Resources in the history of anthropology


National traditions
Timelines and overviews
Philosophical and intellectual background for anthropology
Specific Branches and Trends
Great Britain
Russia / Soviet Union
Contemporary anthropological debates
United States
Contemporary anthropologists:
Homepages, Interviews, Biographies

This list of links is not complete, but will gradually be supplemented in the coming months, so keep tuned.


Timelines and overviews

Timothy Mason: Resources for a history of anthropology
"The following page grows out of my interest in the Australian anthropologists, Baldwin Spencer and Frank Gillen. There is little material freely available on early anthropologists, and although there may be other sites providing easy access, I have not found them." The site contains links to many texts on the early history of anthropology and sociology. 

Ed Stephan: A Sociology Timeline from 1600
The timeline spans the period from 1600 to 1995. Many of the names in the timeline are linked to pages with information on authors and events and further links to a very wide range of online texts, including classical texts e.g. by Hobbes, Vico, Kant, Malthus etc., and some modern texts as well.

Finn Sivert Nielsen: Mini-faghistorie. Sentrale retninger og skoler i antropologien

Richard Lee: Social Science Knowledge: A Report on Institutionalization 

Minnesota State University: Anthropology Biography Web (Short biographies of many anthropologists, prepared by students and of variable quality.) 

University of Alabama: Anthropological Theories: A Guide Prepared by Students for Students (short, generally informative introductory statements on various schools and directions in anthropology, with capsule portraits of individual anthropologists) 

Philosophical and intellectual background for anthropology

James Heartfield: Intellectual currents of the twentieth century (Wide-ranging, introductory website covering Analytic philosophy,  Pragmatism,  Psychoanalysis, Structuralists,  Phenomenologists, Existentialists,  Postmodernism) 

Wesley Wildman: Western Philosophy in Theological Perspective (A very comprehensive collection of course manuscripts, texts, information and images, giving overviews of various philosophical thinkers, schools and themes.) 

.... see for example the course on Hermeneutics and Phenomenology at: 

Specific Branches and Trends


Stefano Franchi, Güven Güzeldere, and Eric Minch: Interview [with] Heinz von Foerster [on the origins of cybernetics and systems theory] 

Diffusionism, Cultural history

John B. Gatewood: Reflections on the Nature of Cultural Distributions and the Units of Culture Problem (1999) 


Stephen K. Sanderson: Evolutionism and its Critics (1997) 

Medical anthropology

Dennis Wiedman: Major Publications in Medical Anthropology 

Dennis Wiedman: Notable Medical Anthropologists 


Doug Padgett: Anthropology of Religion 


University of Colorado at Denver, School of Education: Semiotics (A very rich collection of resources in and information on semiotics.) 

Visual anthropology

Jay Ruby: Franz Boas and Early Camera Study of Behavior (Kinesics Report 1980) 

Jay Ruby: Up the Zambesi with Notebook and Camera, or Being an anthropologist without doing anthropology ... with pictures (1973) 

Contemporary anthropological debates

Lars Risan: Cultural Relativism and the Sokal Affair 

Val Dusek: Sociobiology Sanitized: The Evolutionary Psychology and Genic Selectionism Debaters 

Bruce Kapferer: Star Wars: About Anthropology, Culture and Globalisation (1999)

Contemporary anthropologists: Homepages, Interviews, Biographies

AsiaSource: [Interview with Lila Abu-Lughod about US reactions to September 11]

Homepage: Hamza Ali Alavi [includes texts, CV and autobiography]

Marcia Conner: Learning's reward. An interview with Mary Catherine Bateson

National traditions


J.S. Eades: The New Chinese Anthropology: A View from Outside 


Lehmann's Reader: Ferdinand de Saussure: Mémoire on the Primitive Systrem of Vowels in the Indo-European Languages 

Warren D. TenHouten: Durkheim's Elementary Forms, the Aboriginal Mind, and the Four Social Relations (1999) 

Claude Lévi-Strauss: Structural Anthropology. Chapter II: Structural Analysis in Linguistics and in Anthropology (1958) 

Roland Barthes (1915-1980) (Short biography)

Roland Barthes: The Discourse of History

Roland Barthes: Elements of Semiology (1964)

Tony McNeill: [Three lectures on] Roland Barthes: Mythologies (1957)

Links to sites related to Pierre Bourdieu [includes links to texts]


Philipps-Universität, Marburg: «Denken in beweglichen Horizonten» Streiflichter auf die Geschichte der Ethnologie 

Lehmann's Reader: A Reader in Nineteenth Century Historical Indo-European Linguistics (Includes texts by Friedrich von Schlegel, Jakob Grimm, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Ferdinand de Saussure, and others) 

Mathieu Deflem: Tönnies, Ferdinand (1855-1936) (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2001) 

Georg Simmel : A Chapter in the Philosophy of Value (American Journal of Sociology, vol. 5, 1900) 

Georg Simmel: The Metropolis and Mental Life 

Georg Simmel: The Stranger 

Georg Simmel: How is Society Possible? (American Journal of Sociology vol. 16 (1910-11)) 

Philip J. Ethington: The Intellectual Construction of "Social Distance": Toward a Recovery of Georg Simmel’s Social Geometry (1997) 

Great Britain

Keith Hart: The place of the 1898 Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits (CAETS) in the history of British social anthropology 

Michael Pelletier: British and Commonwealth Women Anthropologists in the Late Colonial Period
Cached version: Michael-Pelletier.htm
Original at: 

Phyllis M. Kaberry: Women of the Grassfields (1952) [The full monograph is online.] 

Meyer Fortes: Some Reflections on Ancestor Worship in Africa 

Stephen P. Reyna: Art and Mummery. Towards a Social Anthropology of Hypocricy [Critique of anthropology in colonialism] 

Max Gluckman: History of the Manchester "School" of Social Anthropology and Sociology (1962) 


Amman Madan's Anthropology and Sociology of India Homepage 

Russia / Soviet Union

Alexander King: A Sketch of Soviet Culture Theory 

Alexander King: Koryak Net (A very wide-ranging site, with much information about the Koryak, but also including sections on the Jesup Expedition, on the relationship between Russian / Soviet and American ethnographers working in Eastern Siberia, and on Soviet culture theory.) 

Mary Klages: Mikhail Bakhtin (Short introduction to his life and work.)

The Bakhtin Centre Homepage (Includes general information, information about the center and its projects, a substantial collection of links)

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Bakhtin Circle (Historical treatment of the Bakhtin Circle and its work.)

United States

Lewis Henry Morgan: The Destiny of the Indian (1851) 

Franz Boas: [account of NW Coast economy] 

Franz Boas: The Limitations of the Comparative Method in Anthropology
Cached version: bocomp.html 

Alexander King: The Jesup Expedition 

Micaela di Leonardo: The Trope of the Pith Helmet: American Anthropology, Public Spheres, Political Economy (1999) 

Peggy Reeves Sanday: Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet. The Life Work of William S. Willis Jr. (2000) 

Mathieu Deflem: Ritual, Anti-Structure, and Religion: A Discussion of Victor Turner's Processual Symbolic Analysis (2002) 

AAA: American Anthropology Obituary Index 

AAA: A Brief History of the American Anthropological Association 

David B. Givens and Timothy Jablonski: 1995 Survey of Anthropology PhDs (AAA) 

Peggy Bulger and Ann Hoog: Recording Our Reactions to September 11 (AAA)
Cached version: sept11.htm
Original version no longer accessible.