Orientalism by A.L. Macfie

By A.L. Macfie

A hugely topical reprise of the severe debate approximately western pictures and stereotypes of the Arab global and Islam. offers crucial heritage to knowing this a part of the area. bargains a quick heritage of the controversy relating to orientalism, as outlined by way of stated and others. Summarises and reviews on a few major texts. information a few case experiences which were encouraged through the talk. offers an invaluable chronology. might be vital briefing rfile for a person commentating on or speaking with the East - newshounds, international place of work officers, diplomats etc.In the Sixties and Seventies a robust attack used to be introduced on orientalism - the research of the Orient. on the heart of this assault used to be Edward stated, whose devastating critique accused Western orientalists of constructing stereotypical photographs of the East, thereby facilitating imperialism and colonialism and inciting chauvinism and racism. the talk ranged a long way past the conventional limits of 'dry-as-dust' orientalism, regarding questions in regards to the nature of identification, the character of imperialism, Islamophobia, fantasy, Arabism, racialism, intercultural kin and feminism. Charting the background of the energetic debate concerning the nature of orientalism, this well timed account revisits the arguments and surveys the case reviews encouraged by way of that discuss. It summarizes and reviews on a couple of major texts, information a couple of case reports which were encouraged by means of the talk, and offers an invaluable chronology. A.L. Macfie has written commonly concerning the sleek historical past of the close to and heart East. His books contain The japanese query, Longman (1996) and the top of the Ottoman Empire, Longman (1998).

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White, the son of a journeyman weaver, appointed in 1774, published an edition of the works of Abd al-Latif, and co-operated with an officer serving in the East India Company army in the preparation of an edition of The Institutes Political and Military . . by the Great Timur (1783), taken from a Persian text. Hyde, Hunt and White, who combined their chairs of Arabic with tenure of the regius professorship of Hebrew, were first and foremost biblical scholars. Nevertheless, in their inaugural lectures, following a precedent set by Pococke, all three laid great stress on the benefits to be gained from the study of Arabic (Lewis, 1941; Marshall, 1986).

Throughout the Middle Ages, as elsewhere in Europe, a great deal was known about the Holy Land, 34 THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM the birthplace of Jesus and Christianity, to which pilgrims and crusaders travelled in large numbers. In the period of the Renaissance, and even earlier, a period in which the term ‘Muslim’ became for a time synonymous with Turk, knowledge of the Near East, particularly the Ottoman Empire, ‘the greatest terror of the World’, inhabited by ‘barbari’, ruled by a ‘tyrannus’, was extensive, as was to a lesser degree knowledge of Persia (see article by Parry in Lewis and Holt, 1962).

In 1386, Chaucer, in The Knight’s Tale, referred to ‘fiery Phebus’, rising up so bright, that ‘all the Orient laugheth of the light’. In 1529, Thorne, in a letter to Henry VIII, referred to ‘All the Indies which we call Orientall’. In 1535, Stewart, a chronicler of the history of Scotland, mentioned two Saxon kings belonging to the ‘Orient of England’. In 1612, Brerewood, in Languages and Religion, referred to a diocese of the Orient, which then contained Syria, Palestine, Cilicia and parts of Mesopotamia and Arabia.

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