The Limits of Orientalism: Seventeenth-Century Representations of India challenges recent postcolonial readings of European, and particularly English, representations of India in the seventeenth century. The book critiques Edward Said's discourse of "Orientalism" by destabilizing the notion of a homogeneous "West": the English interest was commercial, unlike the colonially and religiously motivated Portuguese, and therefore instead of representing Mughals as barbaric "others," the English travelers drew parallels between the Mughals and themselves in their writings, associating with them as partners in trade and potential allies in war. The Europeans praised Muslims' civility and religious tolerance, yet tended to be more conflicted with the Hindus; eventually their negative views underwent a transformation, questioning the Orientalist notion of the homogeneous "Indian." By historicizing the European representations of India, the book undercuts postcolonial analyses by critics such as Kate Teltscher, Jyotsna Singh, Nandini Bhattacharya, Balachandra Rajan, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Shankar Raman and others.
The Limits of Orientalism
av Rahul Sapra