jeffrey glover on colonial texts and indigenous geopolitics


Jeffrey Glover, ‘Channeling Indigenous Geopolitics: Negotiating International Order in Colonial Writing’, PMLA 125, 3 (2010)


Recent comparative approaches to early American studies have described the networks of literary exchange that linked colonial writing from different imperial contexts. Current methodologies should be expanded to account for the relation between colonial writing and indigenous forms of political media. This essay compares two colonial texts, the Eendracht writings (1632–34), by a group of Dutch colonial agents, and Simplicities Defence (1646), the Puritan Samuel Gorton’s appeal to Parliament. While these texts present radically different versions of New World sovereignty, both use print reproductions of indigenous political media to construct models of republican colonial order that are meant to contrast with Spanish New World regimes. The editorial practices authors employed in preparing indigenous texts for publication often embodied the political relation between imperial states and indigenous polities.

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