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The Global Eighteenth Century

, 408 pages

38 halftones

July 2003



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The Global Eighteenth Century

Historians have generally come to accept the idea of a "long eighteenth century," one that extended from circa 1660 to 1830. In The Global Eighteenth Century, editor Felicity Nussbaum and the contributing authors take this idea one step further, positing an eighteenth century that is "wide" as well as long, reaching beyond Europe into the African diaspora, the Americas, the Levant, China, India, and Oceania. Showcasing the work of twenty-one leading scholars in literature, world history, art history, geography, and environmental studies, this collection of essays explores both the literal and the metaphorical crossings of the globe, addressing the cultural significance of maps, paintings, travel writing, tourist manuals, cultural identities, island gardens, and other topics in order to lend insight to our perception of global culture during this time.

In addition, the contributors examine the tension between the tendency toward homogenization at the global level and the specifics of local knowledge and culture, analyzing examples of sexual and racial intermingling, the European reception of indigenous knowledge, encounters with diverse religions, the exchange of goods and diseases, and the real and imagined mappings of the world. These essays, which the introduction considers within global and imperial studies, add a crucial historical element to the emerging concept of the global. Through careful analysis of texts, images and artifacts, they articulate the truly global nature of relations among the freshly juxtaposed regions, disciplines, and methodologies of this complex era.

Contributors: Robert Batchelor, Laura Brown, Vincent Carretta, Jill Casid, Linda Colley, Greg Dening, Rod Edmond, Matthew H. Edney, Carole Fabricant, Peter Hulme, Betty Joseph, Kay Dian Kriz, Philip D. Morgan, Anna Neill, Neil Rennie, Joseph Roach, Nicholas Rogers, Benjamin Schmidt, Kate Teltscher, Beth Fowkes Tobin, and Glyndwr Williams

Felicity A. Nussbaum is a professor of English at the University of California-Los Angeles, the author of The Limits of the Human (2003), Torrid Zones (1995), and the editor of The Autobiographical Subject (1995), the latter two available from Johns Hopkins.

"A fascinating collection of 21 scholarly essays that collectively argue that globalization—'the movement of ideas across borders over time'—really began in the period between England's Restoration in 1660 and the European Revolutions of 1830."

" The Global Eighteenth Century is, first and foremost, an ambitious and important effort to point to the many ways in which postcolonial intellectual and methodological emphases are transforming our sense of the 'globe' in the eighteenth century. The essays are exemplary of questions that should be asked, and the kinds of answers that can be provided, by the best forms of literary-historical criticism and colonial discourse studies today."

"Should serve as a model for all those who study the past."

"Excellent collection."

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