Savage Constructions

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Savage Constructions composes a critical examination of the popular assumption that violence is an essential quality of certain ethnic or racial populations. Wendy C. Hamblet offers a theory of subjectivity transformed by historical violence. Rethinking how African peoples, once living in simple neighborly communities more democratic and egalitarian than modern states, have come to the condition of abjection, misery, and fierce aggression, she argues that Western affluence is built upon slaughter, slavery, and colonial oppression, and suggests that prosperous nations of the West owe a great debt to the societies they trampled en route to their prosperity.

Newly independent African nations are primary examples of a much vaster phenomenon. Western powers continue to sack poorer, weaker countries through covert intrigue, outright war, crippling debts, and unfair global labor and trade policies. The violences continue because many Westerners still harbor metaphysical assumptions about the supremacy of white Christians over less "civilized," darker-skinned peoples. These assumptions depress the possibilities of ethnic minorities within the West, continue to influence foreign policy and frustrate global relations, and ensure that the overwhelming collateral damage of modern wars is color conscious. Savage Constructions will appeal to all levels of scholars and students.

About the Author:
Wendy C. Hamblet is an assistant professor in the Department of University Studies at North Carolina A&T State University

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Editorial Reviews

Ron Hirschbein
A groundbreaking, thoroughly engaging study that plumbs the breath and depth of Western enthnocentricism. Hamblet's telling account of rebounding violence reveals the terrible legacy afflicting emerging African nations.
November 2008 CHOICE
Hamblet offers an important addition to any library that wishes to remain on the cutting edge of postcolonial studies. Her book is an important reexamination of Western prejudicial myths involving the cultures and beliefs of precolonial Africa....It should appeal to all students interested in understanding the difference between precolonial and postcolonial knowledge and truth issues. Faculty and students involved in multicultural studies should also find it helpful. Highly recommended.
Jay D. Glass
"Without a doubt this is a significant contribution to the field. It is a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the current state of Africa from the perspective of the influence of the colonial period. For those who agree with the main premise it will provide many additional arrows to their quiver, for those in a different camp it sets a high standard for their rebuttal."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739122808
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Hamblet is an assistant professor in the Department of University Studies / Liberal Studies at North Carolina A&T State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 One: The Savagery of "Civilizing" Forces Chapter 3 Two: Orienting Notions Chapter 4 Three: The Truth of Myth, The Myth of Truth Chapter 5 Four: Rebounding Violence in Social Rituals Chapter 6 Five: Precolonial Africa Chapter 7 Six: Colonialist Constructions of Africans Chapter 8 Seven: Anthropological Constructions of Africans Chapter 9 Eight: Religious and Medical Constructions of Africans Chapter 10 Nine: Western Philosophy's Human Hierarchy Chapter 11 Ten: African Self-Identity After Colonialist Myth Chapter 12 Eleven: Conflict of African and Colonial Identifications Chapter 13 Twelve: Savage Is as Savage Does Chapter 14 Thirteen: Rebounding Violences Chapter 15 Fourteen: African Philosophical Therapy Chapter 16 Fifteen: Concluding the Savagery

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