First published in 1998, this volume reflects that, ever since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism twenty years ago, scholars have tested his thesis against the wider application of his terms to cultural practices and the rhetoric of power. The cultural impact of the British on their colonies has been extensively investigated but only recently have scholars begun to ask in what ways British culture was transformed by its contact with the colonies.
The essays in this volume demonstrate how influential the Empire was on British culture from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. They show how, from cross-cultural cross-dressing to Buddhism, British artists and writers appropriated unfamiliar and challenging aspects of the culture of the Empire for their own purposes. An examination is also made of the extent to which colonized people engaged in the orientalising discourse, amending and subverting it, even re-applying its stereotypes to the British themselves. Finally, two essays explore instances of the exchange of ideas between colonies.
Several of the essays are based on papers given at the 1996 Conference of the College Arts Association.
Table of Contents
1. Orientalism Transposed: the ‘Easternization’ of Britain and Interventions to Colonial Discourse. Julie F. Codell and Dianne Sachko Macleod. Part 1. Identity, Agency and Masquerade. 2. Resistance and Performance: Native Informant Discourse in the Biographies of Maharaja Sayaji Rao III of Baroda (1863-1939). Julie F. Codell. 3. About Face: Sir David Wilkie’s Portrait of Mehemet Ali, Pasha of Egypt. Emily M. Weeks. 4. Cross-Cultural Cross-Dressing: Class, Gender and Modernist Sexual Identity. Dianne Sachko Macleod. Part 2. The Aesthetics of the Colonial Gaze. 5. The Memsehib’s Brush: Anglo-Indian Women and the Art of the Picturesque, 1830-1880. Romita Ray. 6. To See or Not to See: Conflicting Eyes in the Travel Art of Augustus Earle. Leonard Bell. 7. ‘Beyond the Stretch of Labouring Thought Sublime’: Romanticism, Post-Colonial Theory and the Transmission of Sanskrit Texts. Kathryn S. Freeman. 8. Cameron’s Photographic Double Takes. Jeff Rosen. Part 3. Intercoloniality. 9. Death, Glory, Empire: Art. Barbara Groseclose. 10. Tipu Sultan of Mysore and British Medievalism in the Paintings of Mather Brown. Constance C. McPhee.