Colloquium: "Boas Talks"

Nov 18, 2021 to Nov 21, 2021

For the speakers: Room 209 and Klaus-Murmann-Lecture Hall, Leibnizstraße 1, Kiel University, Germany.

For the audience: All the sessions will be opened for the public to join virtually via zoom (see zoom-link below the programme), only the keynote lecture will be held with personal attendance of the audience on the basis of the 3G rule.


Scientific colloquium commemorating the 140th anniversary of Franz Boas‘ doctorate at Kiel University

140 years after Franz Boas‘ doctorate, we renew Kiel‘s early connection to this outstanding scholar with a scientific colloquium. Drawing on his later seminal works, we will discuss developing trends, recent advancements, and enrich points of contact between the archaeological and anthropological frameworks. In keeping with Boas‘ advocacy of close collaboration between archaeology, cultural, and social anthropology, the colloquium will bridge viewpoints from fields such as prehistory and early history, historical and contemporary archaeology, ethnography, social and cultural anthropology, and philosophical reflection.



18 NOVEMBER 2021
15:00 “Boas Walks – Tracking Franz Boas through Kiel” (student initiative) / meeting point is bus stop "Hospitalstraße" at 15:00 h

19 NOVEMBER 2021
9:00 Introduction

Boas and Germany
Session Chair: Jens Schneeweiß (Kiel, Germany)

9:30 Susan Pollock (Berlin, Germany) and Reinhard Bernbeck (Berlin, Germany) 
Franz Boas: Between Anti-Racism and Reification
10:00 Hans Peter Hahn (Frankfurt, Germany)
The Mixed Fate of Franz Boas’ Cultural Relativism. Notes on the Itinerary of a German-American Concept

10:30 Coffee Break

At the Crossroads of Anthropology and Archaeology
Session Chair: Maria Wunderlich (Kiel, Germany)

11:00 Charlotte Damm (Tromsö, Norway)
Between the Unique and the General: The Contribution of Historical and Anthropological Archaeology to the Wider Field of Anthropology
11:30 Andrei Golovnev (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Anthropology of Movement on the Crossroads of Ethnography and Archaeology
12:00 Alexander Gramsch (Frankfurt, Germany)
Death and the Human Body: Finding a Common Ground for Archaeology and Anthropology

12:30 Lunch

14:00 Stefanie Samida (Heidelberg, Germany / Zürich, Switzerland)
Teaching Anthropology: Remarks from a German Perspective
14:30 Martin Furholt (Oslo, Norway / Kiel, Germany)
Narratives, Concepts and Data: The Relevance of Franz Boas for European Archaeology

15:00 Coffee Break

“Boas for the 21st Century“: Case Studies
Session Chair: Nils Müller-Scheeßel (Kiel, Germany)

15:30 Christian Jeunesse (Strasbourg, France)
The Cohabitation of Rich Villages and Poor Villages in Egalitarian and Acephalous Agrarian Societies. How to Understand This Paradox? The Case of Faunal Assemblages in the LBK
16:00 Colin Grier (Pullman, USA)
Boas for the 21st Century: In Pursuit of Context and History in Northwest Coast Archaeology

20 NOVEMBER 2021
09:30 Engdawok Assefa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and Johannes Müller (Kiel, Germany)
Forging Networks and Identities in Non-literature Societies: Southwest Ethiopian Konso Smiths
10:00 Francesca Lugli (Rome, Italy)
Steppe Nomads Strategies Facing Climate Changes and Variability – Ethnoarchaeological Observation

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 Vasa Ditamulü (Kohima, India)
Understanding Naga Pottery Use & Meaning: A Case Study of the Phoms of Nagaland
11:30 Tiatoshi Jamir (Kohima, India)
Decolonising Archaeological Practice in Northeast India: Views from Community Archaeology Initiatives in Nagaland

12:00 Lunch

From Cultural Relativism to Post-Colonial Imperative
Session Chair: Vesa Arponen (Kiel, Germany)

13:30 Bill Angelbeck (New Westminster, Canada)
Boas Refracted through His Local Collaborators (James Teit, George Hunt, and William Beynon): Implications for Contemporary Interpretation, Collaboration, and Decolonisation
14:00 Peter Jordan (Groningen, Netherlands)
From Cultural Traits to Inherited Social Traditions: “Re-activating” the Anthropological Legacy of Franz Boas
14:30 Martin Porr (Perth, Australia)
Nature, Culture, Human Nature: Reflections on Franz Boas’ “Anthropology and Modern Life”

15:00 Discussion and Resume

15:30 Coffee Break

Keynote lecture
Chair: Henny Piezonka
18:00 Tracy Teslow (Cincinnati, USA) 
A Historian Contends with Hagiography: Perceptions of Franz Boas and His Relevance Today

21 NOVEMBER 2021
Departure of participants


Download: Abstracts link and Programme link

Find more information on "Boas Walks" (18 November)

For more information please visit the colloquium’s webpage

You can join a ZOOM webinar by clicking the following link
Kenncode: 106724

Organizers (all members of the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS)

/ Henny Piezonka
Division of Anthropological Archaeology /
Ethnoarchaeology Kiel University
Johanna-Mestorf-Strasse 2-6, 24118 Kiel

/ Vesa Arponen
/ Nils Müller-Scheeßel
/ Jens Schneeweiß
/ Maria Wunderlich

Coordination and contact

/ Anastasia Khramtsova
Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University
Leibnizstrasse 3, 24118 Kiel

Add to your iCal calendar



Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions