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ENGC35H3 (5)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Loomba.docx

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Majorie Rubright

Chapter 2 (Loomba)  Term moor could mean both muslim and black, equated black with godlessness and sin  Religion (q’s of skin colour and bodily diff)  Moor first indicated ppl of mixed arab and berber ancestry and Islamic faith, not always dark skinned  In eng theatre, moor associated with blackness and moorsihness, set of attributes that cannot be acquired or shed  Black/ white dichotomy fuses with one b/w islam and Christianity  Love, marriages, births threaten to erode these divisions  Conversion also hinges on romantic and sexal love  Blacks: bestial sexuality, equated w. lechery, connection of blackness w/ sexual heat, same sex practices, couple with animals  Class diff also shape category of monstrous or uncivilized  Theories of blackness: diverse complexions of body, different conditions of mind, result of diverse climates  Theory of humours, derived from greed medicine (diff personalities- various combinations of 4 humours)  4 humours: o Blood o Phlegm o Black bile (melancholy) o Yellow bile (choler)  Excess of any = unbalanced personality  Excess blood= excitable person, excess yellow= irritable  Believed to affect skin colour (yellow bile, jaundiced temperament as well as yellow skin)  Complexion originally a/o word for temperament  Humours not permanently fixed, human complexion subject to change  Connection b/w temperament and location gave rise to stereotypes that became fixed as attributes of particular races  Satan, blackness, sexual excess  Impossible things: conversion implies that religious identity is not fixed or innate and can be acquired and shed  Possibility of 2 kinds of crisis: o Question of if the conversion was true  How can you tell if the outer show of conversion matches up to the inner reality? o Shatters correspondence between inner faith and outer colour  Impossible things, white men washing a black man of his colour  Blackness evoked to make a point about the impossibility of religious conversions, but such impossibility also fixes black skin as indelible  Conversion, Blackness, and Female Sexuality: attack on women’s face painting, paint themselves fair therefore falsely attract viewers (defends black beauty)  Image of woman as white devil (theory that beautiful exterior conceals evil interior)  Face painting, fear of the foreign, b/c cosmetics = luxurious foreign imports  Women routinely exchanged b/w foreign households  Fear that foreign queen would threaten purity of kingdom  King being able to master foreign queen displays power over all his land and subjects  Black beauty is more fair than the fair woman who is actually dark b/c she’s false  Dark skinned convert is black on the outside but spiritually whitened by the power of Christ  Black female body both repulsive and desirable (in secret(  Artifice and Nature: anxieties about skin colour, religious identity, female sexuality overlap  hinge on relationship of inner and outer, fixed/changeable, natural/ artificial  Cultural and religious differences manifested through physical or bodily characteristics  Power to produce biological difference  Monsters not found in nature, artificially and culturally produced (face/body pa
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