Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226923130 Published January 2014
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226923147 Published January 2014
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226923154 Published January 2014

Making England Western

Occidentalism, Race, and Imperial Culture

Saree Makdisi

Saree Makdisi

304 pages | 11 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226923130 Published January 2014
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226923147 Published January 2014
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226923154 Published January 2014
The central argument of Edward Said’s Orientalism is that the relationship between Britain and its colonies was primarily oppositional, based on contrasts between conquest abroad and domestic order at home. Saree Makdisi directly challenges that premise in Making England Western, identifying the convergence between the British Empire’s civilizing mission abroad and a parallel mission within England itself, and pointing to Romanticism as one of the key sites of resistance to the imperial culture in Britain after 1815.
 
Makdisi argues that there existed places and populations in both England and the colonies that were thought of in similar terms—for example, there were sites in England that might as well have been Arabia, and English people to whom the idea of the freeborn Englishman did not extend. The boundaries between “us” and “them” began to take form during the Romantic period, when England became a desirable Occidental space, connected with but superior to distant lands. Delving into the works of Wordsworth, Austen, Byron, Dickens, and others to trace an arc of celebration, ambivalence, and criticism influenced by these imperial dynamics, Makdisi demonstrates the extent to which Romanticism offered both hopes for and warnings against future developments in Occidentalism. Revealing that Romanticism provided a way to resist imperial logic about improvement and moral virtue, Making England Western is an exciting contribution to the study of both British literature and colonialism.
David T. Goldberg, University of California, Irvine
“Saree Makdisi has written a book that in its central line of argument and its detail is thoroughly original and compelling, deeply learned and detailed, erudite and entertaining. His skillful accounts of key Romantic writers and detailed knowledge of English social history and place create a vivid picture of social life and conditions that few literary analyses can boast. Making England Western could do for understanding the profound impacts of imperializing culture on the home front what Said’s Culture and Imperialism did for understanding the role of culture in the imperializing and colonizing imperatives of the period.”
Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
“Saree Makdisi’s incisive and insightful reading of Mayhew, Place, Wordsworth, Byron, Blake, Austen, Dickens, et al. brings into view a process of Orientalism internal to nineteenth-century English history that has remained largely unnoticed. His argument that the consolidation of the English view of themselves as a civilized nation necessarily entailed, not just the process of Orientalizing others but also a targeted othering of significant sections of the country’s own population—a veritable civilizing mission at home that made England Western—unsettles received narratives of race and class in industrial England. This book will make it difficult for scholars henceforth to take the idea of Englishness for granted, or to think that Orientalism pertained to the Orient alone.”
Jonathan Mee, University of Warwick
“Saree Makdisi’s fascinating and necessary book succeeds both in providing a sympathetic revision of Said’s Orientalism and in applying its basic thesis with great subtlety to a range of texts from canonical works like Lyrical Ballads and Mansfield Park. Written with verve and a genuine desire to enlighten us all, Making England Western will have a major impact on literary specialists, historians, students of Orientalism, and anyone with a general interest in the politics of culture.”
Claire Chambers | Times Higher Education
“[A] highly accomplished study.…Always interesting, politically radical and yet scholarly, this book makes a worthy successor to Said's Culture and Imperialism.”
Contents
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
Part 1: Preparing the Way
 
Chapter 1. Making London Western
 
Chapter 2. Civilizing the Ballad
 
Part 2: Episodes of Occidentalism
 
Chapter 3. Domineering over Others
 
Chapter 4. Occidentalism and the Erotics of the Self
 
Chapter 5. The Occidental Imperative
 
Part 3: Occidentalism in Crisis
 
Chapter 6. “Irregular Modernization”
 
Conclusion
 
Notes
 
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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