About this Project

2013 – 2014

Current trends in postcolonial studies, indigenous archaeology, archaeological ethnography, and in the anthropology/history border-zone, indicate the emergence of an as-yet unarticulated new research orientation: the anthropology of history. This project, conceived in collaboration with Charles Stewart (University College London) engaged faculty and visitors in Anthropology, History, Philosophy, and Divinity to synthesize and theorize the comparative ethnographic and historical study of the diverse means by which people gain knowledge of the past. These are matters of concern not only for numerous social science and humanities disciplines, but also for society more generally as the West begins to reflect upon the circumscribed operating sphere of its putatively universal truths and the concrete policy, legal, and cultural implications of acknowledging both non-Western historicizing practices and Western ways of relating to the past that do not conform to the standards or concerns of disciplinary history.

Relevant Publications

Palmié, Stephan and Charles Stewart, eds., The Varieties of Historical Experience (London: Routledge), 2019. This book, which includes proceedings of the "Varieties of Historical Experience" symposium at the Neubauer Collegium (April 2014), is the first volume of a series on "The Anthropology of History" jointly edited by Palmié and Stewart. 

Palmié, Stephan and Charles Stewart, “Introduction: The Varieties of Historical Experience,” in The Varieties of Historical Experience (London: Routledge), 2019.

Palmié, Stephan, "Historicist Knowledge and its Conditions of Impossibility," in Diana do Espirito Santo and Ruy Llera Blanes (eds.), The Social Life of Spirits (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 2014

Palmié, Stephan, "The Trouble with History," Small Axe Vol. 17, no. 3 (2013)

Palmié, Stephan and Charles Stewart, "The Anthropology of History" (special section), HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory Vol. 6, no. 1 (2016)

Stewart, Charles, "Historicity and Anthropology," Annual Review of Anthropology Vol. 45 (2016)

Stewart, Charles, "Uncanny History: Temporal Topology in the Post-Ottoman World," Social Analysis Vol. 61, no. 1 (2017)




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