Anthropology | Role of History in the Production of Anth Knowledge
A600 | 26390 | Peebles
For a variety of reasons, at least until recently, most
anthropologists have not used historical methods and metaphors in
their research and writing. We will explore some of the reasons why
history and historiography were shunned by ethnologists and
archaeologists alike. In doing so we shall take our prescriptive and
critical theme from the work of Nicholas Thomas: "...historical
processes and their effects are internal to social systems and that
attempts to analyze societies without reference to history are likely
to embody both theoretical errors and substantive misinterpretations"
(Thomas 1991: 9).
The following books should be purchased (and read in their entirety)
for this course.
Collingwood, R. G. 1982  An Autobiography. Oxford University
Press, Oxford. (paperback). ISBN 0-198-24694-3
Dosse, Francoise 1994 The New History in France: The Triumph of the
Annales. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL. (paperback) ISBN
Gossman, Lionel 1991 Between History and Literature. Replica Books
Nabakov, Peter 2002 A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History.
Cambridge University Press, NY. ISBN 0-521-56874-9
Novick, Peter 1988 That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and
the American Historical Profession. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge. (paperback) ISBN 0-521-35475-4.
Sahlins, Marshall 2004 Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History
as Culture and Vice Versa. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN
Sewell, William H., Jr. 2005 Logics of History: Social Theory and
Social Transformation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
(paperback) ISBN 0-226-74918-5.
Thomas, Nicholas 1996 Out of Time: History and Evolution in
Anthropological Discourse, Second Edition. University of Michigan
Press, Ann Arbor, MI. (paperback) ISBN 0-472-08377-5
Wolf, Eric 1982 Europe and the People Without History. University of
California Press, Berkeley. (paperback) ISBN 0-520-04898-9
There are only five requirements for this course: 1) do all the
reading; 2) come to class prepared to discuss the work(s) that have
been assigned – consider the course an extended conversation among
colleagues; 3) by the fifth week of class, have chosen an exemplary
but limited body of work that either applies historical reasoning and
resources to an anthropological problem or takes a resolutely
anthropological approach to an historical problem (works marked as
"ethnohistory" or works by "ethnohistorians" should not be chosen --
that would be too easy and would not lead you to literature outside
your immediate interests and expertise); 4) by the eighth week be
prepared to discuss the example you have chosen if it fits the topic
under discussion that week; 5) complete one substantial paper (15 - 30
pp.) that encompasses a critical analysis of the work you have chosen
-- due the day and time of the final exam.
The calculation of grades: Participation in the work of the seminar
will comprise 50% of the final grade; the paper will account for the