The Complexion of Race

Author: Roxann Wheeler
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812200140
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In the 1723 Journal of a Voyage up the Gambia, an English narrator describes the native translators vital to the expedition's success as being "Black as Coal." Such a description of dark skin color was not unusual for eighteenth-century Britons—but neither was the statement that followed: "here, thro' Custom, (being Christians) they account themselves White Men." The Complexion of Race asks how such categories would have been possible, when and how such statements came to seem illogical, and how our understanding of the eighteenth century has been distorted by the imposition of nineteenth and twentieth century notions of race on an earlier period. Wheeler traces the emergence of skin color as a predominant marker of identity in British thought and juxtaposes the Enlightenment's scientific speculation on the biology of race with accounts in travel literature, fiction, and other documents that remain grounded in different models of human variety. As a consequence of a burgeoning empire in the second half of the eighteenth century, English writers were increasingly preoccupied with differentiating the British nation from its imperial outposts by naming traits that set off the rulers from the ruled; although race was one of these traits, it was by no means the distinguishing one. In the fiction of the time, non-European characters could still be "redeemed" by baptism or conversion and the British nation could embrace its mixed-race progeny. In Wheeler's eighteenth century we see the coexistence of two systems of racialization and to detect a moment when an older order, based on the division between Christian and heathen, gives way to a new one based on the assertion of difference between black and white.

The Routledge Research Companion to Nineteenth Century British Literature and Science

Author: John Holmes
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317042344
Format: PDF, Docs
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Tracing the continuities and trends in the complex relationship between literature and science in the long nineteenth century, this companion provides scholars with a comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date foundation for research in this field. In intellectual, material and social terms, the transformation undergone by Western culture over the period was unprecedented. Many of these changes were grounded in the growth of science. Yet science was not a cultural monolith then any more than it is now, and its development was shaped by competing world views. To cover the full range of literary engagements with science in the nineteenth century, this companion consists of twenty-seven chapters by experts in the field, which explore crucial social and intellectual contexts for the interactions between literature and science, how science affected different genres of writing, and the importance of individual scientific disciplines and concepts within literary culture. Each chapter has its own extensive bibliography. The volume as a whole is rounded out with a synoptic introduction by the editors and an afterword by the eminent historian of nineteenth-century science Bernard Lightman.

Asian Empire and British Knowledge

Author: U. Hillemann
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230246753
Format: PDF, Kindle
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British knowledge about China changed fundamentally in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Rather than treating these changes in British understanding as if Anglo-Sino relations were purely bilateral, this study looks at how British imperial networks in India and Southeast Asia were critical mediators in the British encounter of China.

The Making of the Modern Self

Author: Dror Wahrman
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300121391
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Toward the end of the eighteenth century, a radical change occurred in notions of self and personal identity. This was a sudden transformation, says Dror Wahrman, and nothing short of a revolution in the understanding of selfhood and of identity categories including race, gender, and class. In this pathbreaking book, he offers a fundamentally new interpretation of this critical turning point in Western history. Wahrman demonstrates this transformation with a fascinating variety of cultural evidence from eighteenth-century England, from theater to beekeeping, fashion to philosophy, art to travel and translations of the classics. He discusses notions of self in the earlier 1700s--what he terms the ancien regime of identity--that seem bizarre, even incomprehensible, to present-day readers. He then examines how this peculiar world came to an abrupt end, and the far-reaching consequences of that change. This unrecognized cultural revolution, the author argues, set the scene for the array of new departures that signaled the onset of Western modernity.

Savage Economics

Author: David L. Blaney
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135265046
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This innovative book challenges the most powerful and pervasive ideas concerning political economy, international relations, and ethics in the modern world. Rereading classical authors including Adam Smith, James Steuart, Adam Ferguson, Hegel, and Marx, it provides a systematic and fundamental cultural critique of political economy and critically describes the nature of the mainstream understanding of economics.

Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture

Author: Eve Tavor Bannet
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN: 9781421422145
Format: PDF, ePub
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Guenter on Britain’s subordination of science to imperial goals in the new world; Richard Frohock on the critique of British imperialism in John Gay’s Polly; Jeffrey Merrick on the French Revolution’s failure to materially alter the legal status of sodomy and suicide; Adam Potkay, comparing Rousseau and Adam Smith’s views of pity and gratitude; Jeff Loveland, on the methods used by Diderot to edit the Encyclopédie; and Tamar Mayer, on Jacques-Louis David’s use of mirror reversibility in the composition of his painting, "Oath of the Horatii."

The Anatomy of Blackness

Author: Andrew S. Curran
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421401509
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This volume examines the Enlightenment-era textualization of the Black African in European thought. Andrew S. Curran rewrites the history of blackness by replicating the practices of eighteenth-century readers. Surveying French and European travelogues, natural histories, works of anatomy, pro- and anti-slavery tracts, philosophical treatises, and literary texts, Curran shows how naturalists and philosophes drew from travel literature to discuss the perceived problem of human blackness within the nascent human sciences. He also describes how a number of now-forgotten anatomists revolutionized the era’s understanding of black Africans and charts the shift of the slavery debate from the moral, mercantile, and theological realms toward that of the "black body" itself. In tracing this evolution, he shows how blackness changed from a mere descriptor in earlier periods into a thing to be measured, dissected, handled, and often brutalized. "A definitive statement on the complex, painful, and richly revealing topic of how the major figures of the French Enlightenment reacted to the enslavement of black Africans, often to their discredit. The fields of race studies and of Enlightenment studies are more than ready to embrace the type of analysis in which Curran engages, and all the more so in that his book is beautifully written and illustrated."— Symposium "This is an important contribution to an important topic. But it is also a model of how intellectual history should be done."— New Books in History "The breadth of Andrew Curran's knowledge about the Enlightenment is astonishing... The book makes the convincing point not only that Africa is a major focus in the Enlightenment's imagination, but also that natural history and anthropology are central to understanding not only its scientific agenda, but also its humanitarian politics."— Centaurus "Curran's Francotropism and medical background enable him to develop insights that should prove important to the ongoing transnationalization and discipline-blurring of literary and cultural studies."— Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment "Curran's ability to dissect and explain complicated arguments of the period's major thinkers is impressive."— Choice

Bodies Sex and Desire from the Renaissance to the Present

Author: Kate Fisher
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230354122
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An examination of how bodies and sexualities have been constructed, categorised, represented, diagnosed, experienced and subverted from the fifteenth to the early twenty-first century. It draws attention to continuities in thinking about bodies and sex: concept may have changed, but hey nevertheless draw on older ideas and language.