Historicizing Humans: Deep Time, Evolution, and Race in Nineteenth-Century British Sciences

Historicizing Humans: Deep Time, Evolution, and Race in Nineteenth-Century British Sciences

by Efram Sera-Shriar (Editor)


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With an Afterword by Theodore Koditschek

A number of important developments and discoveries across the British Empire's imperial landscape during the nineteenth century invited new questions about human ancestry. The rise of secularism and scientific naturalism; new evidence, such as skeletal and archaeological remains; and European encounters with different people all over the world challenged the existing harmony between science and religion and threatened traditional biblical ideas about special creation and the timeline of human history. Advances in print culture and voyages of exploration also provided researchers with a wealth of material that contributed to their investigations into humanity’s past.

Historicizing Humans takes a critical approach to nineteenth-century human history, as the contributors consider how these histories were shaped by the colonial world, and for various scientific, religious, and sociopolitical purposes. This volume highlights the underlying questions and shared assumptions that emerged as various human developmental theories competed for dominance throughout the British Empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822945291
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 05/25/2018
Series: Sci & Culture in the Nineteenth Century Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Efram Sera-Shriar is lecturer in modern history at Leeds Trinity University, UK. He has published extensively on the history of the human sciences, including his book The Making of British Anthropology, 1813-1871.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction From the Beginning: Human History Theories in Nineteenth-Century British Sciences Efram Sera Shriar 1

Chapter 1 Contemporaries of the Cave Bear and the Woolly Rhinoceros: Historicizing Prehistoric Humans and Extinct Beasts, 1859-1914 Chris Manias 14

Chapter 2 Of Rocks and "Men": The Cosmogony of John William Dawson Nanna Katrine Lüders Kaaiund 44

Chapter 3 Historicizing Belief E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture, and the Evolution of Religion Efram Sera-shriar 68

Chapter 4 The History of the "Red Man": William Bollaert and the indigenous People of the Americas Maurtzlo Esposrro Abigail Nieves Delgado 91

Chapter 5 Historicizing Humans in Colonial India Thomas Simpson 113

Chapter 6 How and Why Darwin Got Emotional about Race Gregory Radick 138

Chapter 7 The Comparative Method in "Shadow Time Walter Scott, Thomas Calyle, and Francis Galton Helen Kingstone 172

Chapter 8 The Future Evolution of "Man" Ian Heskhth 193

Afterword Historiographical Reflections on the Historicization of Humans in Nineteenth Century British Sciences Theodore Koditschek 218

Notes 231

Bibliography 285

List of Contributors 315

Index 319

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