Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-1676

Joyce E. Chaplin (Author)
Available

Description

With this sweeping reinterpretation of early cultural encounters between the English and American natives, Joyce E. Chaplin thoroughly alters our historical view of the origins of English presumptions of racial superiority, and of the role science and technology played in shaping these notions. By placing the history of science and medicine at the very center of the story of early English colonization, Chaplin shows how contemporary European theories of nature and science dramatically influenced relations between the English and Indians within the formation of the British Empire.

In Chaplin's account of the earliest contacts, we find the English--impressed by the Indians' way with food, tools, and iron--inclined to consider Indians as partners in the conquest and control of nature. Only when it came to the Indians' bodies, so susceptible to disease, were the English confident in their superiority. Chaplin traces the way in which this tentative notion of racial inferiority hardened and expanded to include the Indians' once admirable mental and technical capacities. Here we see how the English, beginning from a sense of bodily superiority, moved little by little toward the idea of their mastery over nature, America, and the Indians--and how this progression is inextricably linked to the impetus and rationale for empire.

Product Details

Price
$50.40
Publisher
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
February 28, 2003
Pages
411
Dimensions
5.9 X 1.2 X 8.94 inches | 1.34 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780674011229
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Joyce E. Chaplin is James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. She has taught at five different universities on two continents and an island and in a maritime studies program in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She is the author of An Anxious Pursuit: Agricultural Innovation and Modernity in the Lower South, 1730-1815 (1993), Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500-1676 (2001), The First Scientific American: Benjamin Franklin and the Pursuit of Genius (2006), and Benjamin Franklin's Political Arithmetic: A Materialist View of Humanity (2009).