Worlding Comparative Literature: Beyond Postcolonialism

Theo D'haen

Abstract


"I will focus on Edward Said’s handling of the work of the British geographer Halford Mackinder...in Culture and Imperialism.... In 1904, Mackinder published an influential paper in The Geographical Journal...in which he labelled all of European and Asian Russia and much of Central Asia, then also under Russian rule, as 'The Geographical Pivot of History.' Mackinder’s views represented what we would now, following Heidegger’s coining of the term, and especially the use Said himself and Gayatri Spivak have made of it, call a 'worlding' of the world according to the dictates of colonialism and imperialism prevalent at the time. My argument will be that Said’s reading of Mackinder likewise amounts to a specific worlding for a specific moment in time, and that perhaps now we should move on from there."

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