GESCHICHTE DER BIOLOGISCHEN ANTHROPOLOGIE IN DEUTSCHLAND : VON DEN ANFÄNGEN BIS IN DIE NACHKRIEGSZEIT



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GESCHICHTE DER BIOLOGISCHEN ANTHROPOLOGIE IN DEUTSCHLAND : VON DEN ANFÄNGEN BIS IN DIE NACHKRIEGSZEIT



UweHoßfeld’sGeschichte der biologischen Anthropologie inDeutschland has now appeared in a second edition, which includes an abundance of new references to literature on the volume’s topic as well as a new preface. The new introduction focuses on the lasting relevance of anthropological questions: from its beginnings, anthropology has been a discipline obsessed with the identification of differences in the physique of humans as well as their consequences for the constitution of ethnic groups. Turning to the formation of anthropology thus might be one of the most productive ways to engage with the history of some key concepts that have been dominating debates in the humanities in recent decades, such as diversity, gender, or, even more prominently, race. Hoßfeld cleverly addresses these current discourses by avoiding continuously naming them; rather, he gives an account of how their conceptual history can be traced along the lines of a history of anthropology. In his presentation, he chooses an enumerative or encyclopedic style, taking the reader from the very first publicationmentioning the notion of “Anthropologie [Anthropology]” in a sense akin to its modern usage (MagnusHundt’sAnthropologium de hominis dignitate, natura et proprietatibus, de elementis, partibus et membris humani corporis etc. de spiritu humano etc. de anima humans et ipsus appendiciis, which dates to 1501) to the diversity of anthropological research in the twentieth century. The latter has not only brought about the gruesome application of anthropological knowledge in the teachings of Rassenkunde and eugenics during the reign of National Socialism, but has also witnessed its longevity in science as well as culture entrenched in racism. Hoßfeld’s approach is chronological and centered on the preeminent figures of anthropological research inGermany. After some remarks on his basic division into periods before and after Darwin’s groundbreaking workOn the Origin of Species (1859) (p. 34)—in the aftermath of which mankind stood as just one creature among others, instead of ruling the animal kingdom as its finest creation—Hoßfeld provides a survey of the usage of the term “anthropology” in scientific cultures other than the German and thus clarifies his decision to concentrate on national endeavors that sought to contribute to knowledge of the human. One striking reason for a history ofGerman anthropology is certainly the absence, beforeHoßfeld’s book, of a coherent and all-encompassing overview of this influential field of research; another is to be found in the eager reception of and outstanding contributions to evolutionary thought in Germany, which shaped the discipline’s history existentially. Amajor site for these developments has been the University of Jena, situated in Germany’s eastern Bundesland (federal state) of Thuringia. By meticulously unfolding the history of this university (p. 222 ff.), Hoßfeld gives a very valuable example of how to write the history of anthropology as the history of a distinctive institution—one where famous as well as infamous anthropologists like Ernst Haeckel (p. 147), Karl Astel (p. 249), and Gerhard Heberer (p. 283) have taught.

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All Project Materials Inc. (2020). GESCHICHTE DER BIOLOGISCHEN ANTHROPOLOGIE IN DEUTSCHLAND : VON DEN ANFÄNGEN BIS IN DIE NACHKRIEGSZEIT. Available at: https://allprojectmaterials.com/department/paper-8687.html. [Accessed: ].

GESCHICHTE DER BIOLOGISCHEN ANTHROPOLOGIE IN DEUTSCHLAND : VON DEN ANFÄNGEN BIS IN DIE NACHKRIEGSZEIT


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