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Europe's Indians: Producing Racial Difference, 1500?1900 (Politics, History, and Culture)

Vanita Seth

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ISBN 10: 0822347644 / ISBN 13: 9780822347644
Published by Duke University Press Books, 2010
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Europe's Indians: Producing Racial ...

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

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Synopsis:

Europe’s Indians forces a rethinking of key assumptions regarding difference—particularly racial difference—and its centrality to contemporary social and political theory. Tracing shifts in European representations of two different colonial spaces, the New World and India, from the late fifteenth century through the late nineteenth, Vanita Seth demonstrates that the classification of humans into racial categories or binaries of self–other is a product of modernity. Part historical, part philosophical, and part a history of science, her account exposes the epistemic conditions that enabled the thinking of difference at distinct historical junctures. Seth’s examination of Renaissance, Classical Age, and nineteenth-century representations of difference reveals radically diverging forms of knowing, reasoning, organizing thought, and authorizing truth. It encompasses stories of monsters, new worlds, and ancient lands; the theories of individual agency expounded by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau; and the physiological sciences of the nineteenth century. European knowledge, Seth argues, does not reflect a singular history of Reason, but rather multiple traditions of reasoning, of historically bounded and contingent forms of knowledge. Europe’s Indians shows that a history of colonialism and racism must also be an investigation into the historical production of subjectivity, agency, epistemology, and the body.

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"In this original and exciting work, Vanita Seth shows how European ways of knowing changed and how as they changed, certain 'truths' were established, verified, habituated, and naturalized, so that the previous way of knowing was occluded and rendered unthinkable. Moving from a history of science into political theory, shifting from a European philosophical tradition into questions of postcolonialism, and historically specifying in new ways the question of race as a very modern invention, Seth makes an enormous contribution."--Pal Ahluwalia, author of "Out of Africa: Post-structuralism's Colonial Roots"

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