friendship and Other Connections in American Anthropology, 1890s–1920s.” They seek papers about “connections of family, friendship, enmity, and patronage among anthropologists, people particularly interested in anthropology, and others.” The full panel abstract is reproduced below: Continue reading