13 February 2017

Anthropology Timeline

The Anthropology Timeline is a massive undertaking to chart the history of the discipline of anthropology. The timeline is an interactive site that charts anthropology's history along two arcs -- "publications (books, articles, etc.) and institutions (everything that isn't a publication)" -- through individual anthropologists.

According to Alex Golub, who hosts the project, it "grew organically over time. It is meant to be part of a larger research project on the history of anthropology in the UK, USA, and France from 1927 to 2027." All events are colour-coded: red - America, Canada; blue - France; yellow - UK, Australia, New Zealand; purple - Europe; Orange - Africa; Green - Latin America; light green - Asia. You can read more about the timeline's organization here.

A project like this certainly has to begin with decisions about how to organize the material it notes. The geographic/ national organization might be a useful starting place for a discussion about our discipline itself: Why are certain national histories (and languages) privileged over others? What are the effects of methodological nationalism on the discipline of anthropology?