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The Complexion Of Race Categories Of Difference In Eighteenth Century British Culture

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The Complexion of Race

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The Complexion of Race by Roxann Wheeler Book Summary:

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.

La matrice de la race

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La matrice de la race by Elsa DORLIN Book Summary:

La race a une histoire, qui renvoie à l'histoire de la différence sexuelle. Au XVIIe siècle, les discours médicaux conçoivent le corps des femmes comme un corps malade et l'affligent de mille maux : " suffocation de la matrice ", " hystérie ", " fureur utérine ", etc. Le sain et le malsain justifient efficacement l'inégalité des sexes et fonctionnent comme des catégories de pouvoir. Aux Amériques, les premiers naturalistes prennent alors modèle sur la différence sexuelle pour élaborer le concept de " race " : les Indiens Caraïbes ou les esclaves déportés seraient des populations au tempérament pathogène, efféminé et faible. Ce sont ces articulations entre genre, sexualité et race, et leur rôle central dans la formation de la Nation française qu'analyse Elsa Dorlin, au croisement de la philosophie politique, de l'histoire de la médecine et des études sur le genre. La Nation prend littéralement corps dans le modèle féminin de la " mère ", blanche et saine, opposée aux figures d'une féminité " dégénérée " – la sorcière, la vaporeuse, la vivandière hommasse, la nymphomane, la tribade et l'esclave africaine. Il apparaît ainsi que le sexe et la race participent d'une même matrice au moment où la Nation française s'engage dans l'esclavage et la colonisation.

Before the Empire of English: Literature, Provinciality, and Nationalism in Eighteenth-Century Britain

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Before the Empire of English: Literature, Provinciality, and Nationalism in Eighteenth-Century Britain by A. Yadav Book Summary:

Before the Empire of English offers a broad re-examination of Eighteenth-century British literary culture, centred around issues of language, nationalism, and provinciality. It revises our tendency to take for granted the metropolitan centrality of English-language writers of this period and shows, instead, how deeply these writers were conscious of the traditional marginality of their literary tradition in the European world of culture. The book focuses attention on crucial but largely overlooked aspects of Eighteenth-century English literary culture: the progress of English topos since the death of Cowley and the cultural aspirations and anxieties it condenses; the concept of the republic of letters and its implications for issues of cultural centrality and provinciality; and the importance of cultural nationalist emphases in 'Augustan' poetics in the context of these concerns about provinciality. The book examines imperial aspirations and imaginings in the English literary culture of the period, but it shows how such aspirations are responses to provincial anxieties more so than they are marks of imperial self-assurance.

Difference of a Different Kind

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Difference of a Different Kind by Iris Idelson-Shein Book Summary:

European Jews, argues Iris Idelson-Shein, occupied a particular place in the development of modern racial discourse during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Simultaneously inhabitants and outsiders in Europe, considered both foreign and familiar, Jews adopted a complex perspective on otherness and race. Often themselves the objects of anthropological scrutiny, they internalized, adapted, and revised the emerging discourse of racial difference to meet their own ends. Difference of a Different Kind explores Jewish perceptions and representations of otherness during the formative period in the history of racial thought. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including philosophical and scientific works, halakhic literature, and folktales, Idelson-Shein unfolds the myriad ways in which eighteenth-century Jews imagined the "exotic Other" and how the evolving discourse of racial difference played into the construction of their own identities. Difference of a Different Kind offers an invaluable view into the ways new religious, cultural, and racial identities were imagined and formed at the outset of modernity.

Sexe, race et mixité dans l'aire anglophone

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Sexe, race et mixité dans l'aire anglophone by Michel Prum Book Summary:

L'obsession de la « race » et la peur du mélange « racial » qu'exprimait Disraeli au XIXe siècle se retrouvent au fil des ans, tant en Grande-Bretagne qu'en Australie, en Amérique ou en Afrique du Sud. La « race » est théorisée, mise en spectacle (comme dans les exhibitions londoniennes dignes de la Vénus noire ou lors du carnaval de la Nouvelle-Orléans). Ces onze contributions illustrent les débats passionnés qui font rage du XIXe siècle à nos jours autour des questions de sexe, de race et de mixité.

Slavery and the Politics of Place

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Slavery and the Politics of Place by Elizabeth A. Bohls Book Summary:

Analyzes representations of the places of British slavery - Africa, the Caribbean, and Britain - in writings by planters, slaves and travellers.

Bodies, Sex and Desire from the Renaissance to the Present

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Bodies, Sex and Desire from the Renaissance to the Present by Kate Fisher,Sarah Toulalan Book Summary:

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.

Plucked

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Plucked by Rebecca M. Herzig Book Summary:

From the clamshell razors and homemade lye depilatories used in colonial America to the diode lasers and prescription pharmaceuticals available today, Americans have used a staggering array of tools to remove hair deemed unsightly, unnatural, or excessive. This is true especially for women and girls; conservative estimates indicate that 99% of American women have tried hair removal, and at least 85% regularly remove hair from their faces, armpits, legs, and bikini lines. How and when does hair become a problem—what makes some growth “excessive”? Who or what separates the necessary from the superfluous? In Plucked, historian Rebecca Herzig addresses these questions about hair removal. She shows how, over time, dominant American beliefs about visible hair changed: where once elective hair removal was considered a “mutilation” practiced primarily by “savage” men, by the turn of the twentieth century, hair-free faces and limbs were expected for women. Visible hair growth—particularly on young, white women—came to be perceived as a sign of political extremism, sexual deviance, or mental illness. By the turn of the twenty-first century, more and more Americans were waxing, threading, shaving, or lasering themselves smooth. Herzig’s extraordinary account also reveals some of the collateral damages of the intensifying pursuit of hair-free skin. Moving beyond the experiences of particular patients or clients, Herzig describes the surprising histories of race, science, industry, and medicine behind today's hair-removing tools. Plucked is an unsettling, gripping, and original tale of the lengths to which Americans will go to remove hair.

Defiance of the Patriots

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Defiance of the Patriots by Benjamin L. Carp Book Summary:

This thrilling book tells the full story of the an iconic episode in American history, the Boston Tea Party-exploding myths, exploring the unique city life of eighteenth-century Boston, and setting this audacious prelude to the American Revolution in a global context for the first time. Bringing vividly to life the diverse array of people and places that the Tea Party brought together-from Chinese tea-pickers to English businessmen, Native American tribes, sugar plantation slaves, and Boston's ladies of leisure-Benjamin L. Carp illuminates how a determined group of New Englanders shook the foundations of the British Empire, and what this has meant for Americans since. As he reveals many little-known historical facts and considers the Tea Party's uncertain legacy, he presents a compelling and expansive history of an iconic event in America's tempestuous past.

Savage Economics

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Savage Economics by David L. Blaney,Naeem Inayatullah Book Summary:

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.

Eighteenth-Century Thing Theory in a Global Context

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Eighteenth-Century Thing Theory in a Global Context by Dr Christina Ionescu,Dr Ileana Baird Book Summary:

Exploring Enlightenment attitudes toward things and their relation to human subjects, this collection offers a geographically wide-ranging perspective on what the eighteenth century looked like beyond British or British-colonial borders. To highlight trends, fashions, and cultural imports of truly global significance, the contributors draw their case studies from Western Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, and Oceania. This survey underscores the multifarious ways in which new theoretical approaches, such as thing theory or material and visual culture studies, revise our understanding of the people and objects that inhabit the phenomenological spaces of the eighteenth century. Rather than focusing on a particular geographical area, or on the global as a juxtaposition of regions with a distinctive cultural footprint, this collection draws attention to the unforeseen relational maps drawn by things in their global peregrinations, celebrating the logic of serendipity that transforms the object into some-thing else when it is placed in a new locale.

The Victorian Reinvention of Race

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The Victorian Reinvention of Race by Edward Beasley Book Summary:

In mid-Victorian England there were new racial categories based upon skin colour. The 'races' familiar to those in the modern west were invented and elaborated after the decline of faith in Biblical monogenesis in the early nineteenth century, and before the maturity of modern genetics in the middle of the twentieth. Not until the early nineteenth century would polygenetic and racialist theories win many adherents. But by the middle of the nineteenth century in England, racial categories were imposed upon humanity. How the idea of 'race' gained popularity in England at that time is the central focus of The Victorian Reinvention of Race: New Racisms and the Problem of Grouping in the Human Sciences. Scholars have linked this new racism to some very dodgy thinkers. The Victorian Reinvention of Race examines a more influential set of the era's writers and colonial officials, some French but most of them British. Attempting to do serious social analysis, these men oversimplified humanity into biologically-heritable, mentally and morally unequal, colour-based 'races'. Thinkers giving in to this racist temptation included Alexis de Tocqueville when he was writing on Algeria; Arthur de Gobineau (who influenced the Nazis); Walter Bagehot of The Economist; and Charles Darwin (whose Descent of Man was influenced by Bagehot). Victorians on Race also examines officials and thinkers (such as Tocqueville in Democracy in America, the Duke of Argyll, and Governor Gordon of Fiji) who exercised methodological care, doing the hard work of testing their categories against the evidence. They analyzed human groups without slipping into racial categorization. Author Edward Beasley examines the extent to which the Gobineau-Bagehot-Darwin way of thinking about race penetrated the minds of certain key colonial governors. He further explores the hardening of the rhetoric of race-prejudice in some quarters in England in the nineteenth century – the processes by which racism was first formed.

Slavery and the Culture of Taste

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Slavery and the Culture of Taste by Simon Gikandi Book Summary:

It would be easy to assume that, in the eighteenth century, slavery and the culture of taste--the world of politeness, manners, and aesthetics--existed as separate and unequal domains, unrelated in the spheres of social life. But to the contrary, Slavery and the Culture of Taste demonstrates that these two areas of modernity were surprisingly entwined. Ranging across Britain, the antebellum South, and the West Indies, and examining vast archives, including portraits, period paintings, personal narratives, and diaries, Simon Gikandi illustrates how the violence and ugliness of enslavement actually shaped theories of taste, notions of beauty, and practices of high culture, and how slavery's impurity informed and haunted the rarified customs of the time. Gikandi focuses on the ways that the enslavement of Africans and the profits derived from this exploitation enabled the moment of taste in European--mainly British--life, leading to a transformation of bourgeois ideas regarding freedom and selfhood. He explores how these connections played out in the immense fortunes made in the West Indies sugar colonies, supporting the lavish lives of English barons and altering the ideals that defined middle-class subjects. Discussing how the ownership of slaves turned the American planter class into a new aristocracy, Gikandi engages with the slaves' own response to the strange interplay of modern notions of freedom and the realities of bondage, and he emphasizes the aesthetic and cultural processes developed by slaves to create spaces of freedom outside the regimen of enforced labor and truncated leisure. Through a close look at the eighteenth century's many remarkable documents and artworks, Slavery and the Culture of Taste sets forth the tensions and contradictions entangling a brutal practice and the distinctions of civility.

Faithful Bodies

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Faithful Bodies by Heather Miyano Kopelson Book Summary:

In the seventeenth-century English Atlantic, religious beliefs and practices played a central role in creating racial identity. English Protestantism provided a vocabulary and structure to describe and maintain boundaries between insider and outsider. In this path-breaking study, Heather Miyano Kopelson peels back the layers of conflicting definitions of bodies and competing practices of faith in the puritan Atlantic, demonstrating how the categories of “white,” “black,” and “Indian” developed alongside religious boundaries between “Christian” and “heathen” and between “Catholic” and “Protestant.” Faithful Bodies focuses on three communities of Protestant dissent in the Atlantic World: Bermuda, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In this “puritan Atlantic,” religion determined insider and outsider status: at times Africans and Natives could belong as long as they embraced the Protestant faith, while Irish Catholics and English Quakers remained suspect. Colonists’ interactions with indigenous peoples of the Americas and with West Central Africans shaped their understandings of human difference and its acceptable boundaries. Prayer, religious instruction, sexual behavior, and other public and private acts became markers of whether or not blacks and Indians were sinning Christians or godless heathens. As slavery became law, transgressing people of color counted less and less as sinners in English puritans’ eyes, even as some of them made Christianity an integral part of their communities. As Kopelson shows, this transformation proceeded unevenly but inexorably during the long seventeenth century.

A Companion to African American Literature

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A Companion to African American Literature by Gene Andrew Jarrett Book Summary:

Through a series of essays that explore the forms, themes, genres, historical contexts, major authors, and latest critical approaches, A Companion to African American Literature presents a comprehensive chronological overview of African American literature from the eighteenth century to the modern day Examines African American literature from its earliest origins, through the rise of antislavery literature in the decades leading into the Civil War, to the modern development of contemporary African American cultural media, literary aesthetics, and political ideologies Addresses the latest critical and scholarly approaches to African American literature Features essays by leading established literary scholars as well as newer voices

Oman, Culture and Diplomacy

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Oman, Culture and Diplomacy by Jeremy Jones Book Summary:

This book is a cultural history, offering an historical account of the formation of a distinctive Omani culture; arguing that it is in this unique culture that a specific conception and practice of diplomacy has been developed.

Religion and the Creation of Race and Ethnicity

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Religion and the Creation of Race and Ethnicity by Craig R. Prentiss Book Summary:

This volume, meant specifically for those new to the field, brings together an ensemble of prominent scholars and illuminates the role religious myths have played in shaping those social boundaries that we call "races" and "ethnicities".

Robinson Crusoe, Modernized Edition

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Robinson Crusoe, Modernized Edition by Daniel Defoe Book Summary:

Robinson Crusoe is one of the most famous literary characters in history, and his story has spawned hundreds of retellings. Inspired by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a sailor who lived for several years on a Pacific island, the novel tells the story of Crusoe’s survival after shipwreck on an island, interaction with the mainland’s native inhabitants, and eventual rescue. Read variously as economic fable, religious allegory, or imperialist fantasy, Crusoe has never lost its appeal as one of the most compelling adventure stories of all time. In addition to an introduction and helpful notes, this Broadview Edition includes a wide range of appendices that situate Defoe’s 1719 novel amidst castaway narratives, economic treatises, reports of cannibalism, explorations of solitude, and Defoe’s own writings on slavery and the African trade. A final appendix presents images of Crusoe’s rescue of Friday from a dozen of the most significant illustrated editions of the novel published between 1719 and 1920.

From White to Yellow

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From White to Yellow by Rotem Kowner Book Summary:

When Europeans first landed in Japan they encountered people they perceived as white-skinned and highly civilized, but these impressions did not endure. Gradually the Europeans' positive impressions faded away and Japanese were seen as yellow-skinned and relatively inferior. Accounting for this dramatic transformation, From White to Yellow is a groundbreaking study of the evolution of European interpretations of the Japanese and the emergence of discourses about race in early modern Europe. Transcending the conventional focus on Africans and Jews within the rise of modern racism, Rotem Kowner demonstrates that the invention of race did not emerge in a vacuum in eighteenth-century Europe, but rather was a direct product of earlier discourses of the "Other." This compelling study indicates that the racial discourse on the Japanese, alongside the Chinese, played a major role in the rise of the modern concept of race. While challenging Europe's self-possession and sense of centrality, the discourse delayed the eventual consolidation of a hierarchical worldview in which Europeans stood immutably at the apex. Drawing from a vast array of primary sources, From White to Yellow traces the racial roots of the modern clash between Japan and the West.