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Theorizing internal orientalism in the U.S.: Southering, reconstruction, and internal colonialism
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5123-1357
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper seeks to clarify both the usefulness and the limitations of applying the framework of Orientalism to the spatial dynamics within a state, using the othering of the U.S. South an example. Inspired by the seminal work of Edward Said, scholars have, in the 35 years since Said published Orientalism, applied this analytical perspective to a wide range of social phenomena, while at the same time often ignoring their spatialities. By exploring the relationship between the South and the rest of the U.S., this paper contributes to the literature on various orientalisms by recovering the spatiality of orientalisms and by elaborating upon the primary elements of internal orientalism in the U.S. These elements are identified as southering (the discursive othering of the South), reconstruction (the attempt to restructure the political and social fields of the South), and internal colonialism (the domination of the region by external capital). This tripartite perspective enables a more nuanced understanding of the development and eventual disappearance of internal orientalism in the U.S. Also discussed are the limitations of this particular analytical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
internal orientalism, U.S. South, nationalism, regionalism
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-287522OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-287522DiVA: diva2:922875
Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-25

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Jansson, David
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