Based on a critical assessment of the historiography of Colombian anthropology, the chapter provides a synthesis of the history of anthropology made in Colombia, defined as “that produced in the country and which constitutes an empirical, methodological or conceptual contribution to new anthropological works or debates in Colombia” (Restrepo, Rojas, Saade 2017). The history of Colombian anthropology can be generally divided into three periods. The first goes from 1941 till 1968 and coincides with the birth and the institutional and academic consolidation of the disciplinary field. The second goes from 1968 till 1991: these years are marked by the rise and fall of the season of social and political commitment of anthropologists alongside social movements and subordinate subjects. The third and last period begins in 1991 and arrived to the present days. It starts with the launch of a broad project of a critical anthropology of modernity seen from the Latin American perspective, and with definitive professionalization of the discipline, in a sociopolitical national context strongly characterized, however, by the resurgence of internal armed conflict and by the penetration of neoliberal logic even within university institutions. The chapter explores continuities and discontinuities between these three periods, from the point of view of the institutionalization of anthropology, privileged research fields and methodologies, positioning end political engagement of researchers with respect to the situation and the struggles of the people who are the subjects of their researches and, more generally, the relationships of the history of the anthropology made in Colombia with the complex history of the country. In particular, a recurring and still unresolved issue is that of the possibilities of a critical participation of anthropologists who work in Colombia in the public debates and conflicts on the construction of a national identity that have taken place over time, and on the place that they owe occupy the great cultural and ethnic diversity of Colombian people.

Mancuso, A. (2023). From the Study of Indigenous Cultures to the Critics of Modernity: On Anthropology made in Colombia. In G. D'Agostino, V. Matera (a cura di), Histories of Anthropology (pp. 403-437). Cham : Palgrave Macmillan [10.1007/978-3-031-21258-1_14].

From the Study of Indigenous Cultures to the Critics of Modernity: On Anthropology made in Colombia

Mancuso, Alessandro
2023-01-01

Abstract

Based on a critical assessment of the historiography of Colombian anthropology, the chapter provides a synthesis of the history of anthropology made in Colombia, defined as “that produced in the country and which constitutes an empirical, methodological or conceptual contribution to new anthropological works or debates in Colombia” (Restrepo, Rojas, Saade 2017). The history of Colombian anthropology can be generally divided into three periods. The first goes from 1941 till 1968 and coincides with the birth and the institutional and academic consolidation of the disciplinary field. The second goes from 1968 till 1991: these years are marked by the rise and fall of the season of social and political commitment of anthropologists alongside social movements and subordinate subjects. The third and last period begins in 1991 and arrived to the present days. It starts with the launch of a broad project of a critical anthropology of modernity seen from the Latin American perspective, and with definitive professionalization of the discipline, in a sociopolitical national context strongly characterized, however, by the resurgence of internal armed conflict and by the penetration of neoliberal logic even within university institutions. The chapter explores continuities and discontinuities between these three periods, from the point of view of the institutionalization of anthropology, privileged research fields and methodologies, positioning end political engagement of researchers with respect to the situation and the struggles of the people who are the subjects of their researches and, more generally, the relationships of the history of the anthropology made in Colombia with the complex history of the country. In particular, a recurring and still unresolved issue is that of the possibilities of a critical participation of anthropologists who work in Colombia in the public debates and conflicts on the construction of a national identity that have taken place over time, and on the place that they owe occupy the great cultural and ethnic diversity of Colombian people.
2023
Settore M-DEA/01 - Discipline Demoetnoantropologiche
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-21258-1
Mancuso, A. (2023). From the Study of Indigenous Cultures to the Critics of Modernity: On Anthropology made in Colombia. In G. D'Agostino, V. Matera (a cura di), Histories of Anthropology (pp. 403-437). Cham : Palgrave Macmillan [10.1007/978-3-031-21258-1_14].
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