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The life and writings of Dr. Aleš Hrdlička (1869–1939)

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Article
In 1918, the first issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology was prepared and distributed by Aleš Hrdlička, the Curator of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution. This was a singular act, both in the general and specific sense. It was the first journal of physical anthropology published in the United States, and it was a sole effort by Hrdlička, who was committed to promoting and recognizing physical anthropology as a new science in America. On this 100th anniversary of the founding of the journal, Hrdlička's efforts were successful: physical/biological anthropology is a strong and timely discipline that represents a major area of scientific research today.
Article
Forensic anthropology represents a dynamic and rapidly evolving complex discipline within anthropology and forensic science. Academic roots extend back to early European anatomists but development coalesced in the Americas through high-profile court testimony, assemblage of documented collections and focused research. Formation of the anthropology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in 1972, the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1977/1978 and other organizational advances provided important stimuli for progress. While early pioneers concentrated on analysis of skeletonized human remains, applications today have expanded to include complex methods of search and recovery, the biomechanics of trauma interpretation, isotopic analysis related to diet and region of origin, age estimation of the living and issues related to humanitarian and human rights investigations.
Article
This article examines the lives of artefacts collected by physical anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička during his expeditions to Peru. In 1910 and 1913, Hrdlička travelled to the Andean nation to gather materials that could shed light on the peopling of the Americas, health and disease in pre-Columbian societies, and the purported racial ‘types' of the region. The study focuses on cultural artefacts the scientist acquired, beginning with these materials’ collection as specimens meant to reveal the racial prehistory of the Andes, and continuing with their classification, display, and exchange as museum objects at the Smithsonian Institution. My analysis of Hrdlička's Peruvian collection draws attention not only to how scientific representations of Peru and the Andes have shifted over time, but also to the way in which a focus on museum objects can elucidate changing notions about the cultural agency of prehistoric populations and their present-day descendants.
Article
In this paper we present an overview of an increasingly global community of physical (biological) anthropologists as it pertains to the study of living human variation (human biology) and as it is represented in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (AJPA), focusing especially on the period of 2001–2007, when Clark Spencer Larsen served as editor in chief. The journal was founded by Aleš Hrdlička in order to provide professional identity of physical (biological) anthropology as practiced in the United States. By the mid-twentieth century, the journal editorship under T. Dale Stewart called for greater presence of international research collaboration and publication in AJPA. By 1960, international collaboration and non-U.S. authorship began to have significant presence in the journal, a pattern that has continued to the present. As in the pre-2000 period, although non-U.S. contributions cover all major topics in human biology, they tend to focus on population genetics and population history. For the period of 2001–2007, there is an increased presence of multinational collaborative research and non-U.S. authorship, a trend that will likely increase. The recent rise in non-U.S. submissions and authorship is due in large part to increased international collaboration and electronic access to the submission process.
Article
ABSTRACT Physical anthropologist Aleš Hrdlička is often remembered as an institutional and political opponent of Franz Boas and as an advocate of racial typology against which the Boasian antiracialist position in American anthropology developed. I argue that Hrdlička nonetheless also has more subtle lessons to offer about the political limits of Boasian antiracism. Examining Hrdlička's engagement with the politics of Europe and East Asia from the 1920s to the 1940s, particularly with the intellectual grounding of Japanese imperialism, I suggest that he was perhaps uniquely cognizant of a “second problem of race in the world”—the racist assimilationism of the Japanese empire—vis-à-vis the Boasian grasp of race, rooted in a response to U.S. and Nazi racisms, as a category of invidious difference. Moreover, I contend that the lacuna that Hrdlička helps us identify has continued to haunt the discipline at certain key moments of Boasian critique of other ideological forces.
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