The Intimacies of Four Continents
In this uniquely interdisciplinary work, Lisa Lowe examines the relationships between Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth- centuries, exploring the links between colonialism, slavery, imperial trades and Western liberalism. Reading across archives, canons, and continents, Lowe connects the liberal narrative of freedom overcoming slavery to the expansion of Anglo-American empire, observing that abstract promises of freedom often obscure their embeddedness within colonial conditions. Race and social difference, Lowe contends, are enduring remainders of colonial processes through which “the human” is universalized and “freed” by liberal forms, while the peoples who create the conditions of possibility for that freedom are assimilated or forgotten. Analyzing the archive of liberalism alongside the colonial state archives from which it has been separated, Lowe offers new methods for interpreting the past, examining events well documented in archives, and those matters absent, whether actively suppressed or merely deemed insignificant. Lowe invents a mode of reading intimately, which defies accepted national boundaries and disrupts given chronologies, complicating our conceptions of history, politics, economics, and culture, and ultimately, knowledge itself.
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abolition Americas anticolonial archive Asia Atlantic autobiography Berkeley Black Jacobins Black Reconstruction Bois’s Britain British colonial C. L. R. James California Press Cambridge University Press capitalism Caribbean century China Chinese civil Colonial Office colonial slavery Company’s coolie cotton Culture David dialectical Duke University Duke University Press Durham East India Company economic EighteenthCentury emancipation Empire English enslaved Equiano’s European Foucault four continents free trade freedom global Haitian Revolution Harvard University Press Hegel Hong Kong human imperial indigenous Interesting Narrative intimacies of four James’s John liberal liberty London Marx Marx’s Marxism Mill Mill’s Minneapolis Minnesota Press modern native neoliberalism nineteenth nineteenthcentury Olaudah Equiano opium Oxford University Press Princeton production Race racial Revolution settler colonialism silk slave trade slavery social society sovereignty struggle teleology transatlantic Trinidad University of California University of Minnesota W. E. B. Du Bois West Indies workers world history York