18th-Century Anthropology

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Studies in Early Modern Europe Professor Miriam Claude Meijer ("Mayor")
HIST 6342 - Graduate SeminarUniversity of Central Arkansas - Fall 1994
“Concepts of the Non-European in Early Modern Europe” Seminar
Week I The Classical Heritage: Before Color Prejudice Primary Sources
  Hodgen, ch. 1 Herodotus: Darnell, ch. 2
  Montagu, ch. 2 and 3  
  Darnell, pp. 11-18  
Week II Medieval Theories: Humors, Monsters, Climate
  Baudet: Part I Marco Polo, pp. 109-253
  Hodgen, ch. II-III  
  Cameron, ch. 3  
  Wittkower’s article  
Week III The Contact: European Explorers and Collectors
  Bitterli, ch. 1 Columbus: Montagu, ch. 1
  Marshall & Williams, Part I Díaz: Darnell, ch. 7
  Hodgen, ch. 4-5 Assign Oral Reports for Weeks VI-IX
Week IV The Renaissance: Rationalism and the Issue of the Flood
  Hodgen, ch. 6 Descartes, pp. 79-130
  Greene, pp. 1-87  
  Darnell, ch. 5 and pp. 79-88  
  Tillyard, ch. 4-5  
Week V Skepticism: The Noble Savage and Cannibalism
  Baudet: Part II Montaigne: Darnell, ch. 10
  Hodgen, ch. 9-10  
  Berkhofer, Part 3  
Week VI The Americans: Origins and Paganism
  Berkhofer, Parts 1 and 2 Franklin: Montagu, ch.4
  Bitterli, ch. 3-5 Darnell, ch. 6, 8, 9, 11
  Marshall & Williams, pp. 187-226  
Week VII The Asians: Antiquity and Chinoiserie
  Bitterli, ch. 6 Montesquieu: Darnell, ch. 13
  Marshall & Williams, Part II  
  Cameron, ch. 6-9  
Week VIII The Africans: Mercantilism and Miscegenation
  Bitterli, ch. 2 Blake: 1789 poem
  Jordan, ch. 4 
  Cohen, ch. 2 and 5  
  Marshall & Williams, pp. 227-257 Midterm
Week IX The Pacific Islanders: Apotheosis and Romanticism
  Bitterli, ch. 7 Diderot: pp. 223-251
  Smith, ch. 1-5  
  Marshall & Williams, pp. 258-298  
Week X The Enlightenment and Secularization: Extinction
  Greene, pp. 89-173 Rousseau: 1761 essay’s footnotes
  Montagu, ch. 11-12  
  Harris, ch. 2  
Week XI Manlike Apes and Wild Children: The Issue of Language
  Yerkes, ch. 2-4 Monboddo: Darnell, ch. 12
  Greene, pp. 175-219 Camper: 1779 essay
  Rymer’s articles Montagu, ch. 8
  Douthwaite’s article  
Week XII The Issue of Skin Color: Bile, Albinism, Environmentalism
  Greene, pp. 221-247 Albinus: 1737 essay
  Cohen, ch. 1 Buffon: 1749 essay
  Jordan, ch. 6 Camper: 1764 essay
Week XIII Monogenism vs. Polygenism: Degeneration Just the Same
  Cohen, ch. 3 Herder: pp. 253-326
  Hodgen, ch. 7-8 Maupertuis: 1753 essay
  Harris, ch. 4  
Week XIV Chain of Being: Metamorphoses, Physiognomy, Aesthetics
  Gilman, ch. 2 Daubenton: 1764 essay
  Jordan, ch. 13  
  Hodgen, ch. 11-12  
Week XV Craniology: Evolution and Scientific Racism
  Baudet: Part III Darwin: Montagu, ch. 6, 7, 9
  Greene, pp. 249-339 Hunter: Montagu, ch. 13
  Harris, ch. 3Soemmerring: 1885 essay
  Cohen, ch. 8 Cuvier: 1802 essay
  Stepan, ch. 1-2  
  Darnell, pp. 169-179  
Week XVI The History of Anthropology: Today’s Perspective
  Darnell, pp. 289-296 Montagu, ch. 27, 31-32, 34
    Term Paper due


Albinus, Bernard Siegried.
Sede et caussa colris aethiopum et caeterorum hominum (Leyden: Apud Theodorum Haak; Amsterdam: Apud Jacobum Graal & Henicum de Leth, 1737). Translated handout.
Baudet, Henri.
Paradise on Earth: Some Thoughts on European Images of Non-European Man, trans. Elizabeth Wentholt (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1988).
Berkhofer, Robert F., Jr.
The White Man’s Indian: Images of the American Indian from Columbus to the Present, Parts 1-3 (New York: Vintage Books, 1979).
Bitterli, Urs.
Cultures in Conflict: Encounters Between European and Non-European Cultures, 1492-1800, trans. Ritchie Robertson (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989).
Blake, William.
“The Little Black Boy,” in Joseph Hartley Wicksteed, Blake’s Innocence and Experience (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1928).
Blumenbach, Johann Friedrich.
On the Natural Varieties of Mankind: De generis humanivarietate nativa, ed. and trans. Thomas Bendyshe (New York: Bergman Publishers, 1969).
Buffon, Georges Louis LeClerc, Count de.
Of the Varieties in the Human Species,Barr’s Buffon, Buffon’s Natural History Containing a Theory of the Earth, A General History of Man, of the Brute Creation, and of Vegetables, Minerals, etc. v. 4 of 10 (London: T. Gillet, 1807): 190-352.
Cameron, Nigel.
Barbarians and Mandarins: Thirteen Centuries of Western Travelers in China (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970): chapter 3, 6-9.
Camper, Peter [Petrus].
“Account of the Organs of Speech of the Orang Outang,” Philosophical Transactions 69 (1779): 139-159. Handout.
Camper, Petrus.
Lecture on the Origin and Color of Blacks, Given in the Anatomy Lecture Hall, at Groningen, November 14, 1764,” in Miriam Meijer, The Anthropology of Petrus Camper (1722-1789) (Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1992): 335-359. Reprint. “Petrus Camper on the Origin and Color of Blacks,” History of Anthropology Newsletter 24 (December 1997): 3-9.
Cohen, William B.
The French Encounter with Africans: White Response to Blacks, 1530-1880 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980): chapters 1-3, 5, and 8.
Cuvier, Georges.
Lectures on Comparative Anatomy, trans. William Ross (London: Longman and Rees, 1802), v. 2, pp. 2-11. Handout.
Darnell, Regna, ed.
Readings in the History of Anthropology (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), chapters 2, 5-13, and all of the Introductions.
Daubenton, Louis Jean Marie.
Essay on the Differences of the Position of the Occipital Foramen in Man and in Animals,” Histoire de l’Académie Royale des Sciences avec les Mémoires de Mathématique & de Physique (Paris) (1764): 568-579. Meijer's translated handout.
Descartes, René.
“Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason,” The Philosophical Works of Descartes, trans. Elizabeth S. Haldane and G. R. T. Ross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), v. 1.
Diderot, Denis.
“Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage,Diderot’s Selected Writings, trans. Derek Coltman (New York: MacMillan, 1966).
Douthwaite, Julia V.
“Rewriting the Savage: The Extraordinary Fictions of the Wild Girl of Champagne,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 28 (1994): 163-192.
Gilman, Sander L.
On Blackness without Blacks: Essays on the Image of the Black in Germany (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982): chapter 2.
Greene, John C.
The Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1959).
Harris, Marvin.
The Rise of Anthropological Theory, A History of Theories of Culture (New York: Harper and Row, 1968): chapters 2-4.
Herder, Johann Gottfried von.
“Ideas for a Philosophy of the History of Mankind” (1784-91), chapters III-V, VII-IX, in J. G. Herder on Social and Political Culture, trans. F. M. Barnard (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969).
Hodgen, Margaret T.
Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1964).
Jordan, Winthrop D.
White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968): chapters 4, 6, 13.
Marshall, P. J. and Glyndwr Williams
The Great Map of Mankind: Perceptions of New Worlds in the Age of Enlightenment (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982).
Maupertuis, Pierre-Louis Moreau de.
“Varieties in the Species of Man,” The Earthly Venus, trans. Simone Brangier Boas (New York: Johnson Reprint, 1966).
Montagu, Ashley, ed.
Frontiers of Anthropology (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1974): chapters 1-4, 6-13, 27, 31-32, and 34.
Polo, Marco.
“Kublai Khan,” The Travels of Marco Polo, ed. Manuel Komroff (New York: Modern Library, 1953).
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques.
A Discourse upon the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind (London: Dodsley, 1761).
Rymer, Russ.
A Silent Childhood-Part I,” The New Yorker (April 13, 1992): 41-81. “A Silent Childhood-Part II,” The New Yorker (April 20, 1992): 43-77.
Smith, Bernard.
European Vision and the South Pacific (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985): chapters 1-5.
Soemmerring, Samuel Thomas.
Selections from “On the Comparative Anatomy of the Negro and European” in Julien Joseph Virey, Natural History of the Negro Race, trans. J. H. Guenebault (Charleston, South Carolina: 1837): 57-75.
Stepan, Nancy.
The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain 1800-1960 (Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1982): chapters 1-2.
Tillyard, Eustace M. W.
The Elizabethan World Picture (New York: MacMillan, 1944): chapters 4-5.
Wittkower, Rudolf.
“Marvels of the East: A Study in the History of Monsters,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 159-197.
Yerkes, Robert M. and Ada W.
The Great Apes: A Study of Anthropoid Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970): chapters 2-4.


Flying Squirrel
Aquatic Birds
Amphibious Birds
Flying Fish
Crawling Fish
Water Snakes
Tubular Worms
Sensitive Plants
Mushrooms, Agarics
Corals, Coraloids
Asbestos, Amianthus
Talcs, Gypsums, Selenites
Formed Stones
Pure Earth

This particular expression of the Chain of Being is from Charles Bonnet, Oeuvres d'Histoire naturelle et de philosophie (Neuchâtel: Samuel Fauche, 1779), v. 1, p. 1. English translation in Charles White, An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man, and in Different Animals and Vegetables; and from the Former to the Latter (London: C. Dilly, 1799), pp. 17-18 and also in Lorin Anderson, “Charles Bonnet’s Taxonomy and Chain of Being,” Journal of the History of Ideas 37 (1976): 48-49.

Secondary sources on the Chain of Being:

Cohen, William B.
“The Chain of Being,” The French Encounter with Africans: White Response to Blacks, 1530-1880. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980, pp. 86-89.
Hodgen, Margaret T.
“The Place of the Savage in the Chain of Being,” Early Anthropology in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1964, pp. 386-430.
Jordan, Winthrop D.
White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968, pp. 216-239 and “The Negro Bound by the Chain of Being,” chapter XIII.
Kuntz, Marion and Paul, eds.
Jacob’s Ladder and the Tree of Life: Concepts of Hierarchy and the Great Chain of Being. New York: Peter Lang, 1987.
Lovejoy, Arthur O.
The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1960.
Stepan, Nancy.
“Race and the Return of the Great Chain of Being, 1800-50,” The Idea of Race in Science: Great Britain, 1800-1960. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1982, pp. 1-19.
Tillyard, Eustace M. W.
“The Chain of Being” and “The Links in the Chain,” The Elizabethan World Picture. New York: MacMillan, 1944, pp. 23-76.


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