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Histories between Anthropology and Geography: Practices, Actors, Canons
Richard Powell (University of Cambridge)
David Anderson (University of Aberdeen)
Richard Powell and David Anderson
History of Anthropology and Geography
Thursday 17 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short abstract:

This panel brings together historians of anthropology and historians of geography to discuss entanglements and resistances between theories, methods, practices and institutions across both disciplines.

Long abstract:

Although having much shared history as field sciences, in terms of common practices and practitioners, both anthropology and geography have generated quite distinctive approaches to the writing of disciplinary histories. This has meant that much history of anthropology has disavowed the presence of geographical thought, and much history of geography has pursued a reductive version of anthropological method. This approach to disciplinary history has been a key dimension in the training and identity of both anthropologists and geographers respectively. Increasingly, this position has become untenable as disciplinarity itself has been threatened through contemporary research practices and approaches to training in research methods across the social sciences. This has ushered in a new generation of exciting historical and theoretical research that questions the boundaries between anthropological and geographical thought, and focuses on examining boundary concepts such as space, environment, field, culture and ontology. In the current moment, there is also increasing collaboration between scholarly institutions, such as around the digital archiving of collections at the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). This provides for a reconsideration of many of the defining origin stories of both disciplines. This panel brings together anthropologists and geographers to discuss these shared histories and historiographies. The panel organizers welcome paper proposals on any of the above or related issues with respect to anthropological thought, geographical thought and their comparison.