In The History of Anthropology Regna Darnell offers a critical reexamination of the Americanist tradition centered around the figure of Franz Boas and the professionalization of anthropology as an academic discipline in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Focused on researchers often known as the Boasians, The History of Anthropology reveals the theoretical schools, institutions, and social networks of scholars and fieldworkers primarily interested in the anthropology and ethnography of North American Indigenous peoples. Darnell’s fifty-year career entails seminal writings in the history of anthropology’s four fields: cultural anthropology, ethnography, linguistics, and physical anthropology.
Leading researchers, theorists, and fieldwork subjects include Edward Sapir, Daniel Brinton, Mary Haas, Franz Boas, Leonard Bloomfield, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Stanley Newman, and A. Irving Hallowell, as well as the professionalization of anthropology, the development of American folklore scholarship, theories of Indigenous languages, Southwest ethnographic research, Indigenous ceremonialism, text traditions, and anthropology’s forays into contemporary public intellectual debates.
The History of Anthropology is the essential volume for scholars, undergraduates, and graduate students to enter into the history of the Americanist tradition and its legacies, alternating historicism and presentism to contextualize anthropology’s historical and contemporary relevance and legacies.
About the author
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 co-editor of the Critical Studies in History of Anthropology series.
“A profound understanding of the Boasian bedrock by a living legend in the history of anthropology. Against breaking with the past, Regna Darnell dialogues with Americanist ancestors from Powell to Hallowell and projects her own lifetime achievements—and metamorphoses—as historian of the discipline into the future.”—Christine Laurière and Frederico Delgado Rosa, directors of BEROSE: International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology
"This work is relevant today as a history of linguistics in Boas's era of American anthropology, with segments on Sapir and his colleagues."—A. B. Kehoe, Choice
Other titles by Regna Darnell
History of Theory and Method in Anthropology
Centering the Margins of Anthropology's History
Histories of Anthropology Annual, Volume 14
The Social Life of Standards
Ethnographic Methods for Local Engagement
Disruptive Voices and the Singularity of Histories
Tracking Anthropological Engagements
Historicizing Theories, Identities, and Nations
Local Knowledge, Global Stage
Corridor Talk to Culture History
Public Anthropology and Its Consequences
The Franz Boas Papers, Volume 1
Franz Boas as Public Intellectual—Theory, Ethnography, Activism