Enlightenment Orientalism in the American Mind


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Matthew H. Pangborn
Perspectives on Early America
  • New York, NY: 
    , September
     272 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


This study engages with the emerging field of energy humanities to provide close readings of several early American oriental-observer tales. The popular genre of orientalism offered Americans a means to critique new ideas of identity, history, and nationality accompanying protoindustrialization and a growing consumerism. The tales thus express a complex self-reflection during a time when America’s exploitation of its energy resources and its engagement in a Franco-British world-system was transforming the daily life of its citizens. The genre of the oriental observer, this study argues, offers intriguing glimpses of a nation becoming strange in the eyes of its own inhabitants.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Matthew H. Pangborn is Associate Professor of English at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.


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