Han F. Vermeulen

Research Interests

  • History and Theory of Anthropology
  • Anthropology, Ethnography and Ethnology in Europe, Asia and America
  • Edited volumes on the history of anthropology and ethnology.

Research Area(s)

Europe, Northern Asia, Northern America


Han F. Vermeulen is an anthropologist with a long-standing interest in the history and theory of anthropology. Currently based at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), he was a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. Trained as a cultural anthropologist at Leiden (The Netherlands), he conducted fieldwork in North Africa (Tunisia). Specializing in the history of the anthropological and ethnological sciences from the eighteenth century on, he carried out library and archival research in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Russia.

Having convened seminars and workshops on the history of anthropology in Germany (Munich, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Mainz, Marburg), the Czech Republic (Prague), the Netherlands (Leiden, Amsterdam, Utrecht),  Italy (Milan), and Sweden (Stockholm), he has published numerous articles and 10 books.

His latest book is Before Boas: The Genesis of Ethnography and Ethnology in the German Enlightenment (UNP, 2015), was released as a paperback in 2018. He is interested in the history of anthropology, ethnology, and ethnography in all eight continents from the eighteenth century on. His current research focuses on the relations between anthropology, ethnology, and ethnography in Europe and the USA, with special emphasis on the ethnological and anthropological work of Franz Boas before emigrating to the USA.

He coordinates the History of Anthropology Network (HOAN) within EASA, with Frederico Delgado Rosa (Lisbon, Portugal), and (until October 2019) the History of Anthropology Working Group within the German Anthropological Association (DGSKA), with Uwe Wolfradt (Halle/Saale).

Go to Editor View