P221
New histories of anthropology: the hidden emotions of colonial ethnography

Convenors:
Ricardo Roque (Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon)
Frederico Rosa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa-CRIA/FCSH)
Location:
Tower A, Piso 0, Room 3
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel intends to bring together researchers interested in the history of anthropology and the study of colonial situations. It will focus on the emotions associated with the individual processes of understanding and classifying 'otherness', either by professional or amateur ethnographers.

Long abstract:

One of the late consequences of the professionalization of the History of Anthropology, together with the consolidation of the methods of Historical Anthropology, has been the reappraisal and sometimes even the discovery of the colonial archive's true magnitude and anthropological significance. Colonial accounts were often entangled with the violence and power asymmetries of colonial situations, and thus need to be critically used. Nevertheless, one side effect of the predominant anthropological focus on this political dimension is the anonymity of colonial producers of ethnographical 'knowledge' and the oblivion of several human dimensions of the places and times of encounter and interaction, from mixed marriages to religious experiences. Malinowski's diary 'in the strict sense of the term' is probably the major exception, one of the few cases where the outburst of emotions has been exposed to the public eye (and moral judgment). But then again, he is not an anonymous colonial figure. This panel intends, therefore, to bring together researchers interested in the history of anthropology and the study of colonial situations. Its main purpose is to focus on the emotions associated with the individual processes of reaching the indigenous people, of understanding and classifying 'otherness' in British, Portuguese, French or other empire contexts, either by professional or amateur ethnographers, such as missionaries, travelers, military officers or administrators.