Indography: Writing The Indian In Early Modern England

Hardcover | April 15, 2012

EditorJonathan Gil Harris

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In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Europeans invented 'Indians' and populated the world with them. The global history of the term 'Indian' remains largely unwritten and this volume, taking its cue from Shakespeare, asks us to consider the proximities and distances between various early modern discourses of the Indian. Through new analysis of English travel writing, medical treatises, literature, and drama, contributors seek not just to recover unexpected counter-histories but to put pressure on the ways in which we understand race, foreign bodies, and identity in a globalizing age that has still not shed deeply ingrained imperialist habits of marking difference.

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In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Europeans invented 'Indians' and populated the world with them. The global history of the term 'Indian' remains largely unwritten and this volume, taking its cue from Shakespeare, asks us to consider the proximities and distances between various early modern discourses of the Indian. Through ne...

Jonathan Gil Harris is a professor of English at George Washington University. He is the author of Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England; Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism and Disease; Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare; Shakespeare and Literary Theory; and Marvellous Rep...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.65 × 6.15 × 0.92 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230341373

ISBN - 13:9780230341371

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'In 1614, Samuel Purchas noted that India was a term that had begun to be used to describe 'all farre-distant Countries.' This volume is a careful, thought-provoking and wide-ranging analysis of the meaning, implications and consequences of that usage. It uncovers the astonishing diversity of peoples and locations signified by the term in early modern English writings. Even more important, it tracks the connections between the different 'Indians' forged through material as well as imaginative channels. 'India' and 'Indians' emerge as important points of entry into the early histories and discourses of globalization. An important and illuminating book.' - Ania Loomba, Catherine Bryson Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania"The geographic miscalculation that persuaded Columbus to identify the New World as part of 'India' is at once so gross and so familiar that its imaginative consequences have never seemed to deserve serious consideration. The brilliant tessellation of essays that make up Indography show how mistaken that neglect has been. By opening a fascinating variety of perspectives on the many 'Indias' of the Renaissance imaginary, Gil Harris and his contributors promise to transform our understanding of early modern ethnography and its relation to the discourses of trade and empire." - Michael Neill, emeritus professor of English, University of Auckland