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Europe and the Other and Europe as the Other


Edited By Bo Strath

This book contributes to the debate on what Europe means by demonstrating the complexities and contradictions inherent in the concept. They are seen most clearly when Europe is viewed from a long historical perspective.
During the closing decades of the twentieth century Europe emerged as one of the main points of reference in both the cultural and the political constructs of the global community. An obsession with the concept of European identity is readily discernible. This process of identity construction provokes critical questions which the book aims to address. At the same time the book explores the opportunities offered by the concept of Europe to see how it may be used in the construction of the future. The approach is one of both deconstruction and reconstruction.
The issue of Europe is closely related in the book to more general issues concerning the cultural construction of community. The book should therefore be seen as the companion of Myth and Memory in the Construction of Community, which is also published by PIE-Peter Lang in the series Multiple Europes.
The book appears within the framework of a research project on the cultural construction of community in modernisation processes in comparison. This project is a joint enterprise of the European University Institute in Florence and the Humboldt University in Berlin sponsored by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Fund.


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Chapter 7: Race as a Construction of the Other: “Native Americans” and “Negroes” in the 18th Century Editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica 195


195 CHAPTER 7 Race as a Construction of the Other: “Native Americans” and “Negroes” in the 18th Century Editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica1 Silvia SEBASTIANI Upon the discovery of America, doubts were entertained whether the natives of that country ought not to be accounted a race of the Orang Outangs. But the infallible edict of a Roman pontiff soon established their doubtful pedigree [of humanity]; and our right of 1 Abbreviations: EB1: Encyclopædia Britannica, or a Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, compiled upon a new Plan […] by a Society of Gentleman in Scotland, ed. by W. Smellie, 3 vols, London, 1773; EB2: Encyclopædia Britannica; or, a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences etc. On a Plan entirely New […]. 2nd edition; greatly improved and enlarged, ed. by J. Tytler, 10 vols, Edinburgh, 1778-83; EB3: Encyclopædia Britannica; or a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and Miscellaneous Literature […]. The Third Edition, in Eighteen Volumes, Greatly Improved, by C. Macfarquhar (vols 1-12) and G. Gleig (vols 13-18), Edinburgh, 1788-97. This article is the first result of a larger chapter of my PhD thesis on “Race, Women, Progress: Ideological Tensions in the Debate of the Scottish Enlightenment”. I presented some parts of this article in two workshops held at the European University Institute: “Des Modes de construction de l’autre: textes/images” (27 November 1998), organised by Prof. Laurence Fontaine and Sandrine Lemaire; “A Conference on Relationship between the USA and Europe” (21-22 May 1999), organised by John Brewer, Luisa Passerini and Bo Stråth. I...

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