Subject Matter by Joyce E. Chaplin
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Subject Matter
By Joyce E. Chaplin

Subject Matter

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

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Format: Paperback

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Subject Matter by Joyce E. Chaplin

Book Description

With this sweeping reinterpretation of early cultural encounters between the English and American natives, Joyce E. Chaplin alters the 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 centre 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674011229
ISBN-10: 0674011228
Format: Paperback
(227mm x 146mm x 23mm)
Pages: 428
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 14-Mar-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Joyce E. Chaplin

Genealogies of Genius by Joyce E. Chaplin Genealogies of Genius, Paperback (December 2015)

Genius as a historical concept, rather than as a presumed trans-historical fact, is surprisingly underexamined, even as millions of daily decisions-personal, institutional, and governmental-are made according to unexamined assumptions about it. The essays in this book show that the origins and uses of concepts of genius warrant careful examination.

Food in Time and Place by Joyce E. Chaplin Food in Time and Place, Hardback (October 2014)

Food and cuisine are important subjects for historians across many areas of study. Food, after all, is one of the most basic human needs and a foundational part of social and cultural histories. This book delivers an unprecedented review of the state of historical research on food, endorsed by the American Historical Association.

» View all books by Joyce E. Chaplin


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Author Biography - Joyce E. Chaplin

Joyce E. Chaplin is Professor of History at Harvard University.

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