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Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas

versão impressa ISSN 0185-1276


GARZA USABIAGA, Daniel. Anthropology as Science, Anthropology as Politics: The Lessons of Franz Boas in Wolfgang Paalen's Amerindian Number of DYN. An. Inst. Investig. Estét [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.98, pp.175-200. ISSN 0185-1276.

This article reviews the influence of the German anthropologist Franz Boas on the art and literature of Wolfgang Paalen, who edited the journal Dyn between 1942 and 1945. The publication featured a double issue (numbers 4-5) devoted to Amerindian art, to which various Mexican anthropologists, including Alfonso Caso and Miguel Covarrubias, contributed with their scientific findings. This essay also highlights the influence of Boas's ideas in these contributions. The idea of diffusionism is of particular importance, since it provides an explanation for similarities in the production of different cultures at considerable distances apart. Although Boas was always cautious about diffusionism, Paalen and the other contributors to Dyn (particularly Covarrubias) took a more radical approach. This was a strategy with clear political implications: radical diffusionism contradicted racist anthropological theories that were being used at the time to justify atrocities against basic human rights under the fascist dictatorial regimes in Europe.

Palavras-chave : Franz Boas; Wolfgang Paalen; DYN; Amerindian art; radical diffusionism.

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