A Theory You’ve Never Heard Of | Michael Robinson | TEDxUniversityofHartford


TEDx Talks

Published on Nov 9, 2015

The Hamitic Hypothesis was a 19th century anthropological theory that claimed that humans originated in Asia and then migrated to other regions of the world. The theory was used to explain the discovery of so-called “white races” in Africa in the late 1800s. The Hamitic Hypothesis was not simply a curiosity of anthropological science. It was an idea that changed lives: from those European colonists who relied upon it to justify their presence in Africa, to the scientists who used it to explain away the accomplishments of African civilizations as a result of “white” influence. Ultimately, the Hamitic Hypothesis anchored a global theory of human origins and migration that, when combined with the Aryan race theory, shaped anthropology, colonial policy, and even the attitudes of Africans themselves for a hundred years.

Michael Robinson is a historian of science and exploration at the University of Hartford. He is the author of “The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture.” His new book The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent” comes out with Oxford University Press in December.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s