Cover

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Title page, Frontispiece, Copyright

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Contents

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List of Figures

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

The conference that gave rise to this volume of revisionist essays on Franz Boas was supported by a Workshop Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The contributors served as an initial planning group for the documentary edition of the...

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Historiographic Conundra: The Boasian Elephantin the Middle of Anthropology’s Room

Regna Darnell

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pp. xi-xxvi

For the twenty-first century as for the twentieth, anthropology has struggled to come to terms with the ongoing legacy of Franz Boas (1858–1942), indisputably the founder and dominant figure in the emergence of a professionalized academic discipline in North America. Boas has been...

Part 1. Theory and Interdisciplinary Scope

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1. Mind, Body, and the Native Point of View: Boasian Theory at the Centennial of The Mind of Primitive Man

Regna Darnell

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pp. 3-18

The Mind of Primitive Man, originally published in 1911, still stands as the primary theoretical manifesto of Boas’s anthropology. Reassessment is overdue for at least two reasons: First, relational or abstract thought as a universal human capacity has come to be recognized as common sense in...

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2. The Individual and Individuality in Franz Boas’s Anthropology and Philosophy

Herbert S. Lewis

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pp. 19-42

It is ironic and sad that what is called “Boasian anthropology” should so often be characterized as presenting “cultures” as “holistic” and “reified” and “unchanging,” “homogeneous . . . closed systems of ‘collective representations,’” with “identical, homogeneous individuals,” a “‘totalitarian"...

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3. The Police Dance: Dissemination in Boas’s Field Notes and Diaries, 1886–1894

Christopher Bracken

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pp. 43-64

Writing home in October 1886, a twenty-eight-year-old Franz Boas tells his parents about his recent journey north from Victoria aboard the Barbara Boskowitz, a steamer with “schooner rigging” but “none of the elegance” of “an ocean liner.”¹ The Boskowitz stops at Alert Bay on the afternoon of the...

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4. Franz Boas and the Conditions of Literature

J. Edward Chamberlin

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pp. 65-82

When Franz Boas’s student Ruth Benedict paid tribute to him in her presidential address to the American Anthropological Association five years after his death in 1942, she reminded her audience of the importance of Boas’s approach to his subject by quoting a literary critic, the...

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5. From Baffin Island to Boasian Induction: How Anthropology and Linguistics Got into Their Interlinear Groove

Michael Silverstein

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pp. 83-128

Oral texts, elicited at fluent dictation speed from the lips of native speakers, carefully recorded in handwritten form, then rendered into print in both original form and translation, constituted, for Boas, the cultural material of an anthropological philology for unlettered peoples’...

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6. The Boasian Legacy in Ethnomusicology: Cultural Relativism, Narrative Texts, Linguistic Structures, and the Role of Comparison

Sean O’Neill

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pp. 129-162

In telling our own origin story in the field of anthropology, anthropologists often credit Franz Boas with giving the discipline an all- encompassing vision of humanity that engages with biology, history, language, and culture—more or less the four fields we know today. At the core we might...

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7. Friends in This World: The Relationship of George Hunt and Franz Boas

Isaiah Lorado Wilner

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pp. 163-190

One hot night in Chicago in 1893 several thousand visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition crowded the decks of a ship called Progress, spilling out onto the gangway and nearby walkways. As they craned their necks toward a barge on the lagoon, the tourists expected to see a show in the...

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8. The Ethnographic Legacy of Franz Boas and James Teit: The Thompson Indians of British Columbia

Andrea Laforet

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pp. 191-212

In September 1894 Franz Boas, who was traveling through British Columbia gathering information on the physical attributes of Aboriginal people, wrote to his parents in Germany about his first meeting with James Teit, who lived a few miles above Spences Bridge, near the confluence...

Part 3. Activism

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9. Anthropological Activism and Boas’s Pacific Northwest Ethnology

David W. Dinwoodie

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pp. 215-236

The dominant foci for anthropological activism by and on behalf of peoples of Aboriginal descent in North America today are land claims, repatriation, and language preservation and revival. Activism in these areas is predicated on the idea that enhanced status and improved living conditions...

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10. Franz Boas, Wilson Duff, and the Image of Anthropology in British Columbia

Robert L. A. Hancock

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pp. 237-262

In the past five decades anthropological research has emerged as a critical component of Aboriginal rights litigation in Canada. Anthropologists have been called upon to apply their knowledge and analyses on behalf of both Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state. Increased use does...

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11. Cultural Persistence in the Age of “Hopelessness”: Phinney, Boas, and U.S. Indian Policy

Joshua Smith

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pp. 263-276

John Collier, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1933 to 1945, said of his candidacy, “Once I was publicly a candidate, I was supported by most of the Indian groups, by various individuals who knew Franklin Roosevelt, and by the Scripps-Howard press. Opposition to my appointment...

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12. Franz Boas’s Correspondence with German Friends and Colleagues in the Early 1930s

Jürgen Langenkämper

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pp. 277-292

After fifty years of scientific life, in 1931 Franz Boas intended to donate his personal library to the Museum für Völkerkunde, the Ethnological Museum of Hamburg. A few days after the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Boas’s dissertation, “Beiträge zur Erkenntnis der Farbe...

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13. Franz Boas on War and Empire: The Making of a Public Intellectual

Julia E. Liss

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pp. 293-328

To historians and anthropologists alike, it has become almost commonplace to consider Boas as a public intellectual, a “citizen-scientist” whose contemporary and historical importance come from outside the profession no less than from within it. Especially in establishing anthropology...

Part 4. The Archival Project

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14. Anthropology of Revitalization: Digitizing the American Philosophical Society’s Native American Collections

Timothy B. Powell

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pp. 331-344

The role of archives in the history of anthropology is usually seen as somewhat passive, the final resting place for the papers of preeminent scholars. The American Philosophical Society (APS) houses one of the finest collections of linguistic and anthropological collections of Native...

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15. “An expansive archive . . . not a diminished one”: The Franz Boas Papers Documentary Edition Project

Michelle Hamilton

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pp. 345-362

In partnership with the American Philosophical Society (APS) and the University of Nebraska Press, this volume initiates an ambitious project to digitize and critically edit the Franz Boas papers. We anticipate approximately twenty-five volumes that will thematically and chronologically...

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Contributors

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pp. 363-366

CHRISTOPHER BRACKEN is the author of The Potlatch Papers (University of Chicago Press, 1997) and Magical Criticism (University of Chicago Press, 2007). His recent articles include “Lebhaftigkeiten, Die Lebenden und die Lebendigen,” in Re-Animationen, edited by Höppner, Mangold...

The Franz Boas Papers Project Team

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pp. 367-368

Index

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pp. 369-382