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UNIT 21: Colonial Identities

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READINGS

Reading 1

Candice Goucher, Charles LeGuin, and Linda Walton, In the Balance: Themes in Global History (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1998). Selections from chapter 17, "The Tentacles of Empire: The New Imperialism and Nationalisms in Asia, Africa, and the Americas."

Abstract: This essay explores the ideologies that both motivated and justified colonialism, and documents its specific cultural effects on Europeans. It begins by looking at the racial and religious justifications for empire, and moves to the ways in which the colonial experience informed European art, archaeology, and literature. Overall, it demonstrates that the colonial experience was not one felt only by colonized peoples. Instead, it was an important means by which European identities were constructed as well.

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Reading 2

Michelle Maskiell, "Consuming Kashmir: Shawls and Empires, 1500–2000," Journal of World History 13, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 27–65.

Abstract: In comparing the adjustments to a free labor economy in the post-emancipation United States South and in slaveholding Cuba, this essay reveals certain parallels and divergences. Most particularly, it emphasizes the relative position of both places in the global, national, and colonial economies, and it explores the political economy of race and work. Following Confederate expatriates and Victorian travelers from the United States to the Caribbean, it also draws attention to various intellectual and cultural connections between Cuba and the American South. Here, too, it is especially concerned with shared notions of race and racial supremacy.

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Reading 3

Mark Francis, "The 'Civilizing' of Indigenous People in Nineteenth-Century Canada," Journal of World History 9, no. 1 (1998): 51–87.

Abstract: This article explores the nineteenth-century concept of "civilization" that was used to direct policies toward indigenous peoples in Canada. In Canada attitudes toward native people were shaped by the construction of a theory of "civilization" as material culture, which was seen as independent from, and superior to, other aspects of culture. This article analyzes Victorian concepts of "civilization" as represented in the writings of John Stuart Mill, E. B. Tylor, John Lubbock, Daniel Wilson, and missionaries. It then traces the ideas of Canadian officials and politicians concerned with Indian administration to show how these ideas reflected similar notions. Official language is seen to have formed part of a general Victorian discourse of "civilization" that excluded Indians from both self-governance and participation in the European community.

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h3>Reading 4

Carol Devens, " 'If We Get the Girls, We Get the Race': Missionary Education of Native American Girls," Journal of World History 3:2 (1992): 219–38.

Abstract: Nineteenth-century missionaries targeted native American girls as a crucial part of their effort to "civilize" and convert Native American peoples. They developed programs to indoctrinate girls with Victorian values of female piety, domesticity, and submissiveness so that young women might raise their children by these principles. The cases of Ojibwa and Dakota girls suggest that this experience had a profound impact on girls' identification with tribal culture and on their relationships with female kin.

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