Encountering Otherness. Diversities and Transcultural Experiences in Early Modern European Culture


Abbattista Guido


Abbattista Guido

Trophying human ‘otherness’. From Christopher Columbus to contemporary ethno-ecology (fifteenth-twenty first centuries)

Pérez Sarrión Guillermo

The idea of ‘naturality’ in the Hispanic monarchy and the formation of Spanish identity between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries: an approach

Török Borbála Zsuzsanna

The ethnicity of knowledge: statistics and Landeskunde in late eighteenth-century Hungary and Transylvania

Astigarraga Jesús

Les images de l’Espagne chez les économistes napolitains des Lumières: le cas de Filangieri

Usoz Javier, Zabalza Juan

Political economy and the mirror of ‘otherness’: moral and foreign political models in the works of the Spanish economist T. Anzano (1768-1795)

Cohen Paul

The power of apprehending ‘otherness’: cultural intermediaries as imperial agents in New France

Platania Marco

Madagascar ‘possession française’? L’historiographie coloniale en débat: une mise en perspective

Wehrheim Monika

À la quête du passé des autres: les expéditions des voyageurs Dupaix et Waldeck à Palenque (Mexique) dans la première moitié du XIXe siècle // In search of the past of the ‘Others’: archæological expeditions to Palenque in nineteenth-century Mexico

Gaddo Irene

Snapshotting the ‘Other’: images of the ‘otherness’ in Samuel Butler’s life and work (1835-1902)

Millar Ashley Eva

Your beggarly commerce! Enlightenment European views of the China trade

Felici Lucia

Una nuova immagine dell’Islam (e del cristianesimo) nell’Europa del XVI secolo

Kontler László

The Lappon, the Scythian and the Hungarian, or our (former) selves as ‘others’. Philosophical history in eighteenth-century Hungary

Rubiés Joan-Pau

Ethnography, philosophy and the rise of natural man 1500-1750

Trencsényi Balázs

Civilization and originality: perceptions of history and national specificity in nineteenth-century Hungarian political discourse

Thomson Ann

Thinking about the history of Africa in the eighteenth Century

Hary Maggy

The Holy Land in British eyes: sacred geography and the ‘rediscovery’ of Palestine, 1839-1917

Guasti Niccolò

Catholic civilization and the evil savage: Juan Nuix facing the Spanish Conquista of the New World

Lüsebrink Hans-Jürgen

L’expérience de l’ ‘Autre’ des missionnaires et le discours anthropologique. À propos des ‘Nouvelles de la presqu’île américaine de Californie’ (1772) du missionnaire jésuite Johann Jakob Baegert


Modern European culture and politics have been largely shaped by the century-long material and cognitive relationships with several (domestic and exotic) forms of ethno-anthropological, sociological and cultural diversity according to both a spatial and a temporal dimension. The need to confront and handle ‘diversity’ did not just result from the European expansion process in the world, but coincides with the most classic problem of politics, consisting in the effort to harmonize different interests, groups, religious faiths, customs, languages, ethnic identities and merge them into some form of viable and durable co-existence. Approach to cultural diversity has produced two ideal extremes: suppression through assimilation or its perpetuation through radical ‘othering’. Historical experience has offered, however, a large variety of policies and of intellectual or ideological constructs of a ‘transcultural’ kind, with the transfer, adaptation and dialogue of political, religious, economic patterns of relationships. This international collection of essays sweeps over a multiplicity of such cultural experiences according to a global, transcultural outlook, ranging from European encounters with exotic, savage peoples of newly discovered lands of conquest and colonization, to the European nation-State building process. The book is the outcome of the European research project, “EUO-European Culture and the Understanding of Otherness: Historiography, Politics and the Sciences of Man in the Birth of the Modern World (Sixteenth-Nineteenth Centuries)” conceived and directed by Guido Abbattista with researchers from eleven European universities and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education University and Research (Interlink program for 2006-2008).

Guido Abbattista, Professor of Modern History and Director of the Doctoral School in the Humanities at the University of Trieste (Italy), is a specialist of eighteenth-century historical and political culture in France and the Anglo-American world, particularly on colonial and imperial themes and the representation of human diversity. He has written on British colonial ideologies, republican political thought and empire, French historiography and the non-European world and English political historiography. He published critical editions of works by Lord Bolingbroke, Edmund Burke, the abbé Raynal and Anquetil-Duperron, and authored books on James Mill and British India (1979), the English Universal History and colonial historiography (1989), the American Revolution (1998) and the European expansion in Asia (2002). On the cultural history of human diversity he has co-edited two previous collections of essays, The Problem of Human Diversity in the European Cultural Experience of the Eighteenth Century (Cromohs, 8, 2003,) and Le problème de l’‘altérité’ dans la culture européenne aux 18e et 19e siècles: anthropologie, politique et religion (Napoli: Bibliopolis, 2006). His more recent research regards ‘live human ethno-exhibitions’ in early-modern Europe and nineteenth-century Italian anthropological culture and the perceptions of racial differences. He has been director of several national and international research projects, among which the MIUR-Interlink project “EUO-European Culture and the Understanding of ‘Otherness’: Historiography, Politics and the Sciences of Man in the Birth of the Modern World (Sixteenth-Nineteenth Centuries)”, from which the present volume has originated.