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Eloquence EmbodiedNonverbal Communication among French and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas$
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Céline Carayon

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652627

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652627.001.0001

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(p.416) Conclusion
Eloquence Embodied

Céline Carayon

University of North Carolina Press

The conclusion provides a synthetic summary of the book’s main arguments and extends its lessons into the eighteenth century. Long after the age of exploration, nonverbal communication continued to occupy a crucial place in French colonization schemes and strategies, in Indigenous resistance to colonial ambitions and the pursuit of Indian nations’ agendas, and in the joint creation of an evolving balance of power in the Atlantic world. The French claimed a special proficiency in nonverbal forms of expression that gave them an edge against their European competitors. Because Indigenous practices and oral traditions were in reality so influential in shaping colonies, the conclusion puts to the test the French’ claim of exceptionalism, and brings comparisons to the experiences of the Spanish and the English in select regions of the Americas. Drawing preliminary conclusions, the author invites further scholarship on nonverbal communication in these colonial contexts. In the end, the French mastery of nonverbal communication was not a mark of a more benign style of colonialism, but instead directly contributed to the violence, erasure, and subjection applied against Indigenous peoples in colonial America.

Keywords:   Atlantic world, English, Spanish, Colonialism, Violence, Erasure, French exceptionalism

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