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This volume examines the Enlightenment-era textualization of the Black African in European thought. Andrew 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, 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. Penetrating and comprehensive, The Anatomy of Blackness shows that, far from being a monolithic idea, eighteenth-century Africanist discourse emerged out of a vigorous, varied dialogue that involved missionaries, slavers, colonists, naturalists, anatomists, philosophers, and Africans themselves.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xvi
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  1. Introduction: Tissue Samples in the Land of Conjecture
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. CHAPTER ONE: Paper Trails: Writing the African, 1450-1750
  2. pp. 29-73
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  1. CHAPTER TWO: Sameness and Science, 1730-1750
  2. pp. 74-116
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  1. CHAPTER THREE: The Problem of Difference: Philosophes and the Processing of African "Ethnography," 1750-1775
  2. pp. 117-166
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  1. CHAPTER FOUR: The Natural History of Slavery, 1770-1802
  2. pp. 167-215
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  1. Coda: Black Africans and the Enlightenment Legacy
  2. pp. 216-224
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 225-274
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 275-294
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 295-310
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421402307
Print ISBN
9781421401508
MARC Record
OCLC
794700407
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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