Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century | Wilson Center

Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century

A collective biography of anthropologist Franz Boas and his circle of students including Margaret Mead and Zora Neale Hurston, Gods of the Upper Air tells the story of the rethinking of race, sex, and gender in the early twentieth century. Ranging from the South Pacific to the United States in an age of anti-immigrant sentiment and social division, it follows radical thinkers as they unearthed an essential fact buried by centuries of prejudice: that humanity is an undivided whole. “Elegant and kaleidoscopic . . . This looks to be the perfect moment for King’s resolutely humane book.” New York Times

Charles King is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Gods of the Upper Air, Midnight at the Pera Palace, Odessa, and other books at the intersection of narrative history and the social sciences. A former Wilson Center fellow and National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar, he is Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and chair of the Department of Government.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest and the George Washington University History Department for their support.

Speakers

Moderator

  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Eric Arnesen

    Fellow
    Professor of History, The George Washington University

Speakers

  • Charles King

    Professor of International Affairs and Government, Georgetown University, and former Title VIII-Supported Short-Term Research Scholar, Kennan Institute