Monday, May 28, 2012

Alternative history...

...Firang Historian
...Tales of the First Firangis seeks to offer a counterpoint to Edward Said’sOrientalism. Said’s work looms justifiably large in understandings of European attitudes to Asia during and after the age of colonialism. But Orientalism’s long shadow has inadvertently concealed other modes of relations between the West and East. Said focuses on the literature and knowledge formations that accompanied the epoch of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries; as a result, he understands the English and French writing of the Orient as complicit with processes of European global domination. In contrast, Tales of the First Firangis considers transactions between the West and East in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, a time when European dominance was not yet an assured fact. Whereas Orientalism in Said’s account insists on sharp, photo-negative differences between Europeans and Asians, my project examines the possibility of unexpected blurrings and crossovers.

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