The University of Wisconsin Press

Anthropology / History of Anthropology

Observers Observed
Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork
Edited by George W. Stocking Jr.

History of Anthropology Series (VOLUME ONE)
Richard Handler, Series Editor

"This first volume focuses on ethnographic fieldwork, a keystone of cultural anthropology that is at once a unique means of collecting data (participant observation is often spoken of as an 'anthropological' method) and a crucial rite of passage that transforms novices into professionals. . . . The collection as a whole is of high quality, presenting valuable information and provocative analyses. For an anthropologist, the essays by historians offer fresh perspectives that differentiate this book from others on fieldwork. If this volume is a augury of things to come, HOA [the History of Anthropology series] promises to be a significant contribution to anthropological and historical literature."
American Scientist

History of Anthropology is a series of annual volumes, each of which treats an important theme in the history of anthropological inquiry. For this initial volume, the editors have chosen to focus on the modern cultural anthropology: intensive fieldwork by "participant observation." Observers Observed includes essays by a distinguished group of historians and anthropologists covering major episodes in the history of ethnographic fieldwork in the American, British, and French traditions since 1880. As the first work to investigate the development of modern fieldwork in a serious historical way, this collection will be of great interest and value to anthropologist, historians of science and the social sciences, and the general readers interested in the way in which modern anthropologists have perceived and described the cultures of "others."

George W. Stocking, Jr.George W. Stocking Jr. is the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and the Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books, including Victorian Anthropology, After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888–1951, and The Ethnographer's Magic, and was the founder and long-time editor of the History of Anthropology series published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He has been awarded the Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service by the American Anthropological Association. His most recent book with the University of Wisconsin Press is Delimiting Anthropology: Occasional Inquiries and Reflections.


History of Anthropology: Whence/Whither

"The Value of a Person Lies in His Herzensbildung": Franz Boas' Baffin Island Letter-Diary, 1883–1884
Douglas Cole

Ethnographic Charisma and Scientific Routine: Cushing and Fewkes in the American Southwest, 1879–1893
Curtis Hinsley

The Ethnographer's Magic: Fieldwork in British Anthropology from Tylor to Malinowski
George W. Stocking, Jr.

Power and Dialogue in Ethnography: Marcel Griaule's Initiation
James Clifford

Learning about Culture: Reconstruction, Participation, Administration, 1934–1954
Homer G. Barnett

Following Deacon: The Problem of Ethnographic Reanalysis, 1926–1981
Joan Larcom

"Facts Are a Word of God": An Essay Review
Paul Rabinow

Miscellaneous Studies

The Dainty and the Hungry Man: Literature and Anthropology in the Work of Edward Sapir
Richard Handler

Information for Contributors


Other volumes in the History of Anthropology series

Volume 2, Functionalism Historicized: Essays on British Social Anthropology

Volume 3, Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Culture

Volume 4, Malinowski, Rivers, Benedict and Others: Essays on Culture and Personality

Volume 5, Bones, Bodies, Behavior: Essays on Biological Anthropology

Volume 6, Romantic Motives: Essays on Anthropological Sensibility

Volume 7, Colonial Situations: Essays on the Contextualization of Ethnographic Knowledge

Volume 8, Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the German Anthropological Tradition

Volume 9, Excluded Ancestors, Inventible Traditions: Essays Toward a More Inclusive History of Anthropology
Edited by Richard Handler

Volume 10, Significant Others: Interpersonal and Professional Commitments in Anthropology
Edited by Richard Handler

To schedule an interview with the author or to request a review copy of the book, contact our publicity manager, phone: (608) 263-0734, email:

January 1983

LC: 83-47771 GN
256 pp.   6 x 9
12 illus., maps

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Included in this volume are the contributions of:

Homer G. Barnett
University of Oregon

James Clifford
University of California, Santa Cruz

Douglas Cole
Simon Frazer University

Richard Handler
Lake Forest College

Curtis Hinsley
Colgate University

Joan Larcom
Mount Holyoke College

Paul Rabinow
University of California, Berkeley

George W. Stocking
University of Chigago

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Updated August 22, 2012

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