EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

The role of learned societies and associations in the creation and building of European anthropology [History of Anthropology Network]
Date and Start Time [TBD] at [TBD]
Sessions [TBD]


  • David Shankland (Royal Anthropological Institute) email
  • Aleksandar Boskovic (Institute of Social Sciences) email

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Short abstract

This panel invites submissions that will consider the role of learned societies and association in the creation of anthropology in Europe. The panel is open to papers which consider the historical importance of learned societies and associations, as well as their contemporary significance.

Long abstract

We are accustomed to the main arena of the generation of anthropological knowledge being the university. However, it is not entirely so, even today, and historically universities have developed departments of anthropological rather recently, certainly after what was recognisably anthropology had begun to be practiced. Instead, learned societies and associations throughout the nineteenth century, and for a good part of the twentieth century were the main locus of anthropological thought. Though they gradually have given way in some respects to universities, it is important to think in terms of a scholarly symbiosis that operates within a wider ecology of knowledge. Though some societies may no longer be active, many today, such as the AAA, EASA and the RAI continue to flourish and expand even as university departments are established, pointing toward mutual synergies which are important to explore and understand. Papers are therefore invited that reflect upon the creation of modern anthropology within learned societies; the role of associations in securing the profession, and the way that today these different forms of incorporation of knowledge operate and support each other.

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