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Title: Luxury, sensibility, climate and taste : eighteenth-century worldwide racialisation of difference
Author: Cadelo Buitrago, Andrea
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 0775
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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In my doctoral dissertation I explore the key role played by the eighteenth-century enlightened narrative of civilisation in the shaping of a Eurocentric/racist construction of the world. I do this by analysing how, in sources from the realms of moral philosophy and natural history, the intertwining discourses of luxury, sensibility, taste and climate that fuelled the narrative of civilisation created an understanding of human nature that made eighteenth-century scientific racism possible. The entire non-European world (the East, Africa and America) was presented as a space inhabited by unnatural bodies. Although Europe itself was not characterised as monolithic, (these writers saw a clear boundary between Northern and Southern Europe), the joint efforts of both moral philosophers and natural historians clearly distinguished Europe and the European body from the rest of the world. The Eurocentric/racist eighteenth-century construction of the world was so powerful in naturalising the European human and national prototype as a universal normative standard that it even found agents in other continents who were willing to argue that they too belonged to the European civilisation. Even those whom Europeans explicitly cast as inhabiting spaces unfit for the unfolding of civilisation, and thus as spaces where the European human prototype inevitably degenerated, might insist that they too conformed to the European human and national prototype. The idea of Europe as the centre of the world would not have triumphed had agents outside Europe not participated in its making. This was the case of the New Granadan Creoles, the founding fathers of the Colombian nation, who far from questioning the Eurocentric racist/lens of civilisation whereby European savants had dismissed the non-European world as inferior, instead reinforced it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CB History of civilization ; D History (General) ; HT Communities. Classes. Races