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History of anthropology and science and race

Sadiah Qureshi

The literature on science, race and anthropology is vast. Below is a very limited introduction and geared towards those interested in the subject of race mainly from a history of science perspective. Some texts are given as they are considered classics and others are given because they are particularly useful for Part II students considering further reading on the subject. Anything considered particularly useful or important has been starred.

History of anthropology

  • Asad, Talal. Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter (New York: Humanities Press, 1973)
  • * Augstein, Hannah F., James Cowles Prichard's Anthropology: Remaking the Science of Man in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain (Amsterdam; Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 1999)
  • Baker, Lee D., From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896-1954 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998)
  • Barth, Fredrik and others, One Discipline, Four Ways: British, German, French, and American Anthropology (Chicago, IL; University of Chicago Press, 2005)
  • Blanckaert, Claude. 'On the Origins of French Ethnology: William Edwards and the Doctrine of Race' In Bones, Bodies, Behavior: Essays on Biological Anthropology. Edited by George W. Stocking, Jr. (Madison, WI: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1988), pp. 18-55.
  • Brace, C. Loring, Race Is a Four-Letter Word: The Genesis of the Concept (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2005)
  • Fabian, Johannes, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes its Object (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983)
  • Glenn, Penny, H., Objects of Culture: Ethnology and Ethnographic Museums in Imperial Germany (Chapel Hill, NC; London: University of North Carolina Press, 2002)
  • * Harris, Marvin, The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture (AltaMira Press; New Ed, 2000)
  • Hinsley, Curtis M. Savages and Scientists: The Smithsonian Institution and the Development of American Anthropology, 1846-1910. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981.
  • Mark, Joan, 'Francis La Flesche: The American Indian as Anthropologist', Isis, 73 (1982), 495-510. An interesting case study of an anthropologist originally from outside the Western academic tradition.
  • Rainger, Ronald. 'Race, politics, and science: The Anthropological Society of London in the 1860s'. Victorian Studies 22 (1978): 51-70.
  • Stocking, George W. Race, culture, and evolution: essays in the history of anthropology. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982)
  • * Stocking, George W. After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888-1951. (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995)
  • Stocking, George W., 'What's in a Name?: The Origins of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1837-71', Man, 6 (1971), 369-90. Much of the ground covered in this is reworked in chapter 7 of his later work Victorian Anthropology.
  • Stocking, George W., 'From Chronology to Ethnology: James Cowles Prichard and British Anthropology, 1800-1850', in Researches into the Physical History of Man, ed. by George W. Stocking (London: Arch, 1813; repr. Chicago, IL; University of Chicago Press, 1973), pp. ix-cx
  • Stocking, George W., ed., Observers Observed: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork (Madison, WI; London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983)
  • Stocking, George W., ed., Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture (Madison, WI; London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985)
  • * Stocking, George W., Victorian Anthropology (London; New York: Free Press, 1987)
  • Thomas, Nicholas, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture and Colonialism in the Pacific (Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 1991)
  • Thomas, Nicholas, Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel and Government (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994)
  • Williams, Elizabeth. The Physical and the Moral: Anthropology, Physiology, and Philosophical Medicine in France, 1750-1850 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994)
  • * Zimmerman, Andrew, Anthropology and Anti-Humanism in Imperial Germany (Chicago, IL; London: University of Chicago Press, 2001)

History of science and race/historiography of race

  • * Augstein, Hannah F., ed., Race: The Origins of an Idea, 1760-1850 (Bristol: Thoemmes, 1996)
  • * Augstein, Hannah F, 'From the Land of the Bible to the Caucasus and Beyond: The Shifting Ideas of the Geographical Origin of Humankind', in Race, Science and Medicine, 1700-1960, ed. by Waltraud Ernst and Bernard Harris (London; New York: Routledge, 1999), pp. 58-79
  • Blakey ML. 'Scientific racism and the biological concept of race', Literature and Psychology 1999, 45: 29-43.
  • Duster T. 'Buried alive: the concept of race in science'. In Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science beyond the Two-Culture Divide, ed. by AH Goodman, D Heath and MS Lindee (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003), pp. 258-277
  • Fausto-Sterling A. 'Refashioning race: DNA and the politics of health care', Differences, 2004, 15(3): 1-37.
  • * Fields, Barbara J., 'Ideology and Race in American History', in Region, Race and Reconstruction: Essays in Honour of C. Vann Woodward, ed. by J. Morgan Kousser and James M. McPherson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), pp. 143-77. Has a very helpful discussion of the use of race as an analytical category.
  • Frankenberg, Ruth, Displacing Whiteness: Essays in Social and Cultural Criticism (Durham; London: Duke University Press, 1997)
  • Fredrickson, GM. Racism: A Short History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002)
  • Hannaford I. 1996. Race: The History of an Idea in the West (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • * Harding, Sandra ,ed., The 'Racial' Economy of Science (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993)
  • Hudson N. 1996. 'From "nation" to "race": the origin of racial classification in eighteenth-century thought'. Eighteenth-Century Studies, 29(3): 247-264.
  • Keita SOY, Boyce AJ. 2001. '"Race": confusion about zoological and social taxonomies, and their places in science'. American Journal of Human Biology 13: 569-575.
  • Kidd, Colin, 'Ethnicity in the British Atlantic World, 1688-1830', in A New Imperial History: Culture Identity and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660-1840, ed. by Kathleen Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 260-77
  • * Kidd, Colin, The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). Has a very helpful introduction that summarises the evidence scientists use to back the modern stance that race is not a useful biological category.
  • ** Magubane, Zine, 'Which Bodies Matter?: Feminism, Poststructuralism, Race and the Curious Theoretical Odyssey of the "Hottentot Venus"', Gender & Society, 15 (2001), 816-34
  • Meek, Ronald, Social Science and the Ignoble Savage (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976). On stadial theories of humanity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
  • Richards, Graham, 'Race', Racism and Psychology: Towards a Reflexive History (London: Routledge, 1997). Has an interesting discussion on the use of racism and racialism and the value of maintaining the distinction.
  • Schiebinger, Londa. 'The anatomy of difference: Race and sex in 18th-century science'. Eighteenth-Century Studies 23 (1990): 387-405.
  • Smedley A, Smedley B. 2005. 'Race as biology is fiction, racism as a social problem is real: anthropological and historical perspectives on the social construction of race'. American Psychologist 60(1): 16-26. [The article places current debates over 'race' in the emerging field of human genomics in an anthropological and historical context]
  • Stepan, Nancy Leys, The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800-1960 (London: Macmillan, 1982)
  • Stoler, Ann. 'Rethinking Colonial Categories'. Comparative Studies in Society and History 13.1 (1989):134-61.
  • * Stepan, Nancy Leys, 'Race and Gender: The Role of Analogy in Science', Isis, 77 (1986), 261-77
  • * Wheeler, Roxann, The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century Culture (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000)

Race, science, anthropology and the imperial context

This is a very, very small selection to give you some starting points. For a much more extensive bibliography, see the first website listed below.

  • Arnold, David, and Nicholas Thomas, Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
  • Arnold, David, ed., Imperial Medicine and Indigenous Societies. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988. 66-104.
  • Breman, Jan, Imperial Monkey Business: Racial Supremacy in Social Darwinist Theory and Colonial Practice (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 1990)
  • Coombes, Annie, Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late-Victorian and Edwardian England (New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 1994)
  • Comaroff, Jean and Comaroff, John. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992)
  • Daunton, Martin J., and Rick, eds, Empire and Others: British Encounters with Indigenous Peoples, 1600-1850 (London: U[niversity] C[ollege] L[ondon] Press, 1999)
  • Fausto-Sterling, Anne, 'Gender, Race and Nation: The Comparative Anatomy of "Hottentot" Women in Europe, 1815-1817', in Deviant Bodies: Critical Perspectives on Difference in Science and Popular Culture, ed. by Jennifer Terry and Jacqueline Urla (Bloomington, IL; Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1995), pp. 19-48
  • Hyam, Ronald, Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990)
  • Morgan, Philip D., and Sean Hawkins, Black Experience and the Empire, Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)
  • * Said, Edward, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978). A classic work in Imperial history.
  • Said, Edward, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf, 1993)
  • Sivasundaram, Sujit, Nature and the Godly Empire: Science and Evangelical Mission in the Pacific, 1795-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)
  • Stauder, Jack. 'The "Relevance" of Anthropology to Colonialism and Imperialism'. In The 'Racial' Economy of Science. Edited by Sandra Harding (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993), pp. 408-427.
  • Stoler, Ann, 'Rethinking Colonial Categories', Comparative Studies in Society and History 13 (1989):134-61

Representing race/visual anthropology

  • * Bindman, David, From Ape to Apollo: Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the 18th Century (London: Reaktion, 2002)
  • Curtis, L. P. Jr, Apes and Angels: The Irishman in Victorian Caricature, revised edn (Washington; London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997)
  • Dabydeen, David, Hogarth's Blacks: Images of Blacks in Eighteenth Century English Art (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987)
  • Edwards, Elizabeth, ed., Anthropology and Photography, 1860-1920 (New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 1994)
  • * Edwards, Elizabeth, Raw Histories: Photographs, Anthropology and Museums (Oxford; New York: Berg, 2001)
  • Higgins, David, 'Art, Genius and Racial Theory in the Early-Nineteenth Century', History Workshop Journal, 58 (2004), 17-40
  • Honour, Hugh, The Image of the Black in Western Art, 4 vols (Houston, TX: Menil Foundation, 1989)
  • * Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara, 'Objects of Ethnography', in Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and the Politics of Museum Display, ed. by Ivan Karp and Steven D. Lavine (Washington; London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), pp. 386-443
  • Maxwell, Anne, Colonial Photography & Exhibitions: Representations of the 'Native' People and the Making of European Identities (London; New York: Leicester University Press, 1999). Very general throughout so beware but has some useful images.
  • * Nederveen Pieterse, Jan. White on black: Images of Africa and Blacks in western popular culture. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992.
  • * Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge, 1992. A classic work on how travel writing can be racialised and/or is relevant to the imperial context.
  • * Schaffer, Simon, 'On Astronomical Drawing', in Picturing Science, Producing Art, ed. by Peter Galison and Caroline A. Jones (New York: Routledge, 1998), pp. 441-74. Although not primarily race, this article is a superb example of just how subtly images can be racialised.

Useful websites

Science and Race []. This website has a very extensive bibliography of relevance to those interested in science and race which is broken down into several subcategories. If you're looking for further reading this is your first stop.

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