Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 15

Search results for: orientalism

15 Retranslation of Orientalism: Reading Said in Arabic

Authors: Fadil Elmenfi

Abstract:

Edward Said, in his book Culture and Imperialism, devotes the introduction to the Arabic translation. He claims that the fading echo of Orientalism in the Arab world is unlike the positive reflections of its counterpart elsewhere in the world. The probable reason behind his inquiry would be that the methodology Abu Deeb applied in translating Said's book contributed to the book having the limited impact which Said is referring to. The paper adds new insights to the body of theory and the effectiveness of the performance of translation from culture to culture. It presents a survey that can provide the reader with an overview of Said's Orientalism and the two Arabic translations of the book. It investigates some of the problems of translating cultural texts, more specifically translating features of Said's style.

Keywords: Orientalism, retranslation, Arabic Language, Muhammad Enani, Kamal Abu Deeb, Edward Said

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14 Chilean Business Orientalism: The Role of Non-State Actors in the Frame of Asymmetric Bilateral Relations

Authors: Pablo Ampuero, Claudia Labarca

Abstract:

The current research paper assesses how the narrative of Chilean businesspeople about China shapes a new Orientalism Analyses on the role of non-state actors in foreign policy that have hitherto theorized about Orientalism as a narrative of hegemonic power. Hence, it has been instrumental to the efforts of imperialist powers to justify their mission civilisatrice. However, such conceptualization can seldom explain new complexities of international interactions at the height of globalization. Hence, we assessed the case of Chile, a small Latin American country, and its relationship with China, its largest trading partner. Through a discourse analysis of interviews with Chilean businesspeople engaged in the Chinese market, we could determine that Chile is building an Orientalist image of China. This new business Orientalism reinforces a relation of alterity based on commercial opportunities, traditional values, and natural dispositions. Hence, the perception of the Chinese Other amongst Chilean business people frames a new set of representations as part of the essentially commercial nature of current bilateral relations. It differs from previous frames, such as the racial bias frame of the early 20th century, or the anti-communist frame in reaction to Mao’s leadership. As in every narrative of alterity, there is not only a construction of the Other but also a definition of the Self. Consequently, this analysis constitutes a relevant case of the role of non-state actors in asymmetrical bilateral relations, where the non-state actors of the minor power build and act upon an Orientalist frame, which is not representative of its national status in the relation. This study emerges as a contribution on the relation amongst non-state actors in asymmetrical relations, where the smaller power’s business class acts on a negative prejudice of its interactions with its counterpart. The research builds upon the constructivist approach to international relations, linking the idea of Nation Branding with Orientalism in the case of Chile-China relations.

Keywords: new business Orientalism, small power, framing, Chile-China relations

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13 Islamophobia: A Study of Unfounded Fear of Islam in Nigeria

Authors: AbdulHameed Badmas Yusuf

Abstract:

Islamophobia is unfounded fear of Islam and, more accurately, of his adherents. This phenomenon has found a fertile terrain in Nigeria given her status as a multireligious society where Muslims and Christians co-exist. Over the years, Islamophobia has taken constitutional, diplomatic, educational, financial, and political dimensions in the country. Any move by Muslims to adhere to their religious dictates, within the constitutional framework, is misconstrued by Christians - their religious counterparts- as a systematic way of Islamizing the country. Against this backdrop, this paper casts a look at Islamophobia from the five dimensions mentioned above. It shall identify possible causes of Islamophobia and proffer solutions accordingly. Available resources as well as events in the recent past reveal that Islamophobia is not unconnected with orientalism and terrorism, which are informed by prejudice and ignorance respectively. As such, the paper suggests adequate knowledge and tolerance as inevitable tools to curtail the menace of Islamophobia. This will go a long way in enhancing mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the adherents of Christianity, Islam, and other religions in Nigeria. Both historical and analytical methods are used in this paper.

Keywords: islamophobia, islam, Nigeria, orientalism, terrorism

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12 reconceptualizing the place of empire in european women’s travel writing through the lens of iberian texts

Authors: Gayle Nunley

Abstract:

Between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century, a number of Western European women broke with gender norms of their time and undertook to write and publish accounts of their own international journeys. In addition to contributing to their contemporaries’ progressive reimagining of the space and place of female experience within the public sphere, these often orientalism-tinged texts have come to provide key source material for the analysis of gendered voice in the narration of Empire, particularly with regard to works associated with Europe’s then-ascendant imperial powers, Britain and France. Incorporation of contemporaneous writings from the once-dominant Empires of Iberian Europe introduces an important additional lens onto this process. By bringing to bear geographic notions of placedness together with discourse analysis, the examination of works by Iberian Europe’s female travelers in conjunction with those of their more celebrated Northern European peers reveals a pervasive pattern of conjoined belonging and displacement traceable throughout the broader corpus, while also underscoring the insufficiency of binary paradigms of gendered voice. The re-situating of women travelers’ participation in the European imperial project to include voices from the Iberian south creates a more robust understanding of these writers’ complex, and often unexpectedly modern, engagement with notions of gender, mobility, ‘otherness’ and contact-zone encounter acted out both within and against the imperial paradigm.

Keywords: colonialism, orientalism, Spain, travel writing, women travelers

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11 The Muhammad Cartoon Controversy in New Zealand Newspapers

Authors: Shah Nister Kabir

Abstract:

This study examines the construction of the controversy surrounding the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, as it appeared in three New Zealand newspapers; the Otago Daily Times (ODT), the New Zealand Herald (NZH) and the Press. It discursively argues that these mainstream newspapers promote the Orientalist perception of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West in their news frame, but, in most cases, the perceived clash was not apparent in editorials. This study also argues that the uniformity in news frame conflicts with editorials’ construction of the issue. Furthermore, while the construction of the issue in news frame and editorials in the Press remained similar, the other two newspapers—the ODT and NZH—both contradict their own news frame in their editorials and contradict the editorials appearing in the Press.

Keywords: clash of culture, discourse, Islam, media agenda, New Zealand, orientalism, the West

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10 Stereotypes in Perception of Otherness in Balkans Literature from the Last Part of 20ᵗʰ Century

Authors: Magdalena Kostova-Panayotova, Neda-Maria Panayotova

Abstract:

The article is focused on a problem that tends to be extremely characteristic and essential to European literature – the relations between the Balkan Peninsula and Europe and the stereotypes the Balkans evoke – a melting pot, a powder keg, a bridge, a crossroads, along with other negative definitions. The stereotypes and visions are examined as the layered images of a particular nation. The work deals with the Balkan writers’ way of confronting stereotypes by reversing the image of the ‘dark’ Balkans and the ‘bright’ Europe and thus establishing the Balkans as a place of beauty, music, and poetry. In many aspects, the European image of the Balkans (the so-called Balkanism) is comparable to the European attitude to the Orient (the so-called Orientalism). On the basis of the analysis of specific texts by Balkan authors, the article proves that the identity of the person of the late 20th and early 21st century is something individual and much more complicated than a patriotic self-definition because the identity of the contemporary person is multilayered. It is not flattering to be a bridge, a crossroads or a corner. However, a person is a creature of transition. Our idea demonstrates that the state of transition always brings both weakness and strength – it is the Balkans that connect Europe to the world.

Keywords: image, Slavs, Balkans, identity of the modern Balkan person

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9 Gynocentrism and Self-Orientalization: A Visual Trend in Chinese Fashion Photography

Authors: Zhen Sun

Abstract:

The study adopts the method of visual social semiotics to analyze a sample of fashion photos that were recently published in Chinese fashion magazines that target towards both male and female readers. It identifies a new visual trend in fashion photography, which is characterized by two features. First, the photos represent young, confident, and stylish female models with lower-class sloppy old men. The visual inharmony between the sexually desirable women and the aged men has suggested an impossibly accomplished sexuality and eroticism. Though the women are still under the male gaze, they are depicted as unreachable objects of voyeurism other than sexual objects subordinated to men. Second, the represented people are usually put in the backdrop of tasteless or vulgar Chinese town life, which is congruent with the images of men but makes the modern city girls out of place. The photographers intentionally contrast the images of women with that of men and with the background, which implies an imaginary binary division of modern Orientalism and the photographers’ self-orientalization strategy. Under the theoretical umbrella of neoliberal postfeminism, this study defines a new kind of gynocentric stereotype in Chinese fashion photography, which challenges the previous observations on gender portrayals in fashion magazines.

Keywords: fashion photography, gynocentrism, neoliberal postfeminism, self-orientalization

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8 Man Eaters and the Eaten Men: A Study of the Portrayal of Indians in the Writings of Jim Corbett

Authors: Iti Roychowdhury

Abstract:

India to the Colonial mind was a crazy quilt of multicoloured patchwork- a land of untold wealth and bejewelled maharajas, of snake charmers and tight rope walkers. India was also the land that offered unparalled game. Indeed Shikar (hunting) was de rigueur for the Raj experience. Tales of shootings and trophies were told and retold in clubs and in company. Foremost among the writers of this genre is Jim Corbett – tracker, hunter, writer, conservationist. Corbett is best known for the killing of man eating tigers and his best known books are Man eaters of Kumaon, The Temple Tiger, Man eating Leopard of Rudraprayag etc. The stories of Jim Corbett are stories of hunting, with no palpable design, no subtext of hegemony, or white man’s burden. The protagonists are the cats. Nevertheless from his writings emerge a vibrant picture of Indian villages, of men, women and children toiling for a livelihood under the constant shadow of the man eaters. Corbett shared a symbiotic relationship with the villagers. They needed him to kill the predators while Corbett needed the support of the locals as drum beaters, coolies and runners to accomplish his tasks. The aim of the present paper is to study the image of Indians in the writings of Jim Corbett and to examine them in the light of colonial perception of Indians.

Keywords: hegemony, orientalism, Shikar literature, White Man's Burden

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7 Of Rites of Narration and Representation of Orient and Occident in Thomas Heywood's Fair Maid of the West

Authors: Tarik Bouguerba

Abstract:

Thomas Heywood was an outstanding, prolific playwright of the period, writing both in prose and verse. Unlike Shakespeare in particular, Heywood could be considered as a playwright who was well informed about Morocco and wrote in greater detail about a possible dialogue among cultures. As it is a historical platform for power relations, The Fair Maid of the West recalled the heroism and excitement of English counterattacks against Spain in the Post-Armada period. This paper therefore pins down the acts of narration and representation of Morocco and Moroccans and examines how the Occident has contributed to the production of the Orient and finally attests to the metamorphosis the plot undergoes in Part I and Part II. As an adventure play, The Fair Maid of the West teaches about, informs of and confirms the existing patterns of virtue in European voyagers and at the same time it asserts how honor and chastity are European par excellence whereas villainy and wickedness are Oriental assets. Once taken captive, these virtues and traits are put into task as the plot disentangles. This paper also examines how the play in both parts generates a whole history of stereotypes about Morocco and unexpectedly subverts this stereotype; such a biased mode of narration of the Orient the playwright took up at first was played down at a later phase in the narrative.

Keywords: Heywood, Occident, Orientalism, Stereotype, Virtue

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6 Focalization Used as a Narrative Strategy Mirroring Fadia Faqir’s Ideology in Pillars of Salt 1996

Authors: Malika Hammouche

Abstract:

The novel Pillars of Salt, written by Fadia Faqir in 1996, is a good example where storytelling is utilized as a traditional material to underline the author’s womanist ideology. A study of narrative could be fruitfully combined with that of ideology in this case. This combination could be demonstrated through the narrative technique used by Fadia Faqir in Pillars of Salt (1996), reflecting her anti-colonial ideology. The first step of this work will highlight the storyteller’s narrative in the novel representing, on the one hand, the imperial voice, and on the other exoticism and orientalism. The second step will demonstrate how Faqir’s narrative technique uses focalization as a narratological tool to negotiate her space. Faqir gives a voice to the female protagonist of the novel within the androcentric bias of Arab narrative theory to point to and amend the orientalist discourse typical to colonial literature. The orientalist discourse is represented through the voice of the storyteller in the novel. The juxtaposition of the storyteller’s and the female protagonist narratives is borrowed from the Arab literary background. It is a postcolonial counter-discursive strategy used by the author as a traditional material to underline her Arabo Islamic Womanist ideology in this novel.

Keywords: Arabo Islamic womanism, focalization, ideology, narrative technique, orientalist

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5 The Analysis of Indian Culture through the Lexicographical Discourse of Hindi-French Dictionary

Authors: Tanzil Ansari

Abstract:

A dictionary is often considered as a list of words, arranged in alphabetical orders, providing information on a language or languages and it informs us about the spelling, the pronunciation, the origin, the gender and the grammatical functions of new and unknown words. In other words, it is first and foremost a linguistic tool. But, the research across the world in the field of linguistic and lexicography proved that a dictionary is not only a linguistic tool but also a cultural product through which a lexicographer transmits the culture of a country or a linguistic community from his or her ideology. It means, a dictionary does not present only language and its metalinguistic functions but also its culture. Every language consists of some words and expressions which depict the culture of its language. In this way, it is impossible to disassociate language from its culture. There is always an ideology that plays an important role in the depiction of any culture. Using the orientalism theory of Edward Said to represent the east, the objective of the present research is to study the representation of Indian culture through the lexicographical discourse of Hindi-French Dictionary of Federica Boschetti, a French lexicographer. The results show that the Indian culture is stereotypical and monolithic. It also shows India as male oriented country where women are exploited by male-dominated society. The study is focused on Hindi-French dictionary, but its line of argument can be compared to dictionaries produced in other languages.

Keywords: culture, dictionary, lexicographical discourse, stereotype image

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4 A Self Beheld the Eyes of the Other: Reflections on Montesquieu's Persian Letters

Authors: Seyed Majid Alavi Shooshtari

Abstract:

As a multi-layered prose piece of artistry and craftsmanship Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (1721) is a satirical work which records the experiences of two Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, traveling through France in the early eighteenth century. Montesquieu creates Persian Letters as a critique of the French society, a critical explanation of what was considered to be 'the Orient' in the period, and an invaluable historical document which illustrates the ways Europe and the East understood each other in the first half of the eighteenth century. However, Persian Letters is considered today, in part, an Orientalist text because of it presenting the culture of the East using stereotypical images. Although, when Montesquieu published Persian Letters, the term Orientalist was a harmless word for people who studied or took an interest in it, the ways in which this Western intellectual author exerts his critique of French social and political life through the eyes of Persian protagonists by placing the example of the Orient (the Other) at the service of an ongoing Eighteen century discourse does raise some Eastern eyebrows. The fact that Persian side of the novel is considered by some critics as a fanciful decor, and the letters sent home are seen as literary props, yet these Eastern men intelligently question the rationality of religious, state, military and cultural practices and uncover much of the absurdity, irrationality or frivolity of European life. By drawing on the insight that Montesquieu’s text problematizes the assumption that orientalism monolithically constructs the Orient as the Other, the present paper aims to examine how the innocent gaze of two Eastern travelers mirrors the ways Europe’s identity defines its-Self.

Keywords: montesquieu, persian letters, ‘the orint’, identity politics, self, the other

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3 Influence of the Popularity of Opera during Risorgimento on Foreign Presence in Italy

Authors: Andrew Wee

Abstract:

As a result of the Italian Independence Wars starting in 1848, Italy began to change through unification. People gradually moved away from some of their traditional practices and values, such as the long-held belief that women were inferior to men, as part of the Risorgimento. Italians began to take interest in opera as a form of emotional release. As opera became more popular and prominent in their culture, it aided in the dissemination of ideas, especially stimulating the spread of imperialism, in the late 19th century, as Italy began extending its presence to other countries. In order to collect the information needed to analyze Italy’s foreign presence, it was necessary to consult texts concerning the culture of the Risorgimento. These texts included primary sources from operatic composers and contemporary recorded accounts. Letters from Giuseppe Verdi, a leader in opera during the Risorgimento, have been scrutinized for indications of popular attitudes of the time. The cultural context of the Risorgimento is essential to understanding the Italian motives and attitudes towards the outside world. On the more political side, research has also entailed the study of historical data of general laws, policies, and their purposes concerning geopolitical boundaries and foreign affairs, such as Edward Said’s thesis on Orientalism. By establishing these two characteristics of Italy, the paper will thoroughly illustrate Italy’s presence in foreign affairs. Texts have been searched with the intent of using information that reveals Italian attitudes toward exotic countries to determine whether their demeanor was positive or condescending. Motives behind sources have been interpreted in context in order to form a complete picture of the Italian sentiment towards foreigners. Additionally, research pertaining to Italian nationalism and imperialism such as song and literature has been used. The primary form of research has been the division of sources that are culturally based and those that are political in nature. Opera had always been developing since its creation in the 17th century, and in the 19th century, the bel canto movement revolutionized opera and its role in Italian society. This paper uses evidence that popular sentiment was influenced by opera to support the belief that the evolution of opera was as a result of the nationalist sentiment, and in turn fueled the cultural movement known as the Risorgimento. In this way, opera proceeded to affect Italian culture by spreading the idea of imperialism.

Keywords: opera, Italian unification, music history, imperialism

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2 The Incoherence of the Philosophers as a Defense of Philosophy against Theology

Authors: Edward R. Moad

Abstract:

Al-Ghazali’s Tahāfat al Falāsifa is widely construed as an attack on philosophy in favor of theological fideism. Consequently, he has been blamed for ‘death of philosophy’ in the Muslim world. ‘Falsifa’ however is not philosophy itself, but rather a range of philosophical doctrines mainly influenced by or inherited form Greek thought. In these terms, this work represents a defense of philosophy against what we could call ‘falsifical’ fideism. In the introduction, Ghazali describes his target audience as, not the falasifa, but a group of pretenders engaged in taqlid to a misconceived understanding of falasifa, including the belief that they were capable of demonstrative certainty in the field of metaphysics. He promises to use falsifa standards of logic (with which he independently agrees), to show that that the falasifa failed to demonstratively prove many of their positions. Whether or not he succeeds in that, the exercise of subjecting alleged proofs to critical scrutiny is quintessentially philosophical, while uncritical adherence to a doctrine, in the name of its being ‘philosophical’, is decidedly unphilosophical. If we are to blame the intellectual decline of the Muslim world on someone’s ‘bad’ way of thinking, rather than more material historical circumstances (which is already a mistake), then blame more appropriately rests with modernist Muslim thinkers who, under the influence of orientalism (and like Ghazali’s philosophical pretenders) mistook taqlid to the falasifa as philosophy itself. The discussion of the Tahāfut takes place in the context of an epistemic (and related social) hierarchy envisioned by the falasifa, corresponding to the faculties of the sense, the ‘estimative imagination’ (wahm), and the pure intellect, along with the respective forms of discourse – rhetoric, dialectic, and demonstration – appropriate to each category of that order. Al-Farabi in his Book of Letters describes a relation between dialectic and demonstration on the one hand, and theology and philosophy on the other. The latter two are distinguished by method rather than subject matter. Theology is that which proceeds dialectically, while philosophy is (or aims to be?) demonstrative. Yet, Al-Farabi tells us, dialectic precedes philosophy like ‘nourishment for the tree precedes its fruit.’ That is, dialectic is part of the process, by which we interrogate common and imaginative notions in the pursuit of clearly understood first principles that we can then deploy in the demonstrative argument. Philosophy is, therefore, something we aspire to through, and from a discursive condition of, dialectic. This stands in apparent contrast to the understanding of Ibn Sina, for whom one arrives at the knowledge of first principles through contact with the Active Intellect. It also stands in contrast to that of Ibn Rushd, who seems to think our knowledge of first principles can only come through reading Aristotle. In conclusion, based on Al-Farabi’s framework, Ghazali’s Tahafut is a truly an exercise in philosophy, and an effort to keep the door open for true philosophy in the Muslim mind, against the threat of a kind of developing theology going by the name of falsifa.

Keywords: philosophy, incoherence, theology, Tahafut

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1 A Foucauldian Analysis of Postcolonial Hybridity in a Kuwaiti Novel

Authors: Annette Louise Dupont

Abstract:

Background and Introduction: Broadly defined, hybridity is a condition of racial and cultural ‘cross-pollination’ which arises as a result of contact between colonized and colonizer. It remains a highly contested concept in postcolonial studies as it is implicitly underpinned by colonial notions of ‘racial purity.’ While some postcolonial scholars argue that individuals exercise significant agency in the construction of their hybrid subjectivities, others underscore associated experiences of exclusion, marginalization, and alienation. Kuwait and the Philippines are among the most disparate of contemporary postcolonial states. While oil resources transformed the former British Mandate of Kuwait into one of the world’s richest countries, enduring poverty in the former US colony of the Philippines drives a global diaspora which produces multiple Filipino hybridities. Although more Filipinos work in the Arabian Gulf than in any other region of the world, scholarly and literary accounts of their experiences of hybridization in this region are relatively scarce when compared to those set in North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Study Aims and Significance: This paper aims to address this existing lacuna by investigating hybridity and other postcolonial themes in a novel by a Kuwaiti author which vividly portrays the lives of immigrants and citizens in Kuwait and which gives a rare voice and insight into the struggles of an Arab-Filipino and European-Filipina. Specifically, this paper explores the relationships between colonial discourses of ‘black’ and ‘white’ and postcolonial discourses pertaining to ‘brown’ Filipinos and ‘brown’ Arabs, in order to assess their impacts on the protagonists’ hybrid subjectivities. Methodology: Foucault’s notions of discourse not only provide a conceptual basis for analyzing the colonial ideology of Orientalism, but his theories related to the social exclusion of the ‘mad’ also elucidate the mechanisms by which power can operate to marginalize, alienate and subjectify the Other, therefore a Foucauldian lens is applied to the analysis of postcolonial themes and hybrid subjectivities portrayed in the novel. Findings: The study finds that Kuwaiti and Filipino discursive practices mirror those of former white colonialists and colonized black laborers and that these discursive practices combine with a former British colonial system of foreign labor sponsorship to create a form of governmentality in Kuwait which is based on exclusion and control. The novel’s rich social description and the reflections of the key protagonist and narrator suggest that such fiction has a significant role to play in highlighting the historical and cultural specificities of experiences of postcolonial hybridity in under-researched geographic, economic, social, and political settings. Whereas hybridity can appear abstract in scholarly accounts, the significance of literary accounts in which the lived experiences of hybrid protagonists are anchored to specific historical periods, places and discourses, is that contextual particularities are neither obscured nor dehistoricized. Conclusions: The application of Foucauldian theorizations of discourse, disciplinary, and biopower to the analysis of this Kuwaiti literary text serves to extend an understanding of the effects of contextually-specific discourses on hybrid Filipino subjectivities, as well as a knowledge of prevailing social dynamics in a little-researched postcolonial Arabian Gulf state.

Keywords: Filipino, Foucault, hybridity, Kuwait

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