SOCS 635
New World(s) Encounters: Rethinking "Culture," Rethinking Modernity

Demetrius Eudell           

Required Texts
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
Bartolome de Las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies
Leon Miguel-Portilla, The Broken Spears

In addition to these books, other required readings have been placed on reserve at the library in the Science Center. Most of these readings are available via online reserve, but a couple (duly noted) can only be accessed in the form of a hard copy. A bibliography of all the additional required readings follows the schedule of the course.

Course Requirements/Evaluation
Performance in this course will be based on weekly response papers (4 pages) as well as an extended final paper (10-15 pages). In addition, oral presentations and regular contributions made to class discussion will be considered in the final evaluation of each student's performance in the course. In determining the final grade, the weekly response papers will count 50%, the final paper 30%, and presentations/class participation will count 20%. The response papers, which should be sent via electronic mail (to: deudell@wesleyan.edu), are due each week on Monday before class by 6:00 p.m. The final paper, in hard copy, is due on Tuesday, August 10 by 12 noon and may be placed in the mailbox of the instructor in the Department of History in the Public Affairs Center (238 Church Street).
Course Schedule
Note: Please prepare June 29th assignment for first class meeting.
June 29 The Medieval Imagination

Readings:
Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers
Stephen Chorover, From Genesis to Genocide
Harvie Ferguson, The Science of Pleasure
Jacques Le Goff, The Medieval Imagination
J.H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance
S.M. Ziauddin Alavi, Geography in the Middle Ages

July 1 Before 1492 and Columbus

Readings:
Gomes Eannes De Azurara, The Chronicle of the Discovery of Guinea
Filipe Fernandez-Armesto, Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization...
V.Y. Mudimbe, "Romanus Pontifex (1454) and the Expansion of Europe"
A.J.R. Russell-Wood, "Before Columbus: Portugal's African Prelude..."

July 6 Discovering Columbus

Readings:
Christopher Columbus, "Letter Describing Results of First Voyage"
Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of Admiral Christopher Columbus by Ferdinand
R.H. Fuson, The Log of Christopher Columbus
Bjorn Landstrom, Columbus: The Story of Don Christobal Colon Admiral of the Ocean

July 8 Emergence of Natural Sciences

Readings:
Frederick Hallyn, The Poetic Structure of the World: Copernicus and Kepler
Kurt Hubner, Critique of Scientific Reason
Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution

July 13 Cultural Model of One African Society

Readings:
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart

July 15 Before the Middle Passage

Readings:
George Balandier, Daily Life in the Kingdom of the Kongo
David Brion Davis, Slavery and Human Progress
John Thorton, Africa and Africans in Making of Atlantic World

July 20 Recounting the Middle Passage

Readings:
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano

July 22 The Slave Trade

Readings:
David Eltis, The Rise of the African Slavery in the Americas
Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life
Joseph Miller, "The Slave Trade in Congo and Angola"

July 27 New World Encounters

Readings:
Theodore Cachey, "The Earliest Literary Responses of Renaissance Italy..."
David Carrasco, "Star Gatherers and Wobbling Suns: Astral Symbolism in Aztec Tradition"
Ferdinand Columbus, "The Customs, Ceremonies and Religion of the Indians" (150-169)
Jonathan Kandell, "On Aztec Geography"
Garcilaso de la Vega, The Royal Commentaries of the Incas and the... History of Peru"

July 29 The Cosmogony of the Aztecs

Readings:
Leon Miguel-Portilla, The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest

August 3 The Legitimizing Terms of Expropriation

Readings:
Bartolome de las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies
Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man

August 5 Toward a New World View

Readings:
Sylvia Wynter, "1492: A New World View"

Bibliography of Readings
S.M. Ziauddin Alavi, Geography in the Middle Ages (Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1966), 17-29

Gomes Eannes de Azurara, The Chronicle of the Discovery of Guinea in Conquests and Discoveries of Henry the Navigator, Edited by Virginia de Castro e Almeida and trans. by Bernard Miall (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1936), 119-137, 164-175

Georges Balandier, Daily Life in the Kingdom of the Kongo: From the Sixteenth Century to the Eighteenth Century Trans. La Vie Quotidenne Au Royaume de Kongo (New York: Pantheon Books/Random House, 1968), 7-14, 27-63

Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers (New York: Random House, 1983), 165-172

Theodore Cachey, Jr., "The Earliest Literary Responses of Renaissance Italy to the New World Encounter" in Columbus, Anne Paolucci and Henry Paolucci, eds. (Whitestone, NY: Griffon House for Council on National Literatures, 1989), 24-35

David Carrasco, "Star Gatherers and Wobbling Suns: Astral Symbolism in the Aztec Tradition," History of Religions, Vol. 26, No.3 (February 1987): 280-294

Stephen Chorover, From Genesis to Genocide: The Meaning of Human Nature and the Power of Behavior Control (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1979), 12-28

Christopher Columbus, "Letter Describing Results of First Voyage" in The Journal of Christopher Columbus, Trans. by Cecil Jane (New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1960(, 191-202

Ferdinand Columbus, The Life of Admiral Christopher Columbus by His Son Ferdinand, Trans. and annotated by Benjamin Keen (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959) 3-28, 150-169

David Brion Davis, Slavery and Human Progress (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984) 32-51

David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 1-28

Harvie Ferguson, The Science of Pleasure: Cosmos and Psyche in the Bourgeois World View (New York: Routledge, 1990) 73-85

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987), 11-31, 140-148, 223-252

Fernand Hallyn, The Poetic Structure of the World: Copernicus and Kepler (New York: Zone Books, 1990), 33-72

Kurt Hubner, Critique of Scientific Reason, Trans. by Paul R. Dixon, Jr. and Hollis M. Dixon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983/1985), 3-12, 105-124

Bjorn Landstrom, Columbus: The Story of Don Christobal Colon Admiral of the Ocean and his four voyages westward to the Indies according to contemporary sources retold and illustrated by Bjorn Landstrom (New York: Macmillan, 1966), 8-31

Jacque Le Goff, The Medieval Imagination (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985), 93-103

Patrick Manning, Slavery and African Life: Occidental, Oriental and African Slave Trades (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 1-37

Joseph C. Miller, "The Slave Trade in Congo and Angola" in The African Diaspora: Interpretive Essays, Martin Kilson and Robert Rotberg, eds. (Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press, 1976), 75-113

V.Y. Mudimbe, "Romanus Pontifex (1454) and the Expansion of Europe" in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 59-65

Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 1-145

J.H. Parry, The Age of Reconnaissance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 19-52, 227-241)

A.J.R. Russell-Wood, "Before Columbus: Portugal's African Prelude to the Middle Passage and Contribution to Discourse on Race and Slavery" in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 134-168

Steven Shapin, The Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996) 1-64

John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 1-71

Carcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas, and the General History of Peru, Trans. with an introduction by Harold Livermore (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966)

Sylvia Wynter, "1492: A New World View," in Race, Discourse and the Origins of the Americas: A New World View, Vera Lawrence Hyatt and Rex Nettleford, eds. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995), 5-57

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