GG 270 - Cultural Geographies Exam Notes

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Margaret Walton- Roberts

GG 270 Exam Notes 3. case study: Revisiting European exploration and cultural diffusion, late medieval and renaissance period  exploration  trade  empire  technological diffusion and adaptation Europe in the Middle ages  Followed by modern era  In the Europe of the Middle Ages human observations about the world conformed to Biblical scripture  Belief that the universe – also known as the cosmos – was the creation of a divine being  The study of such an ordered universe was known as cosmography and its practitioners cosmographers, included such things as nautical science, geography, astronomy  map of mundi – orientation is to its east o contains beasts/creatures; represents of what we know and don’t know – creatures are fears/what we don’t know o incorporates everything everyone knows – all known knowledge  colonial maps show who owes what land, overwrite history  world Pictures of Cosmas - 547 A.D. Drawn by Cosmas Indicopleustes of Alexandria Age of Exploration  During the age of exploration, the amount of new information overwhelmed cosmographers  New information failed to correspond with religious conventions e.g. Conflict with the church over geocentrism vs. heliocentrism  These developments became part of the Renaissance The Renaissance  The renaissance marked an uneasy transition between the medieval and modern ages. C14-C16th  Renewed interest in Greek and Roman cultures fostered humanistic studies in art and science  New, stimulating ideas were spread with the advent of printing European Exploration  Improvements in navigation and sailing techniques allowed longer sea voyages  Diaz sails round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, first European known to do so  1492 Columbus ‘discovers’ the New world  1519-1522 Ferdinand Magellan’s feet circumnavigate the world  1492 Columbus discovery has been challenged by those who believe the Chinese discovered America first  European discovery of the New World required new observational and descriptive skills  Over the next 300 years geographical knowledge expanded and the problems of distance were somewhat diminished  By 1750 momentum of global expansion was European Trade  By end of the C16th we can talk about global trading economy, under the direction of the Portuguese  1600 English East India Company incorporated  Dutch East India Company established in 1602  C17th the Global trading economy emerging  But China, India and Arabs all had long history of trade routes, oceans and land based March 6 , 2013 Trade  Trade and exploration go hand in hand  Spice trade, silk road  With the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the overland trade route was blocked by the Ottamans  Age of Discovery spurred to find ocean routes Cultural contact (European colonialism)  Colonialism- establishment and maintenance of rule for protracted period over separate subjugated peoples  Colonization physical settlement of people from imperil centre to periphery  Characteristics: political and legal domination over alien society, relations of economic and political dependence and exploitation, racial and cultural inequality  In most places European exploration and trade was not immediately followed by the spread of empire  The Spanish in the Americas were an exception  Bloody wars, smallpox, decimation. 1524 Aztecs conquered, Guatemalan Maya’s follow in 1525, 1533 the Peruvian Inca Empire Falls  Spanish introduced new system of governance, but hybridity not replication, was the outcome Colonialism and landscape change  Different types of colonialism: o settler colonies o trading post economies o mine concessions  landscape transformation o commodity production o labour regime o political rule  sugar cheaper to produce due to slave labour  its an incentive to make people do the work  change over time o colonials. o Post colonialism, o Neo-colonialism 1. Landscape reproduced (Australia/Canada)  exploration permitted a process of reproduction of Empire in the landscape o reproducing the heart of empire in the colony, making the unfamiliar familiar  naming something a mountain, bar or meadow referred to idealized landscapes elsewhere  settlement was not only a physical process but a textual one  needed to create a spatial text that reproduced empire in this new location. New South Wales, British Columbia, Nova Scotia 2. Landscape and colonized conflated  colonizers held enlightenment vision of nature/culture as binary. Different relations to nature construed as savagery. (Rubber tappers in S. America)  “the person in perpetual contact with this savage wilderness becomes just as savage” Jose Eustasio Rivera 1920  “to all intents and purposes their bodily existence was on a par with that of the wild animals around them.” March 11 , 2013 3. Landscape as challenge (Africa)  “the harsh facts of disease and death themselves darkened the continent” P. Brantlinger – Rule of Darkness British Literature and Imperialism 1830-1914  colonialism can create societies through structures  “enormous tropical regions yet await the clearing and draining operations by the lower races, which will fit them to become the dwellings places of civilized men” Burton, African explorer quoted in Brantlinger  superiority originates from the medieval world view Conclusions  Cartographic representations important to the process of possession and control, BUT can also be used for critical purposes that challenge different forms of power  Explaining change utilized different epistemologies (diffusion), that themselves constructed and reproduced certain views of the world  Exploration part of the expansion of trade, and colonialism part of the process of resource extraction and territorial expansion  Need to understand what happened before to see how its implicit today  Recent controversy over claims the Chinese discovered the Americas before Columbus part of a larger recent debate on the nature of trade in the Medieval world  Repositions our understanding of current and future economic relations Race, identity and landscape Power, identity and landscape  Race o Fallacy of scientific racism o Reality of racism (apartheid/genocide)  Difference and power o Ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion o Difference becomes the method of which we articulate power/access power  USA’s core is of upper class. Middle class white men  In Canada we have a policy to reach out to ethnic groups who see/feel …  Global inequality o Eurocentric diffusionism (Blaut) o World systems theory  Can try to rescale or processes, one scale is the individual “Race”  Race political and social construct not biological fact  Scientifically invalid, but socially salient  Racism is an ideology of difference where difference is determined by socially constructed features (cultural, biological, historical), and often results in forms of material inequality  Racialization refers to processes of the discursive production of racial identities. It signifies the extension of dehumanizing and racial meanings to a previously racially unclassified relationship, social practice, or group. Put simply, a group of people is seen as a “race”, when it was not before o To form a military group create a hierarchy o Created networks, travelled to parts of Asia and other parts of world o 1970’s a guy ejected Indians from Uganda Idyarmen o African tribes had to give tribute ^ to be his wife, they didn’t want to give up their daughters, one of the reasons he kicked them out The Rise of the European idea of race  Human origins – polygenetic vs. monogenetic o Mono – we all come from the same people o Religious beliefs we all originated from Adam and eve- monogenetic o Apparently they were a part of a group and there was a gene flow that created the human race  Medieval map boundaries: unknown “creatures” interpreted through self/other binary o Human/animal division o Superiority and anxiety o Colonialism presents effective intersection of religious superiority with capitalism o Fabulous creatures – human/half human  Slavery justified using ‘race’ to differentiate who could be considered ‘citizens’  Colonized seem as sub or pre human. ‘Closer to nature’, ‘savage’  Ethnology – the ‘science’ of race and nation (Kollar, 1718-1783) o He used and defined ethnology o Convergence of identity and territory, the nation state  Colonizers view said more about Europe than those societies colonized- Orientalism (Said, 1978) o Counterpoint – other to the West’s same o Non European space colonized conceptually as well as practically o Knowledge as artifice that constructs rather than reflects truth  The orient is a place that represents this difference  This creation is a reflection of the European self  Arguments about volk (folk nation), Herrenvolk “master race” sustained into C20th Racism  Colonial project to subjugate was based on scientific racism  Race thinking remained even after scientific basis debunked  Race is socially constructed, but politically salient  Post WW11 racism examined in light of function not content of discourses, i.e. sustain inequality, limit power  But this approach might conflate capitalist, nationalist, sexist and racist forms of oppression ‘Race’ in the current era  Despite debunking of ‘race’ and its application to humans, it is widely used  Why? Is it about reproducing power, and/or the power to remind us of the damage done?  “Race’s very contingency has come to appear like a constancy” (Anderson, 2007; 191).  Using ‘race’ should invoke this historical and contemporary complexity o Don’t forget structural institutional racism o Don’t forget the power of discrimination o Don’t forget the legacy of its history Landscape and race  Video race: the power of an illusion: part 3. The house we live in  Race and racial difference are a social construction, who produces its meaning and how? Also why?  Racializing space: racial laws are inscribed into geographic space (reservations, public housing, red lining) (what are you reflections on this)  Consequences: production and reproduction of wealth, poverty, in/exclusion and inequality Race justified social inequalities as natural. The “common sense” belief in:  White superiority justified anti-democratic action and policies like  Slavery  The exterminations/enclosure of Indigenous groups  The exclusion of Asian immigrants  The institutionalization of racial practices in government, laws and society th March 13 , 2013 – Video Race  You need to white to be a natural citizen  Many ppl tried to be legally white like Japanese and others  Certain states at certain laws; for African Americans had to have some sort of ancestors to be considered black  Mongolian man did learned English, went to church, had the same lifestyle and was denied citizenship  Court never was what it was they said what it wasn’t  There were views that Asians were undesirable, too different and would corrupt American society  Indians were stripped of there citizen ship and property o Man took his life when this happened  Signs were saying “japs keep moving this is a white mans neighbourhood”  1930s government created the federal housing something – provided loans to veterans so they could buy homes  17,000 homes were created on a potato farm, this is when suburbia emerged  Levittown, had a lot of new homes and sample homes, new modern conveniences  Developers in that area hadn’t decided yet if they wanted to sell the homes to Negros even though they were GI’s. o They could undermine the real estate of the homes if there were black people in the sub division  An integrated neighbourhood is a financial risk  President john something lifted the housing war, signed the fair housing act thing and non-white families started moving into white communities  The neighbourhoods didn’t stay the same o “Block busting” ppl would sell there homes for a lot less then market value because ppl wouldn’t want to live near black ppl  laws saying whites on top, blacks on bottom March 20 , 2013 Gender, Power and Constructions of Difference Rape Cultures of India and the US Patriarchy  A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is
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