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 Topic: Orientalism - Edward Said

 (Read 3964 times)
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  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     OP - August 17, 2012, 07:55 AM

    Has anyone here read "Orientalism" by Edward Said. I checked it out from the library recently but have yet to get around to reading it. I know it's supposed to be one of the best books on the Western perception of the East but it has received mixed reviews.  So, ultimately, I want to know if it's worth my time to pick it. Up and read it.

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

    The sleeper has awakened -  Dune

    Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish!
  • Re: Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #1 - August 17, 2012, 08:26 AM

    It's worth it. The problem comes around when people read the book and sling Orientalism or orientalist around on everything they don't like. Said's critique is a lot more focused and understandable than a lot of people give him
    credit for. He's a literary guy so his writing style is a bit long winded.

    So once again I'm left with the classic Irish man's dilemma, do I eat the potato or do I let it ferment so I can drink it later?
    My political philosophy below
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwGat4i8pJI&feature=g-vrec
    Just kidding, here are some true heros
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBTgvK6LQqA
  • Re: Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #2 - August 17, 2012, 12:35 PM

    I have not read the book myself either. But there is a youtube documentary on it here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwCOSkXR_Cw

    Part 2:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0HYX9JVH8o

    And parts 3 and 4 you can find by following the links.

    One of the things I find interesting about Said is that he himself is from a Christian family born in Palestine but raised by his American mother in Massachussets. So he himself is, to a certain extent, a Westerner imposing his own ideas about the Middle East.

    At 2:15 of video 1, it says "Orientalism seeks to ask why when we think of the Middle East, we have a pre-concieved idea about the people that live there, what they believe, etc."

    From my own personal experiences, I find that my pre-concieved ideas about the Middle East that were developed from learning about Islam in school were a hell of a lot nicer than the understanding I got later on actually talking with Muslims online and reading the Koran and Sirat. I do understand that online discussions tend to attract extremists. But nevertheless, on the whole I think that the Said view of Orientalism is somewhat scewed. Yes the West has a "romanticized" view of the Middle East, but i think it is an over-positive view rather than an over-negative view. If anything Westerners tend to assume that the values and beliefs of people in the Middle East are the same as theirs rather than different, so the West imposes it's own beliefs on the Middle East, i.e. The West often views the Arab Israeli conflict from a Marxist perspective, which is certainly not how Hamas sees it.
  • Re: Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #3 - August 17, 2012, 03:10 PM

    Thanks for the responses, guys.  I'll go ahead and give the book a shot.

    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

    The sleeper has awakened -  Dune

    Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish!
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #4 - May 02, 2015, 06:17 PM

    Simon Leys - Orientalism and Sinology (more on Simon Leys here and here)

    http://www.jonvonkowallis.com/readers/CHIN2400/095-099-Simon_Leys-Orientalism_and_Sinology.pdf

    pdf of the full text of Orientalism (I'm with Simon Leys on Edward Said so this isn't a recommendation)

    http://www.odsg.org/Said_Edward%281977%29_Orientalism.pdf
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #5 - May 02, 2015, 08:07 PM

    Had to read it for my Politics course at Newcastle. It was too long winded and can be easily condensed. I'd say Edward did make several valid points relating to the construction of the other via the Western prism but this can also be grossly exxagerated. Please ignore any workds on orientalism by the idiot Ziauddin Sardar.

    There is an excellent succint book on 'occidentalism' as well. Amazing book.

    No free mixing of the sexes is permitted on these forums or via PM or the various chat groups that are operating.

    Women must write modestly and all men must lower their case.

    http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?425649-Have-some-Hayaa-%28modesty-shame%29-people!
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #6 - May 02, 2015, 08:45 PM

    I thought it strange that when I was studying a classically Orientalist subject in the mid- to late 90s, it wasn't ever considered required reading.
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #7 - May 02, 2015, 09:54 PM

    I think at university level it all depends on the political/intellectual leaning of the faculty and of the lecturer who come up with the required reading list. My lecturer was amazing and very open minded. She conducted one of the first studies on water deprivation relating to the West Bank wall.

    No free mixing of the sexes is permitted on these forums or via PM or the various chat groups that are operating.

    Women must write modestly and all men must lower their case.

    http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?425649-Have-some-Hayaa-%28modesty-shame%29-people!
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #8 - August 27, 2015, 11:24 PM

    A long review of Orientalism by Syrian philosopher Sadik Jalal al-’Azm, written in 1980 shortly after the revolution in Iran.

    Orientalism and orientalism in reverse: https://libcom.org/library/orientalism-orientalism-reverse-sadik-jalal-al-’azm

  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #9 - March 21, 2016, 12:01 PM

    A rather uncritical article about Orientalism in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/21/100-best-nonfiction-books-8-orientalism-edward-said

    A historian's take on Edward Said: https://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/orientalism-spring2011/files/MacKenzie0001.pdf
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #10 - March 21, 2016, 01:07 PM

    Has anyone here read "Orientalism" by Edward Said. I checked it out from the library recently but have yet to get around to reading it. I know it's supposed to be one of the best books on the Western perception of the East ..........


    Yes  it is... somewhere in CEMB there are folders on the works of  Edward Said



    well click that picture and down load the book.. and read it on the train . in the bus..

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #11 - April 27, 2016, 12:53 PM

    Hashem Saleh - Orientalism and the historicization of the Islamic heritage

    http://almuslih.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=254:orientalism-and-the-historicization-of-the-islamic-heritage&catid=44:islam-in-history&Itemid=214
    Quote
    I am well aware that my position differs greatly from the position of major Arab intellectuals who have waged battles against Orientalism, intellectuals such as Anwar ʽAbd al-Malik, Hishām Jaʽīt and Edward Saïd and many others. There are times when I have got to the point of thinking about putting together an entire work on this with the title: In Defence of Orientalism, or In Praise of Orientalism. But until now I have not had the time.

    Am I doing this just to be provocative? Of course not. I say this despite the fact that, in the field of thought, provocation is sometimes a necessary thing for it stirs up stagnant waters and awakens slumbering minds. We Arabs are asleep to history...

  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #12 - April 27, 2016, 08:59 PM

    On a similar topic, that fantastic Peter Webb dissertation that Zeca posted yesterday closes with this interesting observation about Islamic origins:

    "Edward Said famously noted the problematic legacy Orientalism left the study of the Middle East, as Western writers for centuries othered Near Eastern peoples as a means to explore their own civilisation and assert their feelings of superiority. Research into the creation of al-Jāhiliyya in the fourth/tenth century mirrors this process exactly: the scholars of Iraq and Iran wielded the power to create the ‘Arab’ in the image they desired and so generated the stereotypes of Bedouin primitivism that persist to this day. Before Colonial-era European Orientalism, therefore, there was a Muslim Arabism that all modern researchers must confront as one of the most pervasive and important intellectual constructs of the Abbasid era that generated long-lasting narratives to explain Islam’s origins and the essence of its urban, ‘civilised’ culture."

    http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/18551/1/Webb_3618.pdf
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #13 - December 15, 2016, 11:41 PM

    A long review of Orientalism by Syrian philosopher Sadik Jalal al-’Azm, written in 1980 shortly after the revolution in Iran.

    Orientalism and orientalism in reverse: https://libcom.org/library/orientalism-orientalism-reverse-sadik-jalal-al-’azm

    A review which didn't please Edward Said: http://pastandfuturepresents.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/edward-saidsadik-al-azm-1980.html
    Quote
    In the 1981 edition of Khamsin the Syrian philosopher Sadik Al-Azm (1934-2016) published his infamous review of Edward Said's (1935-2003) Orientalism entitled "Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse." But he initially submitted the manuscript to the Arab Studies Quarterly, edited at the time by Said and Fouad Moughrabi. Below, Said and Al-Azm's correspondence following that submission.  Al-Azm and Said's relationship would disintegrate following this exchange. In 1988, Al-Azm would publish  an attack on Said and other Palestinian intellectuals entitled "Palestinian Zionism."  Al-Azm, whom we've just lost, continued to provoke great feeling—and now mourning—for the rest of his life among Arab intellectuals.

  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #14 - December 24, 2016, 12:22 AM

    More on Al-Azm: https://972mag.com/goodbye-to-the-syrian-intellectual-who-called-to-liberate-his-homeland/123778/
    Quote
    The Arab states are in trouble. Their citizens are unable to break through the walls of prejudice, they fail to significantly contribute to the intellectual currents of the world, and women and minorities are excluded from taking part in society and the state. Arabs are trapped by ignorance and are exploited by their leaders, which make cynical use of religion. Worst of all: they are trapped in a web of lies that they themselves spun.

    No, this is not a quote by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. These words were written in 1968 by Syrian philosopher Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, who passed away last week, in his book, Self-Criticism After the Defeat. Following their shock and failure in the Six-Day War, Arab leaders resorted to various conspiracy theories to justify their defeat by the Israeli army. Few dared to criticize the political order or the cultural norms of the Arab world. Al-Azm was one of the few who dared to chastise the rulers in writing.

    Shortly after the war, Al-Azm published Critique of Religious Thought. Facing an authoritarian society, Sadiq criticized the use of religion as a tool for political action, as well as for inflaming the masses. Following the book’s publishing in Beirut, Sadiq and the publisher were arrested for ridiculing religion and inciting ethnic conflict. They both spent time in jail. Sadiq’s books are still banned in many Middle Eastern countries.
    ....
    During my post-doctorate in the 90s, I took part in a course on the political culture of the Arab world. Very quickly, al-Azm and I developed a friendship that included fascinating and deep discussions. He asked me to give a lecture on Israeli politics, expressed his interest in Israeli culture and society, and even expressed his desire to visit. He did not hide his criticism of the Syrian regime, and specifically of the ruling Alawite class, which he viewed as lacking culture. However, this also provided him with some hope: perhaps, he wondered aloud, the need to accept an Alawite regime will push the majority of Syrians to accept the possibility of political pluralism. They may even adapt to non-Muslim rule.

    At that time the academic world was overcome with debate over Edward Said’s book, Orientalism. The European West, argued Said, had always sought to construct the East — and especially the Arab and Muslim world — as the twisted, corrupt “other” to the lofty principles of the West. This social-political construct succeeded beyond imagination and was even adopted by residents of the “East” — Arabs and Muslims — giving them a distorted image of themselves.

    Al-Azm rejected Said’s thesis outright. In his eyes, placing the blame on an abstract and villainous “West” was nothing more than a continuation of the internal Arab lie. Reading Said, one would think that the West distorted the image of the Arab and caused the social and political backwardness of the Middle East, and thus the responsibility lies at its doorstep. In al-Azm’s eyes, this was akin to submitting to the Arab world’s inability to take responsibility for its actions and its fate.
    ....

  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #15 - December 24, 2016, 02:01 AM

    More on Al-Azm: https://972mag.com/goodbye-to-the-syrian-intellectual-who-called-to-liberate-his-homeland/123778/

    Quote
    .........These words were written in 1968 by Syrian philosopher Sadiq Jalal al-Azm, who passed away last week, in his book, Self-Criticism After the Defeat...........



    Oh my goodness  gracious  .,he was such a great guy .,west  and middle east lost a humanitarian and intellectual  from middle East..

    Prof. Sadiq Jalal al-Azm



    Born   1934  Damascus, Syrian Republic   Died   December 11, 2016 (aged 81–82)  Berlin, Germany  RIP...

    Quote
    In 1963, after finishing his Ph.D., he began teaching at the American University of Beirut. His 1968 book Al-Nakd al-Dhati Ba’da al-Hazima (Self-Criticism After the Defeat) (Dar al-Taliah, Beirut) analyzes the impact of the Six Day War on Arabs. Many of his books are banned in Arab nations (with the exception of Lebanon).

    He was a professor of Modern European Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Damascus from 1977 to 1999. He continued to be active in lecturing at European and American universities as a visiting professor. In 2004, he won the Erasmus Prize with Fatema Mernissi and Abdulkarim Soroush. In 2004 he received the Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize awarded by the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Tübingen. In 2005, he became a Dr. Honoris Causa at Hamburg University. In 2015 he was awarded the Goethe Medal by the president of the Goethe Institute.


    zeca I wish you could open folder on "Middle East  human rights activists  and their works"  so readers recognize their struggles and at least  read and remember them ..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tYICnxK2s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuqTqn3ndYk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTm9limVucM

    Indeed he was a great guy ..please watch the last video., it is a great video

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #16 - December 24, 2016, 11:39 AM

    zeca I wish you could open folder on "Middle East  human rights activists  and their works"  so readers recognize their struggles and at least  read and remember them

    I'm not sure I really know enough about them to do this.
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #17 - July 04, 2018, 05:09 PM

    Gilbert Achcar - Orientalism in reverse

    https://www.radicalphilosophyarchive.com/wp-content/files_mf/rp151_article2_orientalisminreverse_achcar.pdf
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #18 - November 01, 2019, 11:47 AM

    "The Orientalists & Their Enemies" with Robert Irwin
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yNeND5lMF98
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #19 - November 01, 2019, 12:24 PM

    Robert Irwin - Shooting at the wrong targets

    Review of Robert Irwin’s The Orientalists and their Enemies
    Quote
    Edward W. Said published his highly influential polemic “Orientalism” nearly 30 years ago, and Robert Irwin, a British specialist in the history and culture of the Middle East, has been fuming ever since. “Dangerous Knowledge” is his belated two-pronged response: a point-by-point rebuttal of Mr. Said, folded into a history of Western scholarship devoted to the Middle East.

    Mr. Irwin delays his direct attack until the penultimate chapter but throws down the gauntlet early. “Orientalism,” which indicts the entire field of Eastern studies as racist and imperialist, he characterizes in the introduction as “a work of malignant charlatanry.”

    Its distortions are so fundamental, its omissions so glaring, that the first order of business, as Mr. Irwin sees it, is to offer a dispassionate account of what Western scholars did and did not do. The exercise is worthwhile, he argues, because Mr. Said’s book “has been surprisingly effective in discrediting and demoralizing an entire tradition of scholarship.”

  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #20 - November 01, 2019, 02:09 PM


    well that is Ooooold..  13 year old book

    Quote
    1. The Koran Interpreted, translated by Arthur J Arberry
    Strictly, Muslims hold that a translation from Arabic of the Koran is not possible. However, this is the best attempt at a translation into English. Not only is this one the most accurate, it also captures the rhythm and poetry of the original. Arberry was a devout Christian who nevertheless identified strongly with the mystical strain in Islam.

    2. The Koran: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Cook
     
    However good the translation you read (or even if you can read it in Arabic), the text of the Koran still needs a lot of glossing and some context. Cook is erudite, witty and incisive and he packs a huge amount into his 150 pages. Even specialists in Koranic studies are likely to learn something from this amazingly efficient account of how the Koran was put together, what it contains and how it is studied and recited today. Apart from anything else, this book should serve as a model of how to write a very short account of anything whatsoever.

    3. The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran by Roy Mottahedeh
    There is no other book quite like this. Mottahedeh, a brilliant Princeton professor, based his account of spiritual life in Iran on a series of lengthy interviews with an Iranian mullah, tracing the holy man's career from childhood in the holy city of Qom to a senior position in the ranks of the Iranian clergy. This searching exploration of the spiritual and intellectual life of Shi'i Islam is effectively an insider's account of an educational curriculum that has not significantly changed since the middle ages. Modern political and social tensions in the region are also explored.

    4. A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century. Shaikh Ahmad al-'Alawi by Martin Lings
    This book changed my life. It is an inspiring account of the career and teachings of a great Algerian Sufi mystic master. Al-'Alawi, a holy man and profound thinker, founded one of the most important North African Sufi orders. Lings is a convert to Islam and his account of al-'Alawi's teachings manages to convey something of authentic Sufism, (as opposed to the ersatz new age stuff that is otherwise so widely available in the west). This is a book that may give you some sense of why and how Muslims believe in Allah.

    5. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism by Carl Ernst
    This is an outsider's account of Sufism written by an academic specialist in Islamic studies. Ernst lucidly sets out the mystical elements in the Koran and provides a potted history of the great Sufi orders from medieval times onwards. He is very good on the great Sufi poets, Hafiz and Rumi, but the most interesting chapter is the last, on contemporary Sufism.

    6. The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization (3 volumes) by Marshal GS Hodgson
    Hodgson died before he could quite finish this massive cultural history of Islam but, even so, it remains a great monument of learning and cross-cultural empathy. Hodgson attempted to rethink the way Islamic history was traditionally written about and he wanted to ditch Orientalist cliches. Since he was largely successful in these enterprises, his book has been hugely influential. It is particularly good on the achievements of Persian, Turkish and Indian Muslims.

    7. Atlas of the Islamic World by Francis Robinson
    This beautifully produced atlas is one of the books influenced by Hodgson's rethink of Islamic culture. The pictures (of Persian miniatures, Mughal architecture, African mosques, modern political posters and much else) are lovely. The accompanying text is intelligent and entirely reliable. Robinson reminds us, if the reminder is necessary, that Islam is not the monopoly of the Arabs and that high Islamic culture did not come to a screeching halt some time around the 11th century.

    8. A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani
    Although Islam is not the monopoly of the Arabs, they have played rather a large part in its propagation. Hourani was a fastidious stylist and this book, a glowing and sympathetic account of Arab achievements, was his last masterpiece. The narrative has a fine sweep and is not clogged with detail about people with unpronounceable names marching off to fight in unspellable places. Anyone thinking of going to the Middle East should read this first. So should Kilroy Silk.

    9. Islamic Art and Architecture by Robert Hillenbrand
    Hillenbrand is the top man on Islamic art in Britain today and in the past he has ranged extremely widely in his more specialist studies on Islamic art and architecture. His general book on this topic is compact and attractively illustrated. The quality of his prose and its effectiveness in evoking the appearance and aesthetic effect of the objects he is describing is marvellous. His description of the Alhambra, for example, is simply breathtaking.

    10. Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices by Andrew Rippin
    This is probably the best general account of what Muslims believe. Rippin instructs his readers in the elements of Islamic history and the evolution of theology and law, as well as meaning of such things as the hajj, salaat, Ramadan and jihad. He explains the differences between Shi'is and Sunnis. He is particularly strong on the challenges and opportunities facing modern Muslims, so that contemporary Islam's encounter with modernity, feminism and democracy are all thoughtfully explored

    sorry to say this but Mr. Robert Irwin  is NOT historian.. he is at best a story teller and journalist

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #21 - November 01, 2019, 03:18 PM


    that 2nd link written by William Grmesnov from   nytimes.com/2006/11/01/  on West Studies the East, and Trouble Follows is a good one..
     
    on  the same line let me add the link of GARY KAMIYA  from my favorite site  https://www.salon.com/

    Quote
    How Edward Said took intellectuals for a ride by  GARY KAMIYA DECEMBER 6, 2006 6:30PM (UTC)

    This Orientalist discourse, he maintained, is racist, condescending, controlling, dehumanizing, feminizing and "essentialist" -- that is, it asserts that there is a mysterious "essence," invariably religious, that defines the Arab world. That supposed essence, Said argued, is completely mythical and artificial, based not on actual knowledge or experience of the Arabs but purely on the West's imaginary construction. In other words, Orientalism is an enclosed system, impervious to reality and indeed designed to ignore it.

    This monolithic assertion of Western villainy is based on a theoretical framework that Said derived from the French philosopher Michel Foucault. The key idea is "discourse," which Foucault defined as a system of thought that defines what can be "known." This system is inextricably linked to power in all its forms -- hence Foucault's famous formulation "power/knowledge." For Foucault and Said, it was a naive illusion to believe that knowledge can exist independent of power. Because Orientalism is a discourse, no one can really escape it: it is a trans-subjective phenomenon. But Said became dissatisfied with Foucault because his theory did not allow a way out. The other thinker to whom Said was indebted, the Italian theorist Antonio Gramsci, provided the concept of "hegemony," which allows for the possibility of resistance to inviolable discourse
    Quote
    .....................................................As America tries to figure out how to deal with the Arab and Muslim world, and to educate the American people so that catastrophes like Iraq don't happen again, it is vital that a full spectrum of opinions be heard. The long history of Western imperialist meddling in the Middle East, the West's consistent stifling of Arab attempts at political reform, and many other such matters must be discussed. But it is equally important that the role of religion and culture be acknowledged, and that historical and even anthropological analyses of Middle Eastern societies not be ruled out by the left simply because they lead to certain conclusions that may make bien-pensant intellectuals uncomfortable. (The role of tribes and the importance of honor and revenge in Arab culture are two examples.) All of these complex issues must be put on the table and given a full national discussion -- for our sake, for the Middle East's sake and for the world's sake...................................

     
     
    Said argued that Western knowledge about the Middle East serves only Western interests. Against that dark view, we need to insist that knowledge is always good. As we struggle not just to extricate ourselves from Iraq but also to forge a more humane and enlightened policy toward the Middle East, we need more Orientalism, not less..


    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • Orientalism - Edward Said
     Reply #22 - November 01, 2019, 06:05 PM

    well that is Ooooold..  13 year old book

    True.



    Quote
    sorry to say this but Mr. Robert Irwin  is NOT historian.. he is at best a story teller and journalist

    I’d have to disagree with this. His background is as a historian. He only switched to writing fiction later. It’s a while since I read the book but it’s a solid history of orientalism as an academic discipline. He’s used the criticism of Edward Said as an angle to add interest and get a wider audience for a history of a relatively obscure corner of academia, and it is readable and well-written. Anyway here’s an interview: http://www.crusaderstudies.org.uk/resources/historians/profiles/irwin/index.html

    Google books preview: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fji7CWiJyoUC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
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