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Accepted Paper:

Georg Forster on Race from Vilnius, 1785–1787: Transformations and (De)coloniality  
Vida Savoniakaite (Lithuanian Institute of History)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses the trajectories, singularities, continuities and divergences of the concept of race in the history of anthropology in German, France, and Lithuania as the legitimization of power relations of the imperial world system and the construction of identity imaginaries.

Paper long abstract:

The paper discusses the trajectories, singularities, continuities and divergences of the concept of race in the history of anthropology in German, France, and Lithuania. The concept of race became an issue for the sciences of man in Lithuania on the late 18th century. In 1785–1787 at Vilnius university Georg Forster (1754–1794) gave anthropology and ethnography courses together with the course of “historiae naturalis”. Forster wrote on concept of race. He discussed the issues of race with Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) in the letters for Johann Gottried Herder (1744–1803). Forster declared the poligenist evoliutionist approach to the race. The debate on race later was used by sensualists and positivists as a framework of biological determinism. The concept of race as singular and continues was differently understood and involved in anthropological study of Lithuanian writer Povilas Višinskis (1875–1906) and Latvian ethnographer Eduards Volters (1856–1941) who studied Lithuanians. My analysis will focus on Georg’s Forster’s, Eduards’ Volters’, and Povilas’ Višinskis’ use of discourses of race in the legitimization of power relations of the imperial world system and the construction of identity imaginaries.

Panel P155a
Race, Anthropology and (De)coloniality [History of Anthropology Network]
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -