Authors: Michael Reibel*, California State University
Topics: History of Geography, Cultural Ecology, Cultural Geography
Keywords: History of Geography, Intellectual History, Culture, Environment
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
The history of relations between anthropology and geography are quite different and apparently much closer in the USA than they have been in Commonwealth countries. My department is far from the only joint department of geography and anthropology in the US; there are at least a dozen. Historically, this tradition of collaboration owes much to the affinity between cultural geographer Carl Sauer at Berkeley and the iconoclastic cultural anthropologist Franz Boas. While not a formal cultural relativist, Sauer was influenced by Boas to reject environmental determinism and insist that cultures be evaluated on their own terms. In turn, Sauer’s notion of cultural landscapes and his work on agricultural diffusion have influenced generations of U.S. anthropologists. On the administrative side, combining these programs in a single department makes sense for a number of reasons as well.