In 2007, Jorge Pavez defended his sociology thesis on “Africanism in Cuba” at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Marseille/Paris). Currently Associate Professor at the Catholic University of the North in Chile, he has been working on two major research projects in the past few years. The first one focuses on the history of anthropology in Latin America, its interdisciplinary foundations and its twofold relationship with texts produced by indigenous peoples and European institutions present in South America. The second project involves gender and sex relations in working class communities in northern Chile, and aims to build an historical anthropology of the forms of domestication and transgression of working class forms of masculinity and their sexual and economic exchanges. Jorge Pavez has been a visiting professor and guest researcher at École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, the University of Chicago, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and the University of Chile.
The aim of this project is to propose a comparative analysis of the historical development of anthropological research and theory-related controversies of anthropology in four Latin American countries between the 1880s and 1950s. Our main interest will be the “ethnographers’ offices” founded by the “founding heroes” of anthropology during their work on Indian and Afro-American territories in cities and the countryside. This analysis will consider: 1) mapping of national and international disciplinary references, questions and debates, the disciplinary traditions at play (i.e. linguistics, archaeology, history, etc.), and of the specific effect of cultural area studies (Africanism, Oceanism, Orientalism) in the formation of Americanist ethnology and its sub-areas (Araucanism, Andinism, Amazonism, Afro-Cubanism); 2) identification and analysis of the co-production process of ethnological writings and of the mediators and ethnographic representations of the “native informant” as ethnographic co-authors; 3) the various forms and degrees of diffusion of the anthropological discourse to the general public, the local, regional and national press in each country, to institutions that exhibit “representative” objects, artefacts and images, which contribute to the iconic production of Indians and Blacks.