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"Making archives: the production of memory for a history of anthropology through Nimuendaju's and Fagg's collecting activity"

Grant number: 15/19298-5
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2016 - August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Theory of Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Christiano Key Tambascia
Grantee:Christiano Key Tambascia
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Curt Nimuendaju (1883-1945) and William Fagg (1914-1992) both had an enormous impact in the making of anthropology in Brazil and in the United Kingdom, respectively. They found the possibility of constituting their careers in anthropology by assembling ethnographic collections and studying material culture. The distinctive ways in which they dealt with the constraints of Brazilian and British academic fields, and sought to reflect on the uses and meanings of the ethnographic objects give us an opportunity to investigate the ways they faced the theoretical and methodological challenges of their time. This research aims to make a comparative analysis of the trajectories of Nimuendaju and Fagg, with attention to the symbolic structures of the academic field, through the proposal of an ethnography in archives that can provide information on the collecting practiced by both anthropologists. Thus, it will be possible to re-think the mechanisms of production and reproduction of narratives on the history of anthropology, through the study of the processes of constitution of their archives and the ways with which their works were claimed and disputed as examples of anthropological practice within different disciplinary traditions. These narratives cannot be separated from the study of how these processes occurred in a wider political and social context. (AU)

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