In this undertaking we find ourselves indebted to the following authors, whose works and ideas have helped to crystallize our own: Janet Abu-Lughod (Before European Hegemony), Walter Benjamin (The Arcades Project), Fernand Braudel (The Mediterranean and Capitalism), William McNeill (Europe’s Steppe Frontier and Venice), Edward Said (Orientalism), Immanuel Wallerstein (many of his concepts), Eduardo Galeano (Memory of Fire), and Gabriel García Márquez (100 Years of Solitude and Autumn of the Patriarch).
Janet Abu-Lughod’s book on the non-hegemonic world system of the 13th and 14th centuries has been an invaluable means of recognizing the semi-invisible world of traders and merchant princes. Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project provided an excellent example of how the assembly of diverse quotations and examples can shed light on a much larger story. From Fernand Braudel we were inspired to look at the long term “structures” of Westeros and Essos (longstanding institutions, relationships, organized behaviors, attitudes, and so forth). William McNeill’s works have given us much appreciated insight into the history of Venice and the workings of the Ukrainian slave trade that existed between the Crimean Tartars and Istanbul. To Edward Said, Eduardo Galeano, and Gabriel García Marquez we owe our interest in the almost magical disparities of power and knowledge that arise between developed and underdeveloped societies. Immanuel Wallerstein’s tripartite division of the modern world into core, semi-periphery, and periphery we have fruitfully adapted for our own purposes.
We’d also like to thank Steven Attewell of Race for the Iron Throne and Adam Feldman at The Meereenese Blot, whose examples we decided to follow.