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Globalizing the savage: From stadial theory to a theory of luxury in late-18th-century Swedish discussions of Africa
Dalarna Univ, Falun, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History. Univ Johannesburg, Dept Hist Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2019 (English)In: History of the Human Sciences, ISSN 0952-6951, E-ISSN 1461-720X, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 100-114, article id UNSP 0952695119836590Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines the effects of globalization on changing notions of the 'savage'. We compare discussions taking place in different contexts in the late 18th century concerning two Swedish scholars and travellers to Africa: Anders Sparrman (1748-1820), a naturalist and Linnaean disciple, and Carl Bernhard Wadstrom (1746-99), an engineer and economist. Both moved in Swedish Swedenborgian circles, and both became involved in the British abolitionist movement. Nevertheless, their images of African 'Others' diverged in crucial respects, reflecting differences in their ideological outlooks, institutional affiliations, and understandings of how the world was changing. More specifically, we argue that the perception of global change brought about by a new economic framework of production and consumption provides a key for reading and comparing Wadstrom's and Sparrman's texts. Comparing their divergent uses of 'savagery', the article also highlights the versatility of the savage as a tool for presenting distant parts of the world to a domestic audience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD , 2019. Vol. 32, no 4, p. 100-114, article id UNSP 0952695119836590
Keywords [en]
civilization, globalization, savage, Sparrman, Wadstrom
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396135DOI: 10.1177/0952695119836590ISI: 000477221900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396135DiVA, id: diva2:1368816
Available from: 2019-11-08 Created: 2019-11-08 Last updated: 2019-11-08Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Mathias

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