"""Suppose,"" Clifford Geertz suggests, ""having entangled yourself every now and again over four decades or so in the goings-on in two provincial towns, one a Southeast Asian bend in the road, one a North African outpost and passage point, you wished to say something about how those goings-on had changed."" A narrative presents itself, a tour of indices and trends, perhaps a memoir? None, however, will suffice, because in forty years more has changed than those two towns--the anthropologist, for instance, anthropology itself, even the intellectual and moral world in which the discipline exists. And so, in looking back on four decades of anthropology in the field, Geertz has created a work that is characteristically unclassifiable, a personal history that is also a retrospective reflection on developments in the human sciences amid political, social, and cultural changes in the world. An elegant summation of one of the most remarkable careers in anthropology, it is at the same time an eloquent statement of the purposes and possibilities of anthropology's interpretive powers.
To view his two towns in time, Pare in Indonesia and Sefrou in Morocco, Geertz adopts various perspectives on anthropological research and analysis during the post-colonial period, the Cold War, and the emergence of the new states of Asia and Africa. Throughout, he clarifies his own position on a broad series of issues at once empirical, methodological, theoretical, and personal. The result is a truly original book, one that displays a particular way of practicing the human sciences and thus a particular--and particularly efficacious--view of what these sciences are, have been, and should become."
In Afterlives of Affect Matthew C. Watson considers the life and work of artist and Mayanist scholar Linda Schele (1942–98) as a point of departure for what he calls an excitable anthropology. As part of a small collective of scholars who devised the first compelling arguments that Maya hieroglyphs were a fully grammatical writing system, Schele popularized the decipherment of hieroglyphs by developing narratives of Maya politics and religion in popular books and public workshops. In this experimental, person-centered ethnography, Watson shows how Schele’s sense of joyous discovery and affective engagement with research led her to traverse and disrupt borders between religion, science, art, life, death, and history. While acknowledging critiques of Schele’s work and the idea of discovery more generally, Watson contends that affect and wonder should lie at the heart of any reflexive anthropology. With this singular examination of Schele and the community she built around herself and her work, Watson furthers debates on more-than-human worlds, spiritualism, modernity, science studies, affect theory, and the social conditions of knowledge production.
By the time the United States officially entered World War II, more than half of American anthropologists were using their professional knowledge and skills to advance the war effort. The range of their war-related work was extraordinary. They helped gather military intelligence, pinpointed possible social weaknesses in enemy nations, and contributed to the army’s regional Pocket Guide booklets. They worked for dozens of government agencies, including the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Office of War Information. At a moment when social scientists are once again being asked to assist in military and intelligence work, David H. Price examines anthropologists’ little-known contributions to the Second World War.
Anthropological Intelligence is based on interviews with anthropologists as well as extensive archival research involving many Freedom of Information Act requests. Price looks at the role played by the two primary U.S. anthropological organizations, the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology (which was formed in 1941), in facilitating the application of anthropological methods to the problems of war. He chronicles specific projects undertaken on behalf of government agencies, including an analysis of the social effects of postwar migration, the design and implementation of OSS counterinsurgency campaigns, and the study of Japanese social structures to help tailor American propaganda efforts. Price discusses anthropologists’ work in internment camps, their collection of intelligence in Central and South America for the FBI’s Special Intelligence Service, and their help forming foreign language programs to assist soldiers and intelligence agents. Evaluating the ethical implications of anthropological contributions to World War II, Price suggests that by the time the Cold War began, the profession had set a dangerous precedent regarding what it would be willing to do on behalf of the U.S. government.
Anthropologists and Indians in the New South
Edited by Rachel Bonney and J. Anthony Paredes; Foreword by Raymond D. Fogelson University of Alabama Press, 2001 Library of Congress E78.S65A658 2001 | Dewey Decimal 975.00497
Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2002
A clear assessment of the growing mutual respect and strengthening bond between modern Native Americans and the researchers who explore their past
Southern Indians have experienced much change in the last half of the 20th century. In rapid succession since World War II, they have passed through the testing field of land claims litigation begun in the 1950s, played upon or retreated from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, seen the proliferation of “wannabe” Indian groups in the 1970s, and created innovative tribal enterprises—such as high-stakes bingo and gambling casinos—in the 1980s. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 stimulated a cultural renewal resulting in tribal museums and heritage programs and a rapprochement with their western kinsmen removed in “Old South” days.
Anthropology in the South has changed too, moving forward at the cutting edge of academic theory. This collection of essays reflects both that which has endured and that which has changed in the anthropological embrace of Indians from the New South. Beginning as an invited session at the 30th-anniversary meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society held in 1996, the collection includes papers by linguists, archaeologists, and physical anthropologists, as well as comments from Native Americans.
This broad scope of inquiry—ranging in subject from the Maya of Florida, presumed biology, and alcohol-related problems to pow-wow dancing, Mobilian linguistics, and the “lost Indian ancestor” myth—results in a volume valuable to students, professionals, and libraries. Anthropologists and Indians in the New South is a clear assessment of the growing mutual respect and strengthening bond between modern Native Americans and the researchers who explore their past.
Kendall Blanchard / Karen I. Blu / Allan Burns / Billy Cypress / Emanuel J. Drechsel / Larry Haikey / Penny Jessel / Clara Sue Kidwell / Lisa J. Lefler / Patricia Barker Lerch / Janet E. Levy / Michael H. Logan / Stephen D. Ousley / George Roth / Susan S. Stans / Max E. White
Anthropologists have a long tradition of prescient diagnoses of world events. Possessing a knowledge of culture, society, and history not always shared by the media’s talking heads, anthropologists have played a crucial role in educating the general reader on the public debates from World War I to the second Gulf War. This anthology collects over fifty commentaries by noted anthropologists such as Margaret Mead, Franz Boas, and Marshall Sahlins who seek to understand and explain the profound repercussions of U.S. involvement in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Frequently drawing on their own fieldwork, the anthropologists go beyond the headlines to draw connections between indigenous cultures, corporate globalization, and contemporary political and economic crises. Venues range from the op-ed pages of internationally renowned newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post to magazine articles and television interviews. Special sections entitled “Prelude to September 11” and “Anthropological Interpretations of September 11” include articles that provided many Americans with their first substantial introduction to the history of Islam, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Each article includes a brief introduction contextualizing the commentary.
Uncovering strange plots by early British anthropologists to use scientific status to manipulate the stock market, Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange tells a provocative story that marries the birth of the social sciences with the exploits of global finance. Marc Flandreau tracks a group of Victorian gentleman-swindlers as they shuffled between the corridors of the London Stock Exchange and the meeting rooms of learned society, showing that anthropological studies were integral to investment and speculation in foreign government debt, and, inversely, that finance played a crucial role in shaping the contours of human knowledge.
Flandreau argues that finance and science were at the heart of a new brand of imperialism born during Benjamin Disraeli’s first term as Britain’s prime minister in the 1860s. As anthropologists advocated the study of Miskito Indians or stated their views on a Jamaican rebellion, they were in fact catering to the impulses of the stock exchange—for their own benefit. In this way the very development of the field of anthropology was deeply tied to issues relevant to the financial market—from trust to corruption. Moreover, this book shows how the interplay between anthropology and finance formed the foundational structures of late nineteenth-century British imperialism and helped produce essential technologies of globalization as we know it today.
This book breaks new ground in the history of anthropology, opening up an explicit examination of anthropology in the Cold War era. With historical distance, Cold War anthropology has begun to emerge as a distinct field within the discipline. This book brings a number of different approaches to bear on the questions raised by anthropology's Cold War history.
The contributors show how anthropologists became both tools and victims of the Cold War state during the rise of the United States in the post-War period. Examining the intersection between science and power, this book is a compelling read for anthropologists, historians, sociologists, and anyone interested in the way in which colonial and neo-colonial knowledge is produced and constructed.
Over the course of his long career, Nathaniel Tarn has been a poet, anthropologist, and book editor, while his travels have taken him into every continent. Born in France, raised in England, and earning a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, he knew André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Margot Fonteyn, Charles Olson, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and many more of the twentieth century’s major artists and intellectuals. In Atlantis, an Autoanthropology he writes that he has "never (yet) been able to experience the sensation of being only one person.” Throughout this literary memoir and autoethnography, Tarn captures this multiplicity and reaches for the uncertainties of a life lived in a dizzying array of times, cultures, and environments. Drawing on his practice as an anthropologist, he takes himself as a subject of study, examining the shape of a life devoted to the study of the whole of human culture. Atlantis, an Autoanthropology prompts us to consider our own multiple selves and the mysteries contained within.
Children In The Field
edited by Joan Cassell Temple University Press, 1994 Library of Congress GN41.6.C48 1987 | Dewey Decimal 306.0924
"The wisdom of taking children on this journey into the abyss of otherness is debatable. That's the point: the unsettled (and unsettling) quality of this book is what makes it worth reading and pondering."
--The Women's Review of Books
The conditions under which knowledge is acquired help shape that knowledge. Yet, until quite recently, the conditions under which anthropologists observe and interact with members of other cultures were considered the stuff of memoirs, not science. Although many families have accompanied anthropologists to the field, few researchers have discussed this aspect of scientific life. This collection of narratives by anthropologists who brought children with them into the field combines personal drama, practical information, and advice with an examination of the way in which the presence of children can alter the relationship between those who study and those who are studied.
The stories are funny, sad, horrifying, fascinating. Each essay presents different field conditions, locations, family constellations, experiences, and reactions. Photographs of the anthropologists and their children enhance the engaging and illuminating accounts. This book, the first study of its kind, will be essential reading for anyone involved in field research.
"A superb collection of papers documenting the value, trauma, joy, and frustration of taking children along on a field work adventure. This book covers, among other topics: burying a child in the field, bearing a child in the field, analysis of the hardships children face in a difficult field experience, and children serving as role models in language learning and the establishment of rapport with community members. This should be required reading for anyone anticipating a field work experience."
--Sue-Ellen Jacobs, University of Washington
"[These] stories...present the missing factor in anthropological research, which is after all supposed to be producing the most human of disciplines, involved with the intercultural world of woman alive and man alive; at last in this book we have children alive. The volume covers difficulties both of family and field situation and truthfully faces the differences in cultures.... The vignettes of children's lives are unforgettable."
--Edith L.B. Turner, University of Virginia
Edmund Leach University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress GN21.L4L4 1989 | Dewey Decimal 301.092
In this lucide guide to the often abstruse works of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Edmund Leach synthesizes the thought of one of the twentieth century's greatest anthropologists and provides a thoughtful introduction to the theory and practice of structuralism. Leach organizes his work not by chronology but by theme, exploring three important topics in Lévi-Strauss's work: human beings and their symbols, the structure of myth, and kinship theory. Written concisely and with great care and penetration, this brief book is both a fine introduction for the uninitiated reader of Lévi-Strauss and a critical analysis that will prove valuable to those more familiar with the anthropologist's work.
Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues
Edited by Richard A. Shweder and Byron Good University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress GN21.G44C53 2005 | Dewey Decimal 301.092
Clifford Geertz is the most influential American anthropologist of the past four decades. His writings have defined and given character to the intellectual agenda of a meaning-centered, nonreductive interpretive social science and have provoked much excitement and debate about the nature of human understanding.
As part of the American Anthropological Association's centennial celebration, the executive board sponsored a presidential session honoring Geertz. Clifford Geertz by His Colleagues compiles the twelve speeches given then by a distinguished panel of social scientists along with a concluding piece by Geertz in which he responds to each speaker and reflects on his own career. These edited speeches cover a broad range of topics, including Geertz's views on morality, cultural critique, interpretivism, time and change, Islam, and violence.
A fitting tribute to one of the great thinkers of our age, this collection will be enjoyed by anthropologists as well as students of psychology, history, and philosophy.
In Cold War Anthropology, David H. Price offers a provocative account of the profound influence that the American security state has had on the field of anthropology since the Second World War. Using a wealth of information unearthed in CIA, FBI, and military records, he maps out the intricate connections between academia and the intelligence community and the strategic use of anthropological research to further the goals of the American military complex. The rise of area studies programs, funded both openly and covertly by government agencies, encouraged anthropologists to produce work that had intellectual value within the field while also shaping global counterinsurgency and development programs that furthered America’s Cold War objectives. Ultimately, the moral issues raised by these activities prompted the American Anthropological Association to establish its first ethics code. Price concludes by comparing Cold War-era anthropology to the anthropological expertise deployed by the military in the post-9/11 era.
At the age of eighty, one of the most influential yet reclusive intellectuals of the twentieth century consented to his first interviews in nearly thirty years. Hailed by Le Figaro as "an event," the resulting conversations between Claude Lévi-Strauss and Didier Eribon (a correspondent for Le Nouvel Observateur) reveal the great anthropologist speaking of his life and work with ease and humor.
Now available in English, the conversations are rich in Lévi-Strauss's candid appraisals of some of the best-known figures of the Parisian intelligentsia: surrealists André Breton and Max Ernst, with whom Lévi-Strauss shared a bohemian life in 1940s Manhattan; de Beauvoir, Sartre, and Camus, the stars of existentialism; Leiris, Foucault, Dumézil, Jacob, Lacan, and others. His long friendships with Jakobson and Merleau-Ponty are recalled, as well as his encounters with prominent figures in American anthropology: Lowie, Boas (who suddenly died in his chair beside Lévi-Strauss at a banquet at Columbia University), Benedict, Linton, Mead, and Kroeber.
Lévi-Strauss speaks frankly about how circumstances and his own inclinations, after his early fieldwork in Brazil, led him to embrace theoretical work. His straightforward answers to Eribon's penetrating questions—What is a myth? What is structuralism? Are you a philosopher?—clarify his intellectual motives and the development of his research; his influential role as an administrator, including the founding of the Laboratory of Social Anthropology and of the journal L'Homme; the course of his writings, from Elementary Structures of Kinship to The Jealous Potter; and his thoughts on the conduct of anthropology today.
Never before has Lévi-Strauss spoken so freely on so many aspects of his life: his initial failure to be elected to the Collège de France; his reaction to the events of May 1968; his regrets at not being a great investigative reporter or playwright; his deep identification with Wagner, Proust, and Rousseau. This is a rare opportunity to become acquainted with a great thinker in all his dimensions.
By Adriana Williams University of Texas Press, 1994 Library of Congress CT558.C68W55 1994 | Dewey Decimal 920.072
At the center of an artistic milieu as vital and exciting as the Left Bank of Paris or Greenwich Village, Rosa and Miguel Covarrubias knew almost everyone in the limelight of the 1930s and 1940s—Langston Hughes, Carl Van Vechten, John Huston, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo, to name just a few. As fascinating themselves as any of their friends, the couple together fostered a renaissance of interest in the history and traditional arts of Mexico's indigenous peoples, while amassing an extraordinary collection of art that ranged from pre-Hispanic Olmec and Aztec sculptures to the work of Diego Rivera.
Written by a long-time friend of Rosa, this book presents a sparkling account of the life and times of Rosa and Miguel. Adriana Williams begins with Miguel's birth in 1904 and follows the brilliant early flowering of his artistic career as a renowned caricaturist for Vanity Fair and the New Yorker magazines, his meeting and marriage with Rosa at the height of her New York dancing career, and their many years of professional collaboration on projects ranging from dance to anthropology to painting and art collecting to the development of museums to preserve Mexico's pre-Columbian heritage. Interviewing as many of their friends as possible, Williams fills her narrative with reminiscences that illuminate Miguel's multifaceted talents, Rosa's crucial collaboration in many of his projects, and their often tempestuous relationship.
Anthropological field studies of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in their unique cultural and political contexts.
Cultures of Doing Good: Anthropologists and NGOs serves as a foundational text to advance a growing subfield of social science inquiry: the anthropology of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Thorough introductory chapters provide a short history of NGO anthropology, address how the study of NGOs contributes to anthropology more broadly, and examine ways that anthropological studies of NGOs expand research agendas spawned by other disciplines. In addition, the theoretical concepts and debates that have anchored the analysis of NGOs since they entered scholarly discourse after World War II are explained.
The wide-ranging volume is organized into thematic parts: “Changing Landscapes of Power,” “Doing Good Work,” and “Methodological Challenges of NGO Anthropology.” Each part is introduced by an original, reflective essay that contextualizes and links the themes of each chapter to broader bodies of research and to theoretical and methodological debates. A concluding chapter synthesizes how current lines of inquiry consolidate and advance the first generation of anthropological NGO studies, highlighting new and promising directions in this field.
In contrast to studies about surveys of NGOs that cover a single issue or region, this book offers a survey of NGO dynamics in varied cultural and political settings. The chapters herein cover NGO life in Tanzania, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Peru, the United States, and India. The diverse institutional worlds and networks include feminist activism, international aid donors, USAID democracy experts, Romani housing activism, academic gender studies, volunteer tourism, Jewish philanthropy, Islamic faith-based development, child welfare, women’s legal arbitration, and environmental conservation.
The collection explores issues such as normative democratic civic engagement, elitism and professionalization, the governance of feminist advocacy, disciplining religion, the politics of philanthropic neutrality, NGO tourism and consumption, blurred boundaries between anthropologists as researchers and activists, and barriers to producing critical NGO ethnographies.
Document of Expectations
Devon Abbott Mihesuah Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3563.I371535D63 2011 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
When Hopi/White Mountain Apache anthropologist Tony M. Smokerise is found murdered in his office at Central Highlands University, the task of solving the crime falls to jaded Choctaw detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Charles T. Clarke. A seemingly tolerant and amicable office of higher education, the university, Monique soon learns, harbors parties determined to destroy the careers of Tony and his best friend, the volatile Oglala anthropologist Roxanne Badger. In the course of her investigation, Monique discovers that the scholars who control Tony’s department are also overseeing the excavation of a centuries-old tribal burial site that was uncovered during the construction of a freeway. Tony’s role in the project, she realizes, might be the key to identifying his murderer. This virtuosic mystery novel explores, in engrossing detail, the complex motives for a killing within the sometimes furtive and hermetic setting of academia.
In Fieldwork Dilemmas ten anthropologists disclose the political and physical dangers inherent in field research. Focusing on former socialist states, they vividly depict the upheavals of everyday life in eastern Euorpe, revealing how their informants and the communities in which they live undergo political and economic dislocations, plummeting living standards, emerging gender inequalities, and ethnic and nationalist violence.
Reports from Armenia, Bulgaria, eastern Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, and Uzbekistan show how fieldworkers struggle to reconcile previous experiences with postsocialist stereotypes about Soviet culture, the West, and the effects of the penetration of capitalism into noncapitalist societies. These fieldwork dilemmas are analyzed by anthropologists who are learning to position themselves professionally and personally in the field under often unstable, unpredictable situations. This volume will interest not only anthropologists but fieldworkers of all kinds, and not only scholars of eastern Europe but all those who study rapid societal changes.
Billie Jean Isbell University of Illinois Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3609.S26F56 2009 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Finding Cholita is fictionalized ethnography of the Ayacucho region of Peru covering a thirty-year period from the 1970s to today. It is a story of human tragedy resulting from the region's long history of discrimination, class oppression, and then the rise and fall of the communist organization Shining Path. The story's narrator, American anthropologist Dr. Alice Woodsley, attempts to locate her goddaughter, Cholita, who is known to have joined Shining Path and to have murdered her biological father, who fathered her through rape. Searching for Cholita, Woodsley devotes herself to documenting the stories of the countless Andean peasant women who were raped by soldiers, often going beyond witnessing as she helps the women relieve the pain of their sexual horror.
Fredrik Barth, editor of the influential Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, is one of the towering figures of twentieth-century anthropology. In this accessible but penetrating intellectual biography, Thomas Hylland Eriksen explores Barth’s six-decade career, following Barth from his early ecological studies in Pakistan to political studies in Iran, to groundbreaking fieldwork in Norway, New Guinea, Bali, and Bhutan. Along the way, Eriksen raises many of the questions that emerge from Barth’s own work: questions of unity and diversity, of culture and relativism, and of art and science. This will surely be the definitive biography of Barth for many years to come.
George W. Stocking, Jr., has spent a professional lifetime exploring the history of anthropology, and his findings have shaped anthropologists’ understanding of their field for two generations. Through his meticulous research, Stocking has shown how such forces as politics, race, institutional affiliations, and personal relationships have influenced the discipline from its beginnings. In this autobiography, he turns his attention to a subject closer to home but no less challenging. Looking into his own “black box,” he dissects his upbringing, his politics, even his motivations in writing about himself. The result is a book systematically, at times brutally, self-questioning.
An interesting question, Stocking says, is one that arouses just the right amount of anxiety. But that very anxiety may be the ultimate source of Stocking’s remarkable intellectual energy and output. In the first two sections of the book, he traces the intersecting vectors of his professional and personal lives. The book concludes with a coda, “Octogenarian Afterthoughts,” that offers glimpses of his life after retirement, when advancing age, cancer, and depression changed the tenor of his reflections about both his life and his work.
This book is the twelfth and final volume of the influential History of Anthropology series.
In Sierra Leone
Michael Jackson Duke University Press, 2004 Library of Congress GN21.J337A3 2004 | Dewey Decimal 301.092
In 2002, as Sierra Leone prepared to announce the end of its brutal civil war, the distinguished anthropologist, poet, and novelist Michael Jackson returned to the country where he had intermittently lived and worked as an ethnographer since 1969. While his initial concern was to help his old friend Sewa Bockarie (S. B.) Marah—a prominent figure in Sierra Leonean politics—write his autobiography, Jackson’s experiences during his stay led him to create a more complex work: In Sierra Leone, a beautifully rendered mosaic integrating S. B.’s moving stories with personal reflections, ethnographic digressions, and meditations on history and violence.
Though the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.) ostensibly fought its war (1991–2002) against corrupt government, the people of Sierra Leone were its victims. By the time the war was over, more than fifty thousand were dead, thousands more had been maimed, and over one million were displaced. Jackson relates the stories of political leaders and ordinary people trying to salvage their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of cataclysmic violence. Combining these with his own knowledge of African folklore, history, and politics and with S. B.’s bittersweet memories—of his family’s rich heritage, his imprisonment as a political detainee, and his position in several of Sierra Leone’s post-independence governments—Jackson has created a work of elegiac, literary, and philosophical power.
In 1969 Vine Deloria, Jr., in his controversial book Custer Died for Your Sins, criticized the anthropological community for its impersonal dissection of living Native American cultures. Twenty-five years later, anthropologists have become more sensitive to Native American concerns, and Indian people have become more active in fighting for accurate representations of their cultures. In this collection of essays, Indian and non-Indian scholars examine how the relationship between anthropology and Indians has changed over that quarter-century and show how controversial this issue remains. Practitioners of cultural anthropology, archaeology, education, and history provide multiple lenses through which to view how Deloria's message has been interpreted or misinterpreted. Among the contributions are comments on Deloria's criticisms, thoughts on the reburial issue, and views on the ethnographic study of specific peoples. A final contribution by Deloria himself puts the issue of anthropologist/Indian interaction in the context of the century's end.
Introduction: What's Changed, What Hasn't, Thomas Biolsi & Larry J. Zimmerman
Part One--Deloria Writes Back
Vine Deloria, Jr., in American Historiography, Herbert T. Hoover
Growing Up on Deloria: The Impact of His Work on a New Generation of Anthropologists, Elizabeth S. Grobsmith
Educating an Anthro: The Influence of Vine Deloria, Jr., Murray L. Wax
Part Two--Archaeology and American Indians
Why Have Archaeologists Thought That the Real Indians Were Dead and What Can We Do about It?, Randall H. McGuire
Anthropology and Responses to the Reburial Issue, Larry J. Zimmerman
Part Three-Ethnography and Colonialism
Here Come the Anthros, Cecil King
Beyond Ethics: Science, Friendship and Privacy, Marilyn Bentz
The Anthropological Construction of Indians: Haviland Scudder Mekeel and the Search for the Primitive in Lakota Country, Thomas Biolsi
Informant as Critic: Conducting Research on a Dispute between Iroquoianist Scholars and Traditional Iroquois, Gail Landsman
The End of Anthropology (at Hopi)?, Peter Whiteley
Conclusion: Anthros, Indians and Planetary Reality, Vine Deloria, Jr.
Elizabeth A. Povinelli Duke University Press, 2021 Library of Congress GN21.P685A3 2021
Elizabeth A. Povinelli’s inheritance was passed down not through blood or soil but through a framed map of Trentino, Alto Adige—the region where family's ancestral alpine village is found. Far more than a map hanging above the family television, the image featured colors and lines that held in place the memories and values fueling the Povinelli family's fraught relationships with the village and with each other. In her graphic memoir The Inheritance, Povinelli explores the events, traumas, and powers that divide and define our individual and collective pasts and futures. Weaving together stories of her grandparents' flight from their village in the early twentieth century to the fortunes of their knife-grinding business in Buffalo, New York, and her own Catholic childhood in a shrinking Louisiana woodlands of the 1960s and 1970s, Povinelli describes the serial patterns of violence, dislocation, racism and structural inequality that have shaped not only her life but the American story. Plumbing the messy relationships among nationality, ethnicity, kinship, religion, and belonging, The Inheritance takes us into the gulf between the facts of history and the stories we tell ourselves to survive and justify them.
In recent years, archaeologists and Native American communities have struggled to find common ground even though more than a century ago a man of Seneca descent raised on New York’s Cattaraugus Reservation, Arthur C. Parker, joined the ranks of professional archaeology. Until now, Parker’s life and legacy as the first Native American archaeologist have been neither closely studied nor widely recognized. At a time when heated debates about the control of Native American heritage have come to dominate archaeology, Parker’s experiences form a singular lens to view the field’s tangled history and current predicaments with Indigenous peoples.
In Inheriting the Past, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh examines Parker’s winding career path and asks why it has taken generations for Native peoples to follow in his footsteps. Closely tracing Parker’s life through extensive archival research, Colwell-Chanthaphonh explores how Parker crafted a professional identity and negotiated dilemmas arising from questions of privilege, ownership, authorship, and public participation. How Parker, as well as the discipline more broadly, chose to address the conflict between Native American rights and the pursuit of scientific discovery ultimately helped form archaeology’s moral community.
Parker’s rise in archaeology just as the field was taking shape demonstrates that Native Americans could have found a place in the scholarly pursuit of the past years ago and altered its trajectory. Instead, it has taken more than a century to articulate the promise of an Indigenous archaeology—an archaeological practice carried out by, for, and with Native peoples. As the current generation of researchers explores new possibilities of inclusiveness, Parker’s struggles and successes serve as a singular reference point to reflect on archaeology’s history and its future.
Journeys with Flies
Edwin N. Wilmsen University of Chicago Press, 1999 Library of Congress GN34.3.F53W55 1999 | Dewey Decimal 301.0723
From 1973 to 1994, anthropologist Edwin Wilmsen lived and worked among the Zhu, Mbanduru, and Tswana people of the Kalahari desert in southern Africa. Thousands of miles from his home, immersed in what first seemed a radically different place, and operating in languages he initially did not understand, he began a record of his impressions and reflections as a complement to his scientific fieldwork. Journeys with Flies weaves together the multilayered experiences of his life among these Kalahari people, capturing at once the intellectual challenges an anthropologist faces in the field and the myriad and strange ways that unfamiliar experiences come to resonate with deeply personal thoughts and recollections.
Combining biography, poetry, and anthropology, Wilmsen vividly portrays the intense realities of life in the Kalahari and carries the reader across space and time as events in the present trigger emotions and memories. Images of apartheid, for example, evoke memories of Wilmsen's childhood in the segregated South. Poems, journal entries, and moving accounts of deepening personal relationships all intertwine as Wilmsen conveys the experiences he shares with his "subjects" in spite of vast differences in their backgrounds—extreme thirst under the desert sun, grief over the death of a child, and the constant irritation of ubiquitous flies.
"Our understanding of other peoples," he writes, "lies not in themselves or in anything that they do but in our experience of them. Experience that is lived partly in their world and partly in a shell of our world that we wear when we meet them."
Sophisticated, lyrical, and passionately written, Journeys with Flies will inspire all those who travel to places far from home.
Julian Steward and the Great Basin is a critical assessment of Steward’s work, the factors that influenced him, and his deep effect on American anthropology. Steward (1902–1972) was one of the foremost American exponents of cultural ecology, the idea that societies evolve in adaptation to their human and natural environments. He was also central in shaping basic anthropological constructs such as "hunter-gatherer" and "adaptation." But his fieldwork took place almost entirely in the Great Basin.
In one sense, the phases of Steward’s career epitomize the successive schools of anthropological theory and practice. Each chapter explores a different aspect of his work ranging from early efforts at documenting trait distributions to his later role in the development of social transformation theory, area studies, and applied anthropology.
Julian Steward and the Great Basin also corrects long-standing misperceptions that originated with Steward about lifeways of the Indians living between the Great Plains and California. It charts new directions for research, demanding a more exacting study of environmental conditions, material adaptations, and organizational responses, as well as an appreciation of the ideological and humanistic dimensions of Basin Life.
"Not only one of the frankest of autobiographies, but also a brilliantly written book, Leiris' Manhood mingles memories, philosophic reflections, sexual revelation, meditations on bullfighting, and the life-long progress of self-discovery."—Washington Post Book World
"Leiris writes to appall, and thereby to receive from his readers the gift of a strong emotion—the emotion needed to defend himself against the indignation and disgust he expects to arouse in his readers."—Susan Sontag, New York Review of Books
Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is the intellectual autobiography of cultural anthropologist Esther Newton, a pioneer in gay and lesbian studies. Chronicling the development of her ideas from the excitement of early feminism in the 1960s to friendly critiques of queer theory in the 1990s, this collection covers a range of topics such as why we need more precise sexual vocabularies, why there have been fewer women doing drag than men, and how academia can make itself more hospitable to queers. It brings together such classics as “The Mythic Mannish Lesbian” and “Dick(less) Tracy and the Homecoming Queen” with entirely new work such as “Theater: Gay Anti-Church.” Newton’s provocative essays detail a queer academic career while offering a behind-the-scenes view of academic homophobia. In four sections that correspond to major periods and interests in her life—”Drag and Camp,” “Lesbian-Feminism,” “Butch,” and “Queer Anthropology”—the volume reflects her successful struggle to create a body of work that uses cultural anthropology to better understand gender oppression, early feminism, theatricality and performance, and the sexual and erotic dimensions of fieldwork. Combining personal, theoretical, and ethnographic perspectives, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay also includes photographs from Newton’s personal and professional life. With wise and revealing discussions of the complex relations between experience and philosophy, the personal and the political, and identities and practices, Margaret Mead Made Me Gay is important for anyone interested in the birth and growth of gay and lesbian studies.
This collection of Ford's works focuses on the development of ceramic chronology—a key tool in Americanist archaeology.
When James Ford began archaeological fieldwork in 1927, scholars divided time simply into prehistory and history. Though certainly influenced by his colleagues, Ford devoted his life to establishing a chronology for prehistory based on ceramic types, and today he deserves credit for bringing chronological order to the vast archaeological record of the Mississippi Valley.
This book collects Ford's seminal writings showing the importance of pottery styles in dating sites, population movements, and cultures. These works defined the development of ceramic chronology that culminated in the major volume Archaeological Survey in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, 1940-1947, which Ford wrote with Philip Phillips and James B. Griffin. In addition to Ford's early writings, the collection includes articles written with Griffin and Gordon Willey, as well as other key papers by Henry Collins and Fred Kniffen.
Editors Michael O'Brien and Lee Lyman have written an introduction that sets the stage for each chapter and provides a cohesive framework from which to examine Ford's ideas. A foreword by Willey, himself a participant in this chronology development, looks back on the origin of that method. Measuring the Flow of Time traces the development of culture history in American archaeology by providing a single reference for all of Ford's writing on chronology. It chronicles the formation of one of the most important tools for understanding the prehistory of North America and shows its lasting relevance.
Unconventional and provocative, My Life with Things is Elizabeth Chin's meditation on her relationship with consumer goods and a critical statement on the politics and method of anthropology. Chin centers the book on diary entries that focus on everyday items—kitchen cabinet knobs, shoes, a piano—and uses them to intimately examine the ways consumption resonates with personal and social meaning: from writing love haikus about her favorite nail polish and discussing the racial implications of her tooth cap, to revealing how she used shopping to cope with a miscarriage and contemplating how her young daughter came to think that she needed Lunesta. Throughout, Chin keeps Karl Marx and his family's relationship to their possessions in mind, drawing parallels between Marx's napkins, the production of late nineteenth-century table linens, and Chin's own vintage linen collection. Unflinchingly and refreshingly honest, Chin unlocks the complexities of her attachments to, reliance on, and complicated relationships with her things. In so doing, she prompts readers to reconsider their own consumption, as well as their assumptions about the possibilities for creative scholarship.
On the Run in Siberia
Rane Willerslev University of Minnesota Press, 2012 Library of Congress DK759.Y8W5413 2012 | Dewey Decimal 305.8946
If I had let myself be ruled by reason alone, I would surely be lying dead somewhere or another in the Siberian frost.
The Siberian taiga: a massive forest region of roughly 4.5 million square miles, stretching from the Ural Mountains to the Bering Sea, breathtakingly beautiful and the coldest inhabited region in the world. Winter temperatures plummet to a bitter 97 degrees below zero, and beneath the permafrost lie the fossilized remains of mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, and other ice age giants. For the Yukaghir, an indigenous people of the taiga, hunting sable is both an economic necessity and a spiritual experience—where trusting dreams and omens is as necessary as following animal tracks. Since the fall of Communism, a corrupt regional corporation has monopolized the fur trade, forcing the Yukaghir hunters into impoverished servitude.
Enter Rane Willerslev, a young Danish anthropologist who ventures into this frozen land on an idealistic mission to organize a fair-trade fur cooperative with the hunters. From the outset, things go terribly wrong. The regional fur company, with ties to corrupt public officials, proves it will stop at nothing to maintain its monopoly: one of Willerslev’s Yukaghir business partners is arrested on spurious charges of poaching and illegal trading; another drowns mysteriously. When police are sent to arrest him, Willerslev fears for his life, and he and a local hunter flee to a remote hunting lodge even deeper in the icy wilderness. Their situation turns even more desperate right away: they manage to kill a moose but lose the meat to predators and begin to starve, frostbitten and isolated in the frozen taiga.
Thus begins Willerslev’s extraordinary, chilling tale of one year living in exile among Yukaghir hunters in the stark Siberian taiga region. At turns shocking and quietly moving, On the Run in Siberia is a pulse-pounding tale of idealism, political corruption, starvation, and survival (with a timely assist from Vladimir Putin) as well as a striking portrait of the Yukaghirs’ shamanistic tradition and their threatened way of life, a drama unfolding daily in one of the world’s coldest, most enthralling landscapes.
Ray and Barbara Bane worked as teachers in Barrow and Wainwright, Alaska, in the early 1960s—but they didn’t simply teach the children of their Iñupiat Eskimo and Koyukon friends and neighbors: they fully embraced their lifestyle. Doing so, they realized how closely intertwined life in the region was with the land, and, specifically, how critical wilderness was to the ancient traditions and wisdom that undergirded the Native way of life. That slow realization came to a head during a 1,200-mile dogsled trip from Hughes to Barrow in 1974—a trip that led them to give up teaching in favor of working, through the National Park Service, to preserve Alaska’s wilderness.
This book tells their story, a tale of dedication and tireless labor in the face of suspicion, resistance, and even violence. At a time when Alaska’s natural bounty remains under threat, Our Perfect Wild shows us an example of the commitment—and love—that will be required to preserve it.
Encompassing a range of disciplines—notably anthropology,
politics, history, comparative literature, and
philosophy—the unprecedented annual publication Late Editions exposes unsettling dilemmas and unprecedented
challenges facing cultural studies on the brink of the
twenty-first century. Successive volumes will appear
annually until the year 2000, each engaging the predicaments
of particular institutions, nations, and persons at this
point of social, cultural, and political change. The
project will test the limits of scholarly conventions by
finding new ways to expose cultural formations emerging from
the maturation or exhaustion of once-powerful ideas whose
validity is now deeply in question.
Perilous States, the first volume of Late Editions, presents conversations between American
scholars, most of whom are anthropologists, and individuals
situated amidst political and social upheaval. Pimarily but
not exclusively from Eastern Europe, the cast includes
Russian writers, Hungarian scientists and academics, Armenian
politicians, Siberian religious and medical leaders, a Gypsy
leader, a Polish poet, a French politician, and a white South
African musician who is a self-styled Zulu. Their voices
unite around themes of democracy, market economy, individual
rights, and the reawakened force of suppressed ethnic and
To obtain fresh perspectives on these cultural and social
transformations, the volumes will consist of in-depth
conversations, relayed in essay form, between scholars and
individuals in other cultures with whom they share
affinities. This novel approach blends the immediacy of
interviews, the objectivity of journalism, and the
intellectual rigor of scholarship.
Contributors to this volume are Marjorie Balzer, Sam
Beck, David B. Coplan, Michael M. J. Fischer, Nia Georges,
Bruce Grant, Douglas R. Holmes, Stella Gregorian, George E.
Marcus, Kathryn Milun, Eleni Papagaroufali, Paul Rabinow,
Julie Taylor, and Tom White.
Originally published in 1982, James Clifford's analytical biography of Maurice Leenhardt (1878–1954)—missionary, anthropologist, founder of French Oceanic studies, historian of religion, and colonial reformer—received wide critical acclaim for its insight into the colonial history of anthropology. Drawing extensively on unpublished letters and journals, Clifford traces Leenhardt's life from his work as a missionary on the island of New Caledonia (1902–1926) to his subsequent return to Paris where he became an academic anthropologist at the École Practique des Hautes Études, where he followed Marcel Mauss and was succeeded in 1951 by Claude Lévi-Strauss. Clifford sees in Leenhardt's career a foreshadowing of contemporary anthropological concerns with reflexivity, cultural hybridity, and colonial and post-colonial entanglements.
It is the anthropologist’s fate to always be between things: countries, languages, cultures, even realities. But rather than lament this, anthropologist Paul Stoller here celebrates the creative power of the between, showing how it can transform us, changing our conceptions of who we are, what we know, and how we live in the world.
Beginning with his early days with the Peace Corps in Africa and culminating with a recent bout with cancer, The Power of the Between is an evocative account of the circuitous path Stoller’s life has taken, offering a fascinating depiction of how a career is shaped over decades of reading and research. Stoller imparts his accumulated wisdom not through grandiose pronouncements but by drawing on his gift for storytelling. Tales of his apprenticeship to a sorcerer in Niger, his studies with Claude Lévi-Strauss in Paris, and his friendships with West African street vendors in New York City accompany philosophical reflections on love, memory, power, courage, health, and illness.
Graced with Stoller’s trademark humor and narrative elegance, The Power of the Between is both the story of a distinguished career and a profound meditation on coming to terms with the impermanence of all things.
A pioneering anthropologist, social theorist, railroad lawyer, and advocate for Native Americans, Lewis Henry Morgan was the only American to be cited by Darwin, Marx, and Freud. By many accounts, he was the most influential American social scientist of the nineteenth century. Morgan traced humanity’s progress from life among a primary group to one in an increasingly impersonal civilization—from primitive cave to civilized parlor—and along the way explained the meaning of modernity and the meaning of America. For Morgan, they were one and the same.
Daniel Noah Moses has written the most complete biography of this prominent intellectual to date, tracing his career and documenting in detail his worldwide influence. Although Morgan is best known among anthropologists, Moses reveals to a wider readership his life and accomplishments as an important American thinker who considered the United States the embodiment of the Enlightenment and a model for the world.
Moses presents Morgan’s life in great detail, with facts that will surprise even those who think they know him. From his early work with the Iroquois to his defense of American capitalism to his strange posthumous career among international communists and American leftists, Moses weaves together the diverse strands that made up the rich tapestry of this singular life. He locates Morgan’s American voice within a tradition of transatlantic social theory dedicated to understanding the spirit that motivates modern societies. In showing how Morgan reflected the interplay between Christian, classical, and liberal traditions, Moses delves into the role of such concepts as “savagery,” “barbarism,” the “primitive,” “progress,” and “civilization” in nineteenth-century social theory and in the broader American culture. And he tells how even today Morgan’s influence is felt among environmentalists, anarchists, feminists, and other social visionaries.
Morgan explained how humans evolved beyond nature to both the splendor and squalor of the Industrial Age and offered an unprecedented analysis of the interplay between family, property relations, the state, and the human mind. The Promise of Progress will spark the imagination of anyone who worries that progress has outstripped the human capacity to live together, allowing readers to better understand the relationship between the American emphasis on consumption, the buried riches of the American dream, and the possibilities for our future.
Taking us on a journey of remembering and rediscovery, anthropologist Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez explores his development as a scholar and in so doing the development of the interdisciplinary fields of transborder and applied anthropology. He shows us his path through anthropology as both a theoretical and an applied anthropologist whose work has strongly influenced borderlands and applied research. Importantly, he explains the underlying, often hidden process that led to his long insistence on making a difference in lives of people of Mexican origin on both sides of the border and to contribute to a “People with Histories.”
In each chapter, Vélez-Ibáñez revisits a critical piece of his written work, providing a new introduction and discussion of ideas, sources, and influences for the piece. These are followed by the work, chosen because it accentuates key aspects of his development and formation as an anthropologist. By returning to these previously published works, Vélez-Ibáñez offers insight not only into the evolution of his own thinking and conceptualization but also into changes in the fields in which he has been so influential. Throughout his career, Vélez-Ibáñez has addressed why he does the work that he does, and in this volume he continues to address the personal and intellectual drives that have brought him from Netzahualcóyotl to Aztlán.
Reflections of a Transborder Anthropologist shows how both Vélez-Ibáñez and anthropology have changed and formed over a fifty-year period. Throughout, he has worked to understand how people survive and thrive against all odds. Vélez-Ibáñez has been guided by the burning desire to understand inequality, exploitation, and legitimacy, and, most importantly, to provide platforms for the voiceless to narrate their own histories.
What does a move from a village in the West African rain forest to a West African community in a European city entail? What about a shift from a Greek sheep-herding community to working with evictees and housing activists in Rome and Bangkok? In The Restless Anthropologist, Alma Gottlieb brings together eight eminent scholars to recount the riveting personal and intellectual dynamics of uprooting one’s life—and decades of work—to embrace a new fieldsite.
Addressing questions of life-course, research methods, institutional support, professional networks, ethnographic models, and disciplinary paradigm shifts, the contributing writers of The Restless Anthropologist discuss the ways their earlier and later projects compare on both scholarly and personal levels, describing the circumstances of their choices and the motivations that have emboldened them to proceed, to become novices all over again. In doing so, they question some of the central expectations of their discipline, reimagining the space of the anthropological fieldsite at the heart of their scholarly lives.
Dean Arnold takes readers on a journey into the Andes, recounting the adventures of his 1960s research in the village of Quinua, Peru. Arnold’s quest to understand how contemporary pottery production reflected current Quinua society as well as its ancient Inca and pre-Inca past is one of the earliest studies in what later became known as ethnoarchaeology.
This first-person narrative reveals the challenges of living and working in another culture and the many obstacles one can encounter while doing field research. Arnold shares how his feelings of frustration and perceived failure led him to refocus his project, a shift that ultimately led to an entirely new perspective on pottery production in the Andes. Masterfully weaving details about Peru’s geography, ecology, history, prehistory, and culture into his story, he chronicles his change from small-town Midwesterner to a person of much broader vision, newly aware of his North American views and values.
Retracing Inca Steps is an excellent read for the lay person wishing to learn about the environment, prehistory, history, and culture of Peru as well as for students wanting to know more about the joys and rigors of fieldwork.
Poet, anthropologist, feminist—Ruth Fulton Benedict was all of these and much more. Born into the last years of the Victorian era, she came of age during the Progressive years and participated in inaugurating the modern era of American life. Ruth Benedict: Stranger in This Land provides an intellectual and cultural history of the first half of the twentieth century through the life of an important and remarkable woman.
As a Lyricist poet, Ruth Benedict helped define Modernism. As an anthropologist, she wrote the classic Patterns of Culture and at one point was considered the foremost anthropologist in the United States—the first woman ever to attain such status. She was an intellectual and an artist living in a time when women were not encouraged to be either. In this fascinating study, Margaret Caffrey attempts to place Benedict in the cultural matrix of her time and successfully shows the way in which Benedict was a product of and reacted to the era in which she lived.
Caffrey goes far beyond providing simple biographical material in this well-written interdisciplinary study. Based on exhaustive research, including access for the first time to the papers of Margaret Mead, Benedict's student and friend, Caffrey is able to put Benedict's life clearly in perspective. By identifying the family and educational influences that so sharply influenced Benedict's psychological makeup, the author also closely analyzes the currents of thought that were strong when Victorianism paralleled the Modernism that figured in Benedict's life work. The result is a richly detailed study of a gifted woman.
This important work will be of interest to students of Modernism, poetry, and women's studies, as well as to anthropologists.
Verrier Elwin (1902-1964) was unquestionably the most colorful and influential non-official Englishman to live and work in twentieth-century India. A prolific writer, Elwin's ethnographic studies and popular works on India's tribal customs, art, myth and folklore continue to generate controversy.
Described by his contemporaries as a cross between Albert Schweitzer and Paul Gauguin, Elwin was a man of contradictions, at times taking on the role of evangelist, social worker, political activist, poet, government worker, and more. He rubbed elbows with the elite of both Britain and India, yet found himself equally at home among the impoverished and destitute. Intensely political, the Oxford-trained scholar tirelessly defended the rights of the indigenous and, despite the deep religious influences of St. Francis and Mahatma Gandhi on his early career, staunchly opposed Hindu and Christian puritans in the debate over the future of India's tribals. Although he was ordained as an Anglican priest, Elwin was married twice to tribal women and enthusiastically (and publicly) extolled the tribals' practice of free sex. Later, as prime minister Nehru's friend and advisor in independent India, his compelling defense of tribal hedonism made him at once hugely influential, extremely controversial, and the polemical focal point of heated discussions on tribal policy and economic development.
Savaging the Civilized is both biography and history, an exploration through Elwin's life of some of the great debates of the twentieth century: the future of development, cultural assimilation versus cultural difference, the political practice of postcolonial as opposed to colonial governments, and the moral practice of writers and intellectuals.
Julian Steward (1902-72) is best remembered in American anthropology as the creator of cultural ecology, a theoretical approach that has influenced generations of archaeologists and cultural anthropologists. Virginia Kerns considers the intellectual and emotional influences of Steward's remarkable career, exploring his early life in the American West, his continued attachments to western landscapes and inhabitants, his research with Native Americans, and the writing of his classic work, Theory of Culture Change. With fluid prose and rich detail, the book captures the essence and breadth of Steward's career while carefully measuring the ways he reinforced the male-centered structure of mid-twentieth-century American anthropology.
To listen to David M. Schneider is to hear the voice of American anthropology. To listen at length is to hear much of the discipline’s history, from the realities of postwar practice and theory to Schneider’s own influence on the development of symbolic and interpretive anthropology in the 1970s and 1980s. Schneider on Schneider offers readers this rare opportunity, and with it an engrossing introduction into a world of intellectual rigor, personal charm, and wit. In this work, based on conversations with Richard Handler, Schneider tells the story of his days devoted to anthropology—as a student of Clyde Kluckhohn and Talcott Parsons and as a writer and teacher whose work on kinship and culture theory revolutionized the discipline. With a master’s sense of the telling anecdote, he describes his education at Cornell, Yale, and Harvard, his fieldwork on the Micronesian island of Yap and among the Mescalero Apache, and his years teaching at the London School of Economics, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago. Musing on the current state and the future of anthropology, Schneider’s cast of characters reads like a who’s who of postwar social science. His reflections on anthropological field research and academic politics address some of the most pressing ethical and epistemological issues facing scholars today, while yielding tales of unexpected amusement. With its humor and irony, its wealth of information and searching questions about the state of anthropology, Schneider on Schneider not only provides an important resource for the history of twentieth-century social science, but also brings to life the entertaining voice of an engaging storyteller.
Sex in the field—the dilemma of whether to cover up or display sexual identities and desires during the course of anthropological fieldwork—is one of the best-kept secrets in the discipline. Contending that the conventional pose of a genderless, asexual, ethnographic researcher is impossible to sustain, this volume brings sex and sexuality into the open as essential components of ethnographic study that must be overtly recognized and proactively addressed. Sex, Sexuality, and the Anthropologist recounts the real-life experiences of anthropologists who are forced to acknowledge that their hosts in the field view them as gendered beings in a social context, not as asexual, objective observers. Far from controlling the research environment and defining the terms of interviewer-informant relationships, these researchers find they must engage in a process of negotiating their position—including their sexual position—within the communities they study.
Ranging from public baths in Austria to lesbian bars in Taiwan and from Mexico to Nigeria to Finland to Japan, Sex, Sexuality, and the Anthropologist raises critical questions about ethnographers' reflexivity, subjectivity, and detachment, confronting the challenge of a holistic approach to the anthropological enterprise.
Anthropology is by definition about "others," but in this volume the phrase refers not to members of observed cultures, but to "significant others"—spouses, lovers, and others with whom anthropologists have deep relationships that are both personal and professional. The essays in this volume look at the roles of these spouses and partners of anthropologists over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially their work as they accompanied the anthropologists in the field. Other relationships discussed include those between anthropologists and informants, mentors and students, cohorts and partners, and parents and children. The book closes with a look at gender roles in the field, demonstrated by the "marriage" in the late nineteenth century of the male Anthropological Society of Washington to the Women’s Anthropological Society of America. Revealing relationships that were simultaneously deeply personal and professionally important, these essays bring a new depth of insight to the history of anthropology as a social science and human endeavor.
A vital reminder of the importance of academic freedom, Threatening Anthropology offers a meticulously detailed account of how U.S. Cold War surveillance damaged the field of anthropology. David H. Price reveals how dozens of activist anthropologists were publicly and privately persecuted during the Red Scares of the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that it was not Communist Party membership or Marxist beliefs that attracted the most intense scrutiny from the fbi and congressional committees but rather social activism, particularly for racial justice. Demonstrating that the fbi’s focus on anthropologists lessened as activist work and Marxist analysis in the field tapered off, Price argues that the impact of McCarthyism on anthropology extended far beyond the lives of those who lost their jobs. Its messages of fear and censorship had a pervasive chilling effect on anthropological investigation. As critiques that might attract government attention were abandoned, scholarship was curtailed.
Price draws on extensive archival research including correspondence, oral histories, published sources, court hearings, and more than 30,000 pages of fbi and government memorandums released to him under the Freedom of Information Act. He describes government monitoring of activism and leftist thought on college campuses, the surveillance of specific anthropologists, and the disturbing failure of the academic community—including the American Anthropological Association—to challenge the witch hunts. Today the “war on terror” is invoked to license the government’s renewed monitoring of academic work, and it is increasingly difficult for researchers to access government documents, as Price reveals in the appendix describing his wrangling with Freedom of Information Act requests. A disquieting chronicle of censorship and its consequences in the past, Threatening Anthropology is an impassioned cautionary tale for the present.
New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman ignited a ferocious controversy in 1983 when he denounced the research of Margaret Mead, a world-famous public intellectual who had died five years earlier. Freeman's claims caught the attention of popular media, converging with other vigorous cultural debates of the era. Many anthropologists, however, saw Freeman's strident refutation of Mead's best-selling Coming of Age in Samoa as the culmination of a forty-year vendetta. Others defended Freeman's critique, if not always his tone.
Truth's Fool documents an intellectual journey that was much larger and more encompassing than Freeman's criticism of Mead's work. It peels back the prickly layers to reveal the man in all his complexity. Framing this story within anthropology's development in Britain and America, Peter Hempenstall recounts Freeman's mission to turn the discipline from its cultural-determinist leanings toward a view of human culture underpinned by biological and behavioral drivers. Truth's Fool engages the intellectual questions at the center of the Mead–Freeman debate and illuminates the dark spaces of personal, professional, and even national rivalries.
In 1969, Tom Wesaw was an 83-year-old Shoshone doctor and religious leader on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. He could no longer drive, which posed problems in making house calls. The arrival of young anthropologist Tom Johnson changed that. Johnson would drive Wesaw, and cook, pump water, and build fires for sweat lodges. In exchange, the elder Tom would show the younger Tom his work. The two were together so often that the people of Wind River began to refer to them affectionately by one name: Two Toms. By the light of the lamp Wesaw gave him, Johnson would write down what he learned. The Shoshone doctor wanted his student to share everything he saw and heard. Now, in Two Toms: Lessons from a Shoshone Doctor, he has.
Presented as an engaging narrative, Johnson’s book reveals details about the Shoshone culture and it chronicles the story of the friendship between these two men of different backgrounds. Filled with valuable anthropological information, this book is also highly readable and entertaining.
In the 1950s the colonial British government in Northern and Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zambia and Zimbabwe) began construction on a large hydroelectric dam that created Lake Kariba and dislocated nearly 60,000 indigenous residents. Three decades later, Pamela Reynolds began fieldwork with the Tonga people to study the lasting effects of the dispossession of their land on their lives. In The Uncaring, Intricate World Reynolds shares her field diary, in which she records her efforts to study children and their labor and, by doing so, exposes the character of everyday life. More than a memoir, her diary captures the range of pleasures, difficulties, frustrations, contradictions, and grappling with ethical questions that all anthropologists experience in the field. The Uncaring, Intricate World concludes with afterwords by Jane I. Guyer and Julie Livingston, who critically reflect on its context, its meaning for today, and relevance to conducting anthropological work.
Lively, forceful, and impassioned, Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle is a major intervention in debates about the configuration of the discipline of anthropology. In the essays brought together in this provocative collection, prominent anthropologists consider the effects of and alternatives to the standard definition of the discipline as a “holistic” study of humanity based on the integration of the four fields of archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Editors Daniel A. Segal and Sylvia J. Yanagisako provide a powerful introduction to the volume. Unabashed in their criticism of the four-field structure, they argue that North American anthropology is tainted by its roots in nineteenth-century social evolutionary thought.
The essayists consider the complex state of anthropology, its relation to other disciplines and the public sphere beyond academia, the significance of the convergence of linguistic and cultural anthropology, and whether or not anthropology is the best home for archaeology. While the contributors are not in full agreement with one another, they all critique “official” definitions of anthropology as having a fixed, four-field core. The editors are keenly aware that anthropology is too protean to be remade along the lines of any master plan, and this volume does not offer one. It does open discussions of anthropology’s institutional structure to all possible outcomes, including the refashioning of the discipline as it now exists.
Contributors. James Clifford, Ian Hodder, Rena Lederman, Daniel A. Segal, Michael Silverstein, Sylvia J. Yanagisako
Yaya’s Story is a book about Yaya Harouna, a Songhay trader originally from Niger who found a path to America. It is also a book about Paul Stoller—its author—an American anthropologist who found his own path to Africa. Separated by ethnicity, language, profession, and culture, these two men’s lives couldn’t be more different. But when they were both threatened by a grave illness—cancer—those differences evaporated, and the two were brought to profound existential convergence, a deep camaraderie in the face of the most harrowing of circumstances. Yaya’s Story is that story.
Harouna and Stoller would meet in Harlem, at a bustling African market where Harouna built a life as an African art trader and Stoller was conducting research. Moving from Belayara in Niger to Silver Spring, Maryland, and from the Peace Corps to fieldwork to New York, Stoller recounts their separate lives and how the threat posed by cancer brought them a new, profound, and shared sense of meaning. Combining memoir, ethnography, and philosophy through a series of interconnected narratives, he tells a story of remarkable friendship and the quest for well-being. It’s a story of difference and unity, of illness and health, a lyrical reflection on human resiliency and the shoulders we lean on.