Empire and identity: an eighteenth-century sourcebook

Gregg, S.H (2005) Empire and identity: an eighteenth-century sourcebook. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-2141-5


Volume edited by Gregg with the introduction written by him also (p1-25).

Item Type: Book

The rationale behind the selection and investigation of the texts was informed by the interaction between the book's research questions and its theoretical methodology.

Research Questions

1. How, and in what language, was identity represented, debated and conceptualised in a period before psychological models of the self or before the dominance of 'race'?

2. How, and to what extent, did Britons critique the effects of empire and colonialism in this period?

Theoretical methodology

1. Postcolonial theory has moved beyond early theories of self/other; double-consciousness; Orientalism. Even the terms coloniser and colonised were too simple for the multiplicity of positions that were inhabited or forced upon people by the project of empire and colonialism in the eighteenth century. The theories of Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy enabled a less static conceptualisation of identity.

2. The evidence from the texts suggested fluid and unfamiliar concepts of identity were at play: ones that called into question the simplicity of fixed concepts of identity.

3. The questions dictated a methodology that conceived 'empire' as a set of interleaved discourses. New historicist and cultural materialist readings of colonialism and empire conceive the relationship between literary and non-literary material as non-hierarchical (e.g. Hulme, 1985).

Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:31
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/4
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