Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
Forget English!

Forget English!

Orientalisms and World Literatures

Aamir R. Mufti

ISBN 9780674986893

Publication date: 08/20/2018

Request exam copy

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year

The idea of world literature has garnered much attention recently as a discipline that promises to move humanistic study beyond postcolonial theory and antiquated paradigms of “national” literary traditions. In Forget English! Aamir Mufti scrutinizes the claims made on behalf of world literature by its advocates. The notion of a borderless, egalitarian global literature has obvious appeal, he notes, but behind it lurks the continuing dominance of English as a literary language and a cultural system of international reach.

“Mufti’s historical perspective and insightful analyses of India’s anglophone novel generate constant echoes with the realities of anglophone writings in other cultures.”
—Eva Shan Chou, Times Higher Education

“Mufti’s book is in one sense a quarrel with Salman Rushdie’s overly enthusiastic celebration of English-language ‘postcolonial’ South Asian literature, but more important, the book extends, qualifies, and enriches Edward Said’s work on Orientalism, demonstrating that despite its promise, world literature does not eliminate the dominant role of the Anglophone book market in shaping South Asian literature…Mufti’s book is both accessible and theoretically informed.”
—K. Tölölyan, Choice


  • Forget English! is a book that won’t allow us to forget that the globalized humanities curriculum—dispatched from Euro-America to the world at large in the guise of a user-friendly World Literature—affords a highly problematic example of what Aamir Mufti calls ‘one-world thinking.’

    —Emily Apter, author of Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability


  • Aamir R. Mufti is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Book Details

  • 304 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press