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Before Orientalism


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Table of Contents

Note on the Text


Chapter 1. On Orientalism
Chapter 2. Travelers, Tales, Audiences
Chapter 3. Travel Writing and the Making of Europe

Chapter 4. Food and Foodways
Chapter 5. Femininities
Chapter 6. Sex
Chapter 7. Civility
Chapter 8. Bodies

Afterword: For a Precolonial Middle Ages


About the Author

Kim M. Phillips is Associate Professor of History at the University of Auckland. She is coauthor (with Barry Reay) of Sex Before Sexuality: A Premodern History and author of Medieval Maidens: Young Women and Gender in England, 1270-1540.


"Well-argued and well-researched."-Speculum

"A detailed and stimulating portrait of the heterogeneity of Western travelers' responses to what they saw, heard, tasted, touched, and smelled during their journeys to the distant regions of Asia."-Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto

"A richly detailed discussion of later medieval European travellers' accounts describing Eastern Asia. . . . Phillips's call for a 'precolonial studies,' in which the diversity of European responses to foreignness takes centre-stage, is a compelling point from which medieval and early modern historians might begin to question the historical specificity of language of conquest, ownership and desire outlined so influentially by Edward Said."-English Historical Review

"Before Orientalism argues that medieval travelers were not and could not have been writing from an imperialist perspective as later 'Orientalist' writers are alleged to have done. Kim M. Phillips proves her case most convincingly, and following these travel writers through her examination of their texts is an exceedingly interesting journey."-David O. Morgan, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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