Imperialism And Criticism Of Edward Said's Orientalism

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The Man Edward Said was born in Mandatory Palestine to a Palestinian father and a Lebanese mother. He was largely educated in Cairo, Alexandria, and finally at an elite prep school in the United States. He would go on to complete his Bachelor of Arts at Princeton, in addition to a Masters of Arts and Doctors of Philosophy in English Literature at Harvard. With his education completed, in 1963 Said joined the faculty of Columbia University, where he would continue to work for the next four decades until his death. Orientalism Said’s book Orientalism is easily his most famous work. The book explores the backstory of the academic school of Orientalism and in doing so, exposes its very core as fundamentally linked to the imperialist and colonialist…show more content…
He posits that the vast majority of 19th century writers were very well acquainted with thee fact of empire. Various liberal cultural heroes of the time had views on race and imperialism that are easily found in the writings. He gives the example of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and Representative Government, a book which extols the virtues of democracy, where Mill notes that these views could not be extended to India because “the Indians were civilizationally, if not racially, inferior.” Said also notes that a similar paradox is found in Marx’s writings, but does not elaborate upon that in the…show more content…
He says that in small part thanks to new electronic media, ranging from film to television, standardization and stereotyping of the orient has intensified the 19th century’s orientalist understanding of “the mysterious Orient.” He gives the primary example of the Middle East and the Western perception of Arabs and Islam. Of three chief reasons he gives for the growth of this problem, at least two can be directly attributed to orientalism. The first is the history of anti-Arab and anti-Islamic prejudices prevalent in the West, the third is the absence of a cultural position to identify Arabs or Islam. By creating an other, through the dichotomy between occident and orient, identification has been made near impossible, and by furthering a imperialist ideology through academic discourse for centuries, prejudices have become

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