By Ziad Elmarsafy, Anna Bernard, David Attwell
DS61.85 .D43 2013
To many, Edward Said's seminal 1978 paintings Orientalism is a permanent touchstone, a founding textual content of the sector of postcolonial reports and a e-book that maintains to persuade debates in literary and cultural reports, heart japanese reports, anthropology, paintings historical past, historical past and politics. To others, notwithstanding, Orientalism has severe failings, now not least in blaming the incorrect humans - specifically, Orientalists - for the crimes of ecu imperialism. Debating Orientalism addresses the book's modern relevance with out lionizing or demonizing its writer. Bridging the distance among highbrow background and political engagement, the twelve individuals to this quantity interrogate Orientalism's legacy with a purpose to relocating the talk approximately this article past the manichean barriers during which it has all too frequently been imprisoned. Debating Orientalism seeks to contemplate Orientalism's implications with rather less feeling, although no much less dedication to knowing the price and political results of engaged scholarship.
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Extra info for Debating Orientalism
In that interval, there was the Iranian Revolution followed by the Hostage Crisis, the latter extending on into 1981. Following these events, not only did postcolonial discourse take off rather rapidly, but so too did traditional Orientalism, the two increasingly coalescing as time went on: the study of culture on the rise; the study of nation states on the decline. 7 For some, one could thus say 1981 was a moment of rejuvenation. Some of the traditional Orientalist institutions, such as Princeton University’s Center for Near Eastern Studies, for example, got a new lease on life.
7) Here one thinks of boundary figures such as Albert Hourani or Elie Kedourie. Their work certainly adds something to the idea of the modern. Where Said saw himself as in exile, Eyal saw figures like him as boundary figures. Exile implies being defined as outside of history and as struggling to be heard as with the postcolonial writers, whereas boundary figures are by way of contrast part of history, albeit an ambiguous history. These points aside, Said’s influence on all three of these writers is clear.
The petro-dollar regimes are all historicist in Said’s usage, as are the Marxist ones. Indeed, the Marxist theory of the mode of production was a prime example of totalizing knowledge. In place of totalizing knowledge and practices, Said expressed a preference for relativism or ‘gnosis’ or as he put it for a dissolving and de-centring type of epistemology (90, 102–3). At the same time, he held out some hope at this point in his thinking for the Frankfurt School (103), the trend in Marxism which places some weight on the role of the engaged intellectual bringing about change by humanizing the elite.