Teaching orientalism in introductory human geography

Ishan Ashutosh, Jamie Winders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article explores efforts to bring postcolonial theory into the undergraduate human geography classroom. Through a case study of teaching Edward Said's Orientalism in introductory human geography, we discuss the relevance of postcolonial theory to critical pedagogy in geography. We lay out how instructors can teach Orientalism in introductory courses, what happens when they do so, and where efforts to use postcolonial theory to help students analyze the "colonial present" can be improved. We suggest that postcolonial theory is particularly well suited pedagogically to show students the mechanisms and uneven power relations producing and sustaining past and present geographies of difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages14
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Colonial present
  • Introductory human geography
  • Orientalism
  • Pedagogy
  • Postcolonial theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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