12.0437 millennarian topoi, poor scholarship &c.

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:34:15 +0000 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 12, No. 437.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Tim Reuter <T.Reuter@soton.ac.uk> (27)
Subject: millennarian topoi

[2] From: David Zeitlyn <D.Zeitlyn@ukc.ac.uk> (22)
Subject: Re: HUMANIST 12.0430

[3] From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us> (26)
Subject: Re: 12.0430 comments on various discussions

[4] From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@pop.ucla.edu> (13)
Subject: Re: 12.0430 comments on various discussions

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:28:06 +0000
From: Tim Reuter <T.Reuter@soton.ac.uk>
Subject: millennarian topoi

> Without these instruments of providence we would have nothing to match the
> fear of Armageddon that haunted humanity at the first millenial
> transition.

If I had a fiver for every time I've seen a repetition of
statements like the above, which ultimately derive from mid-C19
scholarship, I could pay off much of my mortgage; but as a
medievalist, I must demur. There is some evidence that some
people anticipated the world's end at the end of the 990s (and,
logically enough, also as 1033 approached) -- but much of the
anticipation was hopeful as well as fearful. There is also good
reason to suppose that a lot of people did not either hope or
fear, and personally I'd put the proportion of those who did at
something not significantly higher than it is today.

More in a shortly forthcoming issue of
<I>M&eacute;di&eacute;vales</I> on 'L'an mil -- l'an deux mil',
including a lengthy debate on this between Patrick Geary, Richard
Landes, Amy Remensnyder and myself, moderated by Barbara

Tim Reuter

# Tim Reuter
# Department of History, University of Southampton
# Southampton SO17 1BJ
# T +44 1703 594868 (w) 552623 (h)
# F +44 1703 593458
# email T.Reuter@soton.ac.uk
# http://www.soton.ac.uk/~tr/tr.html

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:28:24 +0000
From: David Zeitlyn <D.Zeitlyn@ukc.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: HUMANIST 12.0430

Some worries about weaving and Sadie Plant in particular.
Put simply there is little cross-cultural evidence that weaving is the
particular preserve of women. I believe it was done by itinerant men in
Europe (q.v. Silas Marner) as well as by women (not that I know anything
much about European craft history). So any simplisitic set of equations
between textiles and women's work (asa universal) simply fails.

And a gripe about Plant:
in Plant, S. (1995). "The Future Looms: Weaving Women and Cybernetics."
Body and Society 1(1): 45-64 she discusses a book edited by Margaret Mead
as if it had been written by her (hence interesting suggestions about
Mead's work in Africa). Poor scholarship at the best...

yours sincerely
david z

Dr David Zeitlyn,
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology,
Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing,
Department of Anthropology,
Eliot College, The University of Kent,
CT2 7NS, UK.
Tel. (44) 1227 764000 -Extn 3360 (or 823360 direct)
Fax (44) 1227 827289

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:28:47 +0000
From: Patricia Galloway <galloway@mdah.state.ms.us>
Subject: Re: 12.0430 comments on various discussions

Re: Haines Brown, "constructing meaning"

In fact my book _Choctaw Genesis 1500-1700_ is about just such a
construction of tribal identity, with no reference to genetic issues; I
think Foucault makes the point about the ideology of "blood," but he's
certainly not the first to point to the racist/colonialist context of
the notion of genetics or "blood quantum," as it has come to be referred
to in the Native American context. I'm not sure I would agree that
"tradition" is "never much based on fact"--that depends upon who is
defining what a fact is. Native American historians (e.g. Roger
Echo-Hawk) are working to forge new ways of looking at oral tradition in
its relation to Euro-defined "facts," and other scholars are attempting
new textual forms that can confront "fact" and "tradition"
simultaneously--I am thinking notably of Richard Price's _First-Time_
which might interest members of this list for its effort to create
hypertext for this purpose avant la lettre (and suggests the potential
of our medium as offering new ways to explore different lines of
evidence simultaneously). Ethnicities are created for purposes; people
who wish to deny those purposes usually try to claim that the ethnicity
in question is bogus in some way; the interesting thing about the whole
process is the tendency to claim antiquity of some kind as a warrant for


Patricia Galloway
Mississippi Department of Archives and History
P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571
voice 601-359-6863

--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------ Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 21:28:55 +0000 From: Jascha Kessler <jkessler@pop.ucla.edu> Subject: Re: 12.0430 comments on various discussions

If races were different orders of the species, we wouldnt be so infinitely miscible, genetically, but breed monsters like tiglons, etc. Ashley MOntague tried to dispose of this subject in his treatise on race, in the 1940s, MAN'S MOST DANGEROUS MYTH. The European ideas of race are quite modern, beginning with the Baron de Chauvin in the 18th century. It has led, as we know, to the European madnesses since then. A short history. But packed with gore. Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA Telephone/Facsimile: (310) 393-4648

http://www.english.ucla.edu/jkessler/ http://www.xlibris.com/JaschaKessler.html http://www.xlibris.com/RapidTransit.html

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