Peter Burschel (Wolfenbüttel) The Dance of the Tapuya: On the Cultural Coding of Skin Colour in the Early Modern Period

09.02.2021, Vortrag, online

Organized by the DHI London.

Peter Burschel is Professor of Medieval and Early Modern Cultural History at the University of Göttingen and Director of the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel. Among his many publications is Die Erfindung der Wahrheit: Eine andere Geschichte der frühen Neuzeit (2014).

This talk will show how European perceptions of skin colour—rather than primarily of skin markings, as had been the case in the Middle Ages—increasingly began to influence European perceptions of non-European ‘aliens’. He will argue that it was only during the sixteenth century that skin was seen as a ‘supra-individual’ distinguishing characteristic that made it possible to structure, classify, and, not least, to hierarchize intercultural encounters chromatically. This shows that the process was not merely about the perception of skin colour per se, but always also addressed the question of who was white, and who was not.

Originally scheduled for March 2020 and postponed due to Covid-19 lockdown.

To register for this event, please follow this link to Eventbrite.