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.
Review coming soon!

Review by Craig Evan Anderson forthcoming.


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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