Anatomy of Blackness Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment

ISBN-10: 1421409658

ISBN-13: 9781421409658

Edition: 2013

Authors: Andrew S. Curran

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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, 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.
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Book details

List price: $32.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 2/11/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Mary Ellen Snodgrass was born on February 29, 1944 in Wlimington, North Carolina. She is an award-winning author of textbooks and general reference works, and a former columnist for the Charlotte Observer. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Appalachian State University, and holds degrees in English, Latin, psychology, and education of gifted children. She teaches English and Latin at Lenoir Rhyne University. In addition to her membership on the North Carolina Library Board, she serves the N.C. Humanities Commission as a traveling lecturer. She has also held jobs as a freelance writer for the Charlotte Observer along with being a columnist, and book reviewer for them. She has also worked on the Canadian Medical Association Journal, American Guidance Service, American Reference Books Annual and Cliffs Notes along with being a professor of Latin and English, Lenoir Rhyne University, 2008-2010. Her works include Michel Faber and Feminism: The Neo-Gothic Novel, Leslie Marmon Silko, The Civil War Era and Reconstruction: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History, and World Food.

Introduction: Tissue Samples in the Land of Conjecture
Defining le N�gre
The New Africanist Discourse after 1740
The Contexts of Representation
Representing Africanist Discourse
Anatomizing the History of Blackness
Paper Trails: Writing the African, 1450-1750
The Early Africanists: The Episodic and the Epic
Rationalizing Africa
The Birth of the Caribbean African
Jean-Baptiste Labat
Labat on Africa
Processing the African Travelogue: Pr�vost's Histoire g�n�rate des voyages
Rousseau's Afrique
Sameness and Science, 1730-1750
The Origin of Shared Origins
Toward a "Scientific" Monogenesis
Historicizing the Human in an Era of Empiricism: The Role of the Albino
Creating the Blafard
Buffonian Monogenesis: The N�gre as Same
Blackness Qualified: Breaking down the N�gre
The Colonial African and the Rare Buffonian Je
The Problem of Difference: Philosophes and the Processing of African "Ethnography," 1750-1775
The "Symptoms" of Blackness: Africanist "Facts," 1750-1770
Montesquieu and the "Refutation" of Difference
The Nagging Context of Montesquieu's Anti-slavery Diatribe
Voltaire: The Philosophe as Essentialist
Voltaire and the Albino of 1744
Voltaire, the N�gre, and Human Merchandise
Processing Africa and Africans in the Encyclop�dic
The Preternatural History of Black African Difference
Teaching Degeneration: Valmont de Bomare's Dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle
The Natural History of Slavery, 1770-1802
The Hardening of Climate Theory and the Birth of New Racial Categories circa 1770-1785
Toward a Human Biopolitics circa 1750-1770
The Politics of Slavery in the Encyclop�die
Mercier and Saint-Lambert and the New Natural History
The Synchretism of the 1770s: Grappling with "Nature's Mistreatment" of the N�gre
Anti-slavery Rhetoric in Raynal's Histoire des deux Indes
The Era of Negrophilia
Epilogue: The Natural History of the Noir in an Age of Revolution
Coda: Black Africans and the Enlightenment Legacy
Works Cited
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