in Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226983417
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226983462 | DOI:

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Anthropology emerged in Germany as a modernist critique of traditional academic humanism in a moment of transformation marked by the rise of imperialism, mass culture, and natural science. Throughout much of the nineteenth century, humanism had been a hegemonic discourse in Germany, shaping both scholarly knowledge and political identity. However, the end of the nineteenth century saw profound challenges to the primacy of the university as a location for producing scientific knowledge, textual interpretation as a method for creating knowledge, and the European self as an object of knowledge. Anthropology was both a product and a producer of this shift in the human sciences in Germany. The most important determinant of this shift was the intensification of imperialism in the last third of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: imperialism; German anthropology; academic humanism; natural science; political identity; scientific knowledge

Chapter.  3866 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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