Fellow 1998-99

David Prochaska


professor of history, center for african studies, south and south west asian studies, campus honors program

Professor Prochaska joined the UIUC faculty in 1981. His area of research is colonial studies, which he approaches comparatively and from the perspective of postcolonial studies. His article on the intersection of history and literature within postcolonial studies appeared in the American Historical Review (1996). During his appointment, he will work on a project using orientalism as a historiographical site to develop a series of arguments concerning forms of colonial knowledge and the role history can play within postcolonial studies. In explicating a number of approaches to writing orientalism after Edward Said’s Orientalism, he outlines the advantages of bringing history back into the postcolonial discussion moderated primarily by literary critics. Thus, he roots orientalism in its specific historical, political, and cultural contexts. At the same time, Prochaska is concerned to expand the largely textual analyses so marked in the field to encompass visual culture as well, and he delineates a series of specific strategies for incorporating visual analysis into orientalism.