Defining the Human: Competing Race Explanations in Early-Modern Thought|
FIST 285, AMST 285|
While this seminar examines the notion of race during the early-modern era, it will eschew the white/black, masters/slave binary that tends to characterize contemporary accounts of early-modern raciology. Instead, we will look at how the advent of a modern, scientific explanation of a common root for all races, monogenesis (Maupertuis), introduced the threat of sameness for many Enlightenment-era thinkers. We will also look at monogenesis's counterpoint, early polygenetic theory. This interdisciplinary class will include readings from Dominican missionaries in the Caribbean, armchair naturalists working in Paris and London, and selections from travel compilations, all of which tackled the question of the conceptual status of "the varieties of the human species." In addition to these texts, we will also read abolitionist authors who, by the late 18th century, realized that the most effective arguments against the institution of slavery needed to humanize the African "species" in a way that previous antislavery writers had not.
Intercultural Literacy, Writing
Intercultural literacy - this course will examine a series of different European views of Africans.
Writing - this class will have a substantial writing component, including re-writes.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Buffon, NATURAL HISTORY
Equiano, THE INTERESTING NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO
Hannaford, RACE: THE HISTORY OF AN IDEA IN THE WEST
Roy, Porter, Wokler, INVENTING HUMAN SCIENCE
Maupertuis, THE PHYSICAL VENUS
Dooling, WHITE MAN'S GRAVE
ENCYCLOPÉDIE, various articles
Selections from 16th and 17th century travelogues to Africa
|Examination and Assignments: |
Two short papers, one term paper, class presentations.
|Instructor(s): Curran,Andrew Times: .M.W... 11:00AM-12:20PM; Location: CFH106; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 18||SR major: 2||JR major: 3|| || |
|Seats Available: 4||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 2||JR non-major: 3||SO: 4||FR: 4|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 2||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 2|