The contributors to Facing Empire reimagine the Age of Revolution from the perspective of indigenous peoples. Rather than treating indigenous peoples as distant and passive players in the political struggles of the time, this book argues that they helped create and exploit the volatility that marked an era while playing a central role in the profound acceleration in encounters and contacts between peoples around the world. Focusing in particular on indigenous peoples’ experiences of the British Empire, this volume takes a unique comparative approach in thinking about how indigenous peoples shaped, influenced, redirected, ignored, and sometimes even forced the course of modern imperialism. The essays demonstrate how indigenous-shaped local exchanges, cultural relations, and warfare provoked discussion and policymaking in London as much as it did in Charleston, Cape Town, or Sydney. Facing Empire charts a fresh way forward for historians of empire, indigenous studies, and the Age of Revolution and shows why scholars can no longer continue to exclude indigenous peoples from histories of the modern world. These past conflicts over land and water, labor and resources, and hearts and minds have left a living legacy of contested relations that continue to resonate in contemporary politics and societies today. Covering the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Australia, and West and South Africa, as well as North America, this book looks at the often misrepresented and underrepresented complexity of the indigenous experience on a global scale. Contributors: Tony Ballantyne, Justin Brooks, Colin G. Calloway, Kate Fullagar, Bill Gammage, Robert Kenny, Shino Konishi, Elspeth Martini, Michael A. McDonnell, Jennifer Newell, Joshua L. Reid, Daniel K. Richter, Rebecca Shumway, Sujit Sivasundaram, Nicole Ulrich
Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots
Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society—for the better "War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing," says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer. In War! What Is It Good For?, the renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. Stone Age people lived in small, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying violently. In the twentieth century, by contrast—despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust—fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The explanation: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, killing has made the world safer, and the safety it has produced has allowed people to make the world richer too. War has been history's greatest paradox, but this searching study of fifteen thousand years of violence suggests that the next half century is going to be the most dangerous of all time. If we can survive it, the age-old dream of ending war may yet come to pass. But, Morris argues, only if we understand what war has been good for can we know where it will take us next.
Hybridity and its Discontents explores the history and experience of 'hybridity' - the mixing of peoples and cultures - in North and South America, Latin America, Britain and Ireland, South Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The contributors trace manifestations of hybridity in debates about miscengenation and racial purity, in scientific notions of genetics and 'race', in processes of cultural translation, and in ideas of nation, community and belonging. The contributors begin by examining the persistence of anxieties about racial 'contamination', from nineteenth-century fears of miscegenation to more recent debates about mixed race relationships and parenting. Examining the lived experiences of children of 'mixed parentage', contributors ask why such fears still thrive in a supposedly tolerant culture? The contributors go on to discuss how science, while apparently neutral, is part of cultural discourses, which affect its constructions and classifications of gender and 'race'. The contributors examine how new cultural forms emerge from borrowings, exchanges and intersections across ethnic and cultural boundaries, and conclude by investigating the contemporary experience of multiculturalism in an age of contested national borders and identities.
In 1928, Margaret Mead published her first book, entitled Coming of Age in Samoa, in which she described to the Western world an exotic culture where people "came of age" with a minimum of "storm and stress." In 1983, Derek Freeman, an Australian anthropologist, published a book in which he systematically attacked Mead's conclusions about that culture and the way people came of age. Since then, a great deal of attention has been directed toward the Mead-Freeman controversy. This book contributes to that controversy and to the general understanding of adolescent storm and stress by undertaking an interdisciplinary analysis of Freeman's criticisms and an assessment of the plausibility of Mead's work. Addressing the issue of what has become of Mead's Samoa of the 1920s, this book historically tracks the nature of the "coming of age in Samoa" to the present, in order to give the reader an understanding of the circumstances confronting young people in contemporary Samoa. It shows that Mead's Samoa has been lost; what was once a place in which most young people came of age with relative ease has become a place where young people experience great difficulty in terms of finding a place in their society, to the point where they currently have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. While much has been written about this controversy during the past decade, a gap exists in the sense that most of the publicity about Mead's work has missed her main focus concerning the processes governing the "coming of age" of her informants. A valuable historical document and a pioneering study, Mead's book anticipated changes that are still unfolding today in the field of human development. The preoccupation with issues tangential to her main focus--issues involving the Samoan ethos and character--have not only diverted a clear analysis of Mead's work, they have also led to the creation of a number of myths and misconceptions about Mead and her book. The author also has an interest in Mead's original focus on the relative impact of biological and cultural influences in shaping the behavior of those coming of age--in all societies. Despite what has been said by her critics, not only was this a crucial issue during the time of her study, but it is also an issue that is now just beginning to be understood some 60 years later. In addition, the issue of biology versus culture--the so-called nature-nurture debate--carries with it many political implications. In the case of the Mead-Freeman controversy, this political agenda looms large--an agenda which is clearly spelled out in this book.
In the nineteenth century, nearly all Native American men living along the southern New England coast made their living traveling the world's oceans on whaleships. Many were career whalemen, spending twenty years or more at sea. Their labor invigorated economically depressed reservations with vital income and led to complex and surprising connections with other Indigenous peoples, from the islands of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. At home, aboard ship, or around the world, Native American seafarers found themselves in a variety of situations, each with distinct racial expectations about who was "Indian" and how "Indians" behaved. Treated by their white neighbors as degraded dependents incapable of taking care of themselves, Native New Englanders nevertheless rose to positions of command at sea. They thereby complicated myths of exploration and expansion that depicted cultural encounters as the meeting of two peoples, whites and Indians. Highlighting the shifting racial ideologies that shaped the lives of these whalemen, Nancy Shoemaker shows how the category of "Indian" was as fluid as the whalemen were mobile.