Imagining the ‘biochemical race’: sero-anthropology and racial purity in Portugal

“Imagining the ‘biochemical race'”: novo artigo de Ricardo Roque, em co-autoria com Richard Cleminson (University of Leeds), na revista European History Quarterly, analisa a história do estudo antropológico de tipos sanguíneos ( sero-antropologia) para fins de classificação racial em Portugal na primeira metade do século XX.

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Resumo do artigo : This article traces the reception of blood group research in Portuguese physical anthropology in the first half of the twentieth century and analyses its presence as ‘sero-anthropology’ within the context of the disciplinary and political dynamics of colonial and metropolitan Portugal and against the background of international developments on blood group research. It argues that Portugal, hitherto largely understudied in relation to the broader international picture, was in tune with these developments. The article argues further that Portuguese physical anthropology, particularly research based at the University of Porto, was deeply ingrained with the fear of ‘contamination’ of the ‘race’ by the colonialized ‘other’ and sought to differentiate the Portuguese from the peoples of Africa and the East where Portugal possessed colonies, while it also sought to place the Portuguese within the scale of racial hierarchies of ‘whites’ in Europe. The article elaborates on a number of central and marginal figures within Portuguese anthropology to illustrate these claims and argues that the discipline was in tune with wider European developments in the field but with specific colonialist and racialist inflections, some of which are still felt in Portuguese culture today.