List European Association of Social Anthropologists do MNiSW
12 stycznia 2019 | Agata Stanisz
Dr Jarosław Gowin
Minister of Science and Higher Education ul. Hoża 20
Dear Minister, Dr. Gowin,
EASA c/o The Royal Anthropological Institute 50 Fitzroy Street London W1T 5BT United Kingdom http://www.easaonline.org
As President and Vice-President of EASA, the European Association of Social Anthropologists, we are following the academic situation in Poland with great interest and some concern. It has recently come to our attention that a proposed reform may simplify the list of accredited disciplines, leading to a merger of Anthropology and Ethnology with other disciplines under the umbrella heading of ‘Cultural and Religious Studies’. Although such mergers may sometimes be necessary and defensible, it is our strong conviction that this is not the case here.
Cultural anthropology and Ethnology have a strong presence in Poland, and Polish scholars in the field have played a major part in establishing and shaping the field internationally for more than a century. Bronislaw Malinowski, born in Krakow and trained at the Jagellionian University before moving to England and the London School of Economics, is widely regarded as a founder of modern social anthropology. In the contemporary world, Prof. Michal Buchowski at the Adam Michewiecz University served as President of EASA from 2009 to 2010, while Assoc. Prof. Hana Cervinkova at the University of Lower Silesia was Vice-President of EASA from 2015 to 2016.
Uniquely in the world, Anthropology studies human diversity unprejudiced and comparatively, with a truly global scope. It is a recognised academic discipline in major international organisations and NGOs, research councils and at universities worldwide. The proposed reclassification of a number of loosely related disciplines under the heading of ‘Cultural and Religious Studies’ does not fit with recognised classifications elsewhere, and EASA suggests that the decision be reconsidered. Ethnology and Anthropology are trademark academic disciplines, like physics or biology, and need to retain their identity for their research to blossom, be visible nationally and internationally, and to compete successully for attention, influence, research funding and academic importance.
Thank you for you attention. Yours sincerely,
Professor Valeria Siniscalchi, EHESS, Marseille, President, EASA
Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo, Vice-President, EASA
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