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Empire of LanguageToward a Critique of (Post) colonial Expression$
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Laurent Dubreuil

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450563

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450563.001.0001

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The Impossible Colonial Science

The Impossible Colonial Science

(p.159) Chapter 9 The Impossible Colonial Science
Empire of Language

Laurent Dubreuil

, David Fieni
Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at how colonial science proposes a horizontal organization while respecting the prerogatives of each discipline: nothing that is colonial is foreign to it. While awaiting its potential failure, a field of study that is defined as “the description of so-called primitive peoples” may at least participate in the global intelligibility of the colony. Anthropology provides useful information about the governed individuals, in particular those who are “less civilized.” To this mass of empirical knowledge are added the more practical observations about the behavior of the colonized, as well as the facts brought back from expeditions (concerning geography, flora and fauna), and the history of conquests, among other things. Colonial science situates itself in this region.

Keywords:   colonial science, anthropology, colonized subjects, expeditions, conquests

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