Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians

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9780801450198: Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians

In Taming Cannibals, Patrick Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire. For many Victorians, the idea of taming cannibals or civilizing savages was oxymoronic: civilization was a goal that the nonwhite peoples of the world could not attain or, at best, could only approximate, yet the "civilizing mission" was viewed as the ultimate justification for imperialism. Similarly, the supposedly unshakeable certainty of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority was routinely undercut by widespread fears about racial degeneration through contact with "lesser" races or concerns that Anglo-Saxons might be superseded by something superior?an even "fitter" or "higher" race or species.

Brantlinger traces the development of those fears through close readings of a wide range of texts?including Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Fiji and the Fijians by Thomas Williams, Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians by James Bonwick, The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold, She by H. Rider Haggard, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Throughout the wide-ranging, capacious, and rich Taming Cannibals, Brantlinger combines the study of literature with sociopolitical history and postcolonial theory in novel ways.

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About the Author:

Patrick Brantlinger is James Rudy Professor of English (Emeritus) at Indiana University. He is the author of many books, including Dark Vanishings, Fictions of State, Rule of Darkness, and Bread and Circuses, all from Cornell.

Review:

"Readers familiar with Patrick Brantlinger's many distinguished books on Victorian literature will welcome his most recent contribution, Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians, which he describes as the third in a 'trilogy' of Victorian and postcolonial studies projects that include his groundbreaking Rule of Darkness and Dark Vanishings (2003). Taming Cannibals focuses on 'various contradictions inherent in racist and imperialist ideology’ (p. 2), especially its so-called civilizing mission, and explores ways in which conceptions of race helped Victorians interpret and classify humans elsewhere, ‘including themselves’ (p. 19)."?John O. Jordan, Studies in English Literature (Autumn 2012)



"Taming Cannibals itself provides a nuanced, powerfully told, and richly detailed story of the ways in which the paradox of racial and imperial thought and writing has been, and continues to be, constitutive of the West's often agonistic but no less humanly costly self-understanding."?Cora Kaplan, Victorian Studies (Vol. 56.1, 2013)



"Third in Patrick Brantlinger's massive trilogy on race and the Victorians, this is the best of postcolonial criticism. It focuses on the contradictions and complexities of empire through such figures as Richard Burton, Disraeli, George Augustus Robinson, Mayhew, and Kipling, and such formations as the Celtic Twilight, going native, and colonial desire. It shows how racism pervades every aspect of Victorian and Modern culture and explains the persistence into our own time of what are otherwise inexplicably persistent inequalities. It is hard to be nuanced when covering this much, but by a seasoned mastery of both primary and secondary sources Brantlinger succeeds."?Regenia Gagnier, University of Exeter, President of British Association for Victorian Studies



"Focusing on the central 'contradictions' in the nineteenth-century discourse on racial difference, Patrick Brantlinger's Taming Cannibals makes a major contribution to the critical study of nineteenth-century imperialism as mission civilisatrice. No writer has made a more convincing or more interesting case for the claim that European imperialism rested on a central, irresolvable contradiction: on the one hand, that non-European 'savage' races can never be 'civilized' and, on the other, that European colonialism can only be justified as a moral mission to 'civilize' the 'savage.'"?Dan Bivona, Arizona State University



"A trailblazer in studies of Victorian culture and empire, Patrick Brantlinger delivers yet another wide-ranging book on Victorian racial ideologies, the third in a compelling trilogy. Taming Cannibals casts a fresh light on the mutuality of British imperialism and literature, exploring the intricate ways in which the 'civilizing mission' was at once promoted, compromised, and defined by prevailing race theories. Taming Cannibals is indispensable reading for students and scholars of Victorian literature."?Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 230 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In Taming Cannibals, Patrick Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire. For many Victorians, the idea of taming cannibals or civilizing savages was oxymoronic: civilization was a goal that the nonwhite peoples of the world could not attain or, at best, could only approximate, yet the civilizing mission was viewed as the ultimate justification for imperialism. Similarly, the supposedly unshakeable certainty of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority was routinely undercut by widespread fears about racial degeneration through contact with lesser races or concerns that Anglo-Saxons might be superseded by something superior--an even fitter or higher race or species. Brantlinger traces the development of those fears through close readings of a wide range of texts--including Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Fiji and the Fijians by Thomas Williams, Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians by James Bonwick, The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold, She by H. Rider Haggard, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Throughout the wide-ranging, capacious, and rich Taming Cannibals, Brantlinger combines the study of literature with sociopolitical history and postcolonial theory in novel ways. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780801450198

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Book Description Cornell University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 288 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.1in. x 0.9in.In Taming Cannibals, Patrick Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire. For many Victorians, the idea of taming cannibals or civilizing savages was oxymoronic: civilization was a goal that the nonwhite peoples of the world could not attain or, at best, could only approximate, yet the civilizing mission was viewed as the ultimate justification for imperialism. Similarly, the supposedly unshakeable certainty of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority was routinely undercut by widespread fears about racial degeneration through contact with lesser races or concerns that Anglo-Saxons might be superseded by something superioran even fitter or higher race or species. Brantlinger traces the development of those fears through close readings of a wide range of textsincluding Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Fiji and the Fijians by Thomas Williams, Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians by James Bonwick, The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold, She by H. Rider Haggard, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Throughout the wide-ranging, capacious, and rich Taming Cannibals, Brantlinger combines the study of literature with sociopolitical history and postcolonial theory in novel ways. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780801450198

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 230 x 154 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In Taming Cannibals, Patrick Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire. For many Victorians, the idea of taming cannibals or civilizing savages was oxymoronic: civilization was a goal that the nonwhite peoples of the world could not attain or, at best, could only approximate, yet the civilizing mission was viewed as the ultimate justification for imperialism. Similarly, the supposedly unshakeable certainty of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority was routinely undercut by widespread fears about racial degeneration through contact with lesser races or concerns that Anglo-Saxons might be superseded by something superior--an even fitter or higher race or species. Brantlinger traces the development of those fears through close readings of a wide range of texts--including Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Fiji and the Fijians by Thomas Williams, Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians by James Bonwick, The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold, She by H. Rider Haggard, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Throughout the wide-ranging, capacious, and rich Taming Cannibals, Brantlinger combines the study of literature with sociopolitical history and postcolonial theory in novel ways. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780801450198

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