Class Notes (810,552)
Canada (494,146)
AFRI 200 (1)


46 Pages
Unlock Document

McGill University
African Studies
AFRI 200
John Galaty

The general perception of Africa during this period was being shaped by the views of Africans from the eyes of the Europeans an example is philosopher Rosseaus sentiment that blacks were mentally inferior by nature lThose who opposed abolition argued that slavery was the natural law of Africa and that is was as much a pPart I 1 JJ Comaroff South AfricaIn the late 1700s Africa became a term that drew negativityThe antislavery movement replayed Adam Smiths message in another key that all classes of society should be recognized as sharing a natural identity of interest and that the common wealth depended on the liberty of everyone to pursue their own ends Abolitionism might have been a realistic attempt to resolve contradictions in the culture of postenlightenment Englandart of Africa as such things like cannibalism was as seen by some observers in Africa Abolitionism didnt argue for a withdrawal from Africa but instead it focused on turning Africans from slaves into fit subjects of Europeans empires and ChristendomInto South Africa Of Maps and MoralsIn Britain around 1800 John Barrow founder of the Royal Geographic Society made a an account of his time in the new British colony of South Africa and says that the myth of savage Africans were false and describes the Khosian people as gentle and the San people as frighten children in battlebows and arrow vs the Dutch Boers guns Barrow portrayed the Dutch Boer settlers as brutal and ignorant in their treatment of the native people The representation of Africa in the late eighteenth century reflected a conceptual order that arose due to man defining his place in nature rather than just being one of Gods passive creaturesIn the early nineteenth century life sciences began see man as the embodiment of perfectionsince he alone distinguished himself by using reason to discover his own essence so things such as the slave trade which blurred the notion of a generic human nature that separated man from beast was looked down upon With the rise in comparative anatomy and biology as formal sciences Africans were viewed as the link between man and beast since for ages it was moral and politico economic principles that separated man savage man and his white counterpart but now it was physical aspects Differences in natural features such as skull variation which were correlated to aesthetic appearance and mental capacity This all culminated into a form of scientific racism The manner in which Africa was portrayed as a woman was an extension of a gender ideology fast taking root in late eighteenth century Europe Women were thought to be easily susceptible to external environmental factors much like nonEuropeans Unlike women European men were thought of as a selfcontained individual and were driven by inner reason not by external environmental factors Cheikh Anta Diop EgyptIn 1953 the RDADemocratic African Rally produced an article that incorporated the resume of Nations negres and had all their ideas about African history thoughts on African Social Structures and on strategy and tactics in the struggle for national independenceThere are 3 factors that compete to form the collective personality of a people psychic factor historical factor and the linguistic factor The west has not been calm enough and objective enough to teach African history without crude generalizations1 Ancient Egypt was an African civilization and that fact cannot be ignored when studying African history just like the Greeks cannot be ignored when studying European history The ancient Egyptians created such innovations such as Pythagorean mathematics the theory of four elements of Thales of Miletus Judaism Islam and modern science which were all rooted in Egyptian cosmogony and science Certain Biblical passages are practically copies of Egyptian moral texts2 In terms of culture and anthropology to understand the semitic world it requires constant reference to underlying Black reality3 All races descended from the black race as stated by Leaky4 The research pattern utilized in LAfrique Noire Precoloniale in terms of sociohistorical has been utilized by many researchers It strives to demonstrate the possibility of writing a history on black Africa free of just chronological events and to define the laws governing the evolution of African sociopolitical structures5 In the second part of Nations negres they demonstrate that African languages can be used to express philosophical and scientific thoughtand that African culture will not be taken seriously until their utilization in education actually happens2 Kwame Anthony Appiah Africa Essay focuses on Afrocentrism For Appiah Afrocentrism is simply Eurocentrism turned upsidedown and its positive and negative aspects Afrocentrism also known as Black Solidaritybeing at the base of various movements in the US that aim to revise the way that African history is taught On one hand as Appiah points Afrocentrism as taught in European and American Universities is tinted by a Euroceptic point of view Also shows that some Europeans have strategically left out information on the Egyptian origins of the Greek miracle and the black African origins of the Egyptian miracle Somewhat of an irony that Swahili is used as an Afrocentric language seeing as barely any of the slave brought to Africa spoke itMajor hero of Afrocentric movementCheikh Anta DiopAfrocentrism seems to share the presuppositions of the Victorian ideologies against which it is reactingStrong focus on racial issues As Diop wrote Racial identity with the Egyptians makes their achievements a moral asset for contemporary balcks Paulin Hountondji theory on unanimism that is that Africa has one unified culture Janheins Jahns ironic book on ntu and the concept that everything revolves around the suffix ing in Western civilizationEuropeans try to classify Africa as a thing as a unit But in reality is a mosaique of societies and civilizations that intertwine to form a countryVY Mudimbe AfricaColonialism brought on new types of discourses in African traditions and writings Two images developedthe Hobbesian picture of a preEuropean Africa in which there was no account of Time no Arts no Letter no Society and which is worst of all continued fear and danger of violent death and the Rousseauian picture of an African golden age of perfect liberty equality and fraternity Colonialism colonization derived from Latin word colere meaning to cultivate or to design Europeans here Mudimbe is speaking about the Colonialists have always tried to transform nonEuropeans into an ideal EuropeanThree hypotheses emerge the domination of physical space the reformation of natives minds and the integration of local economic histories into Western perspectives 54 These principles constitute what is called the colonizing structureMetaphor of painter who is trying to represent what he sees in front of him But in his artwork subjective vision as he adds his own idealsideas As Foucault wrote the person it resembles and the person in whose eyes it is only a resemblanceNot until 18th century that African artifacts associated with strange and uglyObjects that maybe arent seen as art in their native context become so by being given simultaneously an aesthetic character and a potentiality for producing and reproducing other artistic forms 59As Fry points out it is strange that their art is not seen as culture in a western perspectivePart II 1 EE EvansPritchard NuerSudan
More Less

Related notes for AFRI 200

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.