Anthro 41A Notes - Anthro 41A - Global Cultures & Society...

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Anthro 41A - Global Cultures & SocietyLecture 1Ethnocentrism- bias/belief that one’s own culture is superiorEurocentrism- bias/belief that European cultures & peoples are superior; reflectedamong westerners, Europeans, and textbooks according to BlautHistoriography- the writing of historyWestern versions of history tend to be biased by Eurocentrism.Historiography has long been biased-Ex: Egypt’s Ramses II’s version of history → His “victory” against the Hittitesat Kadesh when there was no real victor.-Ex: American vs. Canadian views of George Washington during the AmericanRevolution.People who write history tend to be biased by their own culture.Blaut argues that Western books written on world history tend to be Eurocentric.Blaut argues that in the West, world history tends to be represented in one of two ways:1.European Miracle View-Europe is just better and greater.-Anything worthwhile comes from Europe.-Ex: Eurocentric - all good things (democracy, math, science, etc.) comes from theGreeks.2. “The Orient Express” View-Ancient civilization started in the Middle East (Mesopotamia).-Ancient civilizations formed into empires: 1. Assyria, 2. Babylon, 3. Persia (look at map)-The empires of Mesopotamia fell to Europe: 4. Greeks, 5. Romans (look at map)-This view claims that although “civilization” started in Mesopotamia, as it moved westinto Europe it became better.Western versions of world history ignore all other places except Europe and the MiddleEast.In terms of superiority: 1. Assyria > 2. Babylon > 3. Persians > 4. Greeks > 5. RomansThen this stuff happened: 6. “Dark Ages” - Fall of Rome, 7. Renaissance, 8. Europeancolonization480 BC - War between the Greek Spartans (Leonidas) and the Persian Empire (Xerxes)at Thermopylae.Telescoping historyoccurs when we project our prejudices and biases onto a group ofpeople in the past.Lecture 2Course PaperTelescoping History
-Blaut → Argues that in the West, Western scholars/historians “telescope”history.→ Critical of the assumption that modern ideologies were alsoideologies ofthe past.300 is about the Persian Empire’s invasion of Greece at Thermopylae in 480 AD.-Xerxes was the king of the Persians.-Leonidas was the king of the Greek city-state Sparta.-Sparta had more slaves than Persia.-In the movie, Sparta wanted freedom and all that good stuff while the Persians weremore tyrannic.-Western bias that Spartans were the “good” guys-Idea that Greeks were democratic and against tyranny. → Not exactly true.-Persians were actually more freedom loving than the Greeks.-Persians had religious tolerance, well before the West did.“European Miracle” - Blaut calls it a myth-The West likes to think it’s more freedom loving, tolerant, and all that goodstuff. → Western bias since it’s not exactly true.

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Term
Spring
Professor
douglas

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