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Orientalism

by Edward Said
by

Karen Thomas

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Orientalism

Orientalism by Edward Said Ian Relihan
Karen Thomas Cultural generalizations came to be treated like scientific statements
Renan and Sacy
reduce the Orient to manageable terms
philology
connecting linguistics roots to race and character Orient Residence and Scholarship More backwards or more undervalued?
Caussin
Arabs as a people were created by Islam
Political movement
Portrayal of Mohammed changes
Orient need not be threatening Conflicts Desire for residential control
Flaubert, Disraeli, and Twain
Professional to personal Understanding the Orient through Literature Three categories of writers
European egotism at center Writers residence to provide professional Orientalism with scientific material One same purpose but is less willing to sacrifice individual consciousness to impersonal Orientalism definitions Two metaphorical trip to the Orient is the fulfillment of some deeply felt and urgent project Three Lane’s Modern Egyptians
chronological and developmental
control over material
threatening to European discreteness and prudish sexuality
Orient as place of pilgrimage
liberate the Orient from “Judeo-Christian reality”
re-Orientalize the Orient Pilgrims and Pilgrimages India, a British colony
Sense of control
Lane
Remove self from descriptions of the Orient British VS. French French future control rather than current
Chateaubriand
Crusades helped to save the Orient
Orient was in desperate need of European intervention Knowledge
Based on predecessors
New information judged in relation
Nerval
Engaged self with the Orient
Found it empty
Restore self
Flaubert
As imagined/believed
Bring the Orient back to life Academic field
Outside funding
Scientifically validity of field New Orientalist consensus in Orientalism
making the field clearer rather than imposing Latent and Manifest Orientalism Positivity
Little change Latent Orientalism Variety of views about Oriental society, language, and history
Some change Manifest Orientalism Supported by Darwinism
Inherent backwardness of the Orient Imperialism subjugation of women
subjugation of the Orient Sexism in Orientalism British and Cromer
French offered seductive ideas but no substance
British offered the improvement of the Oriental culture
French
attempts to colonize or exercise influence were hampered by British
Orient was in their destiny to control British and French universities and other methods of modern learning
conservative latent Orientalism
contact between two areas
manifest Orientalism’s approach of administrative obligation Spread of Orientalism expected to follow set of behaviors and values
distinction between writers and Arabs
overwhelming belief that modern Oriental was shadow of former greatness
greatness was only appreciated by Western minds "White Man" Moved from scholarly world to the world of policy-makers
Orientalists became representatives of Western culture Orientalism remained static Orientalism from general subject to area study
“East” and “West” remained separate entities
Orientals demanded their independence
European domination no longer a given World War I Occidental and Oriental problems
Massignon
French
Catholic
attempted to understand Islam from within
Gibb
Orient as a separate entity
strongly opposed to modernization of Islamic world Islamic Orientalism Arabs still gain negative attention
Jews no longer seen as Orientals
Americans adopted European attitudes about Orientalism World War II Cultural origins and religion vs. social and economic indicators as best indicators of human experience
Scholars have possibility of providing a truer understanding
Orientalism failed to identify with human experience Conclusion In a 2003 retrospective on Orientalism, Said ties the "East-West" polarized geopolitical climate of the twenty-first century to the legacy of Orientalism? Is this association appropriate? In what ways?

Is it possible for human beings within a society to operate outside of the intellectual constraints of discourse?

"Is the notion of a distinct culture (or race, or religion, or civilization) a useful one, or does it always get involved either in self-congratulation (when one discusses one's own) or hostility and aggression (when one discusses the 'other')?" (Said 325) How does this relate to information science?

Is Orientalism a major concern in today's economic and security-conscious climate? Questions "A way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European Western experience (Said 1)."

Asia Studies, Orient Studies, Area Studies

1700s - 1945 and beyond What is Orientalism? Michel Foucault

"Systems of thoughts composed of ideas, attitudes, courses of action, beliefs and practices that systematically construct the subjects and the worlds of which they speak." - Lara Lessa Discourse Edward Said Philology: The study of languages through historical sources and texts

Intellectual framework that seeks to affirm Western values and worth through comparison with the Orient; the "ancient" Orient is constructed as an exotic mirror that reflects the virtues of European culture, thereby validating them; the "modern", real Orient is a land of wayward children, fallen from grace and learning and in need of guidance

Restrictive discourse Knowledge Causation, Methodology, and Justification

European: Moral, Intelligent, and strong

Oriental: Shifty, dull, and weak

Western Imperative Power The East/Orient vs. the West/Occident

Conflict derived from closeness

"Us" vs. "Them"; Otherization The Orient "They cannot represent themselves; they must by represented" - Karl Marx
"Knowledge of the Orient creates the Orient" - Edward Said

Irrelevance of indigenous experience and opinion Construction of the Orient Arthur James Balfour: Distinguished and powerful British politician, former prime minister, served under Queen Victoria when she was crowned Empress of India

June 1910 House of Commons Speech

Benevolence and necessity of British occupation of Egypt; evidence of this implicit in body of Orientalist literature Balfour Greece and the Persian Empire

Aeschylus' The Persian

Euripides' The Bacchae Ancient Origins Rise of Islam and the Crusades

Jesus the Savior vs. Muhammad the Imposter

Dante's Divine Comedy Christianity and Islam Origins in theology and Biblical Philology

Expansion, Historical Confrontation, Sympathy, and Classification

Rise of Secularism Genesis of Orientalism Silvestre de Sacy (1758-1838)
French Philologist
Progenitor of Orientalism as modern discipline
Orientalist's role as mediator between East and West, preparing Oriental knowledge so that it could be consumed by Europeans Sacy and Renan 1798-1801 Campaign

Politicization of Orientalism

The Academy as a tool of expansion Napoleon in Egypt and Syria Progenitors: France and Great Britain
Successor: United States
Others: Germany, Italy, Russia, etc. An individual of the Orient is "first an Oriental, second a human being, and last again an Oriental." The Orient Defined:
Term can refer to any point in Asia or Africa, but usage in this book generally relates to modern Middle East (1935-2003)

Palestinian-American, professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia
Methodology of "Orientalism" an analysis of Orientalist literatures over the centuries and their effects on culture
"I study Orientalism as a dynamic exchange between individual authors and the large political concerns shaped by three great empires – British, French, American – in whose intellectual and imaginative territory the writing was produced (Said 14)." Ernest Renan (1823-1892)
French Linguist and Philosopher
Orientalist as impartial, clinical observer
Linguistic classification
Full transcript