Home    Number 4, 2023

A Critical Paradigm for the Histories of Anthropology: The Generalization of Transportable Knowledge

[Kriticheskaia paradigma dlia istorii antropologii: k kharakteristikam perenosimogo znaniia]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523040073


Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 10.05.2023

Accepted: 10.07.2023

About author(s)

Regna Darnell | Scopus ID 7005404586 | rdarnell@uwo.ca | University of Western Ontario (1151 Richmond St, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada)

Sergei Alymov | http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9988-9556 | alymovs@mail.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32a Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russia)

Dmitry Arzyutov | http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3782-9296 | darzyutov@gmail.com | Ohio State University (400 Hagerty Hall, 1775 College Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA)

Jason M. Gibson | https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8254-587X | jason.gibson@deakin.edu.au | Deakin University (221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia)

Frédéric Keck | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7711-7288 | keck.fred@gmail.com | Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale (52 rue Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris, France)

Igor Kuznetsov | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6947-244X | igorkuznet@gmail.com | Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences (1 bld. 1 Bolshoy Kislovsky Lane, Moscow, 125009, Russia)

Axel Lazzari | Scopus ID 57200287121 | axellazzari@gmail.com | Universidad Nacional de San Martin (1650 San Martín, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Herbert S. Lewis | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5003-2364 | hslewis@wisc.edu | University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI 53706, USA)

Nancy J. Parezo | Scopus ID 56179484300 | parezo@email.arizona.edu | University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ 85721-0076, USA)

Gustavo Lins Ribeiro | https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0753-960X | gustavo.lins.ribeiro@gmail.com | Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (Av. de las Garzas 10, Municipio Lerma de Villada, Estado de México, C.P. 52005, Mexico) | Universidade de Brasília (Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, CEP 70910-900, Brasil)

Nathalie Richard | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9914-9600 | nathalie.richard@univ-lemans.fr | Le Mans Université (TEMOS CNRS UMR 9016, Le Mans Université, Le Mans, France)

Sergei Sokolovskiy | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0112-0739 | sokolovskiserg@gmail.com | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32a Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russia)


history of anthropology, anthropological theory, interdisciplinarity, discourse, knowledge paradigm, plural knowledge


The article presents a discussion focused on Regna Darnell’s concepts of critical paradigm and transportable knowledge in relation to contemporary studies in history of anthropology, put forward in her essay based on the text written for the keynote address at EASA’s History of Anthropology Network and reproduced in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology. Assessing the changing disciplinary scene of humanities and social sciences, Darnell argues that an urgent rethinking of paradigmatic bases underlying the practices of historians of anthropology is necessary. She reviews the legacy of George Stocking, Jr., and the often-discussed opposition between historicism and presentism, as well as the legacy of Boas and his contemporaries, to examine the paths taken and not taken in understanding the historical development of the anthropological knowledge. Darnell’s arguments and suggestions are discussed by an international group of scholars in their contributions including “Presentism and Historicism in the Histories of Anthropology in Russia and North America” by Sergei Alymov, “After the History of Anthropology” by Dmitry Arzyutov, “On the Critical Paradigm for the History of Anthropology” by Jason M. Gibson, “Doing History of Anthropology in a Post-Colonial and International World” by Frédéric Keck, “Boas and Stocking in Russian Anthropology (on ‘Sacred Cows’)” by Igor Kuznetsov, “The Struggle for Recognition and Parahistory” by Axel Lazzari, “On the Margins of Darnell’s ‘Critical Paradigm’” by Herbert S. Lewis, “Paradigmatic Basics, or What Do We Mean by Paradigm?” by Nancy J. Parezo, “Writing Transnational Histories of Anthropologies” by Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, “History(-ies) of Anthropology: Some Remarks on Reflexivity” by Nathalie Richard, and “Distance as an Issue in the Discipline’s History Research” by Sergei Sokolovskiy.

Funding Information

Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 22-18-00241] (recipients S.S. Alymov, I.V. Kuznetsov)
Eudaimonia Institute (recipient D.V. Arzyutov)
European Union [project H2020-MSCARISE-2020 – 101007579 SciCoMove] ("Scientific Collections on the Move: Provincial Museums, Archives, and Collecting Practices (1800–1950)"; recipient Nathalie Richard).
The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Nathalie Richard and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.


Darnell, R., S.S. Alymov, D.V. Arzyutov, J.M. Gibson, F. Keck, I.V. Kuznetsov, A. Lazzari, H.S. Lewis, N.J. Parezo, G.L. Ribeiro, N. Richard, and S.V. Sokolovskiy. 2023. Kriticheskaia paradigma dlia istorii antropologii: k kharakteristikam perenosimogo znaniia [A Critical Paradigm for the Histories of Anthropology: The Generalization of Transportable Knowledge]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 108–182. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523040073 EDN: HJIMNK

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