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

By Andrew D. Evans

Among 1914 and 1918, German anthropologists performed their paintings in the middle of full-scale conflict. The self-discipline used to be quite new in German academia while global struggle I broke out, and, as Andrew D. Evans finds during this illuminating ebook, its improvement used to be profoundly altered via the clash. because the struggle formed the institutional, ideological, and actual surroundings for anthropological paintings, the self-discipline grew to become its again on its liberal roots and have become a nationalist activity basically interested in medical reviews of race.

Combining highbrow and cultural background with the historical past of technological know-how, Anthropology at battle examines either the origins and effects of this shift. Evans locates its roots within the determination to permit scientists entry to prisoner-of-war camps, which caused them to concentration their examine on racial reviews of the captives. stuck up in wartime nationalism, a brand new new release of anthropologists started to painting the country’s political enemies as racially varied. After the battle ended, the significance put on racial conceptions and different types endured, paving the best way for the politicization of clinical inquiry within the years of the ascendancy of nationwide Socialism.


"Evans not just deals a proof for the most important transition within the heritage of German anthropology, he additionally offers the main accomplished historical past of the self-discipline to be had so far. Even past this striking scholarly paintings, Evans has made a true conceptual contribution to the heritage of technological know-how, correcting the dominant view of the relation among technology and politics." - Matti Bunzl, collage of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign"

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Germany was internationally known as a leader in scientific research and innovation. German universities had become increasingly famous around the globe throughout the nineteenth century, and by 1900 they were the preeminent international centers for scientific education. As innovations in German science continued, the German language increasingly became the standard tongue of international scientific discourse. 8 In the eyes of many in Europe and around the world, Germany’s scientific achievements even served to counterbalance the authoritarianism and militarism of the German Empire.

In the camps, anthropologists went to great lengths to capture (and thus define) the racial makeup of the prisoners through the camera lens. In the process, they produced a series of propagandized images that not only Introduction / 19 racialized the enemy, but also emphasized the supposed power and cohesion of the Central Powers and Germany. The final chapter examines anthropology in the aftermath of the conflict. The impact of the war continued to be felt long after 1918, not only through the hardships of difficult daily working conditions and financial strain, but also in the larger ideological directions of the discipline itself.

The boom in German science was also accompanied by momentous changes in the German university system. Chief among these was massive growth. 10 The size of academic staffs also increased over the same period, usually by hiring temporary teaching faculty. University budgets expanded rapidly. 11 In 1899, the government awarded technical colleges university status, allowing them to confer doctoral degrees. New fields proliferated, especially in the sciences. 12 Institutionalizing the “Most Recent Science” / 25 These changes had their detractors.

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