Please note, due to essential maintenance online transactions will not be possible between 09:00 and 13:00 BST, on Monday 20th January 2020 (04:00-08:00 EDT). We apologise for any inconvenience.
This paper will present a comparative analysis of the ethnographic writings of three colonial travellers trained in medicine at the University of Edinburgh: William Anderson (1750–78), Archibald Menzies (1754–1842) and Robert Brown (1773–1858). Each travelled widely beyond Scotland, enabling them to make a series of observations of non-European peoples in a wide variety of colonial contexts. William Anderson, Archibald Menzies and Robert Brown in particular travelled extensively in the Pacific with (respectively) James Cook on his second and third voyages (1771–8), with George Vancouver (1791–5) and with Matthew Flinders (1801–3). Together, their surviving writings from these momentous expeditions illustrate a growing interest in natural-historical explanations for diversity among human populations. Race emerged as a key concept in this quest, but it remained entangled with assumptions about the stadial historical progress or “civilization” of humanity. A comparative examination of their ethnographic writings thus presents a unique opportunity to study the complex interplay between concepts of race, savagery and civilization in the varied colonial contexts of the Scottish Enlightenment.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed