in category Politics

What examples illustrate the Eurocentric nature of research and knowledge production?

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The researcher Nükhet Varlik in "New Science and Old Sources: Why the Ottoman Experience of Plague Matters" provides a good example:

"The historical scholarship on the Black Death is largely Eurocentric. In this body of scholarship, Europe has occupied a privileged position, compared to other parts of the world that may have been at least as badly affected by plague, if not more so. Our current knowledge about the plague in East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa before the Third Pandemic is at best fragmentary and disconnected.
As such, extant scholarship has cultivated a lasting impression that the Black Death was a European phenomenon and that the European epidemiological experience was to be studied sui generis. In this epidemiological imagination, non-European epidemiological experiences would only be worthy of scholarly attention if commensurate with that of Europe.
In other words, the lacunae in historical plague scholarship are not haphazard; what was studied and what was not can be best understood in the light of European notions of public health and efforts for disease control that came in the form of quarantines, plague commissions, sanitary missions, and international conferences at the dawn of the modern era. Those areas whose plague experience was believed, in the twentieth century, to have been of direct relevance to that of Europe (and perceived as having an impact on European public health concerns) came under the spotlight of scholarship while others remained rather obscure."

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