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Race, Anthropology and (De)coloniality [History of Anthropology Network] 
Diego Ballestero (Universität Bonn)
Erik Petschelies (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
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Adam Kuper (London School of Economics)
Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 02/025
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel address trajectories of the concept of race, its role in the processes of coloniality, its use to legitimize power relations/oppression and the importance of its historicization and deconstruction in the current processes of decolonization of anthropological practices

Long Abstract:

The concept of race became an issue for the sciences of man in the late 18th century. The works of naturalists such as the French Geoges Buffon (1707-1788) and the German Johann Blumenbach (1752-1840) promoted this concept in order to conceptualize differences as stable and transmissible elements from generation to generation. This led to a field of theorization that by the 19th century, and especially from the interpretations of Darwin's theories, turned the concept of race into an epistemological/ontological a priori from which to organize, interpret and describe all differences -social, economic, cultural, class or sex- within a framework of biological determinism.

Although the concept of race was used in various contexts and forms, it was in nineteenth-century anthropology, and in its intertwined relationship with European colonial enterprises, that the concept became a taxonomic device that established a hierarchical organization of human diversity and the Western individual defined himself on the basis of comparison and contrast.

Taking this aspect into account, the contributions of this panel address, but are not limited to: the trajectories, singularities, continuities and divergences of the concept of race in the history of anthropology, its use in the legitimization of power relations/oppression of the colonial/modern world system and the construction of identity imaginaries, its role as an articulating axis of the processes of coloniality, its articulation with other forms of universal hierarchization and finally the importance of its historicization and deconstruction in the current processes of decolonization of anthropological practices, provenance research and restitution processes.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -