Events Calendar

History of Arctic Anthropology
From Thursday 27 February 2020
To Friday 28 February 2020
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History of Arctic Anthropology

Thursday 27 and Friday 28 February 2020

Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT

There is no conference fee, and refreshments will be provided on the day, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://arcticanthropology.eventbrite.co.uk

DAY ONE
Thursday 27 February

10.00 TEA AND COFFEE

10.20 WELCOME

10.30 Prof Peter Schweitzer (University of Vienna)
Introduction - Arctic Anthropology?

11.10 Dr William Fitzhugh (Smithsonian)
Smithsonian Ice-Breaking in the Eastern Arctic

11.50 Dr Peter R. Martin (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)
‘Kalli on the ship’: Inughuit Abduction and Disciplinary Formations

12.30 LUNCH

1.30 Dr Brooke Penaloza-Patzak (University of Vienna)
Beringia: Material Crossroads and the Shape of Science

2.10 Dr Jaanika Vider (University of Oxford)
Materials of Arctic Anthropology: Researching the Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

2.50 Ekaterina Morgunova (King’s College London)
‘The art of diplomacy’: political exiles, imperial authorities and indigenous people in Northeast Siberian ethnography

3.30 TEA AND COFFEE

4.00 Dr Richard Powell (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)
Fin de siècle method in Arctic anthropology and geography

4.40 Dr Igor Krupnik (Smithsonian)
“Competing Arctic Pasts”: Closing of the last Arctic anthropological frontier, 1900–1930

5.20 Closing Discussion


DAY TWO
Friday 28 February

10.00 TEA AND COFFEE

10.20 WELCOME

 
10.30 Prof Kirsten Hastrup (University of Copenhagen)
Thule in Anthropology: Time and Terrain in Northwest Greenland

11.10 Tatyjana Szafonova and Istvan Santha
From searching for Hungarian origins to pan-nationalist ideology of Turanism: Baráthosi’s ethnographic expeditions In Finland, Ural Mountains and Russian Far East in the beginning of 20th century.

11.40 Prof Grażyna Kubica-Heller (Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University)
"On the Track of the Tungus": Maria Czaplicka and her Siberian Expedition (1914-1915)

12.30 LUNCH

1.30 Nikolai Goncharov (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography)
The Specifics of Interaction with the Environment of the Russian Population near the Arctic Ocean (based on Materials from Expedition of D.D. Travin)

2.10 Dr Otso Kortekangas (KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University)
Indigenous avant la lettre.  The origins and livelihoods of the Sámi in European scholarly thought 1930–1960.

2.50 Prof Edward H. Huijbens (Cultural Geography Research Group, Wageningen University)
Communicating and enhancing Arctic community values through trans-cultural exchange.

3.30 TEA AND COFFEE

4.00 Dr Tanya Argounova-Low (University of Aberdeen)
Hunting Extinct Animals  

4.40 Prof Tim Ingold
Closing Overview

5.20 Closing Discussion


Abstracts:

Dr William Fitzhugh (Smithsonian)
Smithsonian Ice-Breaking in the Eastern Arctic

The Smithsonian Institution is known largely for its pioneering research and collecting in northern Canada and Alaska. Less well-known is its history in the Eastern Arctic and Subarctic. This paper draws together threads of that history beginning with the Frobisher Voyages, followed by the Franklin Search era and Charles Francis Hall’s explorations, ethnological and International Polar Year studies, archaeological and natural history investigations of the 20th century, and the growth and use of the Smithsonian’s anthropological collections.

Dr Peter R. Martin (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)
‘Kalli on the ship’: Inughuit Abduction and Disciplinary Formations


This paper will examine the circumstances surrounding the abduction of Kallihirua, a member of the Inughuit community who was visited by the crew of the Assistance during the 1850–51 expedition in search of the lost ships Erebus and Terror. Unpacking this important moment of encounter, the paper will explore the ways in which this ‘indigenous intermediary’ played a fundamental role in establishing a lasting scholarly debate pertaining to the ‘origins of the Inuit’. As will be discussed, the presence of Kallihirua’s on board the Assistance not only influenced the emergent disciplines of anthropology and geography, but also laid the groundwork for the establishment of Inuit Studies as a particular scholarly discipline.

Dr Brooke Penaloza-Patzak (University of Vienna)
Beringia: Material Crossroads and the Shape of Science

With a focus on the history of Beringia migration studies, this paper introduces new research into how social change, technology and politics inform the ways in which scientists identify and engage with their material evidence, and the impact this has had on the differentiation of knowledge from the 1880s until today. The disciplines, methods and material evidence engaged in this inquiry have changed substantially, but Beringia remains a research nexus of persistent interest and controversy.

Dr Jaanika Vider (University of Oxford)
Materials of Arctic Anthropology: Researching the Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

This paper considers the use of ethnographic collections from the Arctic from the late nineteenth to early twentieth century through the case study of the Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM). During this period of institutionalisation and professionalisation, museum collecting had a central role first in the comparative method and later in justifying and financially enabling anthropological research. From the collections transferred to the PRM from the Ashmolean museum in 1886, to Henry Balfour’s collecting activities in Lapland, to the ethnographic fieldwork by Diamond Jenness and Maria Czaplicka in the Canadian Arctic and Siberia respectively, the collections at the PRM speak of the different strata of anthropological inquiry in the Arctic. This paper will give an overview of and discuss different epistemic provenance and subsequent use of these collections in anthropology as well as consider their role in the shaping of public perceptions of the Arctic.

Ekaterina Morgunova (King’s College London)
‘The art of diplomacy’: political exiles, imperial authorities and indigenous people in Northeast Siberian ethnography

This paper explores the work of Russian exile ethnographers Waldemar Bogoras and Waldemar Jochelson in the Sibiriakov Expedition (1894-1897). Using Bogoras’s little-known field diaries alongside governmental and published sources, it foregrounds the behind-the-scenes of ethnography in the Siberian Arctic. The key focus is on the researchers’ challenging task to build trust with both their indigenous subjects and governmental authorities.

Dr Richard Powell (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)
Fin de siècle method in Arctic anthropology and geography

Arctic anthropology and Arctic geography have had a contested, and at times uncomfortable, history. This has derived from competing institutional practices of canonicity and pedagogy. However, a number of fin de siècle Arctic anthropologists were initially trained as geographers, such as Franz Boas and Kaj Birkett-Smith, and derived many common field practices and methods. This paper examines the reasons for this situation and draws out some of the consequences for the enduring conceptualisation of the northern circumpolar region.

Dr Igor Krupnik (Smithsonian)
“Competing Arctic Pasts”: Closing of the last Arctic anthropological frontier, 1900–1930

The American Arctic anthropological frontier, between Baffin Island and North Alaska was finally closed in 1900–1930, as several teams visited and revealed to the world the presumably last ‘untouched’ Inuit groups of the area. The often rivaling efforts by the Americans (Boas, Comer, Stefansson, Anderson, Leffingwell), the Canadian Arctic (Stefansson, Jenness), the Danish 5th Thule (Rasmussen, Mathiassen, Birket-Smith, Freuchen), and Amundsen’s Northwest Passage expeditions inserted a mixture of distinctive national scholarly traditions and colonial era exploration and politics into this process.

Prof Kirsten Hastrup (University of Copenhagen)
Thule in Anthropology: Time and Terrain in Northwest Greenland

Thule emerged as legend, and when finally placed, thanks to Knud Rasmussen and his Thule trade station (1910), an echo of mystique persisted. It gave name to significant expeditions with lasting influence on Arctic anthropology, and to a prehistoric culture. Meanwhile it remained a lived place for a community of hunters. Fieldwork over more than a decade has ascertained the multiplicity of times with which people live and allows for a reassessment of their terrain.  

Tatyjana Szafonova and Istvan Santha
From searching for Hungarian origins to pan-nationalist ideology of Turanism: Baráthosi’s ethnographic expeditions In Finland, Ural Mountains and Russian Far East in the beginning of 20th century.
 
Balogh Benedek Baráthosi was a profuse publisher, an author of numerous popular books about his own expeditions. He was not a professional academic researcher, but nevertheless his collections of artefacts, folklore texts and photographs are parts of precious ethnographic museums’ funds in Budapest, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. His fieldwork strategy was influenced by ideas of Turanism, an ideological movement that stated that Hungarians, Finns, Saami, Komi, Bashkir, Tatar, Samoyeds, Buryat, Manchu-Tungus, Koreans and Japanese are related culturally, linguistically and ethnically. This movement was then used as an ideological instrument to establish political alliances before and during the WWII, and thus it was banned and ostracized after its end. As a result, Baráthosi’s ethnographic expeditions were not popularised after the WWII, but nevertheless his writings stayed as referential texts for Hungarian researchers, especially Ural-Altaists. In this presentation we are going to discuss his ambiguous legacy.

Prof Grażyna Kubica-Heller (Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University)
"On the Track of the Tungus": Maria Czaplicka and her Siberian Expedition (1914-1915)

The Polish-British anthropologist Maria Czaplicka organised and led the Yenisei Expedition to study the Evenk (Tungus) in North-Central Siberia. Being the author of Aboriginal Siberia: A Study in Social Anthropology she was well prepared for this task. The expedition aimed at collecting ethnographic data, objects and anthropometric measurements. Czaplicka's legacy invites historiographical and theoretical contextualizations and inspires contemporary questions on the intersubjective experience of fieldwork as presented in her various ethnographic texts: academic and popular.

Nikolai Goncharov (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography)
The Specifics of Interaction with the Environment of the Russian Population near the Arctic Ocean (based on Materials from Expedition of D.D. Travin)

The 20s of the last century for Soviet science and, in particular, ethnography are characterized by large-scale complex expeditions, one of which was a complex Yakut expedition (1925-1930). Within its framework, in the Arctic zone, ethnographic activities were carried out by the detachment of Dmitry Travin (1927-1929). He collected more than 800 cultural objects of local peoples, wrote detailed reports on the results of ethnographic work carried out in the Verkhoyansk district, the mouth of the Yana and Indigirka rivers, including in the village of Russian Ustie (objects and reports are stored in the Kunstkamera, St. Petersburg). We plan to devote a report to the materials related to the population of this village. Travin’s materials (mainly objects of labor, trade, and everyday life) reflect the chronological stage between «tradition» culture and forced transformations in Soviet period.

Dr Otso Kortekangas (KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University)
Indigenous avant la lettre.  The origins and livelihoods of the Sámi in European scholarly thought 1930–1960.

This paper studies the prehistory of the concept "indigenous". It shows in what ways early twentieth century Nordic and European anthropologists and other scholars produced the Sámi as precisely indigenous (original inhabitants of the region) before the term itself was widely in use. The scholarly discussions on the origins and the livelihoods of the Sámi included important links to international debates on themes such as ecology, evolution, and the preservation and education of indigenous peoples.

The main scholarly contributions of the project are:
a)    historicizing the scholarly concepts used when describing the Sámi way of life and showing what was and is ahead of indigenous – empirically by studying earlier conceptualizations; historiographically, by detaching it from its current political context and suggesting new uses.
b)    demonstrating that the early and mid-twentieth century scholarly discussion about the Sámi was a much more international issue than earlier Nordic research, limited by methodological nationalism, has been able to show.

Prof Edward H. Huijbens (Cultural Geography Research Group, Wageningen University)
Communicating and enhancing Arctic community values through trans-cultural exchange.

This paper explains the research ambitions of a recently submitted Belmont Forum application about communication and cross-cultural encounters in developing and maintaining resilience in Arctic communities. The research aims to understand how Arctic community values can be enhanced through cross-cultural exchange, and how these values are communicated globally against a backdrop of rapid ecological transformations compounding the limited ability of often already marginalized peoples to adapt to new and looming social and economic realities.

Dr Tanya Argounova-Low (University of Aberdeen)
Hunting Extinct Animals  

This paper will focus on mammoths, species that well and truly belong to history. These most enigmatic animals known to ancient people, became extinct thousands of years ago. However, remains of these animals are often found in the region of Sakha (Yakutia). People collect the remains of mammoths, especially their tusks, and benefit from such extinct animals hunting. The paper investigates how such extinct animals become reified through active interaction with history. 


Location : Royal Anthropological Institute
50 Fitzroy Street
London
W1T 5BT
United Kingdom
http://www.therai.org.uk