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Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany$
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Andrew Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226983417

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226983462.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

History Without Humanism: Culture-Historical Anthropology and the Triumph of the Museum

History Without Humanism: Culture-Historical Anthropology and the Triumph of the Museum

Chapter:
(p.201) Chapter 9 History Without Humanism: Culture-Historical Anthropology and the Triumph of the Museum
Source:
Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226983462.003.0010

In the twentieth century, anthropologists asserted that nature and natural peoples were also historical, thus claiming the study of historical change for their discipline. Anthropologists preserved, however, their methodological assault on history, for they still presented themselves as natural scientists studying objective evidence, superior to humanists interpreting subjective documents. By undoing the conceptual divisions that had allowed their discipline to emerge, anthropologists pushed forward their attempt to displace the humanistic disciplines. Culture-historical anthropology allowed the discipline to exploit its massive growth and its development from an amateur hobby to a museum-based profession. Thus, while in one sense historicist anthropology and the related acceptance of Darwinism undermined nearly every theoretical position held by anthropology's nineteenth-century founders, in a more important sense it realized the project of anthropology as a posthumanist human science, suited to the conditions of mass culture and the new imperialism.

Keywords:   culture-historical anthropology, posthumanist human science, mass culture, imperialism, museum-based profession, Darwinism

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