Boasians at War: Anthropology, Race, and World War II
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This volume seeks to recover a specific historical moment within the tradition of anthropologists trained in the United States under Franz Boas, arguably the father of modern American anthropology. Focusing on Boasians Ashley Montagu, Margaret Mead, Melville Herskovits, and Ruth Benedict, Anthony Hazard highlights the extent to which the Boasians offer historicized explanations of racism that move beyond a quest to reshape only the discipline: Boasian war work pointed to the histories of chattel slavery and colonialism to theorize not just race, but the emergence of racism as both systemic and interpersonal. The realities of race that continue to plague the United States have direct ties to the anthropological work of the figures examined here, particularly within the context of the 20th-century black freedom struggle. Ultimately, Boasians at War offers a detailed glimpse of the long troubled history of the concept of race, along with the real-life realities of racism, that have carried on despite the harnessing of scientific knowledge to combat both.
Ethnic Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology
Hazard, Anthony Q. Jr., "Boasians at War: Anthropology, Race, and World War II" (2020). Faculty Book Gallery. 503.