This panel invites looking at ways of doing anthropology not within the mainstream, at 'peripheral' traditions in the discipline which are often overlooked. Like Renaissance endeavors such as the Spanish and Portuguese 'missionary anthropologies' or minor ethnologies from the peripheries of Europe.
Anthropology is the offspring of travel, trade and geographical discovery. An outcome of the manifold encounters with Others, be it in the context of imperial expansion and colonial settlement, or in the framework of nation building in the European metropolises where the discipline was born. Anthropology's acceptance into governmental and academic institutions bears close relation to its perceived usefulness as a tool for government and statecraft; or as a means to reach practical ends like the conversion or nationalization of subjects. Notwithstanding its fertility in explaining and understanding the Other in its diverse customs, beliefs and ways of life. Therefore, in order to make sense of this beleaguered discipline, it is imperative to account for the particular historical, social and political contexts where it has taken root and flourished.
This time we propose to have a look at ways of doing anthropology not within the mainstream, 'peripheral' (meaning non-central) and 'little' traditions in the discipline other than the acknowledged four major ones (Barth et al 2005). We suggest paying attention to overlooked Renaissance anthropologies, such as the Spanish and Portuguese speaking 'missionary anthropologies' from the 16th and 17th centuries. As well as to schools of ethnology, ethnography and folklore studies from the territorial and political peripheries of Europe, namely during the 19th and 20th centuries, which are less known and may have being poorly understood.