Current Anthropology Special Issue: The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations

The latest issue of the Wenner-Gren Symposium Series has mailed together with the Current Anthropology April Issue. This is our fifth supplementary issue and the series has been a phenomenal success. The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations. Is edited by Susan Lindee and Ricardo Ventura Santos and as with other Symposium Supplements is now available through the CA website as an Open Access Issue. This issue, which is available completely open-access, is the result of the International Symposia held in Teresopolis, Brazil in 2010.


The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks

 Current Anthropology Volume 53, Supplement 5, April 2012

Edited by Susan Lindee and Ricardo Ventura Santos

Karl Ernst von Baer, "Principal types of different human races in the five parts of the world", St. Petersburg 1862

This Current Anthropology Supplementary Issue developed from a Wenner-Gren Symposium held in Teresópolis, Brazil, in 2010, and explored the past, present and future of biological anthropology. The papers in this issue aim to understand from a comparative international perspective the contexts of genesis and development of physical/ biological anthropology around the world. While biological anthropology today can encompass paleoanthropology, primatology, and skeletal biology, the symposium focused on the field’s engagement with living human populations. Bringing together scholars in history of science, science studies, and anthropology, the participants examined the discipline’s past in different contexts, but also reflected on its contemporary and future conditions. Papers in this issue explore national histories, collections, and scientific field practice with the goal of developing a broader understanding of the discipline’s history. The work tracks a global, uneven transition from a typological and essentialist physical anthropology, predominating until the first decades of the twentieth century, to a biological anthropology informed by post-synthesis evolutionism and the rise of molecular biology, a shift which was labeled “new physical anthropology”. The papers thus place biological anthropology in a broad historical context, and suggest how the histories documented can inform its future.

Table of Contents:

Leslie C. Aiello  The Biological Anthropology of Living Human Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks: Wenner-Gren Symposium Supplement



Susan Lindee and Ricardo Ventura Santos The Biological Anthropology of Living Human

Populations: World Histories, National Styles, and International Networks: An Introduction to Supplement 5


Anthropology and National Identity

Ricardo Ventura Santos Guardian Angel on a Nation’s Path: Contexts and Trajectories of Physical Anthropology in Brazil in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Goncalo SantosThe Birth of Physical Anthropology in Late Imperial Portugal

Jon Røyne Kyllingstad Norwegian Physical Anthropology and the Idea of a Nordic Master Race

Morris Low Physical Anthropology in Japan: The Ainu and the Search for the Origins of the Japanese


The View from the Centers: Germany, France, United States

Veronika Lipphardt Isolates and Crosses in Human Population Genetics; or, A Contextualization of German Race Science

Emmanuelle Sibeud A Useless Colonial Science? Practicing Anthropology in the French Colonial Empire, circa 1880–1960

Warwick Anderson Racial Hybridity, Physical Anthropology, and Human Biology in the Colonial Laboratories of the United States

Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis Humanizing Evolution: Anthropology, the Evolutionary Synthesis, and the Prehistory of Biological Anthropology,1927–1962

Michael A. Little Human Population Biology in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Clark Spencer Larsen and Leslie Lea Williams Internationalizing Physical Anthropology: A View of the Study of Living Human Variation from the Pages of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology


A Global Form of Reason 

Alan G. Morris Biological Anthropology at the Southern Tip of Africa: Carrying European Baggage in an African Context

Jonathan Marks The Origins of Anthropological Genetics

Perrin Selcer Beyond the Cephalic Index: Negotiating Politics to Produce UNESCO’s Scientific Statements on Race

Gı´sli Pa´lsson Decode Me! Anthropology and Personal Genomics


Collecting and Contested Ownership

Rachel J. Watkins Biohistorical Narratives of Racial Difference in the American Negro: Notes toward a Nuanced History of American Physical Anthropology

Ann M. Kakaliouras An Anthropology of Repatriation: Contemporary Physical Anthropological and Native American Ontologies of Practice

Trudy R. Turner Ethical Issues in Human Population Biology

Jenny Reardon and Kim TallBear “Your DNA Is Our History”: Genomics, Anthropology,

and the Construction of Whiteness as Property


New Powers: Biological Anthropology and the Persistence of History

Jean-Franc¸ois Ve´ran Old Bones, New Powers

Joanna Radin and Noel Cameron Studying Mandela’s Children: Human Biology in Post-

Apartheid South Africa: An Interview with Noel Cameron


Once again, all the articles are available on the Current Anthropology Website as open access.