Panel 7: Regional Anthropologies, Colonial and Postcolonial Histories

This panel seeks to promote a dialogue between histories of the knowledge of regions within a variety of anthropological traditions and regional histories of anthropologies, especially as practised in colonial and postcolonial contexts. In ways related to the advent of “area studies” and similar formations, the anthropological study of different world areas has sometimes come to be defined by specific problems, topics, tropes, and/or theoretical approaches. For metropolitan anthropologies, different regions of study have sometimes been regarded as more or less theoretically productive overall, or have held disparate conceptual functions and been associated with distinct bodies of disciplinary literature. This has been true even at moments of high theoretical universalism—e.g., evolutionary theory—as various regions have held privileged roles in the imagination and visualisation of such ostensibly universal precepts. Meanwhile, anthropologies have both been constituent elements of colonial forms of knowledge and resources for reimagining region, area, and nation within anti- and postcolonial counter-traditions. As “sciences of self-knowledge” in such settings, anthropologies can have multi-dimensional roots both in metropolitan disciplines and in a host of pre-existing, emergent, or precolonial intellectual practices. Across these varied dynamics, anthropological practice has also often brushed against other allied or competing sorts of local knowledge production, such as folklore and national character studies. Within and among its papers, this panel aims to set these multifaceted histories of regional anthropologies in conversation.

Convenors: Robert Oppenheim (University of Texas at Austin), Okpyo Moon (Shandong University).

Wednesday, 6 December 2023

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

A Look at the History of Japanese Anthropology: How the Past Informs the Future — Shinji Yamashita

Indigenizing Indian Anthropology — Nava Kishor Das

Anthropology in the Arab World: the fragmented histories of an uncomfortable discipline — Daniele Cantini

South Omo studies (Southern Ethiopia): from intellectual centrality to economico-political reappropriation? — Marion Langumier

A discipline produced by the young and curated by the old — William W. Kelly

Theorizing the native: Ethnological science in European explorations and expositions of late nineteenth-century Philippines — Adonis Elumbre

Investigating the Margins – Fieldwork Survey, Ethnographic Photography and Films of Republican China (1924-1949) — Raphael Louvet

Francophone anthropology in Quebec: the founding years (1953-1987) — Natacha Gagné

Anthropologists in action: the role of Ecuadorian anthropologists as state agents during the twentieth century — Daniela D. Barba Villamarin

Counter-images, counter-history, counter-anthropologies. Colonial images of Brazil in the work of Denilson Baniwa — Gustavo Racy