Panel 4: History’s Lessons: Uses of the History of Anthropology

This panel seeks historicist, ethnographic, and/or theoretical accounts of the uses that underlie and guide the writing and teaching of the histories of anthropology. How have historians of anthropology contributed to the development of particular schools, approaches, movements, etc. across disciplinary history? Have such projects used historical scholarship as a source of ethical lessons (role models or cautionary tales), of enlightening epistemological insights (whether by recuperation or reappraisal), or a combination of the two? Are there other important uses for historical research? How has the production of the histories of anthropology varied depending on its intended audiences (e.g., academic anthropologists, applied anthropologists, historians of science, undergraduate students, graduate students, non-traditional students, and various non-academic audiences.)? How have uses changed in concert with (or as a response to) broader material shifts in academia (e.g., neoliberalization; the contraction of the humanities and social sciences; enrollment decline/growth; the emergence of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity initiatives, student activism, etc.), perennial debates within anthropology itself (e.g., over disciplinary complicity with colonialism and possibilities for decolonization), and/or emergent philosophical or ethical stances of practicing anthropologists (e.g., “radical humanism,” activist research [as opposed to cultural critique], ethnographic refusal, etc.)?

Convenors: Grant Arndt (Iowa State University), Nick Barron (University of Nevada, Las Vegas).

Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Session I [Watch here!] — Session II [Watch here!]

The Myths of Origins: The Shifting Representations of Disciplinary Histories in socialist Czechoslovakia and post-socialist Czechia — Nikola Balaš

The history of anthropology allows the study of changing contexts: the role of Jorge Dias (1907-1973) in the Portuguese colonial field — Patrícia Ferraz de Matos

Bringing Russian Formalism Back in the History of Social Anthropology — Giuseppe Tateo

Ethnology as “national science” in Serbia: some useful lessons from the past — Miloš Milenković, Marko Pišev

Ages, genders and figures: anthropometric tools in developmental medicine during the early 20th century — Elsie Mégret

The Present and Past of Teaching History of Anthropology: The HAR Syllabus Project — Caleb Shelburne

Action Anthropology as Decolonial Pedagogy: HOA as Educational Praxis — Joshua Smith

A Historicist versus a presentist view of American anthropology and colonialism — Herbert Lewis

Work and the work: Anthropology outside tenure in the US in the 1920s and 30s — Jessica Taylor

Disseminating Anthropology in Imperial Britain and now — Amy Woodson-Boulton