Imperial reach: European explorers and imperial agents in the Middle East

Sally Totman

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The impact of late-eighteenth- to early-twentieth-century explorers in the Middle East, through their public and mediated personas, was profound. Their influence transformed the region’s geopolitics, economies, and cultures in various ways. Essentially operating as imperial agents in the region, these explorers represented their own interests but also those of European nations. They can be seen as brands and agents of the Imperial Reach that attempted to civilize, from a European perspective, the cultures of the Middle East over the past two centuries. Exemplified through a series of highly visible and renowned figures, this chapter links how these empowered and visible ‘explorers’ engaged in a range of activities and helped to define the modern, often-conflicted dimensions and perceptions of the Middle East.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStaging authority
Subtitle of host publicationPresentation and power in nineteenth-century Europe. A handbook
EditorsEva Giloi, Martin Kohlrausch, Heikki Lempa, Heidi Mehrkens, Philipp Nielsen, Kevin Rogan
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherWalter de Gruyter
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783110574012, 9783110571417
ISBN (Print)9783110571141
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022


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