BH09
Race in anthropology

Convenors:
Peter Wade (Manchester University)
John Hartigan (University of Texas)
Discussant:
Virginia Dominguez
Location:
University Place Theatre
Start time:
9 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel seeks to draw out diverse views within the discipline on the status of the concept of race and how best to deal with it in anthropology today. A variety of paper proposals is encouraged, including ones that are mainly theoretical and others that are more ethnographic.

Long abstract:

The concept of race has a chequered history in anthropology. In the 1990s, there were several calls to re-establish the concept in the intellectual armoury of the discipline, yet today it is still hard to find a text book that combines the words "race" and "anthropology" in the title (Eugenia Shanklin's 1994 book is one of the rare examples). There is a greater openness to talking about race in some anthropological contexts (especially the United States and the UK), but still notable resistance in others (e.g. many continental European countries). Some prefer to talk about ethnicity, while others insist that race is analytically distinctive. Some in the discipline maintain that the concept is stuck between biological reductionism and social constructionism, arguing that an approach is needed that is able to go beyond the culture/biology divide. This panel seeks to draw out diverse views within the discipline on the status of the concept of race and how best to deal with it in anthropology today. A variety of paper proposals is encouraged, including ones that are mainly theoretical and others that are more ethnographic.