1st Edition

Economies of Representation, 1790?2000 Colonialism and Commerce

By Leigh Dale Copyright 2007
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Although postcolonialism has emerged as one of the most significant theoretical movements in literary and cultural studies, it has paid scant attention to the importance of trade and trade relations to debates about culture. Focusing on the past two centuries, this volume investigates the links among trade, colonialism, and forms of representation, posing the question, 'What is the historical or modern relationship between economic inequality and imperial patterns of representation and reading?' Rather than dealing exclusively with a particular industry or type of industry, the contributors take up the issue of how various economies have been represented in Aboriginal art; in literature by North American, Caribbean, Portuguese, South African, First Nations, Australian, British, and Aboriginal authors; and in a diverse range of writings that includes travel diaries, missionary texts, the findings of the Leprosy Investigation Commission, early medical accounts and media representations of HIV/AIDS. Examining trade in commodities as various as illicit drugs, liquor, bananas, tourism, adventure fiction, and modern Aboriginal art, as well as cultural exchanges in politics, medicine, and literature, the essays reflect the widespread origins of the contributors themselves, who are based throughout the English-speaking world. Taken as a whole, this book contests the commonplace view promoted by some modern economists-that trade in and of itself has a leveling effect, equalising cultures, places, and peoples-demonstrating instead the ways in which commerce has created and exacerbated differences in power.

    Contents: Introduction, Leigh Dale and Helen Gilbert; Part I Colonialism and Commerce: Meditation on yellow: trade and indigeneity in the Caribbean, Peter Hulme; Sites of purchase: slavery, missions, and tourism on 2 Tanzanian sites, Gareth Griffiths; The Bible trade: commerce and Christianity in the Pacific, Anna Johnston; In search of M Leprae: medicine, public debate, politics and the leprosy commission to India, Jo Robertson; Coincidences and likely stories: perverse desire and viral exchange in the 'origin' of AIDS, Susan Knabe; Junk international: the symbolic drug trade, Brian Musgrove; Redefining the shebeen: the illicit liquor trade in South Africa, c1950-1983, Anne Mager; The textuality of tourism and the ontology of resource: an amazing Thai case study, Guy Redden. Part II Reading Exchange: Text as trading place: Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother, Ross Chambers; Raw deals: Kngwarreye and contemporary art criticism, Catherine Howell; Sweet beauty: West Indian travel narratives, Claudia Brandenstein; Women's trading in Fanny Stevenson's The Cruise of the Janet Nichol, Roslyn Jolly; Fair trade: marketing 'The Mohawk Princess', Anne Collett; How queer native narratives interrogate colonial discourses, Wendy Pearson; New life stories in the new South Africa, Judith Lütge Coullie; Postcolonial pedagogy and international economics, Leigh Dale; Bibliography; Index.


    Leigh Dale teaches Australian and postcolonial literatures at the University of Queensland.