Historical Anthropology


Historical Anthropology

Because the constructions of the past are an anthropological processes too, this page is dedicated to historical anthropology and ethnohistory.

Members: 124
Latest Activity: Oct 26, 2016

Discussion Forum

Understanding the Haitian Revolution. 25 Replies

Many people are aware of the phrase that opens the 1776 declaration of independence by the American colonists against British rule: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created…Continue

Started by Huon Wardle. Last reply by Huon Wardle Oct 18, 2016.

Historical Ethnography: Methodology 7 Replies

I'm involved in a project looking at early exchanges between European voyagers and Polynesian islanders in the Pacific, 1765-1840. What methodological texts do people recommend in the field of…Continue

Started by Amiria Salmond. Last reply by Philipp Hesser Aug 19, 2011.

Favorite Works 11 Replies

Any favorite works? I will start with two of mineEric Wolf, Europe and the People without History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982).William Roseberry, Anthropologies and Histories (New…Continue

Started by RA Kashani. Last reply by Joshua Smith Aug 16, 2010.

Software for historical demography/kinship relations?

Hi all, I am doing some work on historical documents and I am lookingaround for an appropriate application to create a genealogicaldatabase. I have looked at the Ingres database, which looks…Continue

Started by Aris Anagnostopoulos May 2, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Fabiane Vinente dos Santos on March 27, 2013 at 9:40pm

On March 28 died in an automobile accident Professor John Manuel Monteiro, of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. Born in St. Paul (USA) Professor Monteiro had a PHD in Latin American History in the University of Chicago, taught at the University of North Carolina (USA) and Unesp. He also was researcher of Cebrap (Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning), and for several years, taught anthropology at Unicamp. He was a pioneer and biggest supporter of indigenous history studies in Brazil and published in 1994 the classic book 'Negros da terra'. His death is an immeasurable loss to the fields of history and anthropology.

Comment by Joshua Smith on September 9, 2012 at 3:09am

Check out Julie Cruikshank's works- 'The Social Life of Stories' and 'Do Glaciers Listen'. Amazing. 

Comment by John McCreery on September 9, 2012 at 1:04am

It's not by an anthropologist, but the best thing I know in this line is Michael Kammen's Mystic Chords of Memory:The Transformation of Tradition in American... It's especially good for reminding us that writing history is only part of a larger project that includes celebrations, museums, flags, politics, wars, natives and immigrants in times that are changing and the outcome is always contested.

Comment by Erin B. Taylor on September 8, 2012 at 5:48pm

Hi Sheyma, this probably isn't exactly what you're after but the best account of the production of historical narratives I've ever read is Michel-Rolph Trouillot's Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. It's a really great read. Good luck!

Comment by Sheyma Buali on September 8, 2012 at 5:29pm

Does anyone have recommendations for readings on the influence of historical narratives on societies?  For example, I come from Bahrain where there is a very weak commonly accepted historical narrative.  I feel that this has had a role in feeling of belonging and self-identification, or lack thereof, among people there. I am wondering if such an idea would have been manifested through some kind of anthropological theory.  THANKS.

Comment by Diego Ballestero on March 21, 2012 at 10:47am

My name is Diego Ballestero, I'm an Argentine anthropologist graduated from the Universidad Nacional de la Plata. Since 2010 I am living in Germany to finish my PhDMy main research topic is the history of anthropology in Argentina between1890 and 1930.

I hope to contribute elements of discussion to the group!

Kinds regards

Comment by Rodanthi Tzanelli on August 16, 2010 at 11:33am
Hello to all

I have just opened this site on my ongoing research project, and wanted to invite you to visit it. The site also has a blog space for those who want to comment or share ideas. The project stands at an intersection between tourism, memory and identity, so it invites experts from various subject areas to comment on.

The URL is:


all best
Comment by Leila Monaghan on November 9, 2009 at 8:01am
Proud to announce:

Language, Culture & History Conference, University of Wyoming, July 1-2, 2010. Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the journal Ethnohistory

See the call for papers and please fill out our short survey at:
Language, Culture & History Conference (Leila Monaghan)
Source: sites.google.com
Language, Culture & History Conference. University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY July 1-2, 2010 Preliminary Call for Papers & Survey
Comment by Rodanthi Tzanelli on September 20, 2009 at 1:18pm
I have just finished 'The Art of Listening' by Les Back - a wonderful account/reflection on the intricacies of ethnographic research. But when it comes to examining the role of fiction in fieldwork I always mediate my analysis through Hayden White and Michel de Certeau's work, which capture this inbetween-ness of ethnographic writing (fact and fiction). And this applies to analysis of internet texts too as discourses in motion (cyber-travel accounts). Michelangelo - I am looking for you desperately! I need to reference your work on Athos in my article on Skiathian tourism. And Niko - ditto, just an acknowledgement at least of your ongoing engagement with fiction (any more details I can use)?
Comment by John McCreery on September 12, 2009 at 6:52pm
Serendipitously, I have just discovered an interview on CNET with Microserfs author Douglas Coupland, who, while writing fiction, strikes me as a very good anthropologist, indeed.

I note, in particular, these two paragraphs,

Asked if he views technology's effects on society and culture as positive or negative, Coupland tells Silicon.com: "It's neither. It's inevitable and unstoppable so the better question is how are we going to handle it--hide in a cave and bitch, or go out there and try to use it to make the world a better place? Sitting in a cave and bitching is neither noble nor romantic. It's ignorant and pointless."


"When they came out, some naysayers said they'd date. Wrong. They became time capsules. And if you look at any book that's still in print after 20 years, you'll see that they're also time capsules. It seems to be a prerequisite for endurance--the need to be very specifically rooted in a place and time."

The second sounds like a good recipe for ethnography.

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