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Anthropological Materialism: a Neglected European Tradition


The purpose of the project “Anthropological Materialism: a Neglected European Tradition” (AMEUR) is, from the perspective of Walter Benjamin, to circumscribe “anthropological materialism” as a neglected part of European identity, from the 19th to the 21th century. The task is double. On the one hand, it is to build the concept of “anthropological materialism” as a world vision that, explicitly and implicitly, theoretically and concretely, in French and in German cultures, played an essential role in Europe during the 19th Century. On the other hand, the task is to actualize the concept of “anthropological materialism” for political sociology, philosophical anthropology and modern history, i.e., in a multidisciplinary manner, in order to understand Europe in the 20th and 21th centuries. The candidate will work on the manuscripts in the Benjamin Archives, on the sources of German anthropological materialism, and he will compare them to the French counterparts. He will write a synthetic presentation, with representative extracts, from French sources and German sources, in order to present the theoretical movement of anthropological materialism as a European movement in the 19th Century, its influence on the social and political movements in Europe in the 19th century, and its actualization on Europe in the 20th and in the 21th century. The project looks at a hidden tradition of Europe since the origin of its modernity. It opens up a new perspective on Europe, elevating the tradition of anthropological materialism to the level of a methodological paradigm in order to reveal the obscure mechanisms of the construction of Europe. It gives new insights into the others “materialisms”. It also produces relevant knowledge about the construction of European tradition. The quality of this project is thus determined by the disclosure of a disregarded tradition of Europe that may significantly influence its future.
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Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam


Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 154 461

Administrative Contact

Regina Gerber (Dr.)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 252220


Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2010

  • End date

    31 August 2012

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 154 461

  • EU contribution

    € 154 461

Coordinated by: