Sellnow, Irmgard (1922-2010)
Born in Hamburg, Irmgard Melanie Sellnow (1922-2010) rose from being an accountant to a nationally and internationally recognized specialist in anthropology and prehistory in the GDR. After studying in Leipzig and Berlin, she worked at the Berlin Academy of Sciences where she co-organized conferences and co-edited books on the issue of non-capitalist societies. She is seen as a theorist who integrated Marxist-Leninist thought within anthropology and prehistory, advocating the equal importance of ethnographic and archaeological sources in research on “primitive society”.
Keywords: Social and cultural anthropology | Prehistory | Ethnography | Marxism-Leninism | Germany | German Democratic Republic (GDR) | Ghana | Hausa
“More a Contribution to Scholarship than to Ideology? The Academic Biography of German Anthropologist Irmgard Sellnow”
Blanka Koffer, 2019
After the German reunification in 1990, things got quiet around Irmgard Sellnow, according to Andre Gingrich, who knew her personally, a ’rigid party ideologist (...) with Western training’ (Gingrich 2005: 146). Back in 1970, Paul Leser characterized her as ’the leading Marxist theoretician (...)
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