More Praise for

The Anatomy of Blackness


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A “livre magistral” Stéphane Guegan
— Le Monde
Curran’s Francotropism and medical background enable him to develop insights that should prove important to the ongoing trans-nationalization and discipline-blurring of literary and cultural studies.
— Ian Finseth, author of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
This study reveals with striking clarity the complex interaction of the science of human difference in this period with other strands of Enlightenment thought as well as the practices of (French) slave trading and colonial slavery.
— Carolyn Vellenga Berman, H-France
A major contribution to the study of the uses of natural history, the presence and absence of universalism in the Enlightenment, and the origins of modern racial thought.
— Martin S. Staum, H-France
Curran has produced a powerful argument about how Europeans defined not only Africans but themselves in the early modern period. . . about how natural science has the (frightening) ability to define both body and soul.
— Jeremy L. Caradonna, H-France
. . . .This book will be read with interest and profit not only by scholars of the Enlightenment, but also those concerned with the history of racial thinking, slavery, the history of science, and Europe’s engagement with the rest of the world.
— Rebecca Earle, European History Quarterly
Curran offers a more comprehensive view of this subject than anyone before him: showing how the slave islands of the Caribbean were, in effect, laboratories in which Europeans studied Africans. . . The Anatomy of Blackness combines meticulous, original scholarship with unflinching analytical judgments.
— Christopher L. Miller, author of The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade
Curran beautifully illuminates and analyzes the complex field of Enlightenment-era thought on race and shows how it shaped the broader society and culture. An exemplary work of intellectual, literary, and cultural history.
— Laurent Dubois, coeditor of Origins of the Black Atlantic
. . . . Curran’s careful attention to the emerging sciences of dermal anatomy and albinism highlight tensions between environmentalist and essential explanations of racial difference in a wide range of canonical and understudied eighteenth-century texts, within the wider contexts of European colonialism, slavery, and abolitionism.
— Sue Peabody, author of There Are No Slaves in France": The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime
The Anatomy of Blackness is an intense and challenging reading experience, but one that certainly repays the effort.
— Stephen Kenny, Reviews in History
Andrew S. Curran’s The Anatomy of Blackness is a significant contribution to this scholarship. . . .In trying to understand why these events unfolded so differently in each nation, Andrew Curran’s study has greatly enlarged our knowledge of an emergent race science in “enlightened” France.
— Nicholas Hudson, author of Bulletin of the History of Medicine