Civilization Reading List
For the organizational meeting, we thought we would read the following, which summarizes the literature on the origins of the word and discusses some of its uses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries:
“The Word Civilization” in Jean Starobinski, Blessings in Disguise; or, the Morality of Evil, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (Cambridge, MA : Harvard UP, 1993).
Below is an incomplete list of suggestions for our reading. We are very interested in hearing all ideas for readings.
These are cultural historical studies that revolve around the idea, both before and after the invention of the word:
Harriet Guest, Empire, Barbarism, and Civilisation : James Cook, William Hodges, and the Return to the Pacific (Cambridge: CUP, 2007).
J.G.A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion, 5 vols. (Cambridge: CUP, 1999-2010).
Roxann Wheeler, The Complexion of Race: Categories of Difference in Eighteenth-Century British Culture (Philadelphia: Univesity of Pennsylvannia Press, 2000).
Harry Liebersohn, Aristocratic Encounters: European Travelers and North America Indians (Cambridge: CUP, 1998).
Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process (London: Blackwell, 2000; originally published 1939).
Jeroen Duindam, Myths Of Power: Norbert Elias And The Early Modern European Court (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1994).
Some political science studies of its history and use today:
Brett Bowden, The Empire of Civilization: The Evolution of an Imperial Idea (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 23-46
Bruce Mazlish, Civilization and Its Contents (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004).
The idea of civilization outside of Europe:
Nicholas Shumway, The Invention of Argentina (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).
Cemil Aydin, The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan Asian Thought (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).
These are some basic attempts at defining civilization:
Anthony Pagden, “The ‘Defence of Civilization’ in Eighteenth-Century Social Theory,” History of the Human Sciences 1:1 (1988): 33-45.
Robert P. Kraynak, “Hobbes on Barbarism and Civilization,” Journal of Politics,
45:1 (1983): 86–109.
Some classic texts important for defining the concept, both before and after the invention of the word:
Montaigne, “On Cannibals” (1580).
Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws (1748).
Voltaire, Essay on the Manners of Nations (1756).
Guizot, The History of Civilization in Europe (1828).
J.S. Mill, “Civilization,”  in Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, ed. J. M. Robson (University of Toronto Press, 1977), pp. 119–47.
Engels, “Barbarism and Civilization,” The Origin of the Family, Private
Property and the State (Progress Publishers, 1948), pp. 154–75.
R. G. Collingwood, “What Civilization Means,” in David Boucher (ed.), The New
Leviathan (Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 480–511.
Raymond Williams, “Civilization,” Keywords (Oxford University Press, 1983),
Fernand Braudel, “The Continuity of Civilizations,” A History of Civilizations,
trans. Richard Mayne (Penguin, 1995), pp. 24–36.