EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

(P048)
'Peripheral' anthropologies of Europe. Their histories and intellectual genealogies [Europeanist network]
Location Horsal 9 (D9)
Date and Start Time 16 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Sessions 2

Convenors

  • Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) email
  • Lorena Anton (University of Bucharest) email
  • Susana Viegas (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon) email

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Short abstract

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.

Long abstract

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.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Contributions to Anthropos-logos from the Renaissance: accounts about the peoples and cultures of the Indies written by Spanish authors

Authors: Andrés Barrera-González (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) email
Fermin del Pino-Diaz (Consejo Superior de Investig-cientif.) email
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Short abstract

The paper proposes revisiting the large body of chronicles, memorials, grammars, natural and moral histories written by Spanish authors after the 'discovery' of the Indies; with the aim to take account of works and authors indeed relevant to the history of a science of anthropology

Long abstract

The arrival of Colon to the shores of La Hispaniola sent intellectual and political shockwaves back to Europe. Academics and public figures from all walks of life were forced to adjust their worldviews, theological and scientific principles to the realities told and written about by the returning sailors and clerics. Passionate debates unfolded in the academic and clerical circles in the most important cities.

People like the Franciscans Andrés de Olmos, Toribio de Benavente, Bernardino de Sahagún wrote the first grammars of these languages, and the first 'histories' of the Indians. They were true pioneers in what today would be labeled ethno-linguistics, ethno-history or ethnography. As regards the theological and doctrinal debates conducted in the metropolis, we ought to take into account leading figures like Francisco de Vitoria, Bartolomé Las Casas or José de Acosta.

In revisiting such extraordinary people and works, produced in the context of colonial Mexico or Peru, we ought to consider the complex interplay between the diverse forces and factors that converge in this particular socio-political and historical field: The Crown, the Church, the Conquistadores, the Missionaries, the Indians. But our intention is not just to add some notes on the margins of a conventional history of anthropology, built by accumulating biographies of prominent authors, and lists of their contributions. The reappraisal of these authors and works is to be carried out in the broader context of the history and philosophy of science.

The Formation of Ethnographic Knowledge in Spain and its (Post-) Colonies within the 'Cuadros de Costumbres' during the 19th Century

Author: Florian Grafl (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) email
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Short abstract

This paper analyses social sketches ('cuadros de costumbres') in Spain and its former south-American and Caribbean colonies in the 19th century. It argues that these short but essential descriptions of daily life established an early tradition concerning the ethnographic knowledge production.

Long abstract

In the course of the early decades of the 19th century, social sketches became a widespread form of sociographic journalism, mainly in the (central-) European countries but also, with a certain deferment, in other parts of the world as well. Their popularization was favored by the increasing liberalization of censorship as well as new developments in print and diffusion, which enabled the production of periodicals on a large scale and lead to the consolidation of reading groups of a considerable size. As hybrids between social research on the one hand and entertainment on the other, social sketches for a start obtained a very popular position in French and English periodicals. Later, especially in Spain and its (former) colonies the so-called "cuadros de costumbres" turned into a far-reaching tradition of describing social types and cultural routines in order to met the increased needs for analysing urban, economic, and political developments of the modern industrial societies.

The aim of this paper, deriving from research undertaken within a history of science framework, is to investigate how this form of early journalism constituted a significant agent for future scientific knowledge production and in which ways it can be seen as a result of the preoccupations of contemporary ethnologists and sociologists. By focusing not only on the 'cuadros de costumbres' which originated from Spain, but also on samples which were published later in (former) Spanish colonies, the paper moreover highlights the transnational and global dimensions of this early form of ethnographic self-examination.

From the Empire with Love: Andreas David Mordtmann, Traveling Theory, and the Tale of Turkish Ethnology

Author: Hande A. Birkalan-Gedik (Goethe Universität, Institut für Kulturanthropologie und Europäische Ethnologie) email
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Short abstract

Before anthropology was professionalized in 1925 in Turkey, several travelers shared pre-anthropological accounts. I focus on Andreas Mordtmann (1811-1879), a Protestant-German Orientalist and a cultural broker and his impact on ethnology, ethnography and anthropology in the 19th century-Turkey.

Long abstract

Today, many anthropologists agree that Anthropology is the offspring of travel of some forms—perhaps also what Edward Said calls, of "traveling theory" (1982). My paper considers the life and works of Andreas David Mordtmann (Father) (1811-1879)—an Orientalist "traveling" to Istanbul with his "theory," who left an imprint on the pre-anthropological accounts of the Ottoman-Turkish ethnology, ethnography, and anthropology. As a German Orientalist, he not only traveled through Anatolia and published several of his travel notes, but also taught statistics, ethnology, and ethnography at the Mülkiye Mektebi (School of Political Science) in Istanbul. He was a prolific character in Oriental Studies, as he also took roles as a "cultural broker," to borrow the term for Ulf Hannerz (1992). He was a diplomat, judge, journalist, a Protestant missionary, and a teacher. He lived almost 35 years in Istanbul and died there, even obtaining a citizenship of the Ottoman Empire. He left many writings: legation reports, scientific and journalistic works, and personal letters. He was a contemporary witness to the late nineteenth century Ottoman cultural and political life. By participating in it, what he did was not too far from what anthropologists today describe as "participant observation." As a cultural translator for both sides—he produced knowledge about "the Orient" for his readers in Germany and carried his ethnological and ethnographic understandings to an Ottoman-Turkish audience in the 19th century.

Prince Peter and the Attempt to Establish a National School of Anthropology in Greece

Authors: Michael Harkin (University of Wyoming) email
Elly-Maria Papamichael email
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Short abstract

Prince Peter, member of the Greek royal family, and ardent anti-fascist, received the Ph.D. from the LSE. He attempted to establish anthropology in Greece as a means of ensuring a democratic, multi-cultural society. Although unsuccessful, he pointed the way for future Greek anthropologists.

Long abstract

Prince Peter of Greece was among the first generation of Greek anthropologists. Peter studied at the LSE under Malinowski and Firth, receiving the PhD in 1959 after two decades of study. Peter, an ardent anti-fascist, fought the Nazis as a soldier in the Greek army. His anti-fascist beliefs were intertwined with his practice of anthropology. He believed that anthropology provided the basis for a modern, liberal, democratic society. To that end he delivered a series of lectures in Greece in the early 1960s on "the science of anthropology." In these lectures, Peter sets out both an agenda for a Greek school of anthropology and a vision of Greece as a multi-cultural democratic society, only a few years before the junta would show the world a much different face. In fact, among the first actions of the junta would be to ransack the Greek Institute for Social Science, which contained a substantial archive.

Although unsuccessful in permanently establishing anthropology in Greece, Peter nonetheless planted the seed for what would develop into a national school of anthropology, strongly influenced by Anglo-Saxon anthropology. It is questionable whether this development itself led to the guarantee of liberal democracy that Peter had envisioned; however, the idea of free inquiry into social and cultural matters was opposed to the fascist concept of the state as an extended authoritarian family. In the end, Peter is a tragic figure, but one who argued strenuously for the centrality of anthropology to liberal society

Scholars in the Armchair, Knowledge on the Move: Agents and Contexts of the Appearance of Global Ethnography/Anthropology in Hungary, 1760-1830

Author: Ildiko Kristof (Institute of Ethnology Hungarian Academy of Sciences Research Centre for the Humanities) email
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Short abstract

The paper examines the appearance of anthropological knowledge in the Kingdom of Hungary between 1760-1830. Focusing on its agents and media, it intends to throw light on the particular cultural/political contexts in which it was embedded in that 'peripheral' region of the Austrian Empire.

Long abstract

The paper examines the period 1760-1830 during which global ethnography and anthropology emerged in Western Europe as well as in East-Central-Europe, including the Kingdom of Hungary. The history of the latter tradition is less known and has not become part of mainstream histories of anthropology.

The author bases the analysis on her exploration carried out in archives and libraries in Budapest: the Library of Loránd Eötvös University, being a successor of the library of a Jesuit academy founded in 1635 in Nagyszombat/Trnava (today's Slovakia); the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1826 as a learned society; and the National Széchényi Library, containing an abundant collection of rare books from private and community holdings.

Between 1760 and 1830, three important agents seem to work on global anthropology including ethnography in Hungary: Jesuit missionaries educated in Nagyszombat/Trnava, Lutheran scholars in Pozsony/Bratislava, and preachers serving the Reformed church of Hungary. Apart from the work of the missionaries, and considering that the Austrian Empire did not have any overseas colonies, global anthropology appeared there not only as the result of translation, but also as a product of local appropriation.

Focusing on the media (books of geography and natural history, engraved images in them) and the agents (pastors, missionaries, surgeons) of the distribution of anthropological knowledge in late Enlightenment - early Romanticism Hungary, the author analyses the local cultural and political contexts in which this knowledge was embedded.

The Peripheral Centre: Dispersed Tradition of the German Enlightenment and Non-Colonialist Travelogues

Author: Lazar Jovanović (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster) email
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Short abstract

In this paper I discuss the peripheral status of the short-lived tradition of the German Enlightenment and assert that this intellectual current represents the tradition of its own which echoed in the latter development of the German anthropological tradition.

Long abstract

The fact that the European colonial expansion gave rise to anthropology is an old truism within the research of the disciplinary history. Nonetheless, in my paper I want to draw attention to an ephemeral tradition of non-colonial explorers' accounts which originated within the intellectual current of the German Enlightenment, a short-lived tradition established within what was to become both political and territorial centre of Europe. Following the consensually adopted line of the disciplinary developmental path, German anthropological tradition is recognized as one of the four major ones, often perceived as the provenance of the Romantic movement and as such as a pair of dichotomy based on the oppositional relation to the tradition established within the framework of the French Enlightenment. The main goal of the paper is to underscore a distinctive form of the German Enlightenment and, in those lines, indicate the significant role of the omitted tradition, its distinctiveness and marginalized position both in the accounts of the disciplinary history as well as on the intellectual scene at the time. In the paper, I assert the peripheral status of the German Enlightenment, as the pre-Romantic intellectual current which preceded recognition and thus centralization of the German anthropological tradition. Therefore, I define it as a tradition of its own which profoundly influenced the course of the wider framework recognized as one of the centres of conceivement of anthropological thought.

Anthropology of decadence at the margins of hellenism: Elias Petropoulos and the Greek underground

Author: Christos Panagiotopoulos (Cornell University) email
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Short abstract

Documenting the marginal, the decadent, the underground, was Elias Petropoulos' anthropological response to an official history that erased, disregarded and delegitimized these realms from modern Greek history and identity. He developed an anthropology of decadence, at the margins of hellenism.

Long abstract

Elias Petropoulos is a modern Greek author, who raised the practice of laography - a modern Greek version of folklore studies - into a politically subversive art. His training took place in prisons, brothels and underground venues, and for his groundbreaking work he spent most of his adult life in exile in Paris. He lived among people of the margins - 'the rebetes, criminals, fags and whores' of 20th century Greece - and brought their linguistic codes, moral compasses and political incorrectness to the spotlight. He documented life among underground musicians, the rebetes of the 1930s and 1940s (Petropoulos, 1968), wrote the dictionary for the now nearly-extinct gay slang dialect of Greece (Petropoulos, 1971), and surveyed the country in search of lost, hidden, and marginal folklore practices, including coffee culture (Petropoulos, 1979) and vestimentary loans from the Balkans (Petropoulos, 1987), while outlining the forced hellenisation of these culturally fluid practices though nationalization, or their silencing and extinction. This inadvertently challenged the crypto-colonialist (Herzfeld, 2002), bourgeois cleansing of modern Greek identity, cultivated through the exclusion of the margins in the academy, and by the formalized national identity Greece cultivated since the 19th century. One Greece was constructed, while another one was discarded. Commemorating his work, this paper showcases how the peripheral underground, of a peripheral academy can be central to our contemporary anthropological practices: an anthropology of the discarded, an anthropology of decadence, an anthropology of hypo-cultures flourishing at the periphery.

Self-educated ethnologist: Jan Witort (1853-1903), 'an ethnographer from Lithuania'

Author: Auksuole Cepaitiene (Lithuanian Institute of History) email
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Short abstract

The paper will discuss the Jan Witort's case of becoming an ethnologist, and the ways in which ideas travel across political boundaries, and make an impact on intellectual contexts. It will give attention to the specificity of the epoch, the region and personal lived experience.

Long abstract

In the second half of the nineteenth century when anthropology in the West was establishing its paradigmatic route Lithuania was a part of Russian Empire with forbidden Latin alphabet, without university, and with its social elite being of Polish culture and identity. Folkloristic, ethnological and anthropological approaches, discovered during the previous era of Vilnius University, were developed by Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Lithuanian Literary Society in Prussia, and Polish Ethnological Society.

Jan Witort, 'an ethnographer from Lithuania' who was greatly influenced by cultural evolutionism, was a member of Polish Ethnological Society. He got acquainted with ethnography, and social theory during his deportations to the north of Russia, and later to Siberia where he was sentenced for his revolutionary activity. In deportations, he had a chance to read the works of Herbert Spencer, Edward Burnett Tylor, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant and the others, which stimulated his engagement into social critique, and studies of customary law, family, community and social organization.

The paper will discuss the Jan Witort's case of becoming an ethnologist, and the ways in which ideas travel across political boundaries, and make an impact on intellectual contexts. It will give attention to the specificity of the epoch, the region and personal lived experience.

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The Study of the People in the People's Democracies

Author: Joseph Grim Feinberg (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences) email
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Short abstract

I look at the tradition of ethnology and folklore studies in the Communist-led countries of Eastern Europe. I argue that instead of rejecting the tradition's Communist legacy, we should seriously investigate the contributions it made to the region's history of cultural-political thought.

Long abstract

In this presentation I look at the tradition of ethnology and folklore studies in the Communist-led countries of Central and Eastern Europe. With an emphasis on Czechoslovakia, but with reference to research elsewhere that influenced and was influenced by Czechoslovak discussions, I draw out the theoretical and political stakes of this extensive body of work. I argue that these stakes have been obscured by two opposing tendencies that have dominated Western and post-Communist approaches to Communist-era ethnology and folklore studies. On the one hand, much research has focused on how ethnology and folklore studies lent support to ruling regimes; this focus has presented the political stakes of the tradition in a limited, negative sense as an instrument of domination. Other research, meanwhile, has come to the defense of Communist-era ethnology and folklore studies by removing them from their political context and pointing to an apolitical, scientific core that can be rescued from Communist politics. I argue that we might instead take seriously the Communist intellectual context and examine the role of ethnology and folklore studies in the region's history of leftist cultural-political thought. From this perspective we can see, in particular, that ethnology and folklore studies were able to address a theoretical question that the socialist movement had raised, but which classical Marxism did not have the tools to answer: how to conceptualize and analyze the conditions of possibility of collective, communal, popular creativity in the context of a modern, industrialized, socialist society.

Writing own culture and "the other's" culture in "the heart of Europe"

Author: Jurij Fikfak (Research Center -Slovenian Academy of Sciences) email
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Short abstract

The paper explores the writing of the own and the other's culture in the "heart of the Middle Europe" (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Trieste, Klagenfurt, Graz) in 19th century. Issues are the institutionalization and professionalization; the reception of Herder, Humboldt, etc; different approaches.

Long abstract

In the paper, I will explore how the view of the other's culture from the anthropological or ethnological view developed in the 19th century in the "heart of the Middle Europe" (Ljubljana, Zagreb, Trieste, Klagenfurt, Graz). In this context, the paper looks at the following questions: the institutionalization of ethnological or anthropological activity / schools, universities, associations of experts as well as the place for publications, like journals, newspapers; the creation of media and public discourses; the relationship between popular, professional and partly scientific production; the first development of professionalism; the reception and discursive use of important authors, for example, Herder, Humboldt, etc; approaches that enabled discourses on their own culture and "the other's" culture, e.g. a phylological or geographical statistical. It is important to investigate (anational) cosmopolitanism and more and more important nationalization processes and to check whether the relationship between them was then an integral part of discourses or whether these dilemmas were the result of later interpretations.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.