Accepted Paper:

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

Author:

Montserrat Clua Fainé (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper 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.

Paper 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.

Panel P060
Themes in the history of anthropology and ethnology in Europe [Europeanist network]