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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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(p.239) Conclusion
Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany
University of Chicago Press

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

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