Richard Thurnwalds formative Phasen in Österreich und Bosnien

Ein kritischer Literaturbericht zu Grundlagen und Diskontinuitäten der Werkgeschichte


  • Andre Gingrich



The present analysis examines a number of fairly recent research in-sights and the underlying sources related to the early phases of Richard Thurnwald’s career. These phases unfolded mainly in Vienna, Bosnia and Graz, before Thurn-wald moved to Berlin in 1901, eventually to become one of the world’s best-known socio-cultural anthropologists from the German-speaking countries in the twen-tieth century. This article examines Thurnwald’s fieldwork experience in Bosnia against the background of that region’s status in the Habsburg Empire, and in view of the conceptual, methodological and linguistic training Thurnwald brought with him. It then contextualizes Thurnwald’s field methods within a wider spectrum of the methodological pluralism of Vienna’s academic landscapes, and examines the role of Ludwig Gumplowicz in Graz for shaping Thurnwald’s next career moves. As a result, a detailed assessment of the continuities and discontinuities between this and subsequent phases in Thurnwald’s career promotes an improved understan-ding of his biography and oeuvre.