German anthropology, nationalism and imperialism: Georg von Neumayer’s Anleitung zu wissenschaftlichen Beobachtungen auf Reisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Georg von Neumayer’s Anleitung zu wissenschaftlichen Beobachtungen auf Reisen (Guide to scientific observations on travels), published in three editions from 1875 to 1906, provided instructions to German travellers on the collection of scientific data, including anthropological data. This paper explores the origins of the Anleitung by looking to its editor’s scientific experience in colonial Australia in the 1850s and 1860s and to his adherence to a national liberal worldview. It then examines the evolution of the Anleitung through its three editions, from the period post-unification to the era of colonial expansion and rivalry. In paying close attention to the chapters on anthropology and how they changed over a period of some three decades, the paper argues that the Anleitung not only sought to harness popular enthusiasm for science but also served German national and imperial interests through a formative period in the development of German anthropology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalHistory and Anthropology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Adolf Bastian
  • Colonial anthropology
  • Felix von Luschan
  • Georg von Neumayer
  • German anthropology
  • Rudolf Virchow

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