Training for independent research is stressed, with particular emphasis on theoretical issues and fieldwork. Our specializations include archaeology and sociocultural anthropology.
with sociocultural interests that include economic anthropology and development, gender and sexuality, medical anthropology, linguistic and semiotic anthropology, global and transnational processes, urban anthropology, psychological anthropology, religion and ritual, colonialism and postcoloniality, political ecology, citizenship and the state, anthropology of finance, personhood and experience, and inequalities and social justice.
Historical settings structure how archivists and museum staff understand their work and how they apply relevant professional principles including the three core principles of provenance, context, and original identification. Their professional practices shape how the public understands or reads “original” artifacts and records. In helping to define what originals (artifacts and documents) are at a particular point in time, archivists and museum staff reinforce, support, or contradict theoretical paradigms, discourses, and social narratives on ethnicity, empire/internal colonialism, class, and gender among others. The article discusses two exemplary cases from the museum world that illustrate how the application of the three core principles is influenced by historical conditions and theoretical concepts and how these contingent applications influence what originals come to signify. In the first example, the theoretical concept of social evolution and the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago informed the founding, collecting, describing, and displaying of American Indian objects at the Field Museum of Natural History in 1894. Reflecting this, provenance, context, and original identifications were defined to mean different things for Euro-American versus American Indian objects and records, and Native Americans and others challenged these definitions and practices at the time. In the second example, the 1929–1933 making and displaying of the Hall of Races, a specific race anthropological understanding of race created unambiguous race anthropological provenance, context and original titles (identifications) for both the exhibit and individual race sculptures. By altering information concerning the three principles over the next 60 years, the Field Museum consciously destroyed the integrity of the originals and their meanings. The exhibit had become a political liability and the museum wanted to erase any trace of the race anthropological roots of the project and its sculptures. The article ends by asserting the contingency and importance of the three core principles for archivists and museum staff regardless of the format of the material involved and adds a few related observations for our contemporary hybrid, that means physical and digital, work world.
The original paper presented at the 2010 Memory, Identity and the Archival Paradigm conference, University of Dundee, Scotland, included a third section covering a third anthropological theoretical concept, culture area, and how the third concept was applied at the Field Museum starting in the 1930s to 1996. While this article was revised, Kinkel () published a new book about the Field Museum race exhibit.
America is a relatively young nation, and the fact that the majority of its metaphorical infancy, childhood, and were dominated by the era of institutionalized slavery has had long-term ramifications for our society. Most of the foundational establishments of America were being developed during the era of slavery, and as such, racist inequities are inherent many aspects of our everyday life, so deeply buried and yet so blatant that we may not notice them unless we are the victims of the sort of political, economic, legal, and educational discrimination that continues to plague racial and . America’s success as a leader in world industry was achieved largely through the early overreliance on the free labor of slaves and indentured servants. However, at the same time, blacks have been systematically excluded from full participation in our economy since Reconstruction, discussed exhaustively in works such as Howard Zinn’s “Or Does it Explode?” and Jacqueline Jones’ The Dispossessed. Because 20% of the early American population was comprised of , much of our national character was inevitably shaped by the presence of institutionalized slavery.
Paul Taylor is a self-proclaimed “radical constructionist” who will maintain that race is very real in our world and in the United States as a whole (p.
Although anthropologists have written extensively about race, anthropological contributions to the study of racism have been surprisingly modest. Perhaps this is due, in part, to anthropology's contradictory heritage. On one hand, it is the discipline that once nurtured “scientific racism” and the racial world view that provided a rationale for slavery, colonialism, segregation, and eugenics (, , , ). On the other hand, anthropology also has a significant antiracist tradition, most notably during and shortly following World War II, as racism's genocidal consequences became all too clear.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the theoretical work of such anthropologists as Franz Boas, Gene Weltfish, Ruth Benedict, Ashley Montague, Robert Redfield, and others was critical to challenging the scientific justification for racial segregation in military service and to mounting an initiative around the highly contested United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization's Statement Against Racism. The 1960s scholarship of Ashley Montague, Frank Livingstone, and Sherwood Washburn calling into question the concept of race was also a major contribution to the declining influence of racial determinism (, , ).
As compared to its sister disciplines of sociology and history, anthropology's contribution to the study of racism in the last several decades has been modest. At the same time, key anthropological concepts of race and culture have been central to rationalizing inequality. article provided a comprehensive review of the history of the race concept and anthropology, as well as the significant literature on race and racism to that point. Following Stavenhagen's observation that “Race does not beget racism, but rather racism generates races” (1999, p. 8), my concern in this review is not to debate the social construction of race but to consider how scholars have attempted to grapple with racism. Although race may be socially constructed, racism has a social reality that has detrimentally affected the lives of millions of people. An article of this limited length obviously cannot do justice to this important subject. I therefore highlight anthropological contributions to the study of racism whenever possible but draw heavily on related works in history, sociology, and other disciplines. The review focuses primarily on English language work, with some emphasis on the research of U.S. scholars. Because other chapters in this volume review specific aspects of race and racism as they relate to archeology, critical race theory, indigenous policies and movements, Latin America, language, migration and immigration, disease and public health, my treatment of these areas is limited. Following a brief discussion of anthropology and antiracism, a selected body of work is reviewed as it addresses the questions posed above.
A lesser known stream of anthropological work focused more explicitly on the structure of racism. Key within this tradition were African American anthropologists such as and , whose work in the 1930s and 1940s interrogated structures of racial inequality in the U.S. north and south. Analyses of racism in southern communities by Hortense and Eleanor Leacock's examination of racism in stratified education (1969) strengthened this body of work. But despite an impressive early antiracist tradition and significant mobilization around the critique of the “culture of poverty,” anthropological analysis of racism failed to become a major current in anthropology.
66-67. Indian and Chinese Medicine. India and China are two areas of the world that have their own very elaborate and systematic systems of thought and practice about illness and healing. Choose India (#66) or China (#67) and investigate:
- What is the understanding of the body?
- What is the nosology (disease classification system)?
- How is health conceptualized? Is it the absence of the disease or something more holistic?
- What are the various kinds of treatments?
- How does it interface with conventional biomedicine?