Contribution to Book
Interrogating Orientalism: Contextual Approaches and Pedagogical Practices
In order to understand Orientalism it is necessary to realize, as Vincent T. Harlow has noted, that there were “two British empires.” The first empire consisted of the colonies in America and the West Indies and was established in the seventeenth century, with the explorations in the Pacific, and the trading networks that developed with Asia and Africa. The “second British empire” dates from 1783 and resulted from the loss of America, which in turn forced Britain to formulate new ideas about and approaches to its empire. The Colonial Office was set up in 1801, and, as Harlow observed, Britain experienced a “Swing to the East,” to India and the Asian colonies (Harlow, 2:1–11).