Author:Vida Savoniakaite (Lithuanian Institute of History)
Paper 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.
Paper 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.
Themes in the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe [Europeanist network]