< < <
Date Index
> > >
Re: What really is Andre Gunder Frank's position on worlds?
by Elson Boles
12 August 2003 16:58 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >
Dear Gunder,

Thanks.  But please clarify one seeming contradiction in your response.

On the one hand, you say "no" to the question, "Do you see other "world 
systems" existing coterminous with the
Eurasian world system of ReOrient?"    This contradicts what you and Gills 
wrote previously: "However, the 'New World' in the 'Americas' was of course 
home to some world-systems of its own before its incorporation into our 
(pre-existing) world system after 1492 (Frank and Gills 1996: 3)." 

So, as of now, have you changed your position and contend that there were no 
other world systems (no hyphen) that existed elsewhere on the planet during the 
era of your Euraisan World System PRIOR to its expansion across the entire 
planet after 1750?


Elson E. Boles
Assistant Professor
Saginaw Valley State University

>>> Andre Gunder Frank <franka@fiu.edu> 08/12/03 11:31AM >>>
I have not stidied the pre'Columbian'Americas, except for readint this
and that, and writing in response to some of that, in my commentaRY
you can look up what i had=have- to say.

The Afro-Eurasian sysem is ''global'' or '' world'' in the sens that it
expanded to incoorporate the ''new world'' -
IW also speaks so, but of course his ''world'' is European Atlantic and
only starts to incoporate the rest after 1750.

Answers to 1-4
1 no ,2 yes, 3 as you wish for the opccasion,context of yours, 4.yes and
no = also other criteria, see bronze age article or Denemark edited book
On Tue, 12 Aug 2003, Elson Boles

> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 10:54:24 -0400
> From: Elson Boles <boles@svsu.edu>
> To: franka@fiu.edu 
> Cc: wsn@csf.colorado.edu 
> Subject: What really is Andre Gunder Frank's position on worlds?
> Dear Gunder,
> I've been working on an article for Review since about the time we both 
>presented at an ISA panel in Chicago, Feb 2001 (I presented on the Japan-US 
>silknetwork and published my paper in JWSR.)   A heavy teaching load keeps me 
>from finishing this article (and much else).
> When assessing your and Gills arguments, it is sometimes necessary to 
>distinguish the literal word with the spirit of intention (or the content).  
>An recent example is found in WSN in which you audaciously claim:
> In reality, there are and have been NO civilizations, societies, cultures, 
>ethnicities   and even states in and of themselves. There are NO such 
>essentialist intrinsically self-contained entities. To claim, identify, and 
>study any such makes NO sense whatsoever and only beclouds reality. There are 
>only connections and relations within and among such alleged civilizations.
> However, the spirit of the words is later qualified: "I dont deny
> existence of culgture, of cousre not, but evidence suggests that it is
> not a much causative element of what happens. Structure is mucg mnore
> so."
> This particular subject of structure and agency isn't part of my essay.  
>However, what is concerns the temporal and spatial boundaries of your and 
>Gills 5000 year old system.  
> Let me switch to the third-person.
> Frank very frequent uses  the term "global" in characterizing the difference 
>of your and IW's views, but he doesn't literally mean the globe which implies 
>the entire planet.  The spirit of the term, and sometimes alternative wording 
>like "Eurasian world system," indicates that Gills and Frank's world system is 
>smaller than the entire planet.  Another example is that in one essay Gills 
>and Frank write:  
> However, the 'New World' in the 'Americas' was of course home to some 
>world-systems of its own before its incorporation into our (pre-existing) 
>world system after 1492 (Frank and Gills 1996: 3).
> Clearly, their use the term "world-system" (with hyphen), must be an 
>editorial error.  And Barry has confirmed this in correspondence with me.  But 
>this issue has led to confusion for many, including Wallerstein, who 
>incorrectly contended that, "They use the singular because, for them, there is 
>and has been only one world system through all of historical time and space" 
>and "They cannot conceive of multiple 'world-systems' coexisting on the 
>planet" (1996 [1991]: 294, 295).   There is evidence in Gills and Frank's 
>writings to the contrary, including the statement about the "belated 
>incorporated Americas after 1492 and of Oceania after 1760."   
> The question then is what was in the Americas prior to that?  So, I
> put these more general questions to AGF:
> 1.  Do you see other "world systems" existing coterminous with the
> Eurasian world system of ReOrient?
> 2.  At some point in time in human history, do you not acknowledge the
> existence of systems (and more of them) smaller than your large world
> systems?
> 3.  If so, what do you call them if not bands, tribes, chiefdoms, or
> networks, or "mini-systems"?  If not, then what?
> 4.  Is it not the case that you use the same criteria as Wallerstein
> (a division of labor) to measure the boundaries of your systems in
> time and space?
> Elson E. Boles
> Assistant Professor
> Sociology
> Saginaw Valley State University


               ANDRE    GUNDER      FRANK

Senior Fellow                                      Residence
World History Center                    One Longfellow Place
Northeastern University                            Apt. 3411
270 Holmes Hall                         Boston, MA 02114 USA
Boston, MA 02115 USA                    Tel:    617-948 2315
Tel: 617 - 373 4060                     Fax:    617-948 2316
Web-page:csf.colorado.edu/agfrank/     e-mail:franka@fiu.edu 
Web-page UPDATES are at   http://rrojasdatabank.info/agfrank 

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >