The new biological anthropology: Bringing Washburn's new physical anthropology into 2010 and beyond—The 2008 AAPA luncheon lecture


  • Agustin Fuentes

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
    • Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, 648 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
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Nearly 60 years ago, Sherwood Washburn issued a call for a “New Physical Anthropology,” a transition from measurement and classification toward a focus on the processes and mechanisms of evolutionary change. He advocated multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the understanding of human behavior, biology, and history. Many interpret this as a call for a practice that is both biological and anthropological. Is this what we do? Are we biological anthropologists yet? In this essay, I explore what we, Physical Anthropologists, as a discipline are doing in the context of a New Physical Anthropology, where we might be headed, and why this discussion is crucial to our relevance. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 53:2–12, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.