EASA2016: Anthropological legacies and human futures

(P060)
Themes in the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe [Europeanist network]
Location U6-1A
Date and Start Time 21 July, 2016 at 09:00
Sessions 2

Convenors

  • Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) email
  • Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology) email

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Short Abstract

This panel invites papers on a wide range of authors, institutions and national traditions in theory and practice relevant to the history of anthropology, including topics from the fields of museum and visual anthropology. Papers written within a history of science framework are encouraged.

Long Abstract

The history of anthropology is an expanding field in the USA and elsewhere, but still has to be professionalised in Europe. After the EASA conferences in Coimbra (1990), Prague (1992), Oslo (1994) and Barcelona (1996), it lasted until 2014 (Tallinn) before the subject was again taken up as a panel. The 'new history of anthropology' initiated by Henrika Kuklick (2008) was intended as a rigorous history and sociology of science, but the four-field approach does not seem to be valid for developments in Europe prior to 1879. We feel that a comprehensive and inclusive account of the discipline's development is needed to do justice to its diversities and suggest a historicist and paradigmatic approach to the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe. Contributions that reach beyond the more prominent figures in the field, associated with the central and hegemonic schools, and shed light on the relations between anthropology and other fields of knowledge are very welcome. Ways of doing anthropology other than the material and textual can also be taken into account. Contributions to the advancement of anthropological knowledge made by the use of unconventional means such as ethnographic film or photography are worth considering. The panel strives to revive the History of European Anthropology Network (HEAN) as part of the Europeanist Network.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Precedents for the history of ethnography and ethnology in 16th century New Spain

Author: Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)  email

Short Abstract

The paper will examine the ethnographic work carried out by Bernardino de Sahagún and his colleagues among the Náhuatl Indians of Mexico. It will also look at the theological and moral debates triggered by the sighting of the Amerindians, and the ideas put forward by Las Casas.

Long Abstract

Among the Franciscan friars who were sent to Mexico immediately after the fall of Tenochtitlan there were a number of extraordinary individuals: Andrés de Olmos, Francisco de Toral, Toribio de Benavente, Bernardino de Sahagún. In their zeal and dedication to the conversion of the Indians, they learned their languages, wrote the first vocabularies and grammars of Náhuatl and other local languages. Moreover, helped by the offspring of the Aztec elite educated in the colleges they run, they produced detailed ethnographic descriptions of local cultures, wrote the first histories of the peoples and civilizations of the region. They were true pioneers in what today would be labelled ethno-linguistics, ethno-history, ethnography through fieldwork and the use of native informants.

As regards the theological, doctrinal and moral debates conducted back in the metropolis one should take into account leading figures like Francisco de Vitoria, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, and Bartolomé de Las Casas. These debates in many important aspects verge upon modern intellectual reflection and theorizing in ethnology, or indeed socio-cultural anthropology, as the historian Anthony Pagden (1982) points out.

In revisiting such an extraordinary 'ethnographic-ethnological occasion' (Pels and Salemink 1999) in the context of colonial New Spain I will examine the complex interplay between the diverse forces and factors that converge in this particular socio-political and historical field: The Crown, the Church, the Conquistadores, the Missionaries, the Indians. As well as the theologians back in Salamanca and Valladolid, or the officials of the Inquisition brought in the colonies at some point.

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Traces of the past: racism and colonialism in the history of Spanish anthropology

Author: Montserrat Clua Fainé (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)  email

Short Abstract

This paper offers a critical review of the predominant current history of Spanish anthropology, proposing to expand its disciplinary limits to explore the role that Spanish colonialism in Equatorial Guinea and Morocco took into the development of certain museums and the work of some anthropologists.

Long Abstract

The history of anthropology has been usually written privileging some theoretical affiliations and forgetting others through historically situated political interpretations. This is the case not only for hegemonic anthropologies, but also for the peripheral ones, such is the case of Spanish anthropology. This anthropology has a particular idiosyncrasy marked by the break provoked by the Civil War and Franco's dictatorship, for which some authors considered that it is a peripheral anthropology in European anthropology; a South in academic North. The few research that has been made about the History of Spanish anthropology has been limited to the Sociocultural branch of Anthropology and its origins, as a 'serious' discipline, had been dated in the 1970s; placing everything that had been doing previously in an extensive background of 'predecessors'. In this communication, I propose that this blinkered vision of the history of the discipline has been left out other developments (such as Physical anthropology) that have not been recognized as background of Spanish anthropology. I suggest that its recognition may extend the chronology of Spanish history of anthropology. But specially, I want to emphasize that this omission has not allowed a critical examination of the role of racism and colonialism in Spanish anthropology itself. I defend that it is necessary to review the role that Spanish colonialism in Equatorial Guinea and Morocco (promoted by Franco) had in the development of certain museums and in the work of some anthropologists in Spanish Civil postwar.

Medical anthropology and health education in Southern Europe

Authors: Isabella Riccò (Rovira i Virgili University)  email
Josep Comelles (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)  email
Enrique Perdiguero-Gil (Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Alicante)  email

Short Abstract

The paper presents the role of anthropology in the process of development and promotion of Health Education, through the case of the Italian Centro Sperimentale di Educazione Sanitario (Perugia) and its connection with the Spanish context.

Long Abstract

The role of Anthropology in the development of Health Education after the Second World War is unquestionable especially in North America's health programs and mental illness. Its influence in Europe is lesser known. The set up of the Centro Sperimentale di Educazione Sanitaria in 1954, (Perugia, Italy) was a milestone. It established collaborations with similar centres in United Kingdom and Germany, and had a leading role in IUHP Conferences. The Centre had an unexpected influence in Franco's Spain through Adolfo Maíllo, a key figure of the educational policies of the 1950s and 1960s, as the head of the CEDODEP, a technical board which aim was to update Spanish school. It was a paradox, because the Centre's roots were in social-democratic and Marxist ideologies. From 1975 to early 1990s, dozens of Spanish health professionals received training in Perugia. Others received were trained through courses organized in Spain after 1980. This generation of health professionals had a significant influence on policy deployment of health education in some Spanish regions until now. The objective of the paper is to reconstruct the genealogy of this process from a double perspective: history and ethnography. We have used the rich documentation available in the archive of the Centre and interviews with some of key figures in it set, as well as some of their Spanish students. The role of anthropology in this process was very significant to the extent that introduced in Southern Europe an applied and new dimension in European Anthropology.

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Peripheries of influence: international and disciplinary intersections in early 20th century British Anthropology

Author: Jaanika Vider (University of Oxford)  email

Short Abstract

This paper will explore the international networks of influence and support that shaped anthropology during its professionalization in 1910s by examining intersections of Oxford anthropology with Russian, Polish, and American anthropological and geographical traditions in Maria Czaplicka's research.

Long Abstract

In my title I draw from Wilson Wallis's recollections of studying at Oxford in 1910s, where he suggests that it is misleading to think of British Anthropology as a 'breed apart' during that period. He suggests that the 'periphery of influence' was wide and that 'intellectual ferments [were] bounded by neither geography nor politics'. In my paper I want to explore just these 'peripheries' and 'intellectual ferments' by focusing on the research and career of Maria Czaplicka - a Polish-born, Oxford-educated anthropologist.

While there has been some attempt to populate history of British anthropology with foreign 'others' (Hann 2005, Kuklick 2008), the approach has suffered from pre-set division of traditions according to nationalist settings. At the same time, focus on theories and practices of a handful of individuals, has obscured the interchange of ideas and practical counsel that guided the professionalization of the discipline.

As a foreign woman, Czaplicka offers a fascinating, but not unrepresentative example of the first generation of fieldwork anthropologists in the UK. Focusing on the 1914 Siberian Expedition lead by Czaplicka and drawing on scattered archival material in the UK, Russia and the USA, published work, and museum collections, I will explore how the international networks of influence and support that flowed via mentor figures in anthropology, allowed for, and influenced anthropological research. I will further point to the hybridity of the subject as demonstrated by Czaplicka's particular anthropo-geographical approach and association with the Royal Geographical Society.

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Small nations in history of European anthropology

Author: Vida Savoniakaite (Lithuanian Institute of History)  email

Short Abstract

The paper explores Lithuanian traditions in theory of anthropology and ethnology by comparison with cases of the central schools at the first part of the 20th c. and beyond. It focuses on the concepts of nation in history of European anthropology.

Long Abstract

The anthropological studies reveal the dichotomies of ethnic groups in Lithuania similar too many European studies. At the beginning and mid of the 20th c. anthropology was understood mostly as physical anthropology. Later the perception of anthropology, as the history of mankind, was the prevailing attitude in humanities and social sciences. In the pre-Soviet Lithuania epistemological approach of ethnology "to know the nation's culture and state" in some issues have continuity throughout the history of this discipline. Methodologically with epistemological evolutionary and instrumental research one sought to reveal the features of nation. Studies of nationalism had interdisciplinary relations. In the Eastern and Central Europe the boundaries between "anthropology", "ethnology" and "ethnography" are defined differently; the approach that anthropology and ethnology in the history of Lithuania's science had many close-knit points of contact in concepts of nation is receiving more proof. What peculiar issues had these discourses in Lithuania?

The paper seeks to explore how developed the anthropology in Lithuania to compare with the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe. It will focus on, firstly, the concepts of small nations in Lithuanian discourses; secondly, the differences in theory of anthropology between Lithuanian tradition and approaches of the central schools prominent figures as Thomas H. Eriksen, Wolfgang Kaschuba, Henrika Kuklick and others; and, finally, how wars, political and economic crises, the government and nationalism impacted themes and theory of European anthropology at the first part of the 20th c. and beyond.

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Rethinking the anthropological landscape in Turkey: intersecting anthropologies, establishing disciplinary dialogues

Author: Aysen Hande Birkalan Gedik  email

Short Abstract

Departing from the notion of "world anthropologies," I look at the plurality of anthropological landscape of Turkey and examine anthropological and ethnological developments to discuss the social, epistemological and political conditions in the production of anthropological praxis.

Long Abstract

Departing from the notion of "world anthropologies" that refers to the idea of a plurality of anthropologies as they are practiced in different parts of the world, I examine anthropological developments in Turkey, widely located in an "anthropological landscape" that had included sometimes tensions, sometimes dialogues with other "sister" disciplines and "neighboring" traditions such as the European ethnology and "far away" centers such as the Anglo American traditions. Bearing in mind that anthropology in Turkey displays a so-called "peripheral" albeit an eclectic praxis, the presentation will also locate these developments vis a vis the developments in centers, as well as exchanges, and influences among this particular periphery and the centers. As such, the presentation will look at contemporary discourses and debates on the pluralities, disparities, and asymmetries among the anthropologies by using selective examples from Turkey. These include key points such as the studies that preceeds the academic developments, the developments in relation to national history as well as references to the other disciplines, such as sociology, folklore, ethnology and archeology all of which forms an "anthropological landscape." Important in the establishment of anthropology as praxis, I will also talk about main academic institutions that were precursory in the establishment of study of anthropology—showing different theoretical positions, choosing different anthropological units and taking diverse political stances.

Research expeditions and the genesis of ethnography and ethnology

Author: Han F. Vermeulen (Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology)  email

Short Abstract

This paper is about the importance of research expeditions for the formation of ethnography in the Russian Empire of the early 18th century and of ethnology in the Holy Roman Empire of the late 18th century.

Long Abstract

Travel accounts played an important role in the early history of anthropology. They count as primary sources for the development of ethnological theory before Cushing, Boas and Malinowski invented long-term fieldwork. In the Late Enlightenment "itineraria" were studied by philosophers like Rousseau, Voltaire, Ferguson and Meiners to provide data for the presumed development of humankind. Herder cited 80 travelogues in his Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit (1784-91). In the Early Enlightenment, however, such accounts had less esteem. The historian Gerhard Friedrich Müller, who launched a comprehensive research programme for the systematic description of all Siberian peoples in 1733-45, was critical about travelogues. To Müller, Reiseberichten were "incomplete" (unvollständig) and thus of little use for comparative purposes. Müller belonged to a new type of traveller, stepping out during the "Second Age of Discovery." He was a "research traveller" (Forschungsreisender), who had been scholarly educated and was commissioned by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences to participate in a multidisciplinary expedition, with a clear focus and official instructions. Müller was fully briefed and motivated to travel around Siberia for ten years to collect empirical material for the comparison of the Siberian peoples among themselves and with peoples of other regions. He developed research methods in the field and instructed colleagues to describe the peoples they visited in the same detailed way and collect their material culture, which was to be sent to the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg. This combination of factors influenced the genesis of ethnography as a research practice.

Once again about the native anthropology: the case of "Descriptio Moldaviae", by Dimitrie Cantemir (1716)

Author: Gheorghita Geana (Academia Romana)  email

Short Abstract

In 1716, as a work of reception in the Academy of Berlin, Dimitrie Cantemir published "Descriptio Moldaviae" (orig. in Latin). This was a genuine ethnographic monograph for the achievement of which the author was invested just as a native (and ex-voivode) of that country.

Long Abstract

A few decades ago, one of the most epistemologically interesting themes in the anthropological debates was the distinction "we / the others". In those circumstances, some authoritative voices asserted that the specific of the anthropological science consists in the study of "other cultures". Accused for the lack of objective distancing, the so called "native (or at home) anthropology" was placed under the cone of tolerance. In the present paper, a historical counter-example is pointed out in which such a mistrust appears as fallacious. In 1716, as a work of reception in the Academy of Berlin, the Moldavian prince Dimitrie Cantemir published "Descriptio Moldaviae" (orig. in Latin). Before any disciplinary denomination being invented, this writing was a genuine ethnographic monograph for the achievement of which the erudite author was invested by the Berlin Academy just on behalf of his status of native (and ex-voivode) of that country. And, to his praise, Cantemir asserts that he describes in his work not only the good customs, but also the vices of his compatriots. As a matter of fact, by this way he anticipated the phenomenological "epoché".

Intellectual and political contexts of the theory of "etnos" in Russian and Ukrainian ethnography (1880s-1920s)

Author: Sergei Alymov (Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences)  email

Short Abstract

The paper aims to contextualize the term "etnos" in modern Russian ethnography. It was intellectual product of a group of scholars in Saint-Petersburg in 1880s - 1920s.The paper explores ideological context of this thinking and document scholars' involvement in the Ukrainian national movement.

Long Abstract

The concept of ethnos figures in the history of anthropology in Russia and some European traditions as a principal subject matter of anthropology/ethnology and significant alternative to such conceptualizations as culture or society. The paper aims to contextualize the first appearance of the term "etnos" in modern Russian language ethnography in 1908 by N. Mogilianskii. Among these multiple contexts are his critique of evolutionist anthropology, debates about establishment of the department of ethnography at the Saint-Petersburg University.

The idea of "etnos" was an intellectual product of a group of scholars who were active at the Saint-Petersburg University, Russian Anthropological Society and Russian Museum (E. Petri, D. Koropchevskii, F. Volkov, N. Mogilianskii). They were trained in natural sciences, were experts in physical anthropology and geography, did ethnographical and archaeological research. They criticized the idea of race and envisioned "etnos" and "people" as alternative to racial classifications. They naturalized ethnic identities and produced elaborated methods of research that would document biological, cultural, and linguistic traits as manifestations of "ethnos".

The paper also aims to explore an ideological and political context of this thinking. Fedor Volkov, who offered the most impressing example of multidisciplinary description of an ethnos in edition titled "The Ukrainian People in its Past and Present", and his disciple Mogilianskii were active in the Ukrainian national movement and contributed to political and cultural autonomy of the Ukraine. The paper draws on original research in Russian and Ukrainian archives.

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Order out of chaos: political history and anthropological theory of Sergei M. Shirokogoroff (1920-1930s)

Author: Dmitry Arzyutov (University of Aberdeen)  email

Short Abstract

This paper focuses on the political history of the Russian and Chinese anthropologist Sergei Shirokogoroff (1887-1939) and shows how his anti-Soviet political activity in Vladivostok and Beijing and the development of his theories of ethnos and ‘psychomental complex’ were closely intertwined.

Long Abstract

This paper focuses on the political history of the Russian and Chinese anthropologist Sergei M. Shirokogoroff (1887-1939). Relying on correspondence, newspapers, and political pamphlets published in the Russian Far East and China, the author argues that Shirokogoroff's concept of ethnos was closely interlinked with his political activity - non-socialistic movement (R. nesosy) in Vladivostok and Anti-communist Committee in Beijing. A comparative study of his political writings and personal letters from different archives in the UK, the USA, Russia, and other countries opens up the internal life history of his political views and ethnos and 'psychomental complex' theories. In his letters to the Russian ethnographer Shternberg and the Polish linguist Kotwicz he compared his 'participant observation' in Civil War provisional governments in Vladivostok and his work with people from the different corners of the world in China to his learning from Tungus shamans in Zabaikal'e and even his own shaman experience. Simultaneously he taught some ethnographic courses at Far East University in Vladivostok, which according to his notes were the foundation of his book "Etnos" (1923). These political documents and his teaching experience help us to clarify the relations between his pro-monarchist and strongly anti-Soviet ideas and the theories of ethnos and 'psychomental complex', which he developed during his life.

"Three long rows of empty shelves…": Curt Nimuendajú as collector and researcher for the Ethnological Museums of Hamburg, Leipzig and Dresden

Author: Peter Schroder (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)  email

Short Abstract

This paper is about the influences of German ethnology on the academic environment of a pre-institutionalized anthropology in Brazil, exemplified by a current research project about the relations of the Brazilian anthropologist Curt Nimuendajú with German Museums in the 1930ies.

Long Abstract

In 1928/29 and 1930, the Brazilian anthropologist of German origin Curt Nimuendajú (1883-1945) was twice contracted by German ethnological institutions (above all, museums) for organizing ethnographical collections and carrying out anthropological research among indigenous, principally Gê speaking, peoples in various regions of today's Maranhão and Tocantins states in Brazil. This is not only a less-known part of Nimuendajú's biography, but also an example of a kind of academic cooperation difficult to imagine nowadays. The collections arranged, partly destroyed during World War II, are still deposited in the ethnological museums of Hamburg, Leipzig and Dresden along with a great number of letters and other documents linked up with them, but were only published in part. Besides the collection of ethnographic objects, Nimuendajú's field work activities rendered points of departure for several ethnographic texts about Gê speaking peoples, which not only became classics of Americanist ethnology, but also indispensable references for the study of social organization in Lowland South America. This paper is about some results of a current research project regarding Nimuendajú's relations with German Museums in the 1930ies mainly based on unpublished material. It reveals influences of German ethnology on the academic environment of a pre-institutionalized anthropology in Brazil, which later became increasingly independent of foreign, especially German, inputs.

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Indigenous drawings as "cultural fossil guides": an archaeological comparative study on the evolution of the human mind

Author: Diego Ballestero (Universidad Nacional de la Plata)  email

Short Abstract

I examine a study on Argentinean indigenous drawings conducted by the German anthropologist Robert Lehmann-Nitsche in 1906 and his intention to collaborate with German anthropological research aiming to construct a global comparative cartography of the evolution of the human mind

Long Abstract

In the second half of the 19th century, scholars from different disciplines studied non-European people's culture as a means to understand the origin and evolution of Western civilization and postulated the psychic unity of mankind. This approach of cultural universalism and unilineal evolutionism echoed an older model based on the analogy between the growth of the individual and the development of mankind whereby the ontogeny of the individual organism recapitulates the phylogeny of the whole series.

The drawings, regarded as "cultural fossil guides" that embody and indicate the mental shift of an epoch, offered the scholars an empirical and material mean to carry out their research related to comparative psychology, ethnographic parallels and history of art. Consequently, since 1880 mostly German scholars began to collect and compare drawings from European children and non-European peoples for their research aiming to construct a global comparative cartography of the evolution of human mind.

I examine the research conducted by the German anthropologist Robert Lehmann-Nitsche (1872-1938) who, in 1898, collected drawings made by a group of indigenous people from Southern Argentina. Based on this particular case I aim to investigate how instruments and methodological approaches were employed to transform the drawings into study objects of cultural history. Furthermore I examine strategies put into practice to acquire the drawings, the different actors who developed this research in Argentina towards the end of the 19th century as well as the influence of the theoretical frameworks developed in Germany.

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This panel is closed to new paper proposals.