Andrew David Newman
Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationWayne State U.
Grant numberGr. 9794
Approve DateApril 29, 2019
Project TitleNewman, Andrew (Wayne State U.) "Empire’s Garden: Anthropology and the Racialization of Vision in fin-de-siècle Paris"
During the 1860s, as part of the modernization of Paris, a new type of urban space called the Jardin d’Acclimatation (Acclimatization Garden) was developed, which was at once a center for scientific research and a public attraction. Starting in 1877, the Jardin began a popular series of human exhibitions that lasted for thirty years. The leading anthropologists of the period played an important and highly visible role in justifying and mediating this racist spectacle for the Parisian public. Building on recent visual approaches to the sciences, this study examines the exhibits as an important and publicly visible site of anthropological race-making. Its aims are A) to demonstrate that the sensorial milieu of fin-de-siècle Paris played an underappreciated role in shaping the anthropological gaze associated with racial science; B) to show that anthropology – and racialization – played a more active role in Paris’s culture of urban spectacle than previously acknowledged; C) to document the experiences and perceptions of some of the women, men, and children who were featured in the expositions, and D) to engage with ethnographers, historians, and historical anthropologists who are re-evaluating the historically constituted meanings of race and racialization in France.