Gazing at the Puerto Rican Anthropological Landscape: The “Natives” Look Far and Wide

Before the Second World War, most anthropological research in Puerto Rico was led by US anthropologists. The most famous project, The People of Puerto Rico, was directed by American anthropologist Julian Steward and launched the career of renowned scholars such as Sidney Mintz and Eric Wolf. Gazing at the Puerto Rican Anthropological Landscape aims to show the development of the anthropological field in Puerto Rico post-WWII by Puerto Rican anthropologists, the so-called native anthropologists.

This book purposely avoids making Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans a problem to study but instead focuses on a wide variety of epistemological and methodological questions related to the study of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans by native anthropologists within local, regional, and global spheres. We posit that the Puerto Rican anthropological landscape transcends the confines of the island of Puerto Rico to encompass its connection and engagement with the world, and it is not limited to the inhabitants of the island of Puerto Rico but embraces members of its diaspora, as well as other groups and ethnicities. On that note, this book seeks to reflect critically on how the field of anthropology (research and teaching) in Puerto Rico has evolved post-WWII to the current debates of the 21st century.