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Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History

Apes, Slaves, and Global Markets: Boundaries of Humanity in Enlightenment Debates


April 10, 2018
4:15pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
April 10, 2018
4:15pm - 6:00pm
Hoffmann Room, Adolphus Busch Hall

Drawing on recent research, Silvia Sebastiani will discuss how Europe’s trade of animals, slaves and goods between the 1630s and the 1770s tested the boundaries of humanity during the Enlightenment. She will look at specific examples that raised the debate. For example, how did the introduction of orangutans in Holland influence people’s definition of a civilized society? What did Britain’s debate about slavery and abolitionism contribute to a changing understanding of humanity?

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