Indigenous Visions Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas Ned Blackhawk, Isaiah Lorado Wilner

The Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity
Publication date:
24 Apr 2018
Yale University Press
416 pages: 235 x 156 x 27mm
28 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A compelling study that charts the influence of Indigenous thinkers on Franz Boas, the founder of modern anthropology

In 1911, the publication of Franz Boas’s The Mind of Primitive Man challenged widely held claims about race and intelligence that justified violence and inequality. Now, a group of leading scholars examines how this groundbreaking work hinged on relationships with a global circle of Indigenous thinkers who used Boasian anthropology as a medium for their ideas. Contributors also examine how Boasian thought intersected with the work of major modernist figures, demonstrating how ideas of diversity and identity sprang from colonization and empire.

Ned Blackhawk is professor of history and American studies at Yale University and author of Violence over the Land. Isaiah Lorado Wilner is postdoctoral fellow in the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

Winner of the 2019 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize for an Edition, Anthology, or Essay Collection

"With fresh perspectives, this superb collection delves deep into Boas’s mind and method and sheds new light on the influence of his relationship with Indigenous peoples on his world-shaping ideas."— Taiaiake Alfred, University of Victoria

"Stunning. A revelatory and transformative volume for our understanding of what Boas became, thanks to the instruction of his indigenous compatriots and what anthropology might aspire to. No ethnographer should be allowed out the door without having taken its lessons to heart." —James C. Scott, Yale University

"This landmark collection offers a pioneering model for all intellectual historians, showing native peoples to be “agents of their own forms of globalization” who shaped some of our most distinctive commitments."— Samuel Moyn, coeditor of Global Intellectual History

Winner of the 2019 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize for an Edition, Anthology, or Essay Collection