From Savage to Negro

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

This week CA 94 begins with historical anthropology. Lee D. Baker’s From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race 1896-1954 is a fascinating book that we will use to get a brief overview of anthropology’s history. Because part of the goal of this course is to permit all the student-anthropologists in the class to think about their work as public, Baker’s discussion of anthropology’s role in American politics and popular culture in the early 20th Century is especially important.

Although many individuals understand anthropology as a discipline firmly housed within academia, that this blog’s authors will consider how anthropological theory and praxis may be a significant part of their lives out of the classroom. Of course, the ideas that get developed here may not be as influential as those of Samuel Morton (a major proponent of Craniometry) had been in the 19th Century. Nonetheless, the authors sharing their thoughts on here will carry on the tradition of contributing to public discourse with thoughtful work that reflects contemporary perspectives in the discipline of cultural anthropology.

Because early anthropology was very much concerned with categorizing racial others, that is where the course begins.


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