Centering the Margins of Anthropology's History


Centering the Margins of Anthropology's History

Histories of Anthropology Annual, Volume 14

Edited by Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach
Histories of Anthropology Annual, Volume 14

Histories of Anthropology Annual Series

288 pages
1 photograph


May 2021


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eBook (PDF)
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May 2021


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eBook (EPUB)
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May 2021


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About the Book

The series Histories of Anthropology Annual presents diverse perspectives on the discipline’s history within a global context, with a goal of increasing the awareness and use of historical approaches in teaching, learning, and conducting anthropology. The series includes critical, comparative, analytical, and narrative studies involving all aspects and subfields of anthropology.

Volume 14, Centering the Margins of Anthropology’s History, focuses on the conscious recognition of margins and suggests it is time to bring the margins to the center, both in terms of a changing theoretical openness and a supporting body of scholarship—if not to problematize the very dichotomy of center and margins itself.

The essays explore two major themes of anthropology’s margins. First, anthropologists and historians have long sought out marginalized and forgotten ancestors, arguing for their present-day relevance and offering explanations for the lack of attention to their contributions to theory, analysis, methods, and findings. Second, anthropologists and their historians have explored a range of genres to present their results in provocative and open-ended formats. This volume closes with an experimental essay that offers a dynamic, multifaceted perspective that captures one of the dominant (if sometimes marginalized) voices in history of anthropology. Steven O. Murray’s career developed at the institutional margins of several academic disciplines and activist discourses, but his distinctive voice has been, and will remain, at the center of our history.

Author Bio

Regna Darnell is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology Emerita at the University of Western Ontario. She is coeditor of The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 1: Franz Boas as Public Intellectual—Theory, Ethnography, Activism (Nebraska, 2015). Darnell is the general editor of the multivolume series The Franz Boas Papers: Documentary Edition and coeditor of the Critical Studies in History of Anthropology series. Frederic W. Gleach is Senior Lecturer of Anthropology and Curator of the Anthropology Collections at Cornell University. He is the author of Powhatan’s World and Colonial Virginia: A Conflict of Cultures (Nebraska, 1997).


"Scholars have argued that intellectual and knowledge borders and margins and their intersections are where paradigmatic and theoretical breakthroughs occur, but also that the margins are where those without disciplinary power are relegated to work upon being denied more central positions. Centering the Margins of Anthropology's History adds a new dimension to these considerations while challenging the existing dichotomy, arguing that intellectual margins must be viewed as the center of knowledge production. In 11 insightful chapters, contributors explore overlooked scholars who were marginalized due to their subdiscipline, attempts to make their work socially relevant, where they worked, their gender and heritage, the types of writing they pursued, and critical institutional events."—N. J. Parezo, Choice

“Vital for the discipline of anthropology and for those wanting to perform a history of science. This volume brings to light a plethora of authors, studies, and subjects that are often left on the periphery of the discipline so that we can discover and rediscover forgotten heroes. It is a wonderfully eclectic set of papers that group together in some truly fascinating ways.”—Robert P. Wishart, coeditor of Dogs in the North: Stories of Cooperation and Co-Domestication

Table of Contents


Editors’ Introduction

Regna Darnell and Frederic W. Gleach

1. A Forgotten Pioneer: Haviland Scudder Mekeel and the Expansion of Anthropology

Herbert S. Lewis

2. Dear Dr. Boas: The Collaboration and Contribution of Ella Cara Deloria and Franz Boas

David C. Posthumus

3. Reckoning with Rietz: A Sketch of an Action Anthropologist

Joshua Smith

4. Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital Archives Project—Barriers in Bringing Medical Anthropology to Medical Practice: Adrian Tanner, the Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital, and Cross-Cultural Miscommunication

Ian Puppe, North de Pencier, and Gerald McKinley

5. Sickness and Ideology among the Ojibway (Summer 1971)

Adrian Tanner

6. We Hope That You Will Continue to Teach Us How Best to Learn: Assembling the Pascua Yaqui Tribe at the 89th Wenner-Gren International Symposium

Nicholas Barron

7. His Past Rose Up to Defeat Him: F. G. G. Rose and Academic and Political Freedom

Geoffrey Gray

8. Extraterrestrial Anthropology and Science Fiction: A Review and Reflection

Charles D. Laughlin

9. Genres of Memory: Reading Anthropology’s History through Ursula K. Le Guin’s Science Fiction and Contemporary Native American Oral Tradition

Regna Darnell

10. A Public Anthropology of Transition

Vintilă Mihăilescu

11. An Interview with Stephen O. Murray on Stephen O. Murray as Historian of Anthropology (and More)

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Regna Darnell, Nathan Dawthorne, and Robert Oppenheim


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