Studies of Skin Color in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift

Studies of Skin Color in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift

by Cristina Malcolmson

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Overview

Studies of Skin Color in the Early Royal Society: Boyle, Cavendish, Swift by Cristina Malcolmson

Arguing that the early Royal Society moved science toward racialization by giving skin color a new prominence as an object of experiment and observation, Cristina Malcolmson provides the first book-length examination of studies of skin color in the Society. She also brings new light to the relationship between early modern literature, science, and the establishment of scientific racism in the nineteenth century. Malcolmson demonstrates how unstable the idea of race remained in England at the end of the seventeenth century, and yet how extensively the intertwined institutions of government, colonialism, the slave trade, and science were collaborating to usher it into public view. Malcolmson places the genre of the voyage to the moon in the context of early modern discourses about human difference, and argues that Cavendish’s Blazing World and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels satirize the Society’s emphasis on skin color.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780754637783
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/28/2013
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Cristina Malcolmson is Professor of English at Bates College, USA.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Race and the experimental method in the Society; Discussions of race and the emergence of polygenesis in the Society; Boyle, Biblical monogenesis, and slavery; Race, gender, and the response to Boyle in Cavendish's Blazing World; Race, gender, and the imagination in the Philosophical Transactions; Gulliver's Travels and studies of skin color in the Society; Conclusion: The Royal Society and Atlantic studies; Appendix: Jonathan Swift's debt to Margaret Cavendish; Bibliography; Index.

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