Cultural anthropology in France continues to bear the influence of a colonial-era distinction between “modern” societies with a high degree of social differentiation (and marked by rapid social change) and ostensibly socially homogeneous and change-resistant “traditional” ones. The history of key institutions (museums and research institutes) bears witness to this, as does recent scholarship centered on “the contemporary” that reworks earlier models and concepts and applies them to a world increasingly marked by transnational circulation and globalization. Anthropology at the Crossroads describes the evolution of a national tradition of scholarship, changes to its institutional status, and the models, concepts, and critical perspectives of anthropologists currently revisiting and reworking the foundations of the discipline in France.
Mark Ingram is Professor of French at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. His research has addressed the politics of the arts and heritage in France, with special attention to theatre and its role as medium for expressions of the French republican tradition. Recent research has examined contested deployments of Mediterranean and European heritage in Marseille, and the use of collaborative digital map-making in teaching. He is the author of Rites of the Republic: Citizens’ Theatre and the Politics of Culture in Southern France (2011). Most of his scholarship has been published in journals devoted to cultural anthropology or French Studies.