Orientalism: The Legacy of Edward Said

Should Western Standards Be The Benchmark For Development Policies? Critically Discuss the question on the basis Of Edward Said Legacy “Orientalism” 1- I need a draft of the work showing what you are going to tackle ( an example of the draft will be uploaded to you) 2-Please use all the information provided to you in the uploaded documents. 2- an important reading list is also uploaded which I need you to use for your referencing

Seminar handout 1
[1]
The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally, and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles…My contention is that without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage – and even produce – the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively in the post-Enlightenment period. Moreover, so authoritative a position did Orientalism have that I believe no one writing, thinking, or acting on the Orient could do so without taking account of the limitations on thought and action imposed by Orientalism. (Said, 1978: 2-3)
What does Said mean when he talks about the discourse of Orientalism and the limitations it imposes on thought and action?
Do you think that these limitations still exist today when we think and talk about, say, the Middle East?

[2]
[N]o production of knowledge in the human sciences can ever ignore or disclaim its author’s involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances…for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second. And to be a European or American in such situation…meant and means being aware, however, dimly, that one belongs to a power with definite interests in the Orient, and more important, that one belongs to a part of the earth with a definite history of involvement in the Orient almost since the time of Homer. (Said, 1978: 11)
What does it mean to come as a ‘European’ or ‘American’ first to the study of the Orient, and as individual only second?
Do you agree that the scholar is always part of ‘a power with definite interests’ and therefore never objective?

U23172 week 2: Orientalism
Seminar handout 2
[1]
In a quite constant way, Orientalism depends for its strategy on [a] flexible positional superiority, which puts the Westerner in a whole series of possible relationships with the Orient without ever losing him the relative upper hand…The scientist, the scholar, the missionary, the trader, or the soldier was in, or thought about, the Orient because he could be there, or could think about it, with very little resistance on the Orient’s part. Under the general heading of the knowledge of the Orient, and within the umbrella of Western hegemony over the Orient during the period from the end of the 18th century, there emerged a complex Orient suitable for study in the academy, for display in the museums, for reconstruction in the colonial office,[ …] (Said, 1978: 7)
What does Said mean by ‘flexible positional superiority’ of ‘the Westerner’? How does it impact on Orientalism?
Why is Said critical of the ‘knowledge’ acquired about the Orient? How does this relate to the knowledge we produce today (if at all)?

[2]
I have begun with the assumption that the Orient is not an inert fact of nature. It is not merely there, just as the Occident is not just there either…men make their own history…what they can know is what they have made, and extend it to geography: as both geographical and cultural entities – to say nothing of historical entities – such locales, regions, geographical sectors as ‘Orient’ and ‘Occident’ are man-made. Therefore as much as the West itself, the Orient is an idea that has a history and a tradition of thought, imagery, vocabulary that have given it reality and presence in and for the West. The two geographical entities thus support and to an extent reflect each other. (Said, 1978: 4-5)
What does Said mean when he says that the Orient (or Occident) is not ‘natural’?
Do you agree that it is nothing but a man-made imagery?

U23172 week 2: Orientalism
Seminar handout 3
[1]
Orientalism is not a mere political subject matter or field that is reflected passively by culture, scholarship, or institutions; nor is it a large and diffuse collections of texts about the Orient; nor is it representative and expressive of some nefarious ‘Western’ imperialist plot to hold down the ‘Oriental’ world. It is rather…an elaboration not only of a basic geographical distinction (the world is made up of two unequal halves, Orient and Occident) but also of a whole series of ‘interests’ which, by such means as scholarly discover…it not only creates but also maintains; it is, rather than expresses, a certain will or intention to understand, in some cases to control, manipulate, even to incorporate, what is a manifestly different…world. (Said, 1978: 12)
What does Said mean when saying that Orientalism ‘is’ instead of ‘expresses’ a will to understand, control, manipulate, incorporate? Go back to the first sentence of this passage for your answer.
Do you agree that culture is significant for exercising control and domination? Can you think of any contemporary examples?

[2]
‘[T]he determining impingement on most knowledge produced in the contemporary West (and here I speak mainly about the United States) is that it be non-political, that is, scholarly, academic, impartial, above partisan or small-minded doctrinal belief…What I am interesting in doing now is suggesting how the general (liberal) consensus that “true” knowledge is fundamentally non-political (and conversely, that overtly political knowledge is not “true” knowledge) obscures the highly if obscurely organized political circumstances obtaining when knowledge is produced.’
What, in your opinion, is the relationship between truth and knowledge?

U23172 week 2: Orientalism
Seminar handout 4
[1]
[N]o production of knowledge in the human sciences can ever ignore or disclaim its author’s involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances…for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second. And to be a European or American in such situation…meant and means being aware, however, dimly, that one belongs to a power with definite interests in the Orient, and more important, that one belongs to a part of the earth with a definite history of involvement in the Orient almost since the time of Homer. (Said, 1978: 11)
What does it mean to come as a ‘European’ or ‘American’ first to the study of the Orient, and as individual only second?
Do you agree that the scholar is always part of ‘a power with definite interests’ and therefore never objective?

[2]
[W]hat is commonly circulated by [cultural discourse and exchange within a culture] is not ‘truth’ but representations…In any instance of at least written language, there is no such thing as a delivered presence, but a re-presence, or a representation. The value, efficacy, strength…of a written statement about the Orient therefore relies very little…on the Orient as such. On the contrary, the written statement…[has] excluded, displaced…any such real thing as ‘the Orient’. Thus all of Orientalism stands forth and away from the Orient: that Orientalism makes sense at all depends more on the West than on the Orient. (Said, 1978: 21-2)
What does Said mean by ‘representation’, and how does it relate to the ‘real thing’?
Can you think of a contemporary example of how the representation of the Orient in the West has nothing to do with its reality?