Sunday, January 31, 2016

Orientalism

Dr Geoff Nash has had an article published on 'Orientalism' in The Encyclopedia of Empire (John Wiley, 2016). Geoff shows how the term is first used in the late 18th century to refer to scholarly study of the East and a style in the arts. In the same period the British East India Company was expanding its control of the Indian subcontinent, while in Islamic domains Napoleon's expedition to Egypt of 1798 was followed by French colonization of Algeria beginning in 1830. The British decision to demote Eastern languages and culture in India in favor of education in Western knowledge signaled the emergence of an imperialistic sense of Western superiority. As orientalism became institutionalized in Europe, it contributed to imperialist governance in the East. However, the extent to which orientalists individually and collectively were responsible for buttressing imperialist ideology was not fully debated until the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978. Click here to read the abstract.

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