“They have the right to throw us out”: Élisée Reclus'New Universal Geography
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
© 2013 The Author. Antipode © 2013 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
Volume 45, Issue 5, pages 1337–1355, November 2013
How to Cite
Ferretti, F. (2013), “They have the right to throw us out”: Élisée Reclus'New Universal Geography. Antipode, 45: 1337–1355. doi: 10.1111/anti.12006
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
- universal geography;
- postcolonial studies
Abstract: The anarchist and geographer Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) argued for the idea of universal brotherhood for all the peoples of the world in his encyclopaedic work the Nouvelle Géographie Universelle (NGU) (1876–1894). The nature of Reclus' argument and its representations of Europe, otherness and colonialism, however, are contested today, and it is unclear what insights it might offer to contemporary students of colonialism and post-colonialism. In this paper I engage with two emblematic cases—British rule over India and French occupation of Algeria—as they are presented in the NGU, considering Reclus' analysis of imperialism and his novel critique of colonial power. In doing so I wish to demonstrate that far from being conventional, the NGU is a radical and interesting resource for those struggling to construct a critical discourse on Europe, otherness and colonialism.