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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
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Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

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Orients and Occidents: Colonial Discourse Theory and the Historiography of the British Empire

Orients and Occidents: Colonial Discourse Theory and the Historiography of the British Empire

Chapter:
(p.596) 38 Orients and Occidents: Colonial Discourse Theory and the Historiography of the British Empire
Source:
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography
Author(s):

D. A. Washbrook

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.003.0038

A striking feature of historical writings on the British Empire over the last decade has been the influence of critical theories of ‘colonial discourse’. Discourse criticism percolated steadily into the historiography of imperialism over a considerable period through interdisciplinary contacts with anthropology, which responded to it first. Colonial discourse critique certainly inspired a major paradigm-shift in the historiography of imperialism which strongly informed writing in the 1980s. The influence of discourse theory began to raise new questions about how the history of the subaltern orders ought properly to be represented. During the 1980s, colonial discourse theory enjoyed a remarkable growth and generated a series of legacies, which are likely to belong-lasting.

Keywords:   British Empire, colonial discourse theory, historiography, imperialism, historical writings, discourse criticism

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