The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 1


The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 1

Franz Boas as Public Intellectual—Theory, Ethnography, Activism

Edited by Regna Darnell, Michelle Hamilton, Robert L. A. Hancock, and Joshua Smith
Regna Darnell, General Editor

Franz Boas Papers Documentary Edition Series

480 pages

eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2015


$75.00 Add to Cart

August 2015


$75.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

This inaugural volume of The Franz Boas Papers Documentary Edition series presents current scholarship from the various academic disciplines that were shaped and continue to be influenced by Franz Boas (1858–1942). Few of Boas’s intellectual progeny span the range of his disciplinary and public engagements. In his later career, Boas moved beyond Native American studies to become a public intellectual and advocate for social justice, particularly with reference to racism against African Americans and Jews and discrimination against women in science. He was a passionate defender of academic freedom, rigorous scholarship, and anthropology as a humane calling.
The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 1 examines Boas’s stature as a public intellectual in three crucial dimensions: theory, ethnography, and activism. The volume’s contributors move across many of the disciplines within which Boas himself worked, bringing to bear their expertise in Native studies, anthropology, history, linguistics, folklore, ethnomusicology, museum studies, comparative literature, English, film studies, philosophy, and journalism. This volume demonstrates a contemporary urgency to reassessing Boas both within the field of anthropology and beyond.

Author Bio

Regna Darnell is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of Invisible Genealogies: A History of Americanist Anthropology (Nebraska, 2001). Michelle Hamilton is an associate professor and director of public history at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of Collections and Objections: Aboriginal Material Culture in Southern Ontario. Robert L. A. Hancock is the LE,NONET Academic Coordinator in the Office of Indigenous Affairs and adjunct assistant professor in anthropology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria. Joshua Smith is a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Western Ontario.


“This pathbreaking book transforms our understanding of Franz Boas as both scientist and citizen, going far beyond commonly accepted views of this influential figure of American cultural life. Presented from a firmly contemporary perspective, these important and well-researched essays will surely be the foundation of much future study.”—Ira Jacknis, research anthropologist at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley

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