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Histories of Race: Rethinking the Human in an Era of Enlightenment
FRST 275
Spring 2014 not offered
Crosslisting: SISP 375, HIST 275, COL 257

A spurious abstraction when it was first "invented" during the 18th century, the concept of race has nonetheless forever left its imprint on history, not to mention the human condition. This class will interrogate the conceptual status of race in two ways. In seminar, we will chart the slow and halting creation of the concept of race as it crystallized in European thought during the 18th century. During this broad assessment of the era's proto-raciology, we will examine several competing histories of race, including religious accounts of race, anatomical understandings of race, conjectural histories of humankind, and the rise of conceptual classification schemes of humankind in an era of human chattel slavery. In addition to charting the birth of race in the Enlightenment-era life sciences, we will also expand the seminar's scope to include discussion on eras both previous to and after the Enlightenment "invention" of race (circa pre-1700, post-1800). This will take place during a weekend conference that will bring together students, Wesleyan faculty, Wesleyan alumni, and outside scholars. The ultimate goal of this course is to provide students with a historicized understanding of race that will inform their reactions to race and ethnicity in the future.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS RLAN
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA)(CGST-MN)(COL)(FRST-MN)(FRST)(RMST)(STS)

Last Updated on JUN-16-2024
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