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Lecture 2

HIS202H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: United States

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Week 2 - January 13 – Classification & Anatomy
Stakes of the present
- tense “racial relations” in the U.s> - racial profiling, police brutality
- high profile instances of sexual violation of allegations thereof
How does knowledge get made and unmade?
How does knowledge get enrolled into other projects?
Science Society
Our Method:
- watch how scientific ideas and facts about human difference get constructed over
- follow the scientists around watch them work, agree, and disagree
Ready Made Science
- important scientists
- great discoveries
- major controversies
- memorize facts
First generation of scholars that train ---> those students train other students --> those
students train other students
Enlightenment Science
- doing “establish work” and looking for “context”
- all cultural practices have a backstory and context to them
- Looking at some of the broad historical shifts that created the conditions of
possibility for (and the interest in) human classification
“Conditions of possibility” How did it become possible and optimal?
Question: Why do people become particularly interested in questions of human kind and
human difference in the 118thc?
Answer: The interest in human difference was part of larger, interconnected set of
Key: A whole culture of classification emerged in the 18thc
What is the Enlightenment?
Revolutions founding modern nation States:
1. United States (1765-1783)
2. France (1788-1789)
- science in the making
- The doing of science
- Science as a socio cultural
- Science as a process of

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Week 2 - January 13 – Classification & Anatomy
3. Haiti
Oxford English Dictionary:
- ENLIGHTENMENT: The action or process of reeing human understanding from
the accepted and ….
World History
- ENLIGHTENMENT: The philosophical
- term given to world of 18thc Europe and it’s colonial outposts
- A broad intellectual and cultural movement
- Rejection of superstition and mystery
- Optimism concerning the power of human reasoning
- Renewed belief in universal laws governing nature
- Faith in progress
Key: rise of unsupervised bourgeois public sphere
Key sites
- clubs and societies and special interest academies
- salons and coffeehouses and cafes
- thriving print culture (pamphlets and periodicals)
- increase of conversation through the interests, scholarly passions, increasing
knowledge of the world
- public culture, move away from direct censorship, if space is public you are not
restrained to the same degree of the force of conformity of the church etc. the idea
that you can explore and debate with a certain degree of freedom
- Writer and journalists
- Activists and propagandists
- Connoisseurs (the arts, literature,
- Students and scholars (economics,
ethics, politics)
- These new social environments offered public sociability that was open yet
- These new social environments also functioned like reading rooms
- Over course of 18thc: the rise of a self – conscious “public”
- Goal: To know everything
- listen to papers, talks, lectures,
concerts and recitals
- look at exhibits and displays
- openly discuss the news, current events
- share and demonstrate new ideas and
- hold essay contest and other
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