Anthropologists and Their Traditions across National Borders

Anthropologists and Their Traditions across National Borders

Anthropologists and Their Traditions across National Borders

Anthropologists and Their Traditions across National Borders

Synopsis

Volume 8 of the Histories of Anthropology Annual series, the premier series published in the history of the discipline, explores national anthropological traditions in Britain, the United States, and Europe and follows them into postnational contexts. Contributors reassess the major theorists in twentieth-century anthropology, including the work of luminaries such as Franz Boas, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Bronisław Malinowski, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, and Marshall Sahlins, as well as lesser-known but important anthropological work by Berthold Laufer, A. M. Hocart, Kenelm O. L. Burridge, and Robin Ridington, among others.
These essays examine myriad themes such as the pedagogical context of the anthropologist as a teller of stories about indigenous storytellers; the colonial context of British anthropological theory and its projects outside the nation-state; the legacies of Claude Lévi-Strauss's structuralism regarding culture- specific patterns; cognitive universals reflected in empirical examples of kinship, myth, language, classificatory systems, and supposed universal mental structures; and the career of Marshall Sahlins and his trajectory from neo-evolutionism and structuralism toward an epistemological skepticism of cross- cultural miscommunication.

Excerpt

We begin by apologizing to our readers for the recent hiatus in publication of our ostensibly annual publication. Histories of Anthropology Annual began in the University of Nebraska book division and moved to the journals category after it had established reasonable visibility among anthropologists and historians. We discovered, however, that our readers are more inclined to buy single volumes than to subscribe. Thus we are returning to the book division. This has required rethinking and rescheduling, especially to accommodate the peer review process now in place through the Press in addition to the editors’ review. We are confidant that this will improve the quality of each issue and that the regular annual appearance of HoAA is sustainable into the foreseeable future.

Another important change is that each volume will now appear with a subtitle indicating something about the nature of its contents. Hence Volume 8: Anthropologists and Their Traditions across National Borders. We emphasize that this does not mean we are moving to thematic volumes. HoAA was established to provide a publication outlet across subject matters and approaches to history for specialists and for scholars whose primary interests lie elsewhere but who on occasion delve into historical questions of wider interest to the discipline. Volume 8 integrates fairly easily around how anthropologists’ careers have intersected across different professional generations and allowed them to navigate national boundaries and national traditions. The essays are partly biographical, moving from the iconic heroes of the discipline to their little known contemporaries. Authors often deal with the foundational relationship of anthropologists to the people(s) they study. In each previous volume, while consciously encouraging the greatest possible diversity, we have in practice been startled by recurrent patterns as we juxtapose the scholarship of diverse contributors. Hence-

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