Nomenclature Wars: Ethnologists and Anthropologists Seeking to Be Scientists, 1840–1910
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Amer Indian Studies
Keywordshistory of anthropology
systems of nomenclature
anthropology as science
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherUNIV CHICAGO PRESS
CitationDon D. Fowler and Nancy J. Parezo, "Nomenclature Wars: Ethnologists and Anthropologists Seeking to Be Scientists, 1840–1910," Journal of Anthropological Research 74, no. 3 (Fall 2018): 388-411. https://doi.org/10.1086/698699
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AbstractScholarly disciplines are ever-changing and continuously debated constellations of intellectual heritage and contemporary issues. This article discusses debates over anthropological nomenclature, anthropometric indices, and museum exhibit design in the development of European and American anthropology from its ethnological beginnings in the 1840s through nineteenth-century evolutionism to the establishment of the Boasian historical particularist approach after 1904. It also outlines the impacts of those debates and disagreements on the subsequent development of the "four-field approach" in American-university-based anthropology programs. The transitions from ethnology to evolutionism to particularism can be followed through arguments over nomenclature, anthropometrics, and the content and design of museum exhibits, as nascent anthropologists defined and redefined their subfield(s) of study and attempted to become part of the burgeoning Science Establishment of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Europe and North America. The arguments and their (sometimes) resolutions laid the foundations for twentieth-century university-based anthropology programs and ethnographic and archaeological exhibits in anthropology and natural history museums. The article is, thus, a contribution to the developmental history of anthropology in Europe and North America.
Note12 month embargo; published online: 30 July 2018
VersionFinal published version