Antenor Firmin: The Equality of the Human Races and the Foundation of Critical Anthropology

full name / name of organization: 
Gershom Williams/Obadele Williams (guest editors), The Journal of Pan African Studies

The Journal of Pan African Studies ( welcome papers for a March 2013 special edition on the scholarship of Antenor Firmin (1850-1911), with a particular focus on his recently translated 1885 book, The Equality of the Human Races.

The intent of this exercise is to highlight the importance of the life and work of Firmin, and therefore place him within the early struggle to intellectually defeat 'scientific' racism as he challenged racist writings and sympathetic popular views about race and color in the world during his era. Therefore we seek papers that pose and answer questions, such as: (1) how and why The Equality of the Human Races is positioned as a foundational text in critical anthropology when anthropology was just emerging as a specialized field of study, (2) how and why the book and the author was marginalized for suggesting that the human 'races' are equal, (3) what ingredients placed Firmin's research decades ahead of its time, and last, (4) why The Equality of the Human Races is an important contribution to contemporary scholarship in anthropology, Ancient Egyptian Studies, Haitian/Caribbean Studies, Africana Studies, Pan African Studies, and colonial/postcolonial studies.

The selection criteria will involve: relevance to theme, clarity of paper, intellectual significance, and originality. Participants must send an abstract by October 26, 2012, and a final paper by January 15, 2012 (the paper and abstract must include the contributor's name, affiliation, paper title, and e-mail address).