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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The emergence of postcolonial studies as a distinct field of inquiry has commonly been attributed to the work of Edward W. Said, particularly his groundbreaking book, Orientalism. Since the early 1980s, Said’s insights have had a significant influence in the humanities, reshaping the fields of comparative literature, English, history, and anthropology. However, his arguments and interventions have held comparably less force in law and legal studies. Forty years after the publication of Orientalism, this chapter reconsiders to what extent Said’s work—and postcolonial studies more generally—has influenced themes, debates, and directions in law and legal studies. To do so, this chapter borrows Said’s three-part edifice—“The Scope of Orientalism”; “Orientalist Structures and Restructures”; and “Orientalism Now”—as a mode of organizing and as a method of reading the scholarship that falls under the sign of postcolonial legal studies and as a way to consider directions for further study.

Keywords: Edward Said, colonialism, imperialism, postcolonial legal studies, extraterritoriality, oceans, violence

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