Chapter

Nakedness, History, and Bare Life

Mary Nyquist

in Arbitrary Rule

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2013 | ISBN: 9780226015538
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226015675 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226015675.003.0008
Nakedness, History, and Bare Life

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This chapter discusses modes of negation and how they need to be specified in order to understand how, across opposed political positions, certain societies are positioned as temporally remote from contemporaneous early modern Europe. Negative comparison is a vital feature of a wide variety of Euro-colonial texts. That negative comparison may rely on conventions and tropes relating to a first or golden age is often duly noted. Yet the profound transformation these undergo when transferred to a previously unknown geographical or spatial register has not really been stressed, nor have their precise operations been closely examined. As a result, it has been difficult to appreciate the contribution negative comparison makes to early modern political, racialist, and protoevolutionary discourses.

Keywords: modes of negation; opposed political positions; early modern Europe; negative comparison; protoevolutionary discourses

Chapter.  12010 words.  Illustrated.

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