ECU Libraries Catalog

The limits of Orientalism : seventeenth-century representations of India / Rahul Sapra.

Author/creator Sapra, Rahul
Format Book and Print
Publication InfoNewark : University of Delaware Press ; Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, ©2011.
Description219 pages ; 24 cm
Subject(s)
Contents Introduction -- Undermining the categories "East" and "West" -- The representations of the Mughals in the English travel narratives -- The representations of the Hindus and the Parsis -- Representations of Aurengzeb/Muslims in the latter half of the century -- Conclusion.
Summary "'The limits of Orientalism: seventeenth-century representations of India' challenges the recent postcolonial readings of European, predominantly English, representations of India in the seventeenth century. Following Edward Said's discourse of 'Orientalism,' most postcolonial analyses of the seventeenth-century representations of India argue that the natives are represented as barbaric or exotic 'others,' imagining these representations as products of colonial ideology. Such approaches tend to offer a homogeneous idea of the 'native' and usually equate it with the term 'Indian.' Rahul Sapra, however, argues that instead of representing all natives as barbaric 'others,' the English drew parallels, especially between themselves and the Mughal aristocracy, associating with them as partners in trade and potential allies in war. While the Muslims are, from the outset, largely portrayed as highly civilized and cultured, early European writers tended to be more conflicted with the Hindus, their first highly negative views undergoing a transformation that brings into question any straightforward Orientalist reading of the texts and anticipates the complexity of later representations of the indigenous peoples of the subcontinent"--From publisher description, p. [4] of cover.
Summary "Sapra's theoretical and methodological approach is influenced by such writers as Aijaz Ahmad and Dennis Porter, who have highlighted powerful alternatives to Said's discourse of 'Orientalism.' Sapra historicizes European representations of the indigenous to draw attention to the contrasting approaches of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English in relation to seventeenth-century India, effectively undermining comfortable notions of a homogenous 'West.' Unlike the Portuguese, for whom the idea of a dynasty and the conversion of heathens went hand in hand with the idea of trade, for the Dutch and the English the primary consideration was commercial. In keeping with the commercial approach of the English East India Company, most English travelers, instead of representing the Muslims as barbaric 'others,' highlighted the compatibility between the two cultures and consistently praised the Mughal empire for its religious tolerance"--From publisher description, p. [4] of cover.
Summary "The book highlights the lacuna in postcolonial readings by providing access to selections of commonly unavailable early modern writings by Thomas Roe, Edward Terry, Henry Lord, Thomas Coryate, Alexander Hamilton, and other records of the East India Company, which makes the book vital for students of theory, European and South Asian history, and Renaissance literatures"--From publisher description, p. [4] of cover.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 204-213) and index.
LCCN 2010019733
ISBN9781936249008 (alk. paper)
ISBN1936249006 (alk. paper)
ISBN9781611490145 (cl. : alk. paper)
ISBN1611490146 (cl. : alk. paper)

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks DS411 .S27 2011 ✔ Available Place Hold

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