Debating Orientalism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-06-13
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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To many, Edward Said's seminal 1978 work Orientalism is an enduring touchstone, a founding text of the field of postcolonial studies and a book that continues to influence debates in literary and cultural studies, Middle Eastern Studies, anthropology, art history, history and politics. To others, however, Orientalism has serious failings, not least in blaming the wrong people - namely, Orientalists - for the crimes of European imperialism. Debating Orientalism addresses the book's contemporary relevance without lionizing or demonizing its author. Bridging the gap between intellectual history and political engagement, the twelve contributors to this volume interrogate Orientalism's legacy with a view to moving the debate about this text beyond the manichean limitations within which it has all too often been imprisoned. Debating Orientalism seeks to consider Orientalism's implications with a little less feeling, though no less commitment to understanding the value and political effects of engaged scholarship.

Author Biography

Ziad Elmarsafy is Reader in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York, UK. He is the author of The Enlightenment Qur'an: The Politics of Translation and the Construction of Islam (Oneworld, 2009) and Sufism in the Contemporary Arabic Novel (Edinburgh University Press, 2012).

Anna Bernard is Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at King's College London, UK. Her publications include essays on Israel/Palestine and 'third-world literature,' the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in metropolitan popular culture, and transnational genres of partition literature. She is completing a book on contemporary Palestinian and Israeli world writing.
David Attwell is Professor of English at the University of York, UK, though South African by birth. He has published widely on J.M. Coetzee. His work on South African literature includes Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History (2006), and The Cambridge History of South African Literature, co-edited with Derek Attridge (2012).

Table of Contents

1. Orientalism: Legacies of a Performance; Anna Bernard and Ziad Elmarsafy
2. Orientalism's Contribution to World History and Middle Eastern History Thirty-Five Years Later; Peter Gran
3. Flaubert's Camel: Said's Animus; Robert Irwin
4. Said before Said; Donna Landry
5. Orienting America: Sanskrit and Modern Scholarship in the United States, 1836-1894; Rajeshwari Mishka Sinha
6. Re-Arabizing the De-Arabized: The Mista?aravim Unit of the Palmach: Yonatan Mendel
7. Cannibalizing Iraq: Topos of a New Orientalism: Moneera al-Ghadeer
8. Confessions of a Dangerous (Arab) Mind: Orientalism and Confession Beyond Said and Foucault: Andrea Teti
9. The 'War on Terror' and the Backlash against Orientalism: Robert Spencer
10. 'The Defeat of Narrative by Vision': Said and the Image: Nicholas Tromans
11. How Much is Enough Said? Some Gendered Responses to Orientalism: Joanna de Groot
12. Said's Impact: Lessons for Literary Critics: Nicholas Harrison

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