Anthropology of History (NAoH) Events

2022-2024 Bi-monthly zoom paper-bag meetings with informal presentations on work-in-progress (all levels), publications, and research plans, time/date tbc.

Upcoming events

Friday 26 January - Online roundtable
15.00-17.00 GMT/16.00-18.00 CET

The Politics of Scale: Perspectives from and on Anthropology of History

Pamela Ballinger (University of Michigan), Dominique Santos (Rhodes University), Georgeta Stoica and Marta Gentilucci (CUFR Mayotte) and Alice Elliot (Goldsmiths)

Please register for the zoom link here.

How do we scale history in anthropology? What are the political-ideological implications and effects of how we scale historical dimensions in our ethnographic practice? How is anthropological work perceived by wider publics in terms of its political-ideological orientation and legitimacy through its accounts of history?
As the kick-off event of the NAoH Lecture Series this online Roundtable foregrounds scaling in anthropology of history not only as a basic epistemological-methodological concern. It also explores how temporal scaling unfolds through zooming into particular topics and processes (biographies, imperial legacies, rituals, environmental changes, heritage, changing migration patterns etc.) and in this way produces accounts of history, which carry and/or can be infused by particular political-ideological claims and implications.
This Roundtable invites scholars to reflect on their temporal scaling as an active epistemological-political practice by engaging with questions such as for example:

  • Does a focus on biography, potentially relativize exclusionary ideologies by showing how those emerge and transform in the course of a lifetime?
  • Can and how a focus on imperial/ and (de)colonial legacy and heritage enable us to go beyond essentializing implications of „continuities“, which figure prominently in contemporary conservative-populist discourses about „culture“, war and sovereignty?
  • Does and how a focus on histories of mobile populations and border regions „de-sedentarize“ historical imaginaries often grounding anti-migrant politics?
  • What are the temporal scalar dimensions of environment and what implications does this have on reconstructing histories (beyond the focus on the preemption of cataclysmic futures)?

The Roundtable will unfold in a dialogical, research-experiential, and collaborative manner. Four scholars are invited to open up the space of exchange by sharing research experiences and ethnographic examples on how and why they scale history in particular ways; what this opens up and limits; and which potential pitfalls emerge. Colleagues from the audience will be invited to join in the conversation based on their research experiences and raise wider questions related to present-day political and economic contexts of how anthropologists produce particular knowledges on history.

Past events

Friday 8 December

Informal online meeting

Network member Malte Gembus will share some research thoughts.
Yetu - Nanik - Satajtoj: Young People and their engagement with Past, Present and Future in the Guatemalan diaspora.

Thursday 30 November

Book launch and Roundtable conversation (online) Weaving Europe, Crafting the Museum

Magdalena Buchczyk (Magdalena Buchczyk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) in conversation with Aimee Joyce (St Andrews) and Magdalena Zych (Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum, Kraków)

Friday 13 October
15.00-16.30 BST

Sultan Doughan (Goldsmiths) shares her research: 'What's secularism got to do with it? On history as a political resource of the present'.

Informal presentation (10-15 minutes) with plenty time for questions and discussions, as well as catching up and sharing network news and plans.

Friday 26 May 2023
16.00-18.00 BST

Online Book Launch. Monumental Names

Friday May 19 2023
15.00 GMT/London

Informal meeting

Our regular informal meetings offer space to be sociable, as well as discuss ideas about future plans and network projects.

The speakers will be the network founders, Giovanna Parmigiani (Harvard Divinity School) and Helen Cornish (Goldsmiths) - who will share some aspects of their research on magic, witchcraft, histories and historicities.

Thursday 11 May
15.00-17.30 BST

NAoH workshop. What makes history more public than anthropology?

In What Makes History More Public than Anthropology? NAoH, the EASA Network for an Anthropology of History explores intersections between an anthropology of history, public anthropologies and public histories.
This first of three workshops (2023-2024) asks

  • What might it mean to consider an anthropology of history in the public domain? Is this an engaged or applied model?
  • Public histories often favour narratological approaches to the past, does an anthropological approach to public history challenge theoretical conventions?
  • Do anthropological theories and ethnographic methods undermine public histories? Or do these offer insights when navigating difficult or contested accounts?
    Organised by Helen Cornish (Goldsmiths) & Giovanna Parmigiani (Harvard) NAoH Convenors

Contributors (abstracts available through link)

  • Carol Balthazar (UCL)
  • Dominic Bryan (Queens University Belfast)
  • Julia Binter (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)
  • Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic (Glasgow)
  • Elaine McIlwraith (Western University, Canada)

Friday March 24 2023
15.00 GMT/London

Informal meeting

This informal meeting will give us time to discuss any thoughts or ideas about future plans and network projects.
Also, Dom Bryan (Queens University, Belfast) will share some thoughts about his research.

Friday 27 January 2023
15.00 GMT
Informal meeting with speakers on zoom (invite by NAoH Mailing List)

  • Katarzyna Puzon (Institue for Advanced Studies global dis:connect, Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich): 'Sound Archives and Their Entangled Legacies'
  • Nina ter Laan (University of Cologne, University of Siegen): 'Re-membering the Rif through Sound and Song: (Post)-colonial pasts and musical practices among Riffians between Morocco and The Netherlands'