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By Rolant Czvetkovski (ed.), Aleksis Hoffmeister (ed.)

Ethnographers helped to understand, to appreciate and in addition to form imperial in addition to Soviet Russia’s cultural variety. This quantity specializes in the contexts within which ethnographic wisdom was once created. often, ethnographic findings have been outmoded through imperial discourse: Defining areas, connecting them with ethnic origins and conceiving nationwide entities inevitably implied the mapping of political and historic hierarchies. yet past those spatial conceptualizations the essays fairly handle the explicit stipulations within which ethnographic wisdom seemed and adjusted. at the one hand, they flip to the different fields into which ethnographic wisdom poured and materialized, i.e., historical past, historiography, anthropology or ideology. at the different, they both think of the effect of the explicit codecs, i.e., photos, maps, atlases, lectures, songs, museums, and exhibitions, on educational in addition to non-academic manifestations.

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While ethnographic artifacts were gathered and knowledge about ethnic groups was gained, different traditions of imagining the ethnographic diversity of mankind developed in different historical settings. In the following two different imperial manifestations of this imagination with its respective terms, concepts and functions for the legitimacy of imperial rule will be under consideration. To understand the impact of different imperial structures on the theory of ethnography, two different traditions of imperial ethnographies will be examined, namely British social anthropology and Russian ethnography.

Non-European “savages,” it was speculated, might resemble primitive Europeans. In 1863, when James Hunt (1833–1869), a speech therapist and secretary of the society, broke with the ESL and founded a separate organization named (after the French model) the Anthropological Society of London (ASL), he did so in a climate of fierce debates over the character of the human race. The ASL questioned the Darwinian and monogenetic views commonly held by the leadership of the ESL but nevertheless hypothesized connections between humans and apes.

F. Vermeulen, Early History of Ethnography and Ethnology in the German Enlightenment: Anthropological Discourse in Europe and Asia, 1710–1808 (Leiden: Han F. Vermeulen, 2008), 283–286. 21 In nineteenth-century Britain the anthropological enterprise was an offspring of a certain kind of paternalistic curiosity and a humanism that at times nurtured particularly anti-imperial traits. It was embodied by individuals from outside the inner circle of the traditional elites. In the British case, matters of ethnographic and anthropological content were first discussed at places and by persons situated at the fringes of a scholarly world that considered other topics far more important and interesting.

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