Accepted Paper:

The circulation of people and things: anthropology entering and leaving Brazil  

Author:

Carmen Rial (Federal University of Santa Catarina)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores other ways of conducting anthropology that challenge a colonial view of what should be studied in the South and gives particular attention to a movement in an opposite direction: Brazilian scholars who became “Europeanists” or “North Americanists”.

Paper long abstract:

As in other Latin-American countries, anthropology arrived to Brazil by boat, encrusted in the bodies and baggage of scholars who came from Europe and the United States in organized missions in the first half of the twentieth century and who soon became known as “Americanists”. Indeed, as if it was a chessboard, the world was divided by scholars from the North into fieldwork areas to be scrutinized by “Americanists”, “Oceanists” and “Africanists”. A French anthropologist went as far as to develop a correspondence between geographical regions and possible objects of research. In a book issued in 1992, she wrote:

"Each region, in fact, raises specific research questions that are linked to the anthropological tradition that was established there, but also to the cultural or social traits particular to it: shamanism and mythology are studied by the Americanists, while Middle East specialists traditionally address technical problems associated with nomadism. " (Segalen, 1992 - my translation).This paper explores other ways of conducting anthropology that challenge a colonial view of what should be studied in the South and gives particular attention to a movement in an opposite direction: Brazilian scholars who became “Europeanists” or North Americanists.

Panel WIM-AIM01
Anthropological fieldworks: moving from the centre to the periphery [IUAES Commission on Marginalization and Global Apartheid in collaboration with WCAA]