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Introduction by Henry Schwarz

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.00004.x


This Encyclopedia was compiled by six main individuals operating on five continents. The multipolar organization of the project was quite intentional and ultimately crucial. Almost all the regions of the world were considered for inclusion, and, where possible, at least invited to be represented. The one exception was Antarctica, due only to the limits of our imagination. The editors’ locations proved decisive, as their local knowledge mitigated against claims of the postcolonial designation to be universally generalizable. To the extent that I can speak for a very diversified group, it is the hope of the editors that these volumes will help provide some frameworks for the next generation of global cultural inventors. Previous encyclopedias of imperialism and its aftermath have been compiled. Our intention here was to cover more comprehensively the range of material practices and diverse knowledge systems, especially languages, constituting the 500-year history of European imperialism. While our focus is primarily on literary and cultural dynamics, we felt it imperative to move decisively outside of English as the sole or even primary language of record. Thus the reader will find coverage of not only the major imperial powers and their holdings (Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, Italian, German, Belgian, Japanese, American), but just as importantly the vast diversity ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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