Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Franz Boas (1858 - 1942). Science, Politics, Mobility

Date: June 12 - 14, 2008

Organizer: Hans-Walter Schmuhl (Bielefeld)

Franz Boas who was born in Minden, Germany, emigrated to the USA in 1887. He is regarded as the first professional American anthropologist and as passionate opponent of scientific racism. The cultural anthropology was founded by his influence. This year it is Franz Boas' 150th birthday. For this reason a workshop of scientists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada and the USA will get together in order to discuss less regarded aspects of the Boas-research. The members of the workshop are representatives of history, ethnology, anthropology, linguistics and geography. They will deal with the development with cultural anthropology in context of the European scientific style and the American scientific culture. Furthermore it will be looked at cultural anthropology and Boas' connections to German ethnologists as well as his argument with the National Socialist life sciences and the meaning of his practical research for the indigenous peoples of North America. At the end a conclusion will be drawn to find out the relevance of Boas' definition of culture in a multicultural society.



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