Download Anthropology at War: World War I and the Science of Race in by Andrew D. Evans PDF

By Andrew D. Evans

Among 1914 and 1918, German anthropologists performed their paintings in the middle of full-scale battle. The self-discipline was once really new in German academia whilst global warfare I broke out, and, as Andrew D. Evans unearths during this illuminating booklet, its improvement used to be profoundly altered by way of the clash. because the conflict formed the institutional, ideological, and actual setting for anthropological paintings, the self-discipline became its again on its liberal roots and have become a nationalist exercise basically desirous about clinical reports of race.

Combining highbrow and cultural background with the heritage of technological know-how, Anthropology at warfare examines either the origins and results of this shift. Evans locates its roots within the choice to permit scientists entry to prisoner-of-war camps, which triggered them to concentration their learn on racial reports of the captives. stuck up in wartime nationalism, a brand new iteration of anthropologists started to painting the country’s political enemies as racially various. After the battle ended, the significance put on racial conceptions and different types endured, paving the way in which for the politicization of medical inquiry within the years of the ascendancy of nationwide Socialism.


"Evans not just bargains an evidence for the foremost transition within the historical past of German anthropology, he additionally offers the main entire historical past of the self-discipline to be had up to now. Even past this notable scholarly paintings, Evans has made a true conceptual contribution to the historical past of technology, correcting the dominant view of the relation among technology and politics." - Matti Bunzl, college of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"

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Additional info for Anthropology at War: World War I and the Science of Race in Germany

Sample text

German scientists even created ties with anthropologists in France. 58 Anthropological societies were also designed to promote anthropology as a field of study in Germany and, most importantly, to lobby private and public support for the discipline. In most cases, they were less than successful in securing state funding for anthropological endeavors and primarily relied on private money instead. The case of the Berlin society is instructive. Institutionalizing the “Most Recent Science” / 35 Beginning in the early 1870s, it received a small annual subsidy from the Prussian Cultural Ministry to support publications.

Thus, only seven of the German members in the Berlin society could claim anthropology as their primary profession, and all of these were connected with the Museum für Völkerkunde in Berlin. In 1890, not a single German member of the Berlin society could list physical anthropology as his primary profession. This low level of professionalization was the result of the circumstances under which the anthropological disciplines had been founded. Most of the major figures in German physical 38 / Chapter One anthropology at the founding of the local anthropological societies continued to derive their primary professional identity from medicine.

The final abandonment of liberal precepts by anthropologists was facilitated by a series of changing circumstances inside and outside the discipline, both environmental and ideological, created by the war itself. Changes in the direction of anthropology were thus at least partially contingent on the wider context in which anthropologists did their work. The history of the First World War should be incorporated into the larger story of German anthropology’s turn toward the racist and völkisch science of the 1920s.

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