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Orientalism revisited


In his famous book, Orientalism, Edward Said argued that western perceptions of Middle Eastern and Asian societies are based on preconceived archetypes rather than reality – that these often highly romanticised portrayals depict 'eastern' societies as fundamentally different from 'western' societies and have been used to provide justification for European and American colonial and imperial ambitions.

Since its publication in 1978, Orientalism has been hugely influential in the fields of postcolonial and Middle Eastern studies but has also generated enormous controversy. 

Here, Philip Rushworth examines the current state of the debate.



Introduction: Why revisit Orientalism? 

Orientalism is an ancient tradition of Western scholarship and artistic representation of the 'Orient'. More recently, however, the meaning of the term has been radically changed. The person responsible for this was Edward Said in his 1978 publication Orientalism. For Said, Orientalism is 'a style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction between the "Orient" and the "Occident" [1]. Said contends that it is a politically constructed binary, a category of interpretation rooted in preconceived and historically constituted ideas about the 'Orient' as an 'other'. This scholarship forges the 'Orient' into a staid, exotic and licentious being, compared to the progressive and rational 'Occident' in what purports to objectivity when in fact it is erroneous.

Orientalism was written more than 30 years ago and yet in the 21st century it remains influential and controversial, continuing to lie at the very centre of much new work. On the academic front, Said's thesis spawns consistently innovative work that attempts to address important abstract issues regarding representation, power and knowledge. At the same time, scholars continue to debate the merits and weaknesses of the text. In 2007 alone, Robert Irwin published his critical book For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies; Ian Almond's theoretical study of the Orientalism of leading post-modern thinkers, The New Orientalists, was published and Daniel Varisco's Reading Orientalism, which sought to critically engage and refine Said's thesis, was also released.

The post 9/11 world has presented new talking points on the subject and has been a stimulus to a new surge of critical analysis of the media and scholarship. The 2003 war in Iraq saw once more an aggressive Western imperialism in the Middle East with the concomitant creation of an 'Other' to legitimate the war for domestic consumers. One example of important new work from the period is Hamid Dabashi's 2009 Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror. Perhaps even more significant, though it's too early to tell, is the enduring Arab spring. How has the media reported the events? What is the significance of the term 'Arab Spring' itself? [2] Do the mass gatherings and demands for political representation expose the practice of 'Orientalism'? This is the setting for re-opening Orientalism, to review its argument in light of history and to excavate its pertinence, falsities and evolution into the twenty-first century. 

Orientalism: before and after Edward Said 

The theory of 'Orientalism' has its own history. Contrary to popular belief, the central foundations of the critique were laid well before Said; a fact he recognised in his article, 'Orientalism Reconsidered?' [3] Its founder is Anwar Abdel Malek, an Egyptian scholar who argued in his 1962 article 'Orientalism in Crisis' that Orientalists give the 'Orient' a timeless essence that produce what he describes as a 'typology', such as that of 'homo Arabicus' [4]. Abdul Tibawi followed closely with the English Speaking Orientalists, which revealed their 'speculation, guesswork, and passing of judgement' [5]. Meanwhile, in 1977 Marshall Hodgson's Venture of Islam developed a scathing critique of the 'great books' approach, in which civilisations were judged by their ancient texts and given emotional associations, such as 'tragedy' in the case of the Middle East [6]. These authors probably did more than any others to shape the character of Orientalism, yet in a number of ways, and not least in its polemical intent and enormous reach, Said fundamentally changed the theory. 

Edward Said is credited foremost for breaking down disciplinary boundaries. Previous critiques had been intra-disciplinary but Said took the view that 'Orientalism' was an all-encompassing meta-narrative, finding evidence of it in 'aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological, historical and philological texts' [7]. In Said's thesis, Orientalism is intrinsically tied to culture, in its multiple disciplinary forms. He emphasises in particular the high tide of Empire which gave the Orientalists the power to travel and articulate the thoughts of their subjects, creating a 'positional superiority' in which Western scholars 'always have the relative upper hand' [8]. After all, for Said, Western scholarship did not rise to the challenge of understanding the 'Orient'; rather, the 'Orient' was constructed and shaped by the 'desires, repressions, investments and projections' of its scholars [9]. 

Orientalism was also a unique departure from previous work through its theoretical underpinning which combined Foucault's radical discourse theory with Gramsci's theory of Hegemony. In discourse theory Said found a very useful way to understand the homogeneity of Orientalist scholars, trapped by the totalising though diverse assumptions of Orientalism as a discourse (although, to a certain extent, this was tempered because unlike Foucault he believed in the 'determining imprint of individual writers') [10]. Meanwhile, in order to explain the sheer strength and veracity of the fictive Orientalist enterprise Said proposed that depictions of the 'Orient' as an 'Other' were essential to European understanding of self and therefore constituted an enormously powerful cultural form, or what Gramsci identified as 'hegemony'. Such hegemony is closely aligned to civic resources, enabling it to be strengthened and become the accepted interpretative model. 

The 'Orientalists' from Robert de Ketton to Bernard Lewis 

Thought, reflection and representation of the 'Orient' has for centuries been an enduring feature of Western learning. Arguably it has focused above all on the historically supreme 'Other', Islam and the Middle East. In all ages since the birth of Islam there has been scholarship and interest in the region including as far back as the 12th century when the first translation of the Quran was undertaken by Robert of Ketton, commissioned by Spaniards keen to understand and refute the religion of the Muslim conquerors of the Iberian Peninsula. However, it is the period of 'modern Orientalism' when 'the range of representation expanded enormously' which scholars have taken the most interest in, beginning with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798 to 1801 and continuing throughout the period of Western Europe's military, scientific and industrial pre-eminence. 

One such 'modern Orientalist' who suffered particularly under the ire of Said and his followers was Hamilton Gibb, a Cambridge Professor writing in the early 20th century. The following passage which was written in 1932 explores the effect of 'the modern world' on the 'Orient' and offers us an archetype of some of Orientalism's central paradigmatic features:

"Islam, as a religion, has lost little of its force, but Islam as the arbiter of social life (in the modern world) is being dethroned; alongside it, or above it, new forces exert an authority... the ordinary Muslim citizen and cultivator had no political interests or functions, and no literature of easy access, except religious literature, had no festivals and communal life except in connection with religion. Saw little or nothing of the outside world except through religious glasses. To him, in consequence, religion meant everything." [11]

'Islam' has, according to Gibb, been the key to everything in the Middle East with little or nothing outside its sphere, creating the image of a very simple society in which an uncritical mass are kept in place by divinely revealed dogma. He states explicitly that politics, literature and the arts were Western derived and an intrusion into Islamic society and anathema to people in the region. Meanwhile, Gibb generates in 'Islam' a metaphysical and totalising power that has a transhistorical and absolute character rather than interrogating its complexity, such as exploring sectarian differences or contested interpretations. 

The critique of traditional Orientalists is not without its contention, but it is Said's attempts to expose the problems of contemporary Orientalism that has generated most controversy. Located at the very centre of Western self-perception, Orientalist scholarship has a remarkable longevity continuing, according to Said, even into the 21st century. The most convincing criticism pertains to Bernard Lewis, long time Middle East expert and former Princeton Professor. Even the moderate late Fred Halliday found evidence of all the central tenets of 'Orientalism' in Lewis' work. In his critique of Lewis' 1991 The Political Language of Islam Halliday deemed his use of 'the classical approach of etymological determinism' as an 'absurdity' because it tried to explain contemporary Islam through the roots of Arabic, ignoring the differences in interpretations amongst vast and varied believers and employing a scholarly technique that would never be used to analyse Christianity [12]. 

Bernard Lewis also exemplifies Said's critique on the relationship of scholarship to power. In 2002, Paul Wolfowitz, the then US Deputy Defence Secretary praised him for his 'truly objective, original, and always independent analysis' which 'guide us where to go next to build a better world for generations' [13] – there are few more ominous bedfellows for a scholar than officials from the US Defence Department. In the same year, Lewis' ties to the US state department were further exposed in his book What Went Wrong? which explained 9/11 to an eager American audience as the decline of Islamic civilisation. In it he warned 'that the suicide bomber may become a metaphor for the whole region', with no condemnation of people's attempts to conflate a small terror network with a diverse and multi-faceted region, a poignant 'Orientalist' construction [14]. Worst of all is that Lewis simply does not engage the epistemological roots of his scholarship, believing, according to Ziauddin Sardar, that Orientalism 'is a neutral, rather innocent, classical discipline, much too specialised to be amenable to the outside' [15]. Ironically, Lewis himself has provided the clearest examples to the contrary. 

Alongside Lewis, recent US foreign policy in the Middle East has re-ignited the spectre of pernicious discourses to 'Other-ise' in support of war. It is well known that Raphael Patai's The Arab Mind was sent to every US army officer in the build-up to the Iraq war. A book whose twin axes are: one, 'that Arabs only understand force' and two, 'the biggest weakness of Arabs is shame and humiliation' [16]. For Said, the Iraq war could not have happened 'without a well-organised sense that these people over there were not like "us" and didn't appreciate "our" values'; illustrating the contemporary significance of the relationship between discourse and power, a fundamental tenet of Said's analysis [17]. Orientalist representation has also been a feature in the execution of war. During the first major battle in Afghanistan at Mazar-i-Sharif media reports were consistent with several 'orientalist' themes. The Afghan members of the Northern Alliance were described at length on horseback attacking the much more militarily advanced Taliban, creating the notion of a 'noble savage'. This banal imagery of the battle not only emphasised Afghans' difference, and therefore the need for direct US involvement, but also hid the realities of modern warfare - the United States' concerted and destructive bombing campaign [18]. 

Critiquing Orientalism and defending the Orient

Scepticism over Said's black-and-white treatment of 'Orientalists' has strengthened from one decade to the next since the publication of Orientalism. A few scholars have from the outset defined their careers, or had their careers defined, by a staid, reactionary defence of Orientalist scholarship in all its forms. The most trenchant critics consider Said's thesis undermined by the sheer number of factual errors and manipulation of evidence. This is best exemplified by Robert Irwin's For Lust of Knowing whose premise is that 'distortion' of the subject matter is so widespread that to grapple with the thesis is to 'merely waste one's time' [19]. A few very obvious errors have of course been dealt with before, such as the assertion that 'from about the end of the 17th century Britain and France controlled the East Mediterranean', when in fact it remained firmly in Ottoman hands [20]. A key feature of Robert Irwin's work is the extent to which Orientalists were 'oddballs', peripheral figures with abnormal tendencies who defy Said's association of the scholar with imperial policy. For example, Louis Massignon (1855-1922), who fell under the spell of Luis de Cuadra, a young, homosexual Spanish aristocrat he met on his way to Alexandria. A suspected spy who was thrown in prison by the Turkish authorities, Massignon had divine revelations and devoted his life to the study of Sufism [21]. 

The focus on British and French sources in Orientalism and the time scale of the inquiry, from the late 18th century to the 20th century, artificially lends itself to the thesis. The absence of any German, Hungarian or Russian sources is a potentially instrumental omission because these nations did not have significant colonial interests in the Middle East – an important fact in drawing together the constructed 'Orient' with imperial ambition. Said argues their work must have been secondary to British and French scholars who lived in an imperial milieu, but this disregards the likes of Wellhausen, Goldziher and Becker, figures who Robert Irwin insists it is 'impossible to find British forerunners to [22]. At the same time, Orientalism argues that the constructed 'Orient' was tied to the interests of colonialism and its emphasis is on 'modern Orientalism', but this fails to convey that 'timeless stereotypes are produced by all people [23]. For example, Nabil Matar in Turks, Moors & Englishmen in the Age of Discovery argues that 'precisely because the Muslims were beyond colonial reach' in the Early Modern period, 'Britons began to demonise, polarise and alterize them' [24].

Said's argument that the Orientalists were close-knit, with their work constituting a 'self-confirmatory discourse', is incongruous with such a disparate group of scholars. Not only was there no structural edifice for Orientalism, with the majority of contributions to journals in the late 19th century coming from wealthy amateurs' translation of texts, but Orientalists also regularly feuded over their scholarship. Hamilton Gibb and Elie Kedourie were at loggerheads in the mid-20th century over the issue of Arab nationalism; while Kedourie was sceptical of it as a 'progressive' export from the 'West', Gibb argued the opposite. They clashed so severely that Gibb, Kedourie's PhD adviser, forced him to withdraw his thesis [25]. Such disagreements challenge the notion of a shared discourse. As in John Mackenzie's assessment of Orientalist art, scholarship at this time should be defined by its 'change, instability, heterogeneity and sheer porousness' [26]. Meanwhile, Said advances his thesis by generating a canon of 'great texts', which as Aijaz Ahmad points out, 'duplicates all those procedures (of the Orientalists) even as he debunks the very tradition from which he has borrowed them' [27]. For some scholars, Said's method and portrayal of Orientalists amounts to 'Occidentalism' [28].

As the other half of a mutually constituted binary, Said's treatment of Orientalists is matched by that of the 'Orient'. If Orientalist scholarship is in de facto service of imperialism, the 'Orient' is a 'passive pawn' that is unable to represent itself. Citing Flaubert's characterisation of the Egyptian courtesan Kuchuk Hanem as 'typically Oriental', because he spoke for and about her, Said states that this is indicative of the Occident-Orient power relationship 'and the discourse that it enabled' [29]. Yet there is widespread criticism of the notion that the 'Orient' was unable to resist, or the implicit suggestion that it was incapable of influencing Western society [30]. Such a characterisation has a major implication. By denying the ability of the Orient to represent itself Said is negating any possibility for the 'Orient' to overcome its Orientalist representation. According to Michael Richardson, presumably 'the only way out of the impasse' is for the West to develop a more honest representation of the Orient, a solution anathema to Said's thesis, and people's reading of it [31]. 

Continuing the critique 

In addition to the critique of Orientalism's assumptions, stereotypes and falsities, commentators have grappled more subtly with Said's thesis, teasing away its dubious theoretical underpinnings. In particular, critics have drawn attention to Said's marriage of Foucault and Gramsci, described by some as a 'little schizophrenic'. Said admits 'hegemony', the power of cultural leadership which gives Orientalism its strength but necessitates historical process, while at the same time he relies on radical discourse theory which contradicts this process – denying human agency as thinkers are trapped in discursive formations. Despite Gramsci's 'hegemony' as a human process, in which ideas are 'reasserted, challenged, modified', there is no room for this in Orientalism because Said maintains that the 'Orient' is a textual construction – a false representation [32]. For Dennis Porter this makes 'nonsense of history' and contradicts Gramsci's 'hegemonic theory', at the same time as Said makes references to historical events by arguing for the role of Orientalism in the functioning of Empire [33]. 

Said's treatment of the 'Orient' as an imaginary textual construct allows him to avoid any analysis as to whether the knowledge produced bore any semblance to the real Middle East. The assumption would be that Orientalism has no ambit to be able to pass judgement on the veracity of Orientalists' representations. Yet, judgement is passed, according to what Said decides is in keeping with his own understanding of the Middle East. Such a stance makes it a 'catch all critique' allowing Said to 'dispose of what he finds objectionable and to praise whatever he approves' [34]. This raises a fundamental problem, if 'Orientalist' scholarship was in the service of Empire at some point its discourse had to meet and reflect the reality on the ground; after all, 'if you were to rob a bank', as Fred Halliday argued, 'you would do well to have a good plan of it' [35]. It is disingenuous that 'Orientalism' was merely a discourse and the 'Orient' a Western construct since it proved so effective for Empire. 

The evidence of the apparent accuracy of Orientalist scholarship disrupts Said's thesis. Take for example the mid-to-late 19th century French Orientalist artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. He is an archetype of modern Orientalism and his painting 'The Snake Charmer' was even chosen for the front cover of the 1978 publication of Orientalism, indicative of Orientalist themes, including the decline of the East, its exoticism and sexuality. However, in August 2011 the influential liberal Arab journal al-Ahram Weekly reviewed an exhibition of Orientalist paintings at the Alexandria gallery. In the article 'A Mirror to Ourselves', one of the 'most evocative' paintings was Gerome's 'The Imam's Lesson'. In fact, Gerome's 'works are so meticulous they are used to capture ways of life that have since passed' [36]. Roger Owen, a long-time colleague and supporter of Said considered the major problem for Orientalism was that Orientalist works 'remained a major repository of knowledge about the region' [37]. 

Conclusion: Orientalism for the 21st century 

The enormous body of critical literature constitutes a serious challenge with radical implications for the thesis. But if Orientalism left some gasping for breathe', for others it was 'a breathe of fresh air' [38]. Said's polemic has challenged the very core of a large number of disciplines, but especially Middle Eastern studies. For a large number of leading scholars and students Orientalism remains pertinent and insightful and a theory which continues to define the dangers inherent in scholarship to the present day. Decades of criticism and rigorous scholarly attention have developed the theory, clearing away the excesses, the generalisations and the polemic to present a working thesis. 

Orientalism in the 21st century has to consider the inherent differences, personalities and nuances that have and continue to define scholars in the field of Oriental studies and the character of the apparently silent 'Orient'. Said's binary left no room for contradiction, counter hegemonic thought or creativity. On the one hand, Hamid Dabashi in Post-Orientalism uses the example of the 'extraordinary' Hungarian Orientalist Ignaz Goldziher to re-examine Said's thesis, because while Goldziher fits the 'Orientalist episteme' he nevertheless exercises 'extraordinary agential autonomy' [39]. On the other hand, Reina Lewis' Rethinking Orientalism explores the Ottoman harems from both Turkish and British women's accounts to illustrate 'how the West was never the sole arbiter and owner of meanings about the Orient'. The Ottoman women display diverse opinions and literary forms in their campaigns regarding the Ottoman harems, showing that the 'Orient' was itself a site of debate rather than a silent reservoir for the exploration of Western scholars and artists [40]. 

Far from disavowing Orientalism, the examples above harness the full force of its theoretical implications but they do attempt to dismantle the false rigidity of Said's Orient-Occident binary. Dabashi's book seeks to 'reposition' Said's argument in order to account for the likes of Goldziher and explore the question of agency, but he maintains that his new perspective 'substantiates' the overall Orientalism thesis [41]. Lewis' study shows that the writings of both Ottoman and Western women were undertaken with full knowledge of the stereotypes of Orientalist literature – sexual, temporal and cultural and yet they had the dexterity to manipulate its existing modes, illustrating that Orientalist discourses were not entirely male and its construction did not take place in an Eastern vacuum; the 'Orient' spoke and it continues to speak today. Part of the reason for Said's false generalisations and simplistic survey of the imperial relationship was because Orientalism functioned as a counter-thesis. Written with relish, anger and resolve, it conveyed forcefully its thesis but with the effect, argues Zachary Lockman, that 'the stylist and the polemicist in Edward Said ... runs away with the systematic thinker' [42]. 

An improved way to consider the vast corpus of Orientalist scholarship is a different conceptualisation of what it shares. For Daniel Varisco there are institutional techniques and common language but these constitute a 'style' or a 'fashion', 'definable by form rather than content and means rather than ends' [43]. A movement from condemning the entire practice of Orientalism towards recognising bad practice gives an opportunity to reclaim the individual, the exception and provides the staring point for scholars to reconcile the theory with the complexity of imperial relations. Meanwhile, denying that all Orientalists 'other-ed' the 'Orient' also returns to it a genuinely historical character. At the same time as recognising that the 'Orient' was not a direct representation of the Middle East, contemporary scholars do not consider it a textual fiction because it's impossible to deny the pertinence of some of their findings. The result is that rather than scholars being unable to reliably represent the East, Orientalist scholarship was misleading. Consequently, scholarship can, and has, improved.

Evidence for the possibility of plausible representations of the Middle East is all around us. Of course, stereotyped, essentialised scholarship still very much exists; consider, for example, Joseph Massad's 2007 Desiring Arabs. His wrath centres on the 'Gay International' for forcing sexual identification on to Arabs, where none existed before. Arguing that homosexuality is anathema to Arab sentiments and blind to the reality on the ground, his book is centred on staid Orientalist conceptions of the Middle East [44]. Yet, this ignores that scholars are dismantling the East-West binary. It is rare that explanations find recourse to the 'Arab mind' or the notion of constant decay, and it is difficult to find a linguist who posits characteristics of Arab people from the roots of Arabic words. In contemporary Western media outlets and universities there are fundamental changes that make Orientalism, in most cases, unacceptable and blaringly obvious. This includes refined techniques of academic disciplines, growing self-awareness among scholars and most important of all the greater involvement of Arabs in the West, from intellectuals such as the late Albert Hourani and Tariq Ramadan to the protesters of the 'Arab Spring'. What those protests have particularly illustrated is the power of social media and modern technology to give a voice to individual's aims, motivations and beliefs, forging multiple narratives that challenge Orientalism by conveying the complexity of events. 

Edward Said's Orientalism fundamentally changed the academic world and, perhaps most of all, Middle Eastern studies. Except with a wilful ignorance could any contemporary scholar believe entirely in the character of the 'Orient' as depicted by the Orientalists, or the benign political implications of scholarly texts. The book has emphasised the constructed, and constituted nature of once ontological categories, such as the 'West' and the 'Orient'; it has inspired scholars to excavate areas of study so long neglected and it remains, without controversy, the foundational text for Postcolonial studies. Meanwhile, despite losing its polemical venom to thorough critique and analysis, its enduring truisms inform every new generation of scholars and students. It teaches vigilance against stereotypes and essentialism; to interrogate the roots and reasons behind explanations and representations; to fully understand and contextualise your object of study and, perhaps most important of all, to always favour complexity and contingency over essences and stereotypes. Orientalism, in its contemporary form has become, in short, academic commonsense [45].

© Philip Rushworth 2012


1 Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. 2

2 Rami Khouri, 'Drop the Orientalist term 'Arab Spring', The Daily Star Lebanon, 17/8/2011: 

3 Edward Said, 'Orientalism Reconsidered', Cultural Critique, No. 1. (Autumn, 1985), pp. 89-107 See Jstor, or  - He conceded that 'at bottom, what I said in Orientalism has been said before me'.

4 Anwar Abdel Malek, 'Orientalism in Crisis', Diogenes, No. 44 (Winter, 1963), p.5 quoted in Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. 97

5 Abdul Tibawi, English Speaking Orientalists: A Critique of their Approach to Islam and Arab Nationalism, (London: Luzac, 1964) quoted in Ziauddin Sardar, Orientalism, (Open University, 1999), p. 56

6 Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1974) 

7 Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. 12

8 Edward Said, 2003, p. 7

9 Edward Said, 2003, p. 8 

10 Edward Said, 2003, p. 12

11 Edward Said, 2003, p. 279

12 See JSTOR: Fred Halliday, 'Orientalism and its Critics', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1993), pp. 153 

13 Lamis Andoni, 'In the Service of Empire', Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 12 - 18 December 2002. Please see:  

14 Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong?, (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 159 

15 Ziauddin Sardar, Orientalism, (Open University, 1999), p. 69 - referencing his critique of Orientalism in Bernard Lewis, Islam and the West, (Oxford University Press, 1993)

16 Brian Whitaker, 'Its best use is as a doorstop', The Guardian, 24/5/2004:

17 Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. xv

18 See JSTOR: Keith Stanski, ' "So these Folks are Aggressive": An Orientalist Reading of Afghan 'Warlords','  Security Dialogue, 2009 40: 73 

19 Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies, (Penguin, 2006), p. 4. Alternatively, see Robert Irwin, 'Shooting at the Wrong Targets', Guardian, 14/6/2008. Or a comprehensive critique of the book, Maya Jasanoff, 'Before and After Said' in London Review of Books, Vol. 28 No. 11, 8 June 2006 

20 Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. 27. Referenced in Bernard Lewis, 'The Question of Orientalism', The New York Review of Books, 4/6/1982 

21 Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies, (Penguin, 2006), p. 220 - 229 

22 Robert Irwin, 2006, p. 287

23 See JSTOR: Fred Halliday, 'Orientalism and its Critics', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1993), pp. 161

24 Nabil Matar, Turks, Moors and Englishmen: In the Age of Discovery, (Columbia, 1999), p. 12

25 Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and their Enemies, (Penguin, 2006), p. 263

26 John Mackenzie, Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), p. 209

27 Quoted in Ziauddin Sardar, Orientalism, (Open University, 1999), p. 73

28 Ziauddin Sardar, Orientalism, (Open University, 1999), p. 71

29 Edward Said, Orientalism, (Penguin, 2003), p. 6

30 Take, for example, Chandra Mohanty who argued 'It is time to move beyond the ideological framework in which even Marx found it possible to say: They cannot represent themselves, they must be represented', quoted in Daniel Varisco, Reading Orientalism: The Said and the Unsaid, (Washington, 2007), p.290

31 Michael Richardson, 'Enough Said: Reflections on Orientalism', Anthropology Today, Vol. 6 No. 4 (August, 1990) p. 17

32 Dennis Porter, 'Orientalism and Its Problem', in Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader, eds. P. Williams and L. Chrisman (London, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993) p. 152

33 Dennis Porter, 'Orientalism and Its Problem', p. 151

34 Michael Richardson, 'Enough Said: Reflections on Orientalism', Anthropology Today, Vol. 6 No. 4 (August, 1990) p. 19

35 See JSTOR: Fred Halliday, 'Orientalism and its Critics', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1993), pp. 160

36 Vinous Fouad, 'A Mirror to Ourselves?', Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 18 - 24/8/2011. See:  

37 Roger Owen, 'Conversation with Edward Said' in Critical Inquiry , Vol. 31, No. 2 (Winter 2005), pp. 490-497

38 Gyan Prakash quoted in Daniel Varisco, Reading Orientalism: The Said and the Unsaid, (Washington, 2007), p.3 

39 Hamid Dabashi, Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror, (Transaction, 2009), p. xiii

40 Reina Lewis, Rethinking Orientalism: Women, Travel and the Harem, (I.B. Tauris, 2004)

41 Hamid Dabashi, Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and Power in Time of Terror, (Transaction, 2009), p. xiii

42 Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East, (Cambridge, 2004), p. 213 

43 Daniel Varisco, Reading Orientalism: The Said and the Unsaid, (Washington, 2007), p. 299

44 Joseph Massad, Desiring Arabs, (Chicago, 2007) See Brian Whitaker's review or, alternatively, Rayyan al-Sahwaf's review for 'Dissent Magazine'.

45 Ussama Makdisi, Faith Misplaced, (Public Affairs New York, 2010), p. 400 


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Last revised on 05 August, 2015