Dislocating The Orient: British Maps And The Making Of The Middle East, 1854-1921 by Daniel FoliardDislocating The Orient: British Maps And The Making Of The Middle East, 1854-1921 by Daniel Foliard

Dislocating The Orient: British Maps And The Making Of The Middle East, 1854-1921

byDaniel Foliard

Hardcover | April 13, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 390 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


While the twentieth century’s conflicting visions and exploitation of the Middle East are well documented, the origins of the concept of the Middle East itself have been largely ignored. With Dislocating the Orient, Daniel Foliard tells the story of how the land was brought into being, exploring how maps, knowledge, and blind ignorance all participated in the construction of this imagined region. Foliard vividly illustrates how the British first defined the Middle East as a geopolitical and cartographic region in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through their imperial maps. Until then, the region had never been clearly distinguished from “the East” or “the Orient.” In the course of their colonial activities, however, the British began to conceive of the Middle East as a separate and distinct part of the world, with consequences that continue to be felt today. As they reimagined boundaries, the British produced, disputed, and finally dramatically transformed the geography of the area—both culturally and physically—over the course of their colonial era.
Using a wide variety of primary texts and historical maps to show how the idea of the Middle East came into being, Dislocating the Orient will interest historians of the Middle East, the British empire, cultural geography, and cartography.
Daniel Foliard is a lecturer at Paris Ouest University.   
Title:Dislocating The Orient: British Maps And The Making Of The Middle East, 1854-1921Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 10 × 7 × 1.2 inPublished:April 13, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022645133X

ISBN - 13:9780226451336

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


Part I. From Sebastopol to Suez (1854–1869)
1.         The Mid-Victorian Perspective: A Fragmented East
2.         Labeling the East
3.         Maps for the Masses?

Part II. A Shifting East in the Age of High Imperialism (1870–1895)
4.         Oriental Designs
5.         Virtual Travel in the Age of High Imperialism

Part III. The Fabrication of the Middle East (1895–1921)
6.         Seeing Red?
7.         Enter Middle East
8.         Falling Into Places
            General Conclusion
Notes on Methodology and Select Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

 “The space that is ‘the Middle East’ remains contentious and controversial. Foliard’s comprehensive cartographic analysis puts its attempted delineation and definition in a broad cultural context. Appropriately, with such a sprawling subject, this is neither simple history, geography, nor cartography but a fusion of all three. The message is clear: there was no uniform or universal British mental map which holds good across the decades in question. Any notion of a single unitary triumphalist narrative of ‘the Middle East’ dissolves, as maps are shown to emerge from and to serve different constituencies, each with their own preconceptions and purposes, ones that vary from decade to decade. Foliard is well aware that the instrumentalized geographical entities with which he deals have complicated the geo-political realities of the present. His ‘worried history’ makes no claim to absolute truth, place blame or offer immediate lessons for the present. There remains plenty to worry about, but he shows us how we have come to be where we are today.”