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Geographies of Difference: Dutch Physical Anthropology in the Colonies and the Netherlands, ca. 1900-1940

Author:

Fenneke Sysling

Royal Netherlands Historical Society (editorial secretary), NL
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Abstract

This article analyses how physical anthropologists created scientific circuits between the Netherlands and their colonies in the East Indies. It shows that national and imperial anthropology were not two separate spheres and that the movement of anthropologists and their objects was important both for the making of anthropology as a scientific discipline and for making anthropological ideas. Trying to define the physical features of people in Dutch fishing villages and in East Indies inland regions, anthropologists formed geographies of imaginary difference. Anthropological data from the Indies however was valued more highly than that from the Netherlands, which means that distance continued to matter. New Imperial Historians would therefore do better to sharpen their perception of these uneven geographies.

 

This article is part of the special issue 'A New Dutch Imperial History'.

Keywords: Imperial History  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8357
How to Cite: Sysling, F., 2013. Geographies of Difference: Dutch Physical Anthropology in the Colonies and the Netherlands, ca. 1900-1940. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 128(1), pp.105–126. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.8357
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Published on 19 Mar 2013.
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