Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors

Race and Rhetoric in the Renaissance: Barbarian Errors

ISBN: 0230620450

ISBN 13: 9780230620452

Publication Date: November 15, 2009

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Pages: 244

Format: Hardcover

Author: Ian Smith

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During the English Renaissance, the figure of the classical barbarian—identified by ineloquent speech that marked him as a cultural outsider—was recovered for stereotyping Africans. This book advances the idea that language, and not only color or religion, functioned as an important racial code. This study also reveals the way in which England’s strategic projection of a “barbarous” language was meant to enhance its own image at the expense of the early modern African. Ian Smith makes use of the sixteenth-century preoccupation with language rehabilitation to tell the larger story of an anxious nation redirecting attention away from its own marginal, minority status by racial scapegoating.

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