Fourth Book, Fall 2015: ANTHROPOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE

Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War.
By David H. Price
Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

The fourth and last book in our series for the Fall semester of 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

price_anthro_intelligence_bkBy the time the United States officially entered World War II, more than half of American anthropologists were using their professional knowledge and skills to advance the war effort. The range of their war-related work was extraordinary. They helped gather military intelligence, pinpointed possible social weaknesses in enemy nations, and contributed to the army’s regional Pocket Guide booklets. They worked for dozens of government agencies, including the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Office of War Information. At a moment when social scientists are once again being asked to assist in military and intelligence work, David H. Price examines anthropologists’ little-known contributions to the Second World War. “Anthropological Intelligence” is based on interviews with anthropologists as well as extensive archival research involving many Freedom of Information Act requests. Price looks at the role played by the two primary U.S. anthropological organizations, the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology (which was formed in 1941), in facilitating the application of anthropological methods to the problems of war. He chronicles specific projects undertaken on behalf of government agencies, including an analysis of the social effects of postwar migration, the design and implementation of OSS counterinsurgency campaigns, and the study of Japanese social structures to help tailor American propaganda efforts. Price discusses anthropologists’ work in internment camps, their collection of intelligence in Central and South America for the FBI’s Special Intelligence Service, and their help forming foreign language programs to assist soldiers and intelligence agents. Evaluating the ethical implications of anthropological contributions to World War II, Price suggests that by the time the Cold War began, the profession had set a dangerous precedent regarding what it would be willing to do on behalf of the U.S. government.

Patterson: The Dialectics of Knowledge Production in Anthropology

Patterson, Thomas C. (2001). A Social History of Anthropology in the United States. Oxford: Berg.

Preface, ix-x
Introduction, 1-5

Thomas Patterson opens his rather unique text on the history of US anthropology by remarking on the sense of dissatisfaction that he and some of his colleagues felt over the continued production of “internalist” accounts in the field. By this I take it he means historiography that focuses on key personalities and their ideas, the transfer and revision of their ideas by their disciples, their followers’ addition of new ideas that are then passed on to their students, and so on. The result has been the construction, teaching, and learning of certain creation myths in US anthropology, especially around the figure of Franz Boas. This is indeed a deeply dissatisfying manner of writing disciplinary history, and Patterson offers a productive change of course.

We know what a non-internalist account would eschew: the discipline was not internally self-generating; it did not develop in total autonomy; its major influences were external to the discipline, and even external to academia; and, among the more useful insights of this volume, there is no such thing as an inherently “anthropological question,” and there never has been.

Patterson calls his approach a dialectical one:

“the study of anthropology is a dialectical process. It is shaped by what the world is and who the anthropologists and the diverse peoples they study are. The three are joined together by structures and practices of domination and subordination whose appearances do not always convey the full extent of their reality. To understand the changing positions and interrelations of the anthropologists and the communities they study in the structures that organize the world, it is essential to know what those structures are, how they came to be, and how they are changing. It is also essential to realize that people and anthropologists who have different positions in these structures of power see the world differently. As a result, a knowledge of the whole is a precursor for a fuller understanding of the parts” (p. 2)

In his study, he approaches the historical development of US anthropology by examining,

  1. the circumstances that first facilitated the formation of anthropology as a set of questions and practices, and then as a discipline;
  2. the political-economic conditions in which anthropological knowledge was developed, shaped, and deployed;
  3. the appearance of practices centered in specific regions and groups of researchers;
  4. the place of anthropology within larger structures of power; and,
  5. the role of anthropology in creating/perpetuating images of past and contemporary peoples (pp. 2-3).

Completing his introductory outline, Patterson identifies the three major goals of his book, which involve:

  1. Outlining the diverse sources of inspiration that were brought together and deployed by anthropologists in the US;
  2. Restoring knowledge, or acknowledgment, of the anthropologists who were marginalized and silenced in various political crackdowns in the US; and,
  3. Showing how the production of anthropological knowledge is a dialectical process.

In these opening pages, Patterson proceeds to outline his chapters in a very succinct manner, which I shall further condense. In chapter 1 he explains how the formation of US national identity, the construction of “American exceptionalism,” territorial expansion, and slavery worked to spur and shape the first serious attempts to develop anthropological research. In particular, the work of the American School of Ethnology, the American Ethnological Society, and the Smithsonian, are highlighted, as well as the influence of various US Presidents, insurance companies, and the quest for foreign loans. Scientific racism, the debate over the importance of language versus race, the first stages of salvage ethnography (long before Boas), and the logics founding what would become the “four fields” of US anthropology, all appear in this chapter. In chapter 2, Patterson sets out to discuss the professionalization of anthropology, and how anthropological work moved from the Bureau of Ethnology to the National Museum and then to universities. This was a time of especially intense discrimination against people of colour and a struggle erupted over “the identity and direction of the field…between cultural determinists, eugenicists, and those who emphasized the biological bases of human diversity”. In chapter 3, Patterson examines the impact of the Great Depression, World War II, militarization, and the impact of the newly formed Social Science Research Council on the expansion of US anthropology. Subjects and frameworks that rose to dominance were those relating to acculturation, assimilation, national character, and area studies. In chapter 4, Patterson looks at post-WWII expansion, US hegemony, the return of evolutionism, and the impacts of the Cold War and anti-Communism on anthropology. The work of the Ford, Rockefeller, and Fulbright foundations also figures in this chapter, as well as the the role of anthropologists in counterinsurgency. Finally, in chapter 5, Patterson studies the impact of the rise of neo-liberalism–economic restructuring, privatization, the corporatization of the university, and the teaching of neoliberal doctrine–on academia and anthropology in particular, which has become increasingly fragmented.

Interestingly, Patterson also seems to be passing a baton to David H. Price, one of whose works will again conclude this seminar. Patterson does so in the following statement: “It was not my aim to write an account of the lives of anthropologists who were persecuted for their political activism. Nor was it my aim to relate the actions of anthropologists who sought to drive colleagues and students from the profession. These are chapters in the history of U.S. anthropology that remain to be written” (p. x)–in other words, areas in which Price specializes.

Finally, this book directly addresses a number of this seminar’s key questions, such as:

  • Who has been served the most by an institutionalized Anthropology in Western universities? In other words, who needs anthropologists the most?
  • What are the material conditions that influence the production of Anthropology?
  • What constitutes “an anthropological question”? In other words, which questions are asked, when and where, and who gets to ask them?
  • Is Anthropology ever really separate from politics?
  • When did ethnography become important for Anthropology, and why? Were Anthropologists the ones who conceived of, or innovated, ethnography?
  • To what extent does institutional Anthropology’s practice resemble or parallel the foreign policies of its home states?

Third Book, Fall 2015: A SOCIAL HISTORY OF US ANTHROPOLOGY

A Social History of Anthropology in the United States.
By Thomas C. Patterson
Oxford: Berg, 2001.

The third book in our series for the Fall semester of 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

patterson_social_history_bkIn part due to the recent Yanomami controversy, which has rocked anthropology to its very core, there is renewed interest in the discipline’s history and intellectual roots, especially amongst anthropologists themselves. The cutting edge of anthropological research today is a product of earlier questions and answers, previous ambitions, preoccupations and adventures, stretching back one hundred years or more. This book is the first comprehensive history of American anthropology. Crucially, Patterson relates the development of anthropology in the United States to wider historical currents in society. American anthropologists over the years have worked through shifting social and economic conditions, changes in institutional organization, developing class structures, world politics, and conflicts both at home and abroad. How has anthropology been linked to colonial, commercial and territorial expansion in the States? How have the changing forms of race, power, ethnic identity and politics shaped the questions anthropologists ask, both past and present? Anthropology as a discipline has always developed in a close relationship with other social sciences, but this relationship has rarely been scrutinized. This book details and explains the complex interplay of forces and conditions that have made anthropology in America what it is today. Furthermore, it explores how anthropologists themselves have contributed and propagated powerful images and ideas about the different cultures and societies that make up our world. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the roots and reasons behind American anthropology at the turn of the twenty-first century. Intellectual historians, social scientists, and anyone intrigued by the growth and development of institutional politics and practices should read this book.

Second Book, Fall 2015: THE EXPANSIVE MOMENT

The Expansive Moment: The Rise of Social Anthropology in Britain and Africa, 1918-1970.
By Jack Goody
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

The second book in our series for the Fall semester of 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

goody expansive moment_bkThis text explores the development of the discipline of social anthropology, looking at its key practitioners and the degree to which its concerns interacted with the political and ideological debate of the interwar years. It provides a study of the different ideological and intellectual approaches that emerged and considers how these views were incorporated into and defined by the structures and institutions in which they developed. The work also gives an analysis of how far the subject was created by its own response to key issues of the time: colonialism – specifically Africa; anti-Semitism; and communism.

First Book, Fall 2015: HOMO ACADEMICUS

Homo Academicus
By Pierre Bourdieu
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990

http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=2475

The first book in our series for the Fall semester of 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

homo_academicus_bkIn this highly original work, Pierre Bourdieu turns his attention to the academic world of which he is part and offers a brilliant analysis of modern intellectual culture. The academy is shown to be not just a realm of dialogue and debate, but also a sphere of power in which reputations and careers are made, defended and destroyed.

Employing the distinctive methods for which he has become well known, Bourdieu examines the social background and practical activities of his fellow academics—from Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan to figures who are lesser known but not necessarily less influential. Bourdieu analyzes their social origins and current positions, how much they publish and where they publish it, their institutional connections, media appearances, political involvements and so on.

This enables Bourdieu to construct a map of the intellectual field in France and to analyze the forms of capital and power, the lines of conflict and the patterns of change, which characterize the system of higher education in France today.

Homo Academicus paints a vivid and dynamic picture of French intellectual life today and develops a general approach to the study of modern culture and education. It will be of great interest to students of sociology, education and politics as well as to anyone concerned with the role of intellectuals and higher education today.

Third Book: ORDERING AFRICA

Ordering Africa: Anthropology, European imperialism and the politics of knowledge
Edited by Helen L. Tilley and Robert J. Gordon
Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2007

http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?product=9780719062391

The third book in our series for 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

ordering_africa_bk

African research played a major role in transforming the discipline of anthropology in the twentieth century. Ethnographic studies, in turn, had significant effects on the way imperial powers in Africa approached subject peoples.

Ordering Africa provides the first comparative history of these processes. With essays exploring metropolitan research institutes, Africans as ethnographers, the transnational features of knowledge production, and the relationship between anthropology and colonial administration, this volume both consolidates and extends a range of new research questions focusing on the politics of imperial knowledge. Specific chapters examine French West Africa, the Belgian and French Congo, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Italian Northeast Africa, Kenya, and Equatorial Africa (Gabon) as well as developments in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.

Second Book: HOMO ACADEMICUS

Homo Academicus
By Pierre Bourdieu
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990

http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=2475

The second book in our series for 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

homo_academicus_bkIn this highly original work, Pierre Bourdieu turns his attention to the academic world of which he is part and offers a brilliant analysis of modern intellectual culture. The academy is shown to be not just a realm of dialogue and debate, but also a sphere of power in which reputations and careers are made, defended and destroyed.

Employing the distinctive methods for which he has become well known, Bourdieu examines the social background and practical activities of his fellow academics—from Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan to figures who are lesser known but not necessarily less influential. Bourdieu analyzes their social origins and current positions, how much they publish and where they publish it, their institutional connections, media appearances, political involvements and so on.

This enables Bourdieu to construct a map of the intellectual field in France and to analyze the forms of capital and power, the lines of conflict and the patterns of change, which characterize the system of higher education in France today.

Homo Academicus paints a vivid and dynamic picture of French intellectual life today and develops a general approach to the study of modern culture and education. It will be of great interest to students of sociology, education and politics as well as to anyone concerned with the role of intellectuals and higher education today.

First Book: THE IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY

The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent
Edited by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014

https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-imperial-university

The first book in our series for 2015 is described by the publisher as follows:

From the front lines of the war on academic freedom, linking the policing of knowledge to the relationship between universities, militarism, and neoliberalism.

The Imperial University brings together scholars to explore the policing of knowledge by explicitly linking the academy to the broader politics of militarism, racism, nationalism, and neoliberalism that define the contemporary imperial state. Based on multidisciplinary research, autobiographical accounts, and even performance scripts, this urgent analysis offers sobering insights into varied manifestations of “the imperial university.”

At colleges and universities throughout the United States, political protest and intellectual dissent are increasingly being met with repressive tactics by administrators, politicians, and the police—from the use of SWAT teams to disperse student protestors and the profiling of Muslim and Arab American students to the denial of tenure and dismissal of politically engaged faculty. The Imperial University brings together scholars, including some who have been targeted for their open criticism of American foreign policy and settler colonialism, to explore the policing of knowledge by explicitly linking the academy to the broader politics of militarism, racism, nationalism, and neoliberalism that define the contemporary imperial state.

The contributors to this book argue that “academic freedom” is not a sufficient response to the crisis of intellectual repression. Instead, they contend that battles fought over academic containment must be understood in light of the academy’s relationship to U.S. expansionism and global capital. Based on multidisciplinary research, autobiographical accounts, and even performance scripts, this urgent analysis offers sobering insights into such varied manifestations of “the imperial university” as CIA recruitment at black and Latino colleges, the connections between universities and civilian and military prisons, and the gender and sexual politics of academic repression.

Fourth Book: WEAPONIZING ANTHROPOLOGY

Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State
David H. Price
AK Press, 2011

The fourth and final book in our series for 2014 is described by the publisher as follows:

weaponizinganthroThe ongoing battle for hearts and minds in Iraq and Afghanistan is a military strategy inspired originally by efforts at domestic social control and counterinsurgency in the United States. Weaponizing Anthropology documents how anthropological knowledge and ethnographic methods are harnessed by military and intelligence agencies in post-9/11 America to placate hostile foreign populations. David H. Price outlines the ethical implications of appropriating this traditional academic discourse for use by embedded, militarized research teams.

Price’s inquiry into past relationships between anthropologists and the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon provides the historical base for this expose of the current abuses of anthropology by military and intelligence agencies. Weaponizing Anthropology explores the ways that recent shifts in funding sources for university students threaten academic freedom, as new secretive CIA-linked fellowship programs rapidly infiltrate American university campuses. Price examines the specific uses of anthropological knowledge in military doctrine that have appeared in a new generation of counterinsurgency manuals and paramilitary social science units like the Human Terrain Teams.

Third Book: TRAVEL, HUMANITARIANISM, AND BECOMING AMERICAN IN AFRICA

Travel, Humanitarianism, and Becoming American in Africa
Kathryn Mathers
Palgrave Macmillan

The third book in our series for 2014 is described by the publisher as follows:

travelhumanitarianismafricaTravel, Humanitarianism, and Becoming American in Africa uses observations of American travelers to southern Africa to ask: why is Africa so important to Americans? These travel stories show how encounters with Africans lead to a problematic desire to save Africa. Kathryn Mathers argues that this is then seen as a way to resolve the tensions between aspirations for a globally responsible America and the current reality of its geopolitical role. This book draws fascinating new conclusions about the connections and disconnections on which contemporary American identity is formed.