skip to primary navigationskip to content

Ordering the Orient: a history of the publication of Eastern texts in Europe and America and the production of a cultural economy of Orientalism, 1850-1939

A British Academy Post-doctoral Fellowship held by Dr Mishka Sinha

OrderingOrient1Ordering the Orient investigates the production, diffusion, and reinterpretation of 'Eastern' ideas in the 'West'. It does this through an economic and cultural analysis of the European and American publishing and marketing of texts that were sourced from the East, and translated from Oriental languages. Such works were adopted into an "Oriental canon" that still moulds perceptions of the East, including the tremendously influential Arabian Nights, Fitzgerald's translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, Edwin Arnold's popular life of the Buddha - the Light of Asia, Sa'di's Gulistan, and the mammoth East India Company-subsidised project of the Rig Veda. The project focusses on publishers in Britain, the United States and Germany, specifically, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Boston, New York and Heidelberg. Publishers' practices, and their networks, with agents, authors, scholars and administrators, in Europe, America and Asia, are explored through examining private papers, trade publications, and publishers' records.