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- 23 02 2002 - 13:35 - katatonik

Yet <A HREF="http://campcatatonia.org/archives/archive-01272002-02022002.htm#526">more </A>on Occidentalism

“In his discussion of Said’s Orientalism, Sadik Jalal al-’Azm addresses the question of Islamic revivalism and fundamentalism. Its discourses on the inherent superiority of Islamic culture, he argues, ‘simply reproduce the whole discredited apparatus of classical Orientalist doctrine concerning the difference between East and West, Islam and Europe. This reiteration occurs at both the ontological and epistemological levels, only reversed to favour Islam and the East in its implicit and explicit value judgements’ (1981: 22). The ‘dichotomising’ tactic of Orientalism is by no means the hallmark of Western thought alone, and ‘Orientalism in reverse’ is, in the end, ‘no less reactionary, mystifying, ahistorical and anti-human than Orientalism proper’: a tendency well demonstrated in recent Islamic fundamentalist critiques of ‘Occidentiosis’ (defined as the ‘infection’ of Islamic cultures by ‘corrupt’ Western values). In this case, however, the argument is posed abstractly and is divorced from the question of power – here the institutional power of the West, which has ensured the authority of its Orientalism. As Lata Mani and Ruth Frankenberg argue, it is within the context of a specific set of unequal economic, social and political relationships between West and East that Western descriptions are produced. It is these relationships that lend them strength and endurance. Until this world-historical context changes, it does not make sense to speak of a ‘reverse Orientalism’. (1985: 187) Where power is missing, it is not really meaningful to talk of ‘Orientalism in reverse’.”

Quoted from: David Morley & Kevin Robins: “Spaces of Identity. Global Media, Electronic Landscapes and Cultural Boundaries” London: Routledge (1995), p.163.

Cited articles:

Sadik Jalal Al’Azm: “Orientalism and orientalism in reverse”, in: “Khamsin Journal of Revolutionary Socialists of the Middle East” (what a name!) 8/5-26, 1981. Oh, and apparently a “khamsin” is “a generally southerly hot wind from the Sahara that blows across Egypt from late March to early May.”

Lata Mani, Ruth Frankenberg: “The challenge of orientalism”. Economy and Society 14/2 (1985).

If anyone has access to these two articles, please contact me. I’d really like to read them.



trying. just trying.

katatonik (Feb 23, 19:39) #


still trying.

katatonik (Feb 23, 19:41) #


giving up. slowly giving up.

katatonik (Feb 23, 19:45) #


the last one. really.

katatonik (Feb 23, 19:49) #


yep!

katatonik (Feb 23, 19:53) #


blast

sock (Feb 25, 00:08) #

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