With contributions from established as well as younger scholars, the authors here offer a set of rich case-studies that demonstrate novel and productive approaches to the study of colonial knowledge. Taking into consideration the most recent scholarship and theories of colonial and post-colonial studies, the authors employ various reading strategies to explore the potential and limitations of the European colonial archive.
Headhunting and Colonialism is an account of colonial violence, indigenous headhunting and the circulation of human skulls to anthropological museums in the heyday of late European imperialism. Using the example of the Portuguese colony of East Timor, it embeds the history of a museum collection of human skulls within the larger context of the Portuguese imperial expansion, emergence of scientific anthropology in Europe, Christian beliefs about the dead body, and indigenous cultures.
“Intelligent, diligent, provocative and controversial as a good book must be. It won’t be the last word on the subject, but it is, without any doubt, an undeniable reference for future works.” – António Manuel Hespanha
How to define Portuguese colonialism in the era of European imperialism? What was the relationship between colonial power and contemporary anthropology? This book intends to discuss these questions, providing us with a sociology of colonialism and anthropology in Portugal, between the late-nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century.