The Race in Culture: 20th-Century Ethnology and Empire in Comparative Perspective
Friday-Saturday, May 1-2, 2009
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43201
Alice L. Conklin, Department of History
Dorothy Noyes, Department of English
To attend this conference, please respond to Elo-Hanna Seljamaa. Please specify if you would like lunch on Friday, Saturday, or both.
Keywords of the modern period, "race" and "culture" have persisted as concepts shaping both institutional and vernacular practice. The imperialist context in which scientific representations of human difference emerged has been intensively studied.
The Race in Culture: 20th-Century Ethnology and Empire in Comparative Perspective examines the persistence of such representations in post-imperial states and international institutions. We compare the 20th century trajectories of three states torn among nationalist, imperialist, and universalist aspirations: France, the United States, and China.
The conference will have two principal foci. First we examine ethnological museums, their original importance as knowledge institutions, and their contested roles today as vehicles for promoting cultural diversity. Second, we consider how, in the wake of the Holocaust and the breakup of European empires after the Second World War, earlier concepts were reconfigured rather than erased.
An overall shift from "race" to "culture" as the internationally legitimate framing of human difference can conveniently be dated to the 1950 UNESCO Declaration on Race. Nonetheless, continuities as well as ruptures can be traced in many realms of policy and administration.
Michelle Brattain, Georgia State
Christian Bromberger, University of Provence
Alice L. Conklin, The Ohio State University
Kirk Denton, The Ohio State University
Katherine Palmer Kaup, Furman University
Rohit Negi, The Ohio State University
Dorothy Noyes, The Ohio State University
Nancy Parezo, University of Arizona
Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts
Paul Silverstein, Reed College
Tracy Teslow, University of Cincinnati
Ohio State historians, folklorists, anthropologists, and international relations scholars will serve as discussants.
(links open as pdf documents in a separate browser)
Friday, May 1, 2009
Part 1: Museums: Representing Difference
8:30-9 a.m. – Coffee
9 a.m. – Welcome
Alice L. Conklin, Dorothy Noyes, and Richard Herrmann
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. – From Physical to Cultural Anthropology?
Tracy Teslow, History, University of Cincinnati: "Race: Bodies and Cultures in Pre-WWII American Anthropology"
Alice L. Conklin, History, The Ohio State University: "From Race to Culture? The Musée de l'Homme and the UNESCO 1950 Race Statement"
Sigrid Schmalzer, History, University of Massachusetts: "'Our Ancestor, Peking Man' and the Legacy of 'All the World Is One Human Family' in China, 1949-2009"
10:45-11 a.m. – Coffee Break
11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Comment and Discussion
David Horn, Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University
Douglas Crews, Anthropology, The Ohio State University
12:15-2 p.m. – Lunch at Mershon
2–3:15 p.m. – The Effervescence of Culture: New Museums
Kirk Denton, East Asian Languages and Literature, The Ohio State University: "'Ethnic Minorities' and 'Aborigines': Museums and the Construction of 'Ethnic' Identities in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan"
Christian Bromberger, Ethnology, Université de Provence: "From 'Race' to 'Beauty' via 'Culture': Museographic Trajectories in French Ethnology"
Nancy J. Parezo, Anthropology, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona: "Asserting Sovereignty and Cultural Autonomy: The Museum of the American Indian and Tribal Museums in the United States"
3:15-3:45 p.m. – Coffee Break
3:45-5 p.m. – Comment and Discussion
Jason Baird Jackson, Folklore Institute, Indiana University-Bloomington; editor, Museum Anthropology
Steven Conn, History, The Ohio State University
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Part 2: Policy: Administering Difference
Please note: Travel to the Mershon Center on Saturday morning may be affected by street closings for the Capital City Half-Marathon. A map of the race can be found here. Please plan travel accordingly.
9-9:30 a.m. -- Coffee
9:30-10:45 a.m. -- Categories and Control in Contemporary Multi-Ethnic States
Paul Silverstein, Anthropology, Reed College: "The Politics of Race in the Southern Moroccan Oases: Colonial Elaborations and Postcolonial Developments"
Rohit Negi, Geography, The Ohio State University: "Development, Ethnicity, and the (Post)colonial Logic of Citizenship in Zambia"
Katherine Palmer Kaup, Political Science, Furman University: "From Wei Baqun to Rebiya Kadeer: Representing Minorities in the PRC"
10:45–11:00 a.m. -- Coffee Break
11-12 p.m. -- Comment and Discussion
Kwaku Korang, African and African-American Studies, The Ohio State University
12–1 p.m. -- Lunch at Mershon
1-2 p.m. -- International Reconstruction of Race and Culture since World War II: The United States, United Nations, and UNESCO
Michelle Brattain, History, Georgia State: "Blood, Genes, and History: The Modern Construction of Race"
Dorothy Noyes, Folklore, The Ohio State University, "Culture as Cover: Imperial Self-Expression in the Neoliberal Moment"
2-3 p.m. -- Comment and Discussion
Kevin Boyle, History, The Ohio State University
Leo Coleman, Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University
Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Colleges of Arts and Humanities, Center for Folklore Studies, and the Departments of History, Comparative Studies, and Anthropology.
Alice L. Conklin
Associate Professor of History
The Ohio State University
Professor of English
The Ohio State University