And Along Came Boas

Continuity and revolution in Americanist anthropology

| University of Western Ontario
ISBN 9789027245748 (Eur) | EUR 120.00
ISBN 9781556196232 (USA) | USD 180.00
ISBN 9789027245847 (Eur) | EUR 44.00
ISBN 9781556198991 (USA) | USD 66.00
ISBN 9789027275608 | EUR 120.00/44.00*
| USD 180.00/66.00*
The advent of Franz Boas on the North American scene irrevocably redirected the course of Americanist anthropology. This volume documents the revolutionary character of the theoretical and methodological standpoint introduced by Boas and his first generation of students, among whom linguist Edward Sapir was among the most distinguished. Virtually all of the classic Boasians were at least part-time linguists alongside their ethnological work. During the crucial transitional period beginning with the founding of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1879, there were as many continuities as discontinuities between the work of Boas and that of John Wesley Powell and his Bureau. Boas shared with Powell a commitment to the study of aboriginal languages, to a symbolic definition of culture, to ethnography based on texts, to historical reconstruction on linguistic grounds, and to mapping the linguistic and cultural diversity of native North America. The obstacle to Boas’s vision of anthropology was not the Bureau but the archaeological and museum establishment centred in Washington, D.C. and in Boston. Moreover, the “scientific revolution” was concluded not when Boas began to teach at Columbia University in New York in 1897 but around 1920 when first generation Boasians cominated the discipline in institutional as well as theoretical terms. The impact of Boas is explored in terms of theoretical positions, interactional networks of scholars, and institutions within which anthropological work was carried out. The volume shows how collaboration of universities and museums gradually gave way to an academic centre for anthropology in North America, in line with the professionalization of American science along German lines during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The author is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Centre for Research and Teaching of Canadian Native Languages at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
[Studies in the History of the Language Sciences, 86]  1998.  xviii, 333 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: Continuities Across Scientific Revolutions
I. The Bureau of American Ethnology
1 The Development of Professional Anthropology in America
2 Government-Sponsored Science
2.1 Joseph Henry and the Smithsonian Institution
2.2 Spencer Baird and the Collection of Specimens
2.3 The Geological Surveys
2.4 The Curtailment of Government Science
2.5 From Geology to Ethnology
3 Constraints of Government Anthropology
3.1 Bureau Archaeology
3.2 Finances of the Bureau
3.3 Applied Anthropology
3.4 The Limitation to the American Indian
4 The Mapping of North America
4.1 The Myth Concordance
4.2 Linguistic Manuscripts
4.3 Bibliographies
4.4 ‘Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages’
4.5 The Definition of Linguistic Families
4.6 Brinton's Linguistic Classification
4.7 The Authorship of the Powell Classification
5 Organizing Anthropological Research in America
5.1 Problems in Professional Standards
5.2 Bureau Fieldwork
5.3 Collaboration
5.4 The Missisonary Question
5.5 Powell's Evolutionary Synthesis
5.6 The End of an Era in the Bureau
II. The Development of Institutional Alternatives
6 Early Attempts at University Anthropology
6.1 Graduate Education in America
6.2 False Starts in Academic Anthropology
6.3 The University of Pennsylvania
6.4 Clark University
6.5 The University of Chicago
6.6 The Temporary Insufficiency of Academic Anthropology
7 The Tradition of Museum Research
7.1 The Peabody Museum
7.2 The Bureau and the National Museum
7.3 Changing Times in the Bureau
8 Uneasy Institutional Cooperation
8.1 The Field Columbian Museum
8.2 The American Museum of Natural History
8.3 The University of California, Berkeley
9 Boasian University Programs
9.1 Boas's Teaching at Columbia
9.2 The University of Pennsylvania
9.3 Boasian Anthropology at Chicago
9.4 The Geological Survey of Canada
9.5 The Autonomy of Academic Anthropology
III. Continued Mapping of North America
10 Boas and the Bureau of American Ethnology
10.1 From Synonymy to Handbook
10.2 Boas's ‘Handbook of American Indian Languages’
10.3 The Myth Concordance
10.4 The Phonetics Committee
11 Mapping the Languages of California
11.1 ‘The Handbook of California Indians’
11.2 California Institutional Cooperation
12 Revising the Linguistic Classification
12.1 ‘Diffusional Cumulation’ and ‘Archaic Residue’
12.2 The Linguistic Stocks of California
12.3 The Sapir Classification
12.4 Radin and the Genetic Unity of All American Languages
IV. Boasian Hegemony Consolidated
13 Formalizations in the Face of Opposition
13.1 The Establishment of a National Journal
13.2 The American Anthropological Association
13.3 The National Association Becomes Boasian
13.4 The American Folklore Society
13.5 The American Council of Learned Societies
13.6 Confrontations with the Old Establishment
13.7 Boasians in the Bureau
14 Articulating the Boasian Paradigm
14.1 The Content of the Boasian Paradigm
14.2 Boasian Ethnology
14.3 The Distribution of Folklore Elements
14.4 Boasian Fieldwork
14.5 The Culture Area Concept
14.6 The Critique of Evolution
14.7 The Emphasis on Cultural Wholes
14.8 Theoretical Syntheses
14.9 Envoi
List of Illustrations
Illustration Credits
List of Figures
Index of Biographical Names
Index of Subjects and Terms
“It’s a measure of any really good book, ..., that it makes you change your mind. For me, Darnell’s work falls squarely into this category.”
“This is a fascinating and insightful work that makes a major contribution to documenting the history of anthropology.”
“[...] an ‘adequate history’ of American anthropology that successfully brings together theories, institutional structures, and networks of anthropologists and thereby convincingly demonstrates existing continuities across the Powellian and Boasian paradigms. [...] Darnell’s account of the shift from the Powellian to the Boasian paradigm makes fascinating reading and should be obligatory for anybody seriously interested in the history of American anthropology and linguistics.”
“[...] Darnell’s dissertation has been the most important unpublished source for the history of the professionalization of North American anthropology, and it is a great pleasure to see it now become available, strongly updated, appropriately expanded, and compactly argued, to a wider audience.”
“[...] a model of intellectual history [...]

It will become a standard reference for the early years of American anthropology.

“[...] of interest not only to historians but also to anyone in anthropology — especially linguistics anthropology [...]

[...] to anyone who wants to understand more about what occurs at the critical junctures when theories change[...]

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BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  98028940 | Marc record