Re: Colonialism as the big bang

Matthew S. Tomaso (tomaso@UTXVMS.CC.UTEXAS.EDU)
Wed, 8 Feb 1995 11:46:12 -0600

>Thanks tons for the note of encouragement. Incidentally, did you post it
to anthro-l or was it private? If you did post it, please feel free to
forward this response or let me know and I will. I've been very
disappointed with the response I've had from this post - since I thought I
was writing about something that would interest all of us. I guess I
should have attacked somebody viciously or made some unbridled speculative
and dogmatic claim. Oh well, only the freaks get attention around here I guess.
>At 09:50 AM 2/7/95, Mike Lieber wrote:
>>Matt, good note. Excellent points. Are you at all familiar with the work of
>>the historian McNeill? He has a wonderful little book on _Polyethnicity....
>>That would pique your curiosity. Meanwhile, I have a little tidbit for you to
>>chew on (no pun intended, here or below).
>I was not familiar with McNeill. Always appreciate new refs. Thanks.
>>The Hebrew word, goy, means 'nation'. The ancient Jews were and remain a goy,
>>called the goy godosh, nation of the covenant. Linguistic scholars think that
>>the word, goy, is a derivation of the word, g(a)by(a), which means penis. Is
>>this biological implication of ethnic difference identical with racial
>>difference? Can one define ethnic boundaries biologically without generating
>>a racial theory? Pacific people certainly do. But you would have to start
>>with assumption that all biology is ethnobiology and ask the appropriate
>>ethnographic questions such that people delineate their local theories of
>>ontogeny. This is exactly what some of us did for some Oceanic >communities.
>> Mike
>I see nothing wrong with the assumption that all biology is ethnobiology
since I interpret this as meaning 'theory regarding biology that functions
within the discursive community from which it originates'.
>However, I am unsure what your questions embed as a theory of race or
raciality. I always take race to mean something like (oversimplistically)
'socially emphasized phenotypic differentiation among humans'. I am leary
of instigating yet another race thread on anthro-l - please oh please don't
let this happen.

Matt Tomaso
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin