This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Pearson Education Limited Head Ofﬁce: Edinburgh Gate Harlow CM20 2JE Tel: +44 (0)1279 623623 Fax: +44 (0)1279 431059 London Ofﬁce: 128 Long Acre London WC2E 9AN Tel: +44 (0)20 7447 2000 Fax: +44 (0)20 7240 5771 Website: www.history-minds.com
First published in Great Britain in 2002 © Pearson Education, 2002 The right of A.L. Macﬁe to be identiﬁed as Author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. ISBN 0 582 42386 4 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP catalogue record for this book can be obtained from the British Library All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the Publishers or a licence permitting restricted copying in the United Kingdom issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1P 0LP. This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published, without the prior consent of the Publishers. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Set in 10/14pt Goudy Old Style Typeset by Graphicraft Limited, Hong Kong Printed and bound in Malaysia, LSP. The Publishers’ policy is to use paper manufactured from sustainable forests.
CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS MAP PART ONE: BACKGROUND 1 INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS A geographical note Questions of deﬁnition vii viii 3 14 19 PART TWO: ANALYSIS 2 THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM The rise of Arabic studies in England The rise of Indic studies in England The rise of oriental studies in France The rise of oriental studies in Germany Elsewhere in Europe The origins of European prejudice against lslam Orientalism and Colonialism 25 25 29 31 36 39 42 44 3 4 5 THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS MacKenzie versus Nochlin 50 59 66 THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ English-speaking Orientalists Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient Marx and the End of Orientalism Analysis v 73 75 79 85 93 96 .
DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE CHRONOLOGY WHO’S WHO GUIDE TO FURTHER READING BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX vi 207 218 225 230 231 239 . Theory and the Arts Oriental Enlightenment ‘Deep Orientalism’ Imperial Fictions Kipling and Orientalism Imagining India Scottish orientalism Orientalism and Religion Orientalism and Algeria 148 150 153 156 159 167 171 175 179 183 8 EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED Exit from Orientalism 186 197 PART THREE: ASSESSMENT 9 QUESTIONS OF FACT.CONTENTS 6 RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ ‘English-speaking Orientalists’ Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient ‘The Question of Orientalism’ A Marxist (Indian) response ‘Edward Said and his Arab Reviewers’ A black perspective ‘Edward Said and the Historians’ Marx and the End of Orientalism 102 103 105 108 110 123 127 132 134 145 7 CASE STUDIES History.
and the library staff of the University of London and School of Oriental and African Studies libraries for their help in collecting the material required. I would also like to thank Sarah Bury for her help in editing the text. Macﬁe vii .L.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the editorial staff at Pearson Education for their help in preparing the manuscript of Orientalism for publication. A.
. 1753-1760) (Br. ....... from 1673) ANDAMAN ISLANDS (Br....... .) Eastern and Southern Asia. .. ... ....... .... SA A S IPU N MA .. from 1698) UJ ........ . .. from 1510) Bombay (Br.... ... THE NIZAM Hyderabad GOA (Port... China proper Rest of Chinese Empire Chinese territory to northern waters of Amur and Sakhalin Dutch territory British territory BOKHARA Bokhara P IR E R..) G O O LC A ND 0 0 1000 1500 2000 miles 3000 km Madras (Br.......... . .. ......... .... ......) Pondichéry (Fr.... P UT RUSSIAN O OS TS . .. .... ... .... ........ E T B H UTAN LU ...... ........... . .... . ...... .... . from 1660) H RT NO ER NS A S AR RK (Fr........ .. ... ... about 1775.... TI Kokand EN SH AN I LU PE KOKAN D TIE N A SH N N NA LADAKH EM T MOGUL EMPIRE AF I B M AR AR AK (Taken by Burma 1785) AN R .. . ......... ... . 1660) (Br..... from 1676) Calcutta (Br... from 1765) Chandernagore (Fr... .In d GH AN us RAJPUT STATES Delhi N EP AL OUDH AT BENGAL G MARATHA EMPIRE (Br...... . from Dutch 1796) GOA (Port. BU ... 1792) CEYLON (Dutch from Port.. from 1766) TRAVANCORE Delhi C AR N 0 500 1500 km Madras (Br. from 1639) Pondichéry (Fr..... . from 1766) MYSORE ATI C MOGUL EMPIRE Under Aurangzeb 1690 0 500 1000 miles Pulicat (Br... . ...
... .... since 1824) Malacca RIAU ARCH (Centre of Bugis Power) CC A ... BORNEO CERAM CELEBES Succadana Banjermassin Amboina LU (Laos states of Luang Prabang and Vientiane........ . ... . ......... MA NC HU IA N R Gr e L A GA OLI ON ONG Jehol E M R M E IN N NN Y F I l RT O al FO RS Peking W NE at AN M OUTER MONGOLIA N C H U S Yedo A KO RE JAPAN Kyoto A N HA NSI K CHIHLI S SHANTUNG Nagasaki (Dutch trading post at Deshima from 1641) S HUPEH SZECHWAN HUNAN IE KIANGSI N HE C KIA NG (Chinese repulsed 1776-1770) KWEICHOW U F K YUNNAN RMA Hanoi Ava IN G K U A KI HONAN NG SHENSI SU ANWEI Zelandia Kastel (Dutch. ... . 1818-1824) (Br...... .. ............ ............... ......... ............... ... . ..... under Siamese Suzerainty from 1778) TO NK Manila PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (Spain) (Tonking.............. A M Ayuthia (Destroyed by Burmese in 1767) Phnon Penh -C H IN Saigon (Taken by Annam 1776) HALMAHERA Menado M O AS Penang (Br........ . ... ........ ............... .. 1624-1662) FORMOSA KWANGSI G UN GT AN W Macao (Port. ............ . ............. ....... trading post from 1557) C O CAMBODIA C N IN Bangkok (Built 1780s) ....... .................... ....... from 1786) (Dutch 1641-1795.................... ............... .... .. Annam and Cochin-China formed Vietnam Empire 1802) SI AM AN N SU M AT RA MINANGKABAU ... 1795-1818......... ..... A Seoul B .................. ...
PART ONE BACKGROUND .
ORIENTALISM HH 2 .
and in the world of the arts to identify a character. but at the turn of the eighteenth century it was challenged by the combined forces of evangelicalism and utilitarianism. to acquire a third meaning. a scholar versed in the languages and literatures of the East. in the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the ﬁrst quarter of the nineteenth. but utilized and preserved. faced by the ofﬁcials of the East India Company. and in the 1830s it was supplanted by the new. so-called ‘Anglicist’ approach.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS ONE INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS According to the Oxford English Dictionary (1971). For a time this approach was adopted. Theory and the Arts (1995). the word came. There it was used to refer to or identify a ‘conservative and romantic’ approach to the problems of government. the author of Orientalism: History. as foundations of the traditional social order. the word orientalism was in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries generally used to refer to the work of the orientalist. as a minute on education – presented by Thomas Macaulay. At the same time. According to this approach the languages and laws of Muslim and Hindu India should not be ignored or supplanted. in the context of British Rule in India. style or quality commonly associated with the Eastern nations. President of the 3 . Henceforth. according to John MacKenzie.
New York. The result was that orientalists. an instrument of Western imperialism. This transformation. Principal among these were Anouar Abdel-Malek. a partial view of Islam. but also a corporate institution. it came to mean not only the work of the orientalist. indigenous learning in India would be completely supplanted by British scholarship. Edward Said. to the Supreme Council. in Calcutta. in a little more than twenty years. imparted through the English language. Then. a Syrian student of Arabic history. The meaning of the word orientalism. style or quality associated with the Eastern nations. dry-as-dust profession. Palestinian Arabs. become an abstruse. based on an ontological and epistemological distinction between Orient and Occident. which as MacKenzie has remarked turned orientalism into one of the most highly charged words in modern scholarship. remained more or less unchanged until the period of decolonization that followed the end of the Second World War (1939–45). Paris.L. were now 4 . was accomplished by a series of scholars and intellectuals. members of what had. a leading English sociologist and student of Marxism. in recent years. Turner. a Palestinian (Christian Arab) student of English and Comparative Literature. and a character. as given in the Oxford English Dictionary. justifying and accounting for the subjugation of blacks. and Bryan S. A. many of whom lived in or came from the Orient. a style of thought. an Egyptian (Coptic) sociologist. and even an ideology. London University. on 2 February 1835 – made clear. Tibawi. attached to the Centre National de la Recherche Scientiﬁque (CNRS) (Sociology). employed at the Institute of Education. employed at Columbia University.ORIENTALISM Committee of Public Instruction. women and many other supposedly deprived groups and peoples. designed for dealing with the Orient.
according to some. anti-Semitism. was launched on four fronts: on orientalism as an instrument of imperialism designed to secure the colonization and 5 . in Asia and Africa. and even. the spread of Bolshevism – all these events and developments showed that the military and political hegemony imposed by the European powers. in S. and even on occasion undermined. As a result of these and other developments. The Iranian revolution of 1906. but ‘orientalism’. not only in the military and political. when it ﬁnally came. There followed a period of rapid decolonization. the defeat and destruction of the German. throughout large parts of Asia and Africa. the Young Turk revolution of 1908. as traditionally practised.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS accused of practising. racism. a climate of opinion that made possible an effective challenge to European hegemony. not orientalism. that is to say a type of imperialism. culminating in the independence of India (1947). the eminent French orientalist. there arose. Schacht and C. Bosworth. the rise of the Kemalist movement in Turkey (1919– 22). but also in the intellectual sphere. already created well before the outbreak of the Second World War. The Legacy of Islam (1979). in an article entitled ‘The Western Image and Western Studies of Islam’. in the 1950s and 1960s. The assault on orientalism. the rise of the national movement in Egypt (1919). the British withdrawal from Egypt (1954) and the collapse of the Britishbacked Hashemite regime in Iraq (1958). The conditions necessary for the launching of an effective assault on orientalism. as Maxime Rodinson. Russian and Ottoman Empires in the period of the First World War. has pointed out. could now be successfully challenged. the Algerian uprising (1952). were. Austrian.
enslavement of parts of the so-called Third World (AbdelMalek, ‘Orientalism in Crisis’, Diogenes, 1963); on orientalism as a mode of understanding and interpreting Islam and Arab nationalism (Tibawi, ‘Critique of Englishspeaking Orientalists’ and ‘Second Critique of the Englishspeaking Orientalists’, Islamic Quarterly, 1964 and 1979); on orientalism as a ‘cumulative and corporate identity’ and a ‘saturating hegemonic system’ (Said, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient, 1978); and on orientalism as the justiﬁcation for a syndrome of beliefs, attitudes and theories, affecting the geography, economics and sociology of the Orient (Turner, Marxism and the End of Orientalism, 1978). The intellectual origins of the four principal assaults on orientalism, launched in the post-Second World War period, were somewhat narrower in scope than might have been expected. Abdel-Malek based his critique of orientalism on the work of Karl Marx, the nineteenthcentury German philosopher and economist. Tibawi based his analysis on the traditional principles of mutual respect, scientiﬁc detachment and fair-mindedness, much promoted in Europe in the nineteenth century. Said based his approach on the work of a number of European scholars and intellectuals, including Jacques Derrida (deconstruction), Antonio Gramsci (cultural hegemony), and Michel Foucault (discourse, power/knowledge and epistemic ﬁeld). Turner based his criticism on a critical reading of Marx and the literature of anti-colonialism associated with his name. All four critiques, that is to say, were either based on, or assumed the existence of, a European philosophy or thought system, derived for the most part from the work of two of the greatest German philosophers of the nineteenth century, G.W.F. Hegel, the transcendental
INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS
idealist and precursor of Marx, and F. Nietzsche, the critic of idealism in all its manifestations. The motivation of the four principal assaults on orientalism, on the other hand, may be sought elsewhere: in a hatred of colonialism and imperialism (Abdel-Malek); a dislike of what was perceived by some to be the lack of respect shown by many English-speaking orientalists for Islam (Tibawi); a personal sense of loss and national disintegration (Said); and an aversion to the workings of the capitalist system (Turner). In the face of such resentment, exacerbated, it is said, in Tibawi’s case by a sense of personal and professional marginalization, it is not surprising that apologies for orientalism and defences of it made by a series of European and American scholars should have failed to persuade the four principal critics of the subject to reconsider their position. What the principal critics of orientalism hoped to achieve, according to their own account, was a critical re-evaluation of the methods employed by the orientalists (Abdel-Malek); a ‘better understanding of an old problem’ (Tibawi); an exposure of the ‘subtle degradation of knowledge’, accomplished by the orientalist (Said); and a reconsideration of the dispute between the orientalists, the sociologists and the Marxists, regarding the characterization of the history and social structure of North Africa and the Middle East (Turner). What they actually succeeded, to a considerable extent, in achieving, in conjunction with other antiEuropean, anti-imperialist and anti-elitist groups (liberals, socialists, blacks, feminists and others) active at the time, is what Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, was wont to refer to as a ‘transvaluation of all values’. What had previously been seen as being good (orientalism,
text-based scholarship, knowledge of classical languages, concepts of absolute truth, ethnocentricity, racial pride, service to the state, and national pride) was now seen as being bad, or at least suspect. And what had previously been seen as being bad (anti-colonialism, racial equality, uncertainty regarding the nature of truth, resistance to imperialism, mixed race and internationalism) was now seen as being good, worthy of promotion. Not that the victory achieved by the critics of orientalism was uncontested, as the debate which ensued, following the publication of Said’s Orientalism in 1978, shows. Of the four principal assaults launched on orientalism, as traditionally practised, that launched by Edward Said, in Orientalism, proved to be by far the most effective. According to Said, the orientalist, the heir to a ‘narcissistic’ tradition of European writing, founded by, among others, Homer and Aeschylus, through his writing ‘creates’ the Orient. In the process, he assists in the creation of a series of stereotypical images, according to which Europe (the West, the ‘self’) is seen as being essentially rational, developed, humane, superior, authentic, active, creative, and masculine, while the Orient (the East, the ‘other’) (a sort of surrogate, underground version of the West or the ‘self’) is seen as being irrational, aberrant, backward, crude, despotic, inferior, inauthentic, passive, feminine and sexually corrupt. Other ‘orientalist’ fantasies invented, in Said’s opinion, by the orientalists include the concept of an ‘Arab mind’, an ‘oriental psyche’, and an ‘Islamic Society’. Together they contribute to the construction of a ‘saturating hegemonic system’, designed, consciously or unconsciously, to dominate, restructure and have authority over the Orient – designed, that is to say, to promote European imperialism and colonialism.
INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS
In Orientalism, Said cites scores of examples of orientalism, as it appears in the works of European scholars, poets, philosophers, imperial administrators, political theorists, historians, politicians, travel writers and others. These include the Italian poet, Dante, the French orientalists, Barthélemy d’ Herbelot and Abraham-Hyacinthe AnquetilDuperron, the East India Company ofﬁcial and founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Sir William Jones, the German political economist, Karl Marx, the French novelist, Gustave Flaubert, the English adventurer, Sir Richard Burton, the British Arabist, Sir Hamilton Gibb, and the British (later American) Islamist, Bernard Lewis. Not that Said believes that the orientalism he discovers in Western thought and text is merely an imaginative phenomenon, a ‘structure of lies and of myth’, which might, if the truth were ever told, be quickly blown away. On the contrary, he believes that it is part of an integrated discourse, an accepted grid for ﬁltering the Orient into the Western consciousness, and an ‘integral part of European material civilisation and culture’ – an instrument, that is to say, of British, French and later American imperialism. The critiques of orientalism mounted by Abdel-Malek, Tibawi, Said and Turner provoked a variety of responses. Abdel-Malek’s critique in ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ provoked two polite but ﬁrm responses from Claude Cahen, Professor of Muslim history at the Sorbonne, and Francesco Gabrielli, Professor of Arabic languages and literatures at the University of Rome. Tibawi’s critique, in ‘Englishspeaking Orientalists’, provoked an uncertain response from Donald P. Little, a student of Middle Eastern history, employed at the Institute of Islamic Studies, Montreal, Canada. Said’s critique, in Orientalism, provoked a wideranging response, from scholars as diverse as James
Clifford, Albert Hourani, Peter Gran, Jalal al-’Azm, David Kopf, Fred Halliday, Bernard Lewis, Aijaz Ahmad, Emmanuel Sivan, Ernest J. Wilson III and John MacKenzie. And Turner’s critique, in Marx and the End of Orientalism, provoked a vigorous response from Ernest Gellner. Said’s critique of orientalism, in particular, provoked a lively debate in the academic community. A list of critics generally convinced of the validity of his thesis might include Stuart Schaar, ‘Orientalism in the Service of Imperialism’ (1979), Ernest J. Wilson III, ‘Orientalism: A Black Perspective’ (1981), and Ronald Inden, ‘Orientalist Constructions of India’ (1986). A list of critics generally opposed might include Bernard Lewis, ‘The Question of Orientalism’ (1982), C.F. Beckingham, Review of Orientalism (1979), David Kopf, ‘Hermeneutics versus History’ (1980), M. Richardson, ‘Enough Said’ (1990), John MacKenzie, ‘Edward Said and the Historians’ (1994), and Keith Windschuttle, The Killing of History (1996). A list of critics generally sympathetic, but critical of some (and in one or two cases many) aspects of his approach, might include Sadik Jalal al-’Azm, ‘Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse’ (1981), Aijaz Ahmad, ‘Between Orientalism and Historicism’ (1991), James Clifford, ‘On Orientalism’ (in The Predicament of Culture, 1988), and Fred Halliday, ‘Orientalism and Its Critics’ (1993). Donald P. Little, ‘Three Arab Critiques of Orientalism’ (1979), while in general critical of Said, effectively accepts his conclusions, as does Albert Hourani, ‘The Road to Morocco’ (1979). What divides Said from many of his critics is the fact that while Said, in Orientalism, tends to view his subject through the prism of modern and post-modern philosophy (the
accuses Said of an ‘arbitrary rearrangement of the historical background’. France. Said. Britain’s principal ‘other’ was France. and in the century and a half that followed. lacks historical precision. such as Chateaubriand and Nerval. concerning cultural attitudes and policies. from their own point of view. in ‘Edward Said and the Historians’ (1994) points out that. Said’s account of orientalism fails to take account of the instability. His work is ‘supremely a-historical’. Kopf remarks. no doubt.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS philosophies of Foucault. in ‘Hermeneutics versus History’ (1980). Germany and the Soviet Union. it can be argued that Lewis. Into the category of orientalist. whose work may have been relevant to the formation of Western cultural attitudes. Kopf and MacKenzie. in his article. Russia. persons and writings’ and an ‘unpolemical ignorance’ of historical fact. in particular. ‘The Question of Orientalism’ (1982). introduces a series of writers and littérateurs. John MacKenzie. Said’s notion of orientalism. fail to make due allowance for the nature of the task undertaken by Said: the identiﬁcation of orientalism as a Foucauldian 11 . that took place in India in the 1830s. notes Said’s failure to take account of the bitter Orientalist–Anglicist controversy. David Kopf. But in so emphasizing the issue of historical fact. comprehensiveness and subtlety. but who had nothing to do with the academic tradition of orientalism. surprisingly. the Marxist. Thus Bernard Lewis. Derrida and. a ‘capricious choice of countries. Gramci). in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. his critics remain for the most part ﬁrmly wedded to a traditional (realist) approach to the writing of history. Critics of Said’s Orientalism are. fully justiﬁed in drawing attention to Said’s occasional lack of respect for historical fact. the heterogeneity and the ‘sheer porousness’ of imperial culture. he.
Literature.ORIENTALISM discourse. or a history of European and Asian cultural relations and exchange. in the ritual theatre of ancient Greece. For Foucault. politically. p. L’Orient dans la littérature française (1906) and Raymond Schwab. consciously or unconsciously. a recalcitrant means of expression. Politics and Theory. was radically anti-Foucauldian. Nor.. p. His concern was merely to identify the nature of the ‘orientalist’ discourse as a ‘created body of theory and practice’. as he makes clear in ‘Orientalism Reconsidered’ (Barker et al. Foucault would not have accepted Said’s view that a discourse – that is to say an epistemic construction – could span both the pre-capitalist and the capitalist periods of history. burdened with historical sedimentation. similar to Pierre Martino. designed. 3). for European culture to ‘manage – and even produce – the Orient. 1978. a history of East–West relations. to serve the interests of the European imperial powers. one of Said’s most perceptive critics. ideologically. in exploiting the concepts of discourse and epistemic ﬁeld. 2000. while 12 . Said. militarily. sociologically. scientiﬁcally. that an ‘ideology of modern imperialist Eurocentrism’ (Macﬁe. Said was necessarily following a model which Foucault would have recognized. if not impossible. without which it would be difﬁcult. Moreover. a history of British and French colonialism. it may be noted. La Renaissance orientale (1950). a discourse was a complexly dispersed historical phenomenon. a ‘systemic discipline’. 1986) and the Afterword of the 1995 edition of Orientalism. already inscribed. was he attempting to write an anti-Western tract. 291) might be found. a defence of Islam and the Arabs. Said’s view. in other words. and imaginatively’ (Said. was not attempting to write a history of orientalism. Not that. According to Aijaz Ahmad.
Richard King and Sharif Gamie. in effect. that orientalists. in a talk later published as ‘Orientalism Reconsidered’. stubbornly defending his thesis. p. Lewis. was a politically motivated zealot. 1986. In Lewis’s view. In the twenty years or so following its publication. responded vigorously to the charges made against him. In the mid-1980s. Rana Kabbani. a number of scholars.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS an epistemic ﬁeld was a ﬁeld of knowledge. Moore-Gilbert. Ronald Inden. Sheldon Pollock. Said. Jewish scholarship and the West. The criticisms of Said’s Orientalism. Clarke. created by a culture. masquerading as an imperial scholar. Said’s critique of orientalism was intended not as a contribution to understanding. anti-Islamic and anti-Arab (Barker et al. B.. John MacKenzie. be said and written. Criticism of Said’s Orientalism was not conﬁned to reviews and review articles.J. in the years following its publication. and might not. His defence of orientalism was an ‘act of bad faith’. in particular. seen as a spokesman for the guild of orientalists. particularly America. which exercised control over what might.J. at a conference held at the University of Essex. but as an attack on Zionism. on the other hand. did not go unanswered. the outcome of which proved once again quite inconsistent. In reality it was pro-Zionist. deeply 13 . covered with a ‘veneer of urbanity’. sought to test out Said’s conclusions in what became. J. Jane Rendall. 218). a series of case studies. In Said’s view. 1982). The debate about orientalism in the academic journals was not conﬁned to merely intellectual issues. including. It was a polemic inspired by hostile motives (Lewis.
had assisted in the creation of negative images of the Orient. the tripartite division of the known world in three 14 . Muslim fundamentalists. a greater self-awareness on the part of the orientalists. Several attempts to discover an ‘exit’ from orientalism have been made – not least that of Said himself in the closing pages of Orientalism. as the publication of J. in the Times Literary Supplement of the same year. recently under renewed attack from a variety of groups and individuals. Not that the subject was by then in any sense exhausted. he again defended his position. orientalists such as Bernard Lewis (in 1993 Lewis published a revised version of his ‘The Question of Orientalism’ in Islam and the West) and Marxists such as Aijaz Ahmad. Macleod’s Orientalism Transposed in 1998 and Richard King’s Orientalism and Religion in 1999 shows. But by then it was evident that the debate about orientalism was on the wane. It remains to be seen if any of these offers a viable solution to the problem of orientalism. as the title selected by Said for his article in the Times Literary Supplement indicates. Europe: The Emergence of an Idea (1957). These include proposals regarding the use of an improved methodology.ORIENTALISM implicated in the imperialist project.S. the application of a Marxist. including Arab nationalists. the intractability of which is only equalled by its complexity. A GEOGRAPHICAL NOTE According to Denys Hay. under the title ‘East Isn’t East: The Impending End of the Age of Orientalism’. in a slightly shorter version. also published.F. Codwell and D. class-based analysis. the search for a global order and the adoption of a methodological stance which would ‘provincialize’ Europe. And in the Afterword of the 1995 edition of Orientalism.
INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS parts. and the river Phasis. Europe. the eponymous princess after whom the continent of Europe was named. whence she was carried off by Zeus. disguised as a bull. 15 . Asia and Libya (later Africa). which enjoyed the advantage of being both high-spirited and intelligent. By the ﬁfth century BC the tripartite division of the known world into three continents. and Asia. along the northern shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Europe. The word Libya (later Africa) was used to identify the territories lying to the south of the Mediterranean. in this context. but for the Greeks the essential dichotomy lay between East and West. came not from Greece but from Phoenicia (Lebanon). Not that the meaning of the three words used was at that time precise. which in his view was inhabited by people full of spirit. to Crete. Paradoxically. Asia. had become widely accepted. In the fourth century BC. and later the river Tanais (Don) at the eastern end of the Black Sea. Asia and Libya (Africa). Asia and Europe. Between the two lived the Hellenic race. made a distinction between Europe. occurred in the ninth to ﬁfth centuries BC. which was inhabited by people of great intelligence and inventiveness. The word Asia was used to distinguish the territories lying to the east of the river Nile or the isthmus of Suez in Egypt. but also territories lying to the west and north of Greece. but wanting in spirit. the Greek philosopher. Persia and Greece. It then became customary among the Greeks to use the word Europe to identify not only the mainland of Greece. as hitherto. but wanting in intelligence and skill. Aristotle. There she gave birth to several sons and married the king. denoted a continent famed for its lavish splendour. Europa.
following the partial collapse of the Roman Empire – the Byzantine Empire survived more or less intact in the East – and the adoption in Europe of a Christian-Jewish topography. and later the 16 . of necessity. Asia and Africa. the whole surrounded by a circumambient ocean. German. Africa became the land inhabited by the descendants of Ham (a third son of Noah). the chosen people and Christ himself. Oriental. Arabic.ORIENTALISM vulgarity and arbitrary authority. continued to assert. Indian. Persian. at least in the West. Hypercanian. in the second century AD identiﬁed three continents. the Romans. Gallic. Chinese. Scythian. Asia became the land inhabited by the descendants of Sham (also one of the sons of Noah). whose parts were named (not always very accurately) after the regions they touched. glorious in that they had produced the patriarchs and the prophets. Libyan and Egyptian. Solinus. the Greeks and the Christians. Europe. a contemporary of Ptolemy. In the ﬁfth to the ninth centuries AD. but as masters of the inland sea – the Mediterranean – they had. to pay more attention to events in Africa. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD. surrounding an inland sea. who established the northern frontiers of their empire on the Rhine and the Danube. all that was antithetical to Greek values. This polarization between Europe and Asia. Caspian. such elaborate distinctions in the geography of the known world received less attention. Atlantic. Europe became for many Christian commentators the land inhabited by the descendants of Japhet (one of the sons of Noah). the land of the Gentiles. the traditional dichotomy established by the Greeks.
Phrygia. For these enemies (it should shame Christians to remember) have already occupied Syria. Urban II is reported to have informed the audience that the latest Christian defeats (in Anatolia) were a consequence of human wickedness. Europe became for a time. an English Chronicler. while North Africa and the East became the world of Islam. in a description of the battle of Tours (732). in which Charles Martel. 17 . Lycia. in practice if not in theory. between Christianity and Islam. and even the whole of Europe.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS Romans. a Frankish chief. Christian soldiers were called on to march against the Saracens (Muslims) in the defence of Christendom. Pamphylia. Cilicia). had they a grain of their earlier humanity about them. should be open to Christians alone. Isauria. in an account of a speech given by Pope Urban II at the Council of Claremont (1095). Now they traverse Illyria and all the land beyond as far as the Bosphorus. Lydia. the word European (Europeenses) was for one of the ﬁrst times used. And in the ninth century. the Iberian peninsula. threatening to engulf the Byzantine Empire. recorded by William of Malmesbury. Caria. Galatia. was partially transposed into a new dichotomy. the equivalent of Christendom (Christianitas). Persia and Greece. The Christian people might recover grace by ﬁghting for the cross: Therefore go forward in happiness and in conﬁdence to attack the enemies of God. Finally. In the eighth century. defeated a Muslim force advancing northwards into France. which had provoked God’s anger. in the pontiﬁcate of John VIII (872–82). between East and West. Asia and Europe. They have seized control of our Lord’s sepulchre (unique pledge as it is of our faith) and make our pilgrims pay for permission to enter Jerusalem which. based now mainly on religion. Armenia and latterly the whole of Asia Minor (whose provinces are Bythinia.
Thomas More and Erasmus. Pascal. anyone who cares for the glory of Christ. and a French writer. remarked that in the period of the crusades. and there all the apostles but two were martyred. the second portion of the world. Europe against 18 . They have also forcibly held Africa. writing about the same time. And even this fragment of our world is attacked by the Turks and Saracens. whose inspired writings will ensure them immortality so long as there is anyone to cherish Latin literature: scholars will bear me out in this. pay taxes to their wicked masters and silently long to partake of our liberty having lost their own. But can any one with any initiative. their homeland – an area justly reckoned by our fathers as equal to the two other parts both for size and importance. for some centuries a loose and ill-deﬁned correlation was identiﬁed between Christendom and Europe. Now the Christians there – if any survive – eke out a miserable living. having little zest for warfare and preferring as they do a war when the enemy retreats. (Hay. the third continent. used the two concepts indiscriminately. the West rose against the East. tolerate that we do not even share equally with them the inhabited earth? They have made Asia. for they live in the manner of brutes. which is a third of the world. the noted philosopher.ORIENTALISM By itself this is enough to oppress our minds. Three hundred years ago they conquered Spain and the Balearic Islands: now they covet the rest. There remains Europe. But they are a singularly inactive lot. There of old our religion ﬁrst blossomed forth. How small is the part of it inhabited by us Christians! for none would term Christian those barbarous people who live in distant islands on the frozen ocean. for over two hundred years and I call this the ruin of Christian honour for this continent formerly nourished men of the greatest genius. 1957: 31–2) Thereafter. as did Leonardo da Vinci.
drew attention 19 . could not be forever sustained. Dr Samuel Johnson. and farther Asia by the Mongolian race. mainly Islamic. hither Asia was inhabited by nations belonging to the Caucasian race. and also other small Christian communities. dominated by China and Japan. According to Hegel. Hegel. that is to say. deﬁned orientalism (from oriental) as an ‘idiom of the eastern languages: an eastern mode of speech’. like Islam. In 1769. European stock. though at the turn of the nineteenth century the Europeans created a new category. knowledge about the Orient became more complex. Thereafter. the Middle East. divided Asia into two separate parts – a hither Asia and a farther Asia. this distinction between a Near East (proche Orient).INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS Asia. It included the schismatic Greek Church. as European explorers and merchants discovered more about Asia. in On Virgil. Christianity. became generally accepted. for as one Christian authority remarked. for instance.e. the German philosopher. i. But such a clear distinction. QUESTIONS OF DEFINITION Early examples of the use of the word orientalism in England illustrate the variety of meanings attached to the word. but later extended to include the greater part of the Ottoman Empire. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1755. centred in Jerusalem. in his Dictionary of the English Language. Holdsworth. and a Far East. used originally to indicate the territories stretching from Iran to Tibet. located in Africa and Asia. the Christian world was one. could not be conﬁned by merely geographical boundaries. which bridged the divide between Europe and Asia. created by historical accident.
Latin). Fr). Chaucer. oriental stitch. that ‘all the Orient laugheth of the light’. in a letter to Henry VIII. orient science. the ‘orient moon of Islam’. in A History of English Poetry. Johnson identiﬁed Dr Pocock as a ‘great orientalist’. Cilicia and parts of Mesopotamia and Arabia. Byron. Rising of the sun. and in 1811. Bright. sparkling.ORIENTALISM to the frequent instances of orientalism to be found in Homer. on the other hand. adj. Eastern. a chronicler of the history of Scotland. glittering. In English literature the words orient and oriental were used variously to identify orient pearl. he deﬁnes as: Eastern. In 1529. in Languages and Religion. had a much longer history. drew attention to the ‘sublime orientalisms’ of Job. In 1775. oriental poppy. oriental and orientalist. In 1612. orient kings. The words orient. rising up so bright. 2. in a collection of sermons. F. Finally. 1779. 1. mentioned two Saxon kings belonging to the ‘Orient of England’. in Childe Harold. Oriental. Palestine. oriental. proceeding from the east. oriental Jews. noted Mr Thornton’s frequent hints of ‘profound orientalism’. he deﬁnes as: an inhabitant of the eastern parts of the world. Warton. 20 . n..s. Oriental. shining. Johnson deﬁnes the word Orient as: adj. In 1775. remarked that references to dragons in English verse were a sure sign of orientalism. Stewart. referred to a diocese of the Orient. In 1535. (oriens. Thorne. in c. referred to ‘ﬁery Phebus’. Brerewood. orient ﬂames. referred to ‘All the Indies which we call Orientall’. ‘true orients’. oriental carpets. In his dictionary. gaudy. 3. In 1386. (oriental. oriental leprosy and oriental porcelain. Wrangham. in The Knight’s Tale. placed in the east. which then contained Syria.
and in 1695. the word orient was used in the Chanson de Roland. and in 1921. But it was only in the nineteenth century that the word orientalisme appeared in common usage. and in the same year the word was used by Ozanam. Hottinger wrote a Historia orientalis. 1100. in a book about Dante. a writer referred to the ‘Le savant orientaliste le père Paulinus’. as in England. the word was used to refer to knowledge of the languages. in an edition of the Magazin Encyclopédique. In 1651. In 1799. In c. the words orient. oriental and orientalist had a long history. the brothers Goncourt used the word in one of their journals to refer to a style or genre associated with the East.INTRODUCTION – ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS In France. the word orientalité was used to signify a position in the East. Galland published his Paroles remarquables des Orientaux. In 1353. 21 . and a taste for things oriental. according to the French dictionary Lexis. history and civilizations of the peoples of the East. Proust used it in Guermantes. In 1838. In 1854.
PART TWO ANALYSIS .
ORIENTALISM H 24 .
set up by 25 . Charles Wilkins and Henry Thomas Colebrooke. Archbishop Laud. many from the original Sanskrit. La Renaissance orientale (1950).THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM TWO THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM According to Pierre Martino. began the translation of a series of Hindu texts. William Jones. at Oxford. created the chair. in the modern period. particularly in England and France. for in those areas. may be dated from the creation of a chair of Arabic. it appears misleading. Such a conclusion may reasonably be drawn in the ﬁeld of Indic studies. in 1640. Later a second chair was created. but with regard to Arab and Islamic studies. L’Orient dans la littérature française (1906) and Raymond Schwab. supported ﬁrst by an endowment. when a number of British and French scholars. orientalism had a somewhat earlier beginning. including such noted ﬁgures as Abraham-Hyacinthe AnquetilDuperron. himself a keen collector of oriental manuscripts. as a number of scholars have pointed out. THE RISE OF ARABIC STUDIES IN ENGLAND The formal foundation of Arabic studies in England. the Lord Almoner’s. the rise of orientalism as a profession may be dated from the fourth quarter of the eighteenth century.
Professors were expected to lecture one hour a week. where a chair had also been created in 1660. He published numerous works. in the modern Arabic and Turkish languages. on Wednesdays. appointed professor of Arabic in 1691. The ﬁrst holder of the Oxford chair of Arabic was Edward Pococke (1604–91). in order to illuminate their understanding of Syriac and Hebrew. later acquired by the Bodleian Library. including a critical edition of Specimens of the History of the Arabs (1649). the teaching of Arabic to students. The formal responsibilities undertaken by the professors were by no means onerous. During his life he collected 420 Arabic manuscripts. and also £50 for the support of ‘professors’ and ‘students’ of Arabic at Cambridge. Hyde. a noted eccentric. in order that at some time in the future they might be employed in the ‘service of the Publique’. John Garnier. a scholar who had learned Arabic at an early age and lived for some years in Aleppo. on his accession to the throne. and an edition of the classical Arabic poem of TughrA’C.ORIENTALISM William III in 1699. set up by Queen Anne in 1702. Pococke later became widely known in Europe as a teacher of Arabic. Other holders of a chair of Arabic at Oxford include Thomas Hyde. and. according to the statute laid down by Laud. with a commentary. Thomas Hunt and Joseph White. in 1665. studied Arabic astronomy and published the tables of Ulugh Bey. In 1714 George I. during the vacation. and then by a second endowment. considered at that time essential to a full understanding of the Bible. The purpose of these grants and endowments was. according to the conditions laid down by William III. contributed £50 for the support of ‘professors’ or ‘students’ of Arabic at Oxford. He 26 . the instruction of ‘some young students’ in the university.
that of the Ouzbek Tartars about the great city of Samarcand and that of the Tartars above the China Wall who now govern China’. promote English commerce and enlarge the borders of the Church. at £40 a year. encouraged by the Vice Chancellor and Heads of Colleges of the University. taken from a Persian text. Jean Garnier. all three laid great stress on the beneﬁts to be gained from the study of Arabic (Lewis. following a precedent set by Pococke. . White. edited works by Abu’l Fida.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM also wrote a major study of Zoroastrianism (1700). a deeply learned but largely unproductive scholar. appointed in 1738. and collected vocabularies of ‘two of the languages of Tartary . in Cambridge in 1631. . published an edition of the works of Abd al-Latif. 1986). who is said to have regarded Arabic and Hebrew as ‘sister’ languages. the son of a journeyman weaver. a chair was established. by the Great Timur (1783). for three years. in 1660. who combined their chairs of Arabic with tenure of the regius professorship of Hebrew. in their inaugural lectures. published a number of short works on Arabic dialects. supported by an endowment. and published a two-volume life of Muhammad. Hyde. Nevertheless. Marshall. The 27 . Mr Thomas Adams. agreed to defray the charge of an Arabic lecture. assisted in the publication of a Malay dictionary. a fourteenth-century Syriac prince. Meanwhile. were ﬁrst and foremost biblical scholars. later Lord Mayor of London. 1941. who wished to do ‘good service’ to king and state. 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 . . appointed in 1714. a French catholic who converted to Protestantism. . Hunt. Hunt and White. a London draper. appointed in 1774. Then.
set up in Cambridge. at the University of London. Castell published a dictionary of the Semitic languages (1669). Simon Ockley and Samuel Lee.ORIENTALISM ﬁrst holder of the Sir Thomas Adams lectureship or chair. attempted a refutation of the Koran and translated the Gospels into Persian. Hebrew. was appointed in 1711. and Joseph Dacre Carlyle. This is said to be the ﬁrst popular and readable account of Arabic history written in English. Lee. published several works. Samaritan. He published a History of the Saracens (1708). Holders of the Lord Almoner’s Readership or Professorship of Arabic. undoubtedly did much to promote the study of Arabic in England. originally apprenticed to a carpenter. was Abraham Wheelock (1593–1653). like its twin in Oxford. as it became known. a university librarian. the son of a poor family living in a Shropshire village. He also published a volume of original poems in Arabic. include David Wilkins. appointed in 1724. and later. Persian and Hindustani. Other holders of the chair include Edmund Castell. Wheelock. Greek. dedicated to Charles II. who studied Arabic at both Oxford and Cambridge. Chaldee. The foundation of chairs of Arabic at Oxford and Cambridge. fellow of Claire College and student of Arabic and Anglo-Saxon. Arabic. He also published an Introduction to Oriental Languages (1706). Syriac. a poor Church of England priest born in Exeter. an immense work which took him eighteen years to complete. in 1715. Yet in the nineteenth 28 . Carlyle. who travelled widely in the Near East. by Royal Warrant. which was derived mainly from Arabic manuscripts deposited in the Bodleian. 1943 and 1948). was appointed in 1819 and is said to have taught himself Latin. appointed in 1795. including Specimens of Arabic Poetry (Arberry. Ockley. in the nineteenth century.
THE RISE OF INDIC STUDIES IN ENGLAND The origin of the rapid expansion in oriental. part of which was based on translations of Turkish chronicles. not only in England but also in a number of other European countries. Bowen. and John Greaves. Richard Knolles. vicar of Sandwich. then under Muslim rule. medicine and philosophy. In the early seventeenth century William Bedwell (1561–1632). wrote an Arabic lexicon. and in 1158–59 Abraham b. including Lane. 1941. and collected Arabic and Persian manuscripts (Lewis. Burton. travelled extensively in the Near East. many of the most noted students of Arabic. It should not be supposed that knowledge of the Orient and oriental languages in the period preceding the foundation of chairs of Arabic at Oxford and Cambridge was non-existent. where he studied Arabic and Persian. studies that occurred in England and many of the other 29 . About the same time Adelard of Bath. Oxford. in seven volumes. an Englishman. Blunt and Doughty. a Spanish-Jewish scholar. In the twelfth century a number of English scholars attended Muslim universities in Spain to study Arabic. when an extraordinary explosion of interest in oriental studies occurred. served as a judge in Sicily. a mathematician and astronomer. visited London and taught Arabic there. mainly Indic. a pioneer of Arabic learning in Europe. Ezra of Toledo. carried out their work for the most part independently of the world of academe. and Thomas Brown.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM century. who taught Pococke Arabic in his youth. and a study of the Koran. 1945). published a General History of the Turks (1603). travelled extensively in Spain and Syria. mathematics. and sometime fellow of Lincoln College.
a remarkable Hindu love poem. a classical Hindu drama. who for the ﬁrst time created a printing press in India that was capable of printing the Bengali script. Finally. an inﬂuential work (Schwab. employed in one way or another by the East India Company. in 1837. and later served as president of the Calcutta Court. who as a young man at Oxford had already learned numerous oriental languages and prepared a Persian grammar. based on a Persian compilation. and in 1792 an edition of the same author’s Ritusamhara. published the ﬁrst practical Sanskrit–English dictionary. published his Essays on the Religion and Philosophy of the Hindus. published a Code of Gentoo Laws. Henry Thomas Colebrooke. In 1819.ORIENTALISM European countries in the last quarter of the eighteenth and the ﬁrst quarter of the nineteenth century lay in the work of a series of remarkable scholars and linguists. originally employed in the Company’s medical service and later at the Mint. In 1789 William Jones. and in 1846 a Sketch of the Religious Sects of the Hindus. a judge in the Supreme Court in Calcutta. which was published posthumously in 1807. described by Raymond Schwab as the ‘summit of metaphysical poetry’. published a translation of Kalidasa’s Shakúntala. which had recently taken over responsibility for the government of Bengal. with the support of Warren Hastings. Horace Hayman Wilson. or Ordinations of the Pandits. in Sanskrit characters. Kopf. himself a noted scholar. 1950. the governor. 1969). published a translation of the Bhagavad Gita. ‘skilled in Persian and Arabic literature’. In 1785 Charles Wilkins. and in the same year a Bengali grammar. and a translation of Gita Govinda. and in 1787 he translated the Hitópadéshá. 30 . In 1776 Nathaniel Brassey Halhed. who had for some years held the post of professor of Sanskrit at the College of Fort William.
In 1784 the Asiatic Society of Bengal. of extraordinary comprehensiveness. and in 1833 a chair of Sanskrit was created at Oxford. in an anniversary address given in 1786. and in 1792 a Sanskrit College in Benares. Tartar and Turkish Empires. in 1697. 1969). This was a universal dictionary of the peoples of the East. from the ‘extreme orient’ to the ‘pillars of Hercules’ (the Straits of Gibraltar). There followed a series of publications which. that between 1829 and 1834 was to publish more than ﬁfty translations of oriental. cultures and peoples of Asia. the most inﬂuential of the learned institutions established.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM Interest in Indic studies found an immediate expression in the foundation of academic institutions of various kinds. About the same time an Oriental Translation Fund was opened in London. ﬁrst suggested that a relationship existed between Sanskrit. mainly Hindu. It was at a meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal that William Jones. was set up in Calcutta. while exploiting the new-found interest 31 . yet attempted a realistic survey of the principal religions. a discovery that was later to give rise to the myth of Aryanism and play a signiﬁcant part in shaping racialist ideology in Europe (Kopf. works. which though based largely on earlier histories and encyclopaedias. THE RISE OF ORIENTAL STUDIES IN FRANCE The rise of oriental studies in France might reasonably be dated from the posthumous publication. Greek and Latin. together with histories of the Mogul. published in the preceding century or so. In 1783 an oriental college was opened at Fort William in India. of Berthelémy d’Herbelot de Molainville’s Bibliothèque orientale.
following a journey to India.ORIENTALISM in all things oriental. In 1777–84. Antoine Galland published a translation of the Thousand and One Nights. In 1735 Father du Halde published a Description de l’Empire de Chine et de la Tartarie Chinois. a work which. promoted an exotic image of the Orient in Europe. were published. thereby laying the foundations of Indic studies in France. and in 1736 Father Charlevoix an Histoire et Description Générale de Japon. Anecdotes orientales (1751) and Anecdotes Chinoises (1754). generated by travellers’ tales. accounts of the voyages of merchant-adventurers and the letters and reports of Jesuit missionaries despatched to China and Japan in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – many of which were published in an extraordinary series of journals. which included accounts of the cyclical rise and fall of a number of Arab empires. the Abbé Grossier. Anquetil-Duperron also completed a series of retranslations of the Upanishads. in three volumes. Thus in 1704–8. entitled Lettres ediﬁantes et curieuses (1703–76) – yet managed to lay the foundations of a tradition of oriental studies that was to incorporate the work of a series of remarkable writers and scholars. more than any other. published a translation of the Zend-Avesta. Joseph de Guines. including Anecdotes Turques (1744). These include Antoine Galland. from the Persian. aimed at the general reader. the Abbé Grossier published a Histoire Générale de la Chine. Father du Halde. the Abbé Parraud and Constantine Volney. In 1756–58 de Guignes published a monumental Histoire général des Huns. published in 1801–2. In the 1740s and 1750s scores of books on oriental subjects. and in 1787 the Abbé Parraud a retranslation of Charles Wilkins’s 32 . thirty-four in number. and in 1771 Anquetil-Duperron who. Malayalan and Hindustani and collected a Sanskrit alphabet. where he learnt Persian. Father Charlevoix. Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron.
THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM version of the Bhagavad Gita. the ﬁnance minister. both inﬂuential works. and in 1718 the Abbé Bignon. About the same time. In 1795 the Convention established 33 . In the reign of Louis XIV (1661–1715). Colbert. when Napoleon Bonaparte was looking for new ﬁelds to conquer. described by some French historians as a sort of ‘orientalisme appliqué’ (Reig. Already. then active in the East. Finally. But it was only in the period of the French Revolutionary Wars (1793–1815) and the decades immediately following that a rapid expansion in the institutional organization of French orientalism occurred. created chairs of oriental studies at the Collège de France and despatched archaeological expeditions to investigate sites in Turkey and Egypt. Many of the translators trained in the school spent long periods living in the Levant. perfecting their skills. to train translators in Turkish. created in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. the growing interest in all things oriental. had invited French missionaries. and to study Arabic. Persian and Arabic. Hebrew and Syriac at the Collège de France. in the reign of Louis XIII (1610–43). found an institutional expression. he should have launched the Egyptian expedition. 1988). as in England. Students of the school included such noted orientalists as Antoine Galland and François Petis de la Croix. to collect manuscripts for an oriental library he hoped to set up. In France. in 1798. what in effect became a school of oriental languages was set up in the royal household. it had been possible to print Arabic texts on the royal printing presses. librarian to the King of France. in 1787–8 Constantine Volney published his Voyage en Syrie et en Egypte. and about the same time his Considérations sur la Guerre des Turcs. In these circumstances it is not surprising that.
Mongol. a great deal was known about the Holy Land. and in 1826 Sacy. by. Berber. Hausa. and in 1814 a chair of Sanskrit. outlined his ‘guidelines for the encouragement of oriental studies’ in France. Throughout the Middle Ages. Hindustani (1830). Other languages added later include Russian. Eugène Burnouf. The progressive expansion of French orientalism in the period of the French Revolutionary Wars and the decades immediately following may be traced in the list of oriental languages taught at the Ecole des Langues Orientales Vivantes: Arabic (1795). Alexandre du Humboldt. with Léonard de Chézy.ORIENTALISM an Ecole des Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris. Abel Rémusat. In France. Claude Fauriel. the Journal Asiatique. as its ﬁrst incumbent. Malay (1844). the ﬁrst meeting of which was chaired by Sacy. Armenian (1812). among others. with Silvestre de Sacy. Chinese (1843). Siamese. Daniel Kieffer. Persian (1795). to which Sacy was also appointed. the effective founder of French orientalism as a fully-ﬂedged profession. the Duke of Orleans. Shortly thereafter the society commenced publication of its journal. one of Sacy’s students. as its ﬁrst professor of Arabic. 34 . Urdu and Cambodian. in the period preceding the publication of d’Herbelot’s monumental work. a chair of Persian was created at the Collège de France. Javanese (1844) and Japanese (1868). Ukrainian. again as in England. a signiﬁcant event in the development of French orientalism. Jean Louis Burnouf. Turkish (1795). Members of the society included Champollion Jeune. knowledge of the Orient and oriental languages was by no means absent. at a meeting of the society. In 1822 a Société Asiatique was set up in Paris. François Littré and François René de Chateaubriand. About the same time. the Duke of Richelieu. as elsewhere in Europe.
Voyages (Inde) (1699). But. Meanwhile. Récit d’un voyage fait au Levant (1665). particularly the Ottoman Empire. betraying an inclination to stereotype the orientals concerned. Magnon. knowledge of the Near East. Orientalism dans la littérature française (1906). these works remained for the most part remote from reality. L’Histoire des trois frères. 1962). with the exception of one or two of the tales of exploration. huge interest was created. again loosely based on events in the Orient. was extensive. in the 1620s Michel Baudier wrote a history of Turkey and a treatise on Islam. including Mayret. More than thirty novels were written describing events in the Orient in this period. Voyages en Turquie. full of spirit and 35 . Tamerlan ou la mort de Bajazet (1647). a period in which the term ‘Muslim’ became for a time synonymous with Turk. Bajazet (1672). In the period of the Renaissance. Zulima ou l’amour pur (1695). and in 1679 de Chassepol his Histoire des grand viziers. Mme de Villedieu. Tavernier. including Thévenot. and even earlier. Soliman ou la mort de Mustapha (1630). including De Logeas. inhabited by ‘barbari’. and Racine. which were based on personal experience. Asterie et Tamerlan (1675). to which pilgrims and crusaders travelled in large numbers. ruled by a ‘tyrannus’. and Le Noble. It was from the accounts of exploration written by Tavernier. princes de Constantinople (1632). when more than a hundred accounts of travel and adventure were published in France. either as ﬁne men. while on the French stage numerous plays were presented. ‘the greatest terror of the World’. en Perse et aux Indes (1676) and Bernier. In the age of exploration. as was to a lesser degree knowledge of Persia (see article by Parry in Lewis and Holt. In 1651 de Hottinger published his Historia orientalis.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM the birthplace of Jesus and Christianity. Chardin and Bernier that Voltaire acquired his extensive knowledge of the Orient. according to Pierre Martino.
who published an edition of the Koran. quarrelsome. published several signiﬁcant works. In the ﬁeld of Arabic and Islamic studies. sexually corrupt and fatalistic. superstitious. published an account of the rise of Islam entitled What did Muhammad Retain from Judaism. 36 . who had played a leading part in the foundation of a school of Arabic studies in Leipzig. His Life and Teaching and a Historical–Critical Introduction to the Koran. and Gustav Flügel (1802–70). August Fischer and Heinrich Thorbecke. In 1845 Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer. were inclined to display all the worst faults. also a Jewish scholar. bien élévé’. in particular in this period. These include a pedantic obsession with academic method: ‘la rapprochement. a Jewish scholar. also a student of Sacy’s. a Koran concordance and The Catalogue of the Books of Ibn an-Nadcm. or as wastrels.ORIENTALISM imagination. pompous. Fleischer’s successors at Leipzig included Albert Socin. la glose. a student of Sacy’s who drew up a Lexicon Arabico–Latinum. THE RISE OF ORIENTAL STUDIES IN GERMANY The rise of oriental studies in Germany may be dated from the turn of the eighteenth century. la compilation’. these included Georg Wilhelm Freytag (1788–1861). many by Sacy. ‘sans même connaître Constantinople’ (Martino. and a tendency to speak of Turkey. gentil. published Muhammad the Prophet. later identiﬁed by the critics of orientalism. 1906. including Notes on the Study of Arabic and an edition of Baidawc’s Koran. Then in 1833 Abraham Geiger. le commentaire. 1988). lazy. dishonest. and in 1843–44 Gustav Weil. Scholars. returned home to pursue their new-found vocation. ‘galant. Reig. poli. when a number of German scholars trained in Paris.
written by Ibn Hiˇam (1858–60). s Aloys Sprenger. Julius Wellhausen. who wrote a History of the Koran (1868). who published a translation of an as yet unprinted biography of Muhammad. a journal for the history and culture of the Islamic Orient. a professor of 37 . Der Islam. established in Hamburg. published in Neue Beiträge zur Semitischen Sprachwissenschaft (1910). mainly concerned with Islam and the Arab world. a Prolegomena to the Earliest History of Islam (1899). and The German Society for the Study of Islam. Eduard Sachau. The honour of introducing Indic studies to Germany is usually attributed to Friedrich Schlegel. a Chair of the History and Culture of the Orient.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM Other scholars contributing to the rise of Arabic and Islamic studies in Germany include Ferdinand Wüstenfeld. Theodor Nöldecke. was later to publish many signiﬁcant articles (Paret. and Carl Brockelmann. founded in 1912. set up in 1910. which published an inﬂuential series of ‘Communications’ and textbooks. who in 1897 published Muhammadan Law According to the Shaﬁi School. a Seminar for Oriental Languages. whose journal. established in 1845 by Fleischer and a group of leading orientalists. Orientalist institutions set up in Germany at about that time include the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society). Aufsätze zur Persischen Geschichte (1887) and an important essay on the language of the Koran. set up in Berlin in 1887. The World of Islam. who in 1892 and 1902 published the ﬁrst two volumes of his monumental History of Arabic Literature. who published Das Leben und die Lehre des Muhammed (1861–65). in 1908. 1968). the ﬁrst director of the Berlin Seminar for Oriental Languages. and The Arab Empire and Its Fall (1902). who published Relics of Arabic Paganism (1887).
had learnt Sanskrit from Alexander Hamilton. These include Georg 38 . Mythengeschichte der Asiatischen Welt (1810). Die Weisheit der Brahmen (1836). and Friedrich Rückert. Symbolik und Mythologie der Alten Völker. Schlegel’s work sparked off a craze for Sanskrit studies in Germany that was to spread to most parts of the continent and result in its author being credited with the title of ‘inventer of the Oriental Renaissance’. the ‘real source of all tongues’ and the ‘primary source of all ideas’. while awaiting release. Friedrich Cruezer. It was in this period that Franz Bopp. like a number of other German scholars resident for a time in Paris at the turn of the eighteenth century. and who passed his time. who had studied Sanskrit in Paris. a British ofﬁcer who was held prisoner in the French capital as a result of the breakdown of the Treaty of Amiens (1803). Signiﬁcant works. like Jones. cataloguing Sanskrit manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale and teaching the language. besonders der Griechen (1810–12).ORIENTALISM history and philosophy at the Ecole Superior in Cologne. Schlegel. In his essay. who in 1808 published Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier in Heidelberg. in the work of a number of German scholars and translators. created the new science of comparative grammar. published following the introduction of Indic studies in Germany. Schlegel. a concept which was to play a signiﬁcant part in the formation of the German Romantic Movement. concluded that a clear relationship existed between Sanskrit and the principal European languages and that the origins of the peoples of Northern Europe could be traced back to India. include Joseph von Görres. The groundwork of the rapid expansion in Indic studies that followed the publication of Schlegel’s essay in 1808 had been laid some years earlier.
in 1880. who translated Jones’s version of the Shakúntala into German in 1791. who translated the Bhagavad Gita and the Gita Govinda. Tibetan and English and a Grammar of the Tibetan Language in 1834 – Armin Vambery. Johan Friedrich Klueker. had long survived. Turkish. published a series of remarkable works. used as a textbook for the teaching of Arabic for almost two hundred years. which had already given birth to a number of remarkable orientalists – these included Janos Uri. who translated a number of Jones’s articles.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM Forster. who had travelled widely in Turkey. and Friedrich Maier. which unfortunately did not survive its second edition (Schwab. In Hungary. learned Tibetan and published an Essay towards a Dictionary. who had travelled widely in the Near and Middle East. who as a young man had studied Hebrew. These included Sketches of Central Asia 39 . a magazine set up in Weimar in 1802. ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE The rise of oriental studies elsewhere in Europe in the nineteenth century was equally impressive. published in the Asiatic Review. and where Thomas Erpenius (1584–1624) had produced a Grammatica Arabica. numerous articles on recent British discoveries made in India were published in the Asiatische Magazin. and Mekka. where schools of Hebrew and Arabic. About the same time. a lecturer at Jena University. Persia and Central Asia. 1950). learning the languages of the inhabitants. who published Epistolae Turcicae in 1771 and Bibliothecae Bodleianae in 1787 (Uri was employed for a time cataloguing oriental manuscripts in the Bodleian). and Sandor Korosi Csoma. Persian and Arabic. in 1888–89. published Het Mekkaansche Feest. Christian Snouck Hurgronje. In Holland. early established. in 1795.
Leone Caetani published La Fonction de l’Islam dans la Evolution de la Civilisation. Other Hungarians working in the ﬁeld of oriental studies in this period. von Kremer. a keen student of Arabic. Mohammedanische Studien (1888–90) and Lectures on Islam (1910). Meanwhile Ignaz Goldziher. where oriental languages had been taught to interpreters in the period of Catherine the Great. Vambery made a point in his work of emphasizing the great inﬂuence exercised by the Turks on Hungarian culture. published a series of important works on the subject. under M. a diplomat by profession. that any serious attempt was made to implement the proposed programme. Central Asia and the Anglo-Russian Frontier Problem (1874). under Muhammad Abdu. in 1912. Then. In Russia. Jozsef Thury and Aurel Stein. MoussinePouchkine. Gottesbegriff. Sahdor Kegl. Prophetie und Staatsidee (1868) and Kulturgeschichte des Orients unter den Chalifen (1875–77). and a department of oriental languages at the Russian Academy of Sciences. all Russian universities were instructed to set up departments teaching the principal Islamic languages. About the same time.N. wrote a series of important works on the history of Muslim Sicily. According to statutes published in 1835. in Italy. published Geschichte der Herrschenden Ideen des Islams. In Austria. who had studied Islam in Cairo.ORIENTALISM (1868). In 1845 the 40 . Michele Ameri. a country deeply involved from earliest times with the Orient. a chair of oriental languages was established at Moscow University in 1804. and Das Türkenvolk (1883). include Mihaly Kmosko. A. but it was only in the University of Kazan. it would seem. together with Kalmak and Mongol. including Die Zâhiriten (1884). These included Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia (1854–72) and Biblioteca Arabo-Sicula (1880–89). the noted Arab scholar.
1825). at St Petersburg (1822–47) and Kazem-Bek. were deposited in the Asiatic Museum and the Imperial Library. and later a director of the Institute of Oriental Languages. He was also responsible for acquiring the d’Ardebil collection of Persian manuscripts. 1947). in the middle years of the nineteenth century. co-operation between orientalists was commonplace. and about the same time a faculty of oriental languages in St Petersburg. Manuscripts collected during Russian campaigns in Central Asia. entitled Description du Khanate de Boukhara (Barthold. as the publication 41 . who in 1843 published an account of a journey to Bokhara made in the company of a group of Russian engineers. a manuscript presented by the Emir of Bukhara to the Russian ambassador in Negri. where they formed the foundations of important collections. Other Russian scholars making useful contributions include Baron Desmaisons. Russian scholars. Senskovskii published a French translation of the Tarîkh-i Mukîm-Khrân (c. until the period of the First World War. included Boldyrev. Persian and Turkish. at Moscow (1811–37). Boldyrev wrote Arabic and Persian manuals. Senskovskii. and even beyond. at Russian universities. who in 1883 travelled from Orenburg to Bokhara dressed as a Tartar molla. responsible for the creation of effective departments of oriental studies. in particular Arabic. used in Russian universities until the end of the nineteenth century. now deposited in the Bibliothèque Publique in St Petersburg. the professor of Tartar at Orenburg University. It should not be supposed that European orientalists worked in isolation. and Khanykhov. at Kazan (1826–45) and later at St Petersburg (1845–70).THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM Society of Russian Imperial Geography was set up. On the contrary. invited by the Emir.
such as that of the unity of God. the role of Muhammad and the nature of the Koran. and the second volume in 1927.ORIENTALISM of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. The result was that. Nor. was any correction of the misunderstanding likely. But their understanding was vitiated by a polemical desire to distort the religion. was simply a reworking of material contained in the Old and New Testaments. and where possible secure their conversion to Christianity. Islam and the West (1960) and Richard Southern. an ambitious adventurer. a constituted body of belief about Islam. Arthur Schaade and Richard Hartmann. distorted by an unwillingness or inability to appreciate the signiﬁcance of a number of central Muslim conceptions. which identiﬁed a ‘real truth’. appeared in 1913. shows. had misused that material. THE ORIGINS OF EUROPEAN PREJUDICE AGAINST ISLAM As Norman Daniel. The ﬁrst volume of the encyclopaedia. which was edited by two leading German orientalists. by the end of the twelfth century many European scholars had acquired a sufﬁcient knowledge of Islam to understand its principal features. Muhammad. who had sought merely to justify his own pursuit of power. denigrate its followers. Muslim doctrine. for in time the prejudice and distortion displayed by Christian scholars and polemicists created an accepted canon. it was assumed. which was seen as the one and only true faith. according to Daniel. wealth and sexual satisfaction. Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (1962) have shown. understanding of Islam and Islamic society in Europe remained confused. a major international enterprise. substantially 42 . until the end of the sixteenth century at least. the nature of creation.
secreted milk and honey. that Islam was idolatrous. was inherently violent. and died a monstrous and humiliating death. prostitution and adultery. contained in the Koran. until it became virtually impervious to change. An essential ingredient of the canon thus created was the belief that Islam was inherently irrational. Muslim marriage and divorce law. so that at the appropriate moment he might release them and thus impress his followers. that Muhammad had been taught religion by a renegade Christian.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM different from what Muslims themselves actually believed. the one and only true faith. this ‘doctrine about doctrine’ became ﬁrmly embedded in the consciousness of the Europeans concerned. As in the case of the Christian polemic. that he suffered from epileptic ﬁts. an assumption conﬁrmed by the fact that Muhammad. 43 . had trained a pigeon to eat grains of corn from his ear. and that parts of the Koran had been written by Christians and Jews. Constantly conﬁrmed by repetition. supported by a series of myths and legends that were widely believed in Mediaeval times. that its adherents would enjoy complete sexual satisfaction in paradise. and the promise. an assumption supposedly conﬁrmed by Islam’s denial of Christianity. Thus it was believed that Muslims promoted homosexuality. unlike Christianity. from earliest times. an assumption conﬁrmed by the prophet’s own behaviour. and that Islam was licentious. in order that he might simulate a visit from the Holy Ghost. that its founder preached the doctrine of Jihad or Holy War. and by its acceptance of the false prophecy of Muhammad. it was frequently asserted. Muhammad. had been born an idolater. Christian misunderstanding and distortion of Islam was. Other convictions widely held include the belief that Islam. its founder.
a centre of Company activity. Christian prisoners and slaves. an early incumbent of the Oxford chair. 1960). widely believed. in the seventeenth. ORIENTALISM AND COLONIALISM It is evident that. which now required a ready supply of linguists capable of translating Arabic and Turkish into English. Thus Archbishop Laud’s interest in the collection of Arabic manuscripts and his foundation of a chair of Arabic studies in Oxford in 1640 almost certainly originated in the activities of the Levant Company. was inspired mainly by the need to train students for the ‘service of the Publique’. appointed to the ﬁrst chair of Arabic at Oxford. served for a time as Charles II’s translator of Arabic. the Muslim world in that period (Daniel. the foundation of the Thomas Adams lectureship or chair of Arabic in 1636 was inspired by a desire to see the university’s work tend to the ‘good service of the King and State in our commerce with those Eastern nations. and in Gods [sic] good time to the 44 . missionaries. and the colonialism and imperialism to which it eventually gave rise. crusaders. spent more than ﬁve years studying Arabic in Aleppo. as a profession. The foundation of the Almoner’s chair of Arabic by William III. Hyde. In Cambridge. and the expansion of European commerce. remained for the most part impervious to criticism.ORIENTALISM such myths and legends. a close correlation existed between orientalism. who from time to time visited. mainly English and French. whose interests in the eastern Mediterranean were at that time expanding rapidly. at Oxford in c. 1699. Pococke. or resided in. unaffected by the experiences and observations of the many hundreds of merchants. eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
was in the mid-eighteenth century ‘un 45 . operating in the Near East. Later. including Sanskrit. and when Dupleix. 1948. Colbert’s decision to create a chair of oriental studies at the Collège de France was largely inspired by the need for language specialists. dreamed. interest in oriental studies. to the East India Company. expanded rapidly. Meanwhile. Wilson. when commercial attention shifted from the Levant Company. the Compagnie des Indes orientales in 1665. of establishing a great French colonial empire there. enjoyed the patronage of both Fouquet and Colbert. Wilkins and Halhed.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM enlarging of the borders of the Church. and the propagation of Christian religion to them who now sitt in darkenesse’ (Arberry. marched in step with colonialism from at least the period of Henry IV. operating in south Asia. the French ﬁnance minister. in 1604. According to Pierre Martino. keen to advance its interests. generated by the foundation of the Compagnie de la Chine in 1600. vainly as it turned out. In the eighteenth century. the French governor-general in India. such as Jones. interest in Persian. when. unsuccessful attempt was made to set up a French East India Company. took steps to reorganize the Compagnie des Indes (1719). L’Orientalism dans la littérature française (1906). when Law. interest in all things oriental in France expanded rapidly. Early students of Indian languages. p. 8). in France. as in England. the author of the Bibliothèque orientale. already well established. and the Compagnie du Levant in 1670. the relationship between colonialism and orientalism. as did interest in the indigenous languages of the subcontinent. D’Herbelot. were almost all loyal servants of the East India Company. the diplomatic and administrative language of Mogul India. a ﬁrst. in literature at least.
More than two dozen French orientalists. the French foreign minister.ORIENTALISM simple rapport de cause à effet’. at which the French acted as mediators. Anquetil-Duperron. p. It was in this period that the Ecoles des Langues Orientales. including Venture de Paradis. 46 . publications of books about Turkey are said to have quadrupled in France. language and culture of Egypt. Talleyrand. Following the conquest. in the period of the French occupation of Algeria (1830). took steps to further encourage the teaching of oriental languages at the Collège de France. a number of orientalists helped to prepare the expedition. In 1805. and the Turco-Russian Wars of 1768–74. ‘destineé à l’enseignement des langues orientales vivantes ayant une utilité reconnue pour la politique et le commerce’ was founded (Reig. 1988. not only as translators and interpreters. Following the failure of the expedition. and orientalists were throughout employed in the administration. In the period of the Congress of Belgrade (1740). translate proclamations and organize the new administration. Finally. staffed partly by orientalists. were attached to Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt. as interpreters and translators were needed to assist in the promotion of French foreign policy objectives in Asia. But it is in the period of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815) that the closest correlation between orientalism and colonialism can be detected. much of the material collected by the orientalists accompanying Bonaparte was published in the Déscription de l’Egypte. 20). Jean-Joseph Marcel and Dom Gabriel Tabril. an institute was at once set up. but also as administrators. was supported on his journey to India by an allowance. and provided with a free passage. granted by the French king. the effective founder of Indic studies in France. for the study of the geography.
THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM The close correlation that existed between orientalism. who in the 1830s was employed as principal interpreter in Algeria. Abraham Daninos who. and a proclamation issued by General de Bourmont to the Algerians on the occasion of the French occupation of Algiers. These included bulletins issued by the Grande Armée. Sacy. as a profession. and Léon-Charles Zaccar. 47 . yet found time to translate numerous ofﬁcial documents into Arabic. which was designed to raise the Muslim subjects of the Russian Empire against their Tsar. a student of Arabic. assisting with the work of several government departments. Turkish and Persian. Other orientalists employed from time to time by the French state include Eusèbe de Salle. a manifesto issued by Napoleon in 1807. in addition to teaching Arabic and Persian at the Ecole des Langues Orientales and the Collège de France. and later reported to the French intelligence services on events in Egypt and Syria. educated at the Ecole Des Langues Orientales and the Collège de France. including the Imprimerie Royale and the Bibliothèque Royale. and helping with the administration of several academic societies. translated the proclamation issued by Bourmont on the occasion of the conquest. a professor of Arabic at the Ecole des Jeunes de langues. was charged with the task of informing the ruler of Algeria of the conditions of his capitulation. as an interpreter attached to the staff of General de Bourmont. an interpreter. because of his expertise in oriental languages. who along with Sacy and Bianchi. the effective founder of French orientalism. and colonialism can be seen most clearly in the career of Silvestre de Sacy. Recruited by the Comité de l’Instruction Publique de la Convention Nationale in 1794. including the Société Asiatique and the Journal des Savants.
author of The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. whose exploits are legendary. eventually bought a house in Cairo. other motives for the study of the subject existed. and many died there. disguised as an Arab merchant. lived in Cairo for long periods. realization of the Enlightenment project of a universal study of humankind. who travelled widely in the Levant. and travelled to East Africa and Abyssinia. the nineteenthcentury Arabist. numerous exceptions to the general rule may be found. Many of the orientalists employed by the East India Company spent a substantial part of their lives in India. who. Palmer. the languages of the Bible. Lane. served in the India army. 48 . and was eventually murdered by marauding Arabs while riding on horseback through the Sinai Peninsula. many of which had been preserved by the Arabs in the Dark Ages. Pococke. lived in Damascus for some years. a better understanding of the Greek classics. unpolluted by religious and political prejudices. visited Mecca and Medina. nine or ten years in all. as we have seen. While it is true that many orientalists lacked direct knowledge of the Orient. together with his wife. Blunt. These included the pursuit of a better understanding of Hebrew and Arabic. Carlyle travelled widely in the Levant. Throughout. where it is said he lived the life of an Egyptian effendi. Burton.ORIENTALISM Colonialism was of course not the only force driving the expansion of orientalism in this period. always a principal Christian objective. travelled widely throughout the Near East and Middle East. and the acquisition by missionaries of the linguistic and other skills necessary for the successful conversion of the inﬁdel. rode on a camel from Cairo to Suez. in particular in Arabia. joined a pilgrim ship bound for Yanbe. made many visits to the area. lived for more than ﬁve years in Aleppo.
were. frequently lived for long periods in the area. as we have seen. Anquetil-Duperron’s extraordinary adventures in India. Such experiences may not have entirely expunged stereotypical images of the Orient and the oriental from the minds of the orientalists and travellers concerned. dressed as a dervish. which included visits to Pondicherry. and the killing of an irate husband. required to spend long periods in the Levant. Malabar and Goa. who spent most of his life travelling in the Near East. Russian scholars. would provide ample material for a novel. Bokhara and Samarkand. 49 . the Hungarian orientalist. Several later French orientalists. Persia and Central Asia. in three volumes. who travelled widely in the Near East. Mahé – a French possession on the south-west coast – Cochin. researching the origins of the Hungarian people. Surat.THE RISE OF ORIENTALISM Students in the school of translators. lived for seven years in a Tibetan monastery. the Swiss historian. before travelling. perfecting their knowledge. were born in the Near East. but it may be supposed that they did something to reduce their intensity. Chandernagore – a French settlement. Burkhardt. Vambery lived for many years in Turkey. studying Buddism. to whose wife the ardent orientalist was giving French lessons. set up in France in the reign of Louis XIV. including Léon-Charles Zaccar and Joanny Pharaon. the Viceroy of Egypt. visiting Mecca under the protection of Muhammad Ali. deeply involved with the Islamic world in Central Asia and the Crimea. Sandor Korosi Csoma. Cossimbazar. died there in 1817. from Persia to Khiva. to the north of Calcutta – Benares.
Grant.ORIENTALISM THREE THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY One of the most striking cases of orientalist involvement in the world of politics was that which occurred in India in the ﬁrst quarter of the nineteenth century. made up mainly of the Clapham Sect (Wilberforce. played a decisive part in shaping the educational and cultural policy of the Company. the policy adopted by the Orientalists did not prevail. enlisted in the service of the East India Company. when an elite group of orientalists. conquest and extortion. the Orientalists – as an elite group of Company ofﬁcials controlling educational and cultural policy became known – adopted a more responsible approach to the problems of government they now faced. but following the Company’s decision to ‘stand forth as Diwan’ (take over direct responsibility for management of the revenue. following their victory at Plassey in 1757. utilitarian and liberal groups. But in the end. 50 . Initially. based on the conservative principle that where possible local institutions. in effect the government) in Bengal. laws and culture should be preserved and the use of local languages encouraged. In the 1830s. mainly in Bengal. the British had concentrated their attention on trade. under the inﬂuence of the so-called Anglicists – a loose alliance of evangelical. despite its evident success in winning popular and elite support.
Other governors-general continued to implement the educational and cultural policy laid down by Hastings. both in the administration and in the educational institutions concerned. 51 . later to become famous throughout Europe. the Baptist Mission Society and the Foreign Bible Society – the Company was persuaded to abandon the conservative educational and cultural policy previously pursued.THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY Macaulay. Zachary. he drafted a proposal for the establishment of a professorship of Persian at Oxford (never implemented). in conjunction with William Jones and others. and opt instead for one based on the principle that progress and modernization in India would be best attained by a radical expansion in the use of English. As a result of these and other measures. Thornton and Venn). Parry. he founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The progenitor of the Orientalist approach to the problems of government faced by the East India Company in India was. ﬂuent in local languages and sympathetic to Hindu and Muslim religion and culture. Hastings took a series of steps to obtain their support. British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance (1969). In 1800. Shore. and Hindu pandits were encouraged to settle in Calcutta to teach Company ofﬁcials Sanskrit and translate ancient texts. In 1773. according to David Kopf. Warren Hastings. in 1784. Hastings quickly succeeded in creating an elite group of Company ofﬁcials. and in 1790 he made provision for the employment of tutors to teach company ofﬁcials Persian (the language of the Mogul court). At the same time competence in Indian languages was made a prerequisite for promotion. Believing that British power in India could only be preserved in the long run with the support of the Indian people. who was appointed governor-general in 1772.
In 1811 Lord Minto. Persian. including Bengali and Sanskrit grammars. In 1816. Colebrooke and William Carey. which employed H.T. a series of measures designed to improve the Calcutta school system. culture and law. supported the foundation of Hindu College. At the College Arabic. Lord Moira (later Marquess Hastings). introduced a programme to promote Hindu culture and. published a series of foundational works. who succeeded to the governorgeneralship in 1807. world geography. in the following years the College. about the same time. to publish textbooks and copies of the Indian classics. in order to promote high standards in the learning of oriental languages.ORIENTALISM Marquess Wellesley. created the College of Fort William. later to become a major depository of rare manuscripts. a ‘university of the East’. together with the College Council. introduced a system of public examination and disputation. a 52 . For many years the ceremony at which the disputations were conducted was seen as the principal social event of the year. Wellesley. earlier established by Baptist missionaries in Serampore. Minto’s successor. together with Hindu. at the College of Fort William printing presses were set up. translations of Hindu and Muslim classics and studies of Indian history. Meanwhile. two of the most outstanding orientalists of the period. mathematics. and a library was opened. and the principal sciences. Working together with the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Serampore Mission. held in the recently erected Government House in Calcutta. appointed governor-general in 1797. then a Danish settlement. In 1803. Sanskrit and six Indian vernacular languages were taught. Muslim and Indian law. designed to train the servants of the Company and implement the principles of educational policy laid down by Hastings.
In the great debate regarding the work of the missionaries. English education and Christian 53 .H. designed to educate the sons of respectable Hindus in the English and Hindu languages and the literatures and sciences of Europe and Asia. in the introduction of a series of measures designed to improve the working of the Society. an intense debate took place in England about the future course of Company policy – a debate which turned on the crucial question of whether British missionaries should be allowed to operate freely in India. the British foreign minister. to which the European section of the curriculum taught at the College of Fort William might be transferred. supported by leading members of the Clapham Sect. put forward by the Company court. the Court of Directors and the press. to establish a college in England. argued that British power in India would in the future be effectively sustained only by a mass conversion of the Hindu people. later professor of Sanskrit at Oxford.THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY college set up by a group of wealthy Hindus. following a massacre of British subjects at Vellore. in the view of its Christian critics. Hinduism was. he supported H. the Anglicists. which took place in England in this period. in 1807–13. this plan was implemented. as president of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. and in 1817– 18 he supported the foundation of the Calcutta School Book Society and the Calcutta School Society. But signs of a probable change of direction in Company policy were already present. In 1805. a town in south-eastern India. its secretary. mainly in Parliament. the Baptist Mission and the Foreign Bible Society. based mainly in Calcutta. agreed to a plan. incapable of reform. Meanwhile. Wilson. and in 1807. Castlereagh. with the creation of Haileybury College in Hertfordshire. Then.
Wellesley and Minto. I discover piety in the garb of allegory. an enemy of Grant’s. 140). incidentally. The supporters of the Orientalist policy. As for Hindu mythology. 136–7). much ridiculed by the evangelicals. p. As Thomas Twining. argued that the evangelical policies advocated by the Clapham Sect and their supporters would inevitably lead to the destruction of British power in India.ORIENTALISM conversion alone would make the Hindu people prosperous and industrious. that too was in many respects superior: ‘Whenever I look around me. indignation will spread from one end of Hindoostan to the other. on the other hand. blended with every tale. In this pamphlet Stewart argued that any attempt to convert the Hindus to Christianity was bound to fail. in a pamphlet entitled Vindications of the Hindoos. One of the strongest defences of the Orientalist position put forward in the Orientalist–Anglicist debate was that mounted by Colonel ‘Hindoo’ Stewart. while the theory of transmigration of souls was preferable to the Christian notion of heaven and hell. 1969. and the arms of ﬁfty millions of people will drive us from that portion of the globe with as much ease as the sand of the desert is scattered by the wind’ (Kopf. and I see Morality. pursued by Hastings. and. by a Bengal Ofﬁcer (1808). open the Indian market to British manufacturers. 1969. The numerous Hindu gods represented merely ‘types of virtue’. it appears the most complete and ample System of Moral Allegory that the world has ever produced’ (Kopf. pp. at every turn. put it: ‘If ever the fatal day shall arrive when religious innovation shall set her foot in that country. and. as far as I can rely on my own judgement. 54 . as the Hindu religion was in many respects superior to the Christian. in the vast region of Hindoo Mythology. an ofﬁcer in the East India Company army.
recently appointed President of the General Committee of Public Instruction in India.THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY The ﬁnal stage of the debate between the Orientalists and the Anglicists regarding the work of the missionaries took place in Parliament in 1813. In February 1835. In May 1813. The History of 55 . Thomas Macaulay. In 1834 Charles Trevelyan. wrote a tract aimed at justifying the abolition of the College of Fort William. Henceforth the British should seek to educate the Asiatics in the sciences of the West. an enthusiastic utilitarian and disciple of James Mill. himself a member of the Board of Control of the East India Company. Attempts made to revive Hinduism by means of a college-directed programme of literary and cultural revival were bound to fail. All they resulted in was a ‘revival of antiquated errors’. According to Trevelyan. when the East India Company’s charter came up for renewal. an ardent Westernizer. the policy pursued by the British of educating Europeans in the languages and cultures of the East was mistaken. shortly after the passing of the Charter Renewal Act. who proved more successful in arousing public opinion in favour of their point of view. and in March Bentinck. The outcome was victory for the Anglicists. the Earl of Buckinghamshire. The ﬁnal defeat of the Orientalists in India was accomplished by the Anglicists in the period of the governor-generalship of William Bentinck (1827–35). whose immensely inﬂuential indictment of Hindu civilization. and the grant of licences to missionaries wishing to evangelize in the area. informed Wilberforce that the British government was willing to see the establishment in Calcutta of a bishopric. composed a powerful minute recommending that the government withhold further grants of public money to institutions ‘conferring instruction in native languages’.
while the Asiatic Society of Bengal and other associated institutions were allowed to fall into decay.ORIENTALISM British India. the by then nonexistent College of Fort William was ofﬁcially dissolved. 235). no buildings. no professors. had been published in 1817. 1932. It is generally agreed that the orientalist policies pursued by the British in India in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries contributed directly to a major extension of Western knowledge of the Orient. p. and the eventual rise of an Indian 56 . on 24 January 1854. disastrous. and its precious collection of books and manuscripts dispersed. but only a few Moonshis [language teachers] whom the Government pays but who have no employment’ (Kopf. from the Orientalist point of view. 370–3) The effects of Bentinck’s resolution were. This resolution stated: His Lordship in Council is of opinion that the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European literature and science amongst the natives of India and that all the funds appropriated for the purposes of education would be best employed on English education alone. issued an ofﬁcial resolution. between colonizer and colonized. he found ‘no College. a renaissance of Bengali culture and an ‘oriental enlightenment’ that was closely related to the romantic movement in Europe. 1969. pp. In a few short years the College of Fort William was effectively dismantled. and to a lesser extent Muslim. Three months later. The Anglicist approach later adopted led directly to an increasing polarization of Indian society. an acute crisis of Hindu. incorporating the main principle of Macaulay’s minute. In October 1853. no lectures. no rooms. (Trevelyan. identity. when Governor-General Dalhousie investigated the College of Fort William.
many Orientalists formed enduring relations with Indians. was basically the same everywhere. and they displayed an exaggerated respect for classical text. as children of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. a man ‘deeply skilled in Persian and Arabic literature’. rationalist. that was determined to secure That British orientalism in India was intimately bound up with the imperial project is not in doubt. in particular members of the Bengali intelligentsia. should be tolerated. the accusation that the British orientalists concerned were ‘orientalist’. in the period following the end of the Second World War. 1969. Thus Warren Hastings. they were inclined to believe that man. Difference. Moreover. who lived in 57 . p.THE ORIENTALIST – ANGLICIST CONTROVERSY national movement independence. 103). in Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance (1969). imagining the existence of a ‘golden age’. classicist and cosmopolitan. invited Hindu pandits to come to Calcutta to teach Sanskrit. cannot for the most part be sustained. the Anglicists. where it existed. True. to keep the ‘inferior races’ at a distance (Kopf. as much as that of the Anglicist. unlike later Englishmen of the age of imperialism. not condemned. they did not ensconce themselves in clubs or build a ‘Chinese wall of racial privilege’. It should not be forgotten that the object of Orientalist policy. was the preservation of British power in India. particularly those living in Bengal. Rather. 5). But as David Kopf makes clear. like their opponents. from which Hindu civilization must have declined into its present state of ‘barbarism and ignorance’ (Kopf. However. in the critical sense in which the word was later used by the critics of orientalism. Charles Wilkins. were inclined to exaggerate the passivity of the Hindu people. the Orientalists. 1969. though culturally different. p.
a foundational Hindu text. the ﬁrst vernacular printing press in India. a linguist of extraordinary ability. set up. 58 . Henry Thomas Colebrooke. a noted Indian drama (1790). who lived in India for some thirty-eight years or so. published a foundational work on the Vedas (1805) and Essays on the Religion and Philosophy of the Hindus (1837). Carey lived in India for so long that he became. William Jones. afﬂicted by the narrow racialism. the Baptist missionary. and studied Hindu languages and culture at Benares. translated Shakúntala. Finally. who lived in India for more than a decade and died there in 1794.ORIENTALISM India for more than a decade and wrote a history of Indian land grants. nationalism and parochialism attributed to them by the critics of orientalism? It would seem improbable. who lived in India for the greater part of his life. published a Code of Gentoo Laws (1776) and a Grammar of the Bengal Language (1788). Nathaniel Halhed. as did Colonel ‘Hindoo’ Stewart and many others in that period. Were such men. in effect. the ‘harmonious’ Jones. one wonders. with the help of a number of very able Bengalis. who lived in India for more than two decades. and translated the Bhagavat Gita. became a professor of Bengali at the College of Fort William and published a Grammar of the Bengalee Language (1801). an acculturated Hindu. again a foundational work. According to his own account. William Carey. helped found the Asiatic Society of Bengal and ﬁrst identiﬁed Sanskrit as a source of the IndoEuropean language group.
as a style or category of European art commonly associated in the nineteenth century with the Islamic Near East. for a closer examination of the facts would suggest that orientalism in the arts. But such a conclusion would be misleading. in the nineteenth century at least. and far from denigrating the peoples and cultures of the Near East. Mary Anne Stevens. marching in the train of imperialism at least. The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse (1984) and Christine Peltre. associated with the orientalist genre. Moreover. almost all attempted in one way or another to glorify them. even a cursory examination of the paintings reproduced in such publications as Lynne Thornton. After all. was all too often intimately bound up with the imperial project – a camp follower. Orientalism in Art (1998). who travelled so widely in the Near East in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. mainly painters. 1828–1908 (1983). would suggest 59 . the artists. would have little or nothing to do with the orientalism that was so widely attacked by its critics in the period following the end of the Second World War. were not for the most part agents of empire. particularly Egypt and North Africa. The Orientalists: Painters-Travellers. if not an actual belligerent.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS FOUR ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS At ﬁrst sight it might be expected that orientalism.
not so much attempting to diminish the ‘other’. when the European public. mainly French and British. The orientalist genre. and it reached maturity in the years immediately following the French occupation of Algiers in 1830. and orientalism in the arts is all too evident. when scores of European artists and writers. corrupt. in Orientalism: History. that is to say. in arriving at such a conclusion the reader might do well to bear in mind John MacKenzie’s conclusion. but they had not succeeded in creating a style or fashion comparable to orientalism – ﬁrst appeared in the period of Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt (1798). Theory and the Arts (1995). that in portraying such stereotypical images of the East the artists of the orientalist genre were. had proved extremely inﬂuential. such as chinoiserie and turquerie. It became increasingly popular in the period of the Greek War of Independence (1821–29). mainly French and British. travelled to 60 . in its modern guise – earlier forms of orientalism in the arts. to create stereotypical images of the ‘other’ as backward. for the most part.ORIENTALISM that many of the painters of the orientalist genre were also frequently inclined to display the ‘latent or manifest’ prejudice detected by Said and others in their critiques of European orientalism – inclined. However. imperialism in the Near East. supported the Greek people in their struggle for independence. irrational and uncontrolled. The close connection which existed between European. fascinated by the exploits of Lord Byron – who died at Missolonghi in 1824 – and to a lesser extent their governments. as to liberate the ‘self’ from the narrow constraints increasingly imposed in Europe by middle-class convention and the exigencies of an industrial society. in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
61 . the defence of Ottoman independence and integrity mounted by Britain and France in the Crimean War (1853–56). and it was facilitated throughout by the structure of inﬂuence and control exercised by the great powers in the area – a structure of inﬂuence and control that found expression variously in the creation of an independent Greek state (1830). 1996). coincides almost exactly with that phase of great power involvement in the Near and Middle East known as the Eastern Question. Not that European involvement in the Near East was a purely political affair. when anti-imperialist forces in the Near and Middle East and elsewhere became. orientalism suffered something of a decline. great power involvement in the two Mohammad Ali crises (1832–33 and 1839–41). the opening of the Suez Canal (1869). the French occupation of Algiers (1830). by way of Egypt. and only went into ﬁnal decline in the 1920s and 1930s.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS the Levant and North Africa to experience the delights of the Orient. but it survived the defeat and partition of the Ottoman Empire in the period of the First World War (1914–18). challenged by impressionism and modernism. capable of posing a serious challenge to the military. French involvement in the Lebanon (1861). the Eastern Crisis (1875–78). and in 1870 Thomas Cook established the ﬁrst of his tours of Egypt and the Holy Land. In the 1830s the Peninsula and Orient Steam Navigation Company opened a Mediterranean route to India. in other words. for the ﬁrst time. now for the ﬁrst time made generally accessible to the ordinary traveller. and the British occupation of Egypt (1882). Orientalism in the arts. political and cultural hegemony imposed throughout many parts of the world by the imperial powers. Later. thereby opening the area to popular tourism (Macﬁe. the French occupation of Tunis (1881).
collected by the French Commission on the Sciences and Arts. proved immensely inﬂuential in creating the orientalist genre – a genre which contributed some seventy or so works of art to the Paris Salon in the following decade. It was in this period that many of the most striking paintings of the orientalist genre were painted. particularly in the period of the Second Empire. created by Napoleon’s nephew. later copied by Auguste and Gérôme. the commissioning by Bonaparte and other French generals attached to the expedition of a series of paintings. which was committed to the study of the geography. in 1852. Interest in Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt remained strong in France throughout the nineteenth century. and The Cavalry Charge under General Murat at the Battle of AbA QCr (ﬁrst sketched in 1806). Dominique-Vivant. and the Déscription de l’Egypte – an encyclopaedic collection of material relating to Egypt. where he had been appointed a member of a commission set up by Bonaparte to transfer looted Italian works of art to the Museé Napoléon established in the Louvre. These paintings. The Battle of Nazareth (1801). which accompanied Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt – published in twenty-four volumes in 1809–29. designed to glorify France’s achievements in the Near East. history and culture of Egypt (1798). which were painted by Gros. but in Europe. Baron Denon’s Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte pendant les Campagnes du Général Bonaparte (1802). The Pesthouse of Jaffa (1804). not in the Near East. and the publication of two major seminal works.ORIENTALISM Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Egypt in 1798 led directly to the creation of an Institute de l’Egypte. These include three 62 . Louis-Napoleon. Paintings commissioned by Bonaparte and other French generals included three paintings by Antoine-Jean Gros.
Rémond. 63 . Richard Dadd toured the Levant. The numbers of European artists visiting the Levant and North Africa in the nineteenth century. Le Général Bonaparte en Egypte and Oedipe: Bonaparte et le Sphinx (all painted in the 1860s). In 1833. attended the inauguration of the Suez Canal. In 1846–53. an inﬂuential teacher at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. trained in the Ecole des BeauxArts. Eugène Fromentin. in 1854. Gustave Guillaumet. a German painter trained at the Vienna Academy.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme. a founder member of the PreRaphaelite Brotherhood. a Professor at the Ecole des BeauxArts. and the Royal Academy. Horace Vernet. who was later to spend ten years living in Cairo. and in 1862. Syria and Asia Minor. who had started out as a scene painter in the French theatre. the ﬁrst of four visits. visited Constantinople. In 1830. and in 1869. Le Général Bonaparte au Caire. Edinburgh. is remarkable. made as many as seven visits to Egypt. the Viceroy of Egypt. a member of the atelier of Julian Michel Gué. London. In 1873–74. Leopold Carl Müller. In 1840. trained at the Trustees’ Academy. descended from a line of distinguished French painters. a French painter. an established French painter. and John Frederick Lewis. Jerusalem and Alexandria. toured Egypt. Adrien Dauzats. In 1837. In 1842. as did Holman Hunt. including Charles de Tournemine. went to live there for some years. David Wilkie. made three journeys to the interior of Algeria. JeanLéon Gérôme. visited Tangier. trained by the classical landscapist. In 1856–75. toured Algeria. a Scottish painter. David Roberts. particularly in the middle years. who had also started out as a scene painter in the theatre. who later painted a notable portrait of Mohammad Ali. a Scottish painter. Gérôme and Fromentin. numerous French artists.
and in 1839. despatched to pacify the region between Algiers and Constantine. Several French artists are said to have accompanied the French army that occupied Algiers in 1830. Eugène Delacroix joined the Comte de Mornay on a diplomatic mission to Meknes in Morocco. later exhibited in the Salon. Eugène Flandin accompanied a French army operating in the interior of Algeria. in the Musée de Versailles. and in 1832. Adrien Dauzats accompanied a military expedition led by the Duke of Orleans. Most of the British and French artists who explored the Near East and North Africa in the nineteenth century travelled independently. Matisse went to Algeria. a native son. In or about 1839. accepted a commission from the French government to paint a picture commemorating the Battle of Navarino. and in 1906. who had lived in Smyrna for a year or so. and in 1880. including The Taking of the Smalah [household] of Abd el Kader (1845). accepted a commission from the citizens of Autun to commemorate the part played by General Changarnier. but by no means all. Nor were French artists on the whole averse to accepting public commissions to record and commemorate French military exploits. In 1828 Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps. 64 . in the Battle of Somah. Finally. A copy of this painting was later hung. the so-called ‘Raphael des cautines’.ORIENTALISM visited Constantinople. in 1904. Adrien Dauzats accepted a commission from the Royal Museums to paint ﬁve water colours of scenes relating to military campaigns in Algeria. and in the same year Horace Vernet. Smyrna and Cairo. John Singer Sargent. along with ﬁfteen other paintings by Vernet. In 1837–39. a noted English painter. Kandinsky visited Algeria and Tunisia. visited Morocco.
Interior of the Grand Mosque. Damascus (1873–75). Dance of the Almeh (1863) and Renoir. The Fanatics of Tangier (1838) and Gérôme. and simple exoticism in Gérôme. 1870). Arab Falconer (1857). Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert (1857) and Guillaumet. The Reception (1873) and Leighton. 1872). The Death of Sardanapalus (1827– 28) (partly inspired by a dramatic poem of Lord Byron) and The Lion Hunt (1855). and a pitiless realism in Gérôme. oriental despotism in Chassérian. Arab Horsemen (c. uncontrolled cruelty and violence in Delacroix. 1875–80) and Le Comte du-Nouÿ. as practised by its adherents. The Desert (1867). The Carpet Merchant (1887). are not difﬁcult to discover in the paintings of the orientalist genre: irrational excess in Delacroix. Prayer in the House of an Arnaut Chief (1857) and Prayer in the Mosque of ‘Amr (c. Ali Ben Hamed. It can equally well be argued. that the artists of the orientalist genre. The Woman of Algiers (1870). In the Bezestein. consciously or unconsciously. a gloriﬁcation of chivalric virtue in Schreyer. But it is possible also to identify other factors at work in the paintings of the orientalist genre. Cairo (1860) and Gérôme. to denigrate 65 . 1850) and Fromentin. languorous eroticism in Ingres. far from producing stereotypical images intended. El Khan Khalil. identiﬁed by Said and others in European scholarship and literature. The Whirling Dervishes (1895). The Moorish Bath (c. not easily incorporated into the orientalist thesis: a pronounced respect for the Islamic faith.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS The orientalist assumptions. Odalisque and Slave (1842) and Gérôme. in other words. The Collection of Arab Taxes (1863). The Guard of the Seraglio (1876). followed by his Escort (1845) and Delacroix. Caliph of Constantine. in Gérôme. prurient sensuality in Gérôme. admiration for Muslim art and design in Lewis. a sympathetic portrayal of everyday life in Lewis. Harem in the Kiosk (c.
as typiﬁed by Gérôme. indeed glorify. has shown. Linda Nochlin argues that the paintings of the orientalist genre. The Oriental Obsession (1988). historical and ethnographical identity of the area. 66 . they were more often than not seeking also to escape from the rigidities of European classicism. a leading feminist critic of the genre. As John Sweetman. ‘The Imaginary Orient’ (Art in America. MACKENZIE VERSUS NOCHLIN The dispute regarding the precise signiﬁcance of orientalism in the arts in the nineteenth century has found two worthy contestants in Linda Nochlin. The orientalist topos. in portraying the Orient. Not that. far from being impervious to its inﬂuence. the artists of the orientalist genre were concerned merely with things oriental. were actually highly responsive and constantly engaged in what was in effect a mutually modifying relationship. taken over all. celebrate. in exploiting their new found freedom. May 1983). The Snake Charmer. 32). were actually concerned. for the most part. p. the supposed roots of Christianity. and discover. military and economic intervention in the area. in their dealings with the Orient. and John MacKenzie. 1984. the cultural. a principal exponent of the view that. still believed to be observable in the ‘unchanged habits of the East’ (quoted in Stevens. to create images which.ORIENTALISM the Orient. European artists. In her article. establish a science of colour which might facilitate the decoration of buildings in the West. The Slave Market and Street in Algiers (all painted in the 1860s). repeatedly reproduced stereotypical images of an East seemingly unaffected by European political. or rediscover.
inferior. Western man was able to project not only images of male power over women. These include the absence of history – no mention is made of the series of reforms introduced. the absence of Western man. such as Delacroix. that is to say pious. in the Ottoman Empire in the mid-nineteenth century. darker races. on to which ‘strong desires’.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS in other words. 125). precisely those who are supposedly inclined to indulge in that sort of ‘regrettably lascivious commerce’ (Nochlin. On to such ‘screens’. as if the work had simply sprung into being of its own accord. p. Where women in the paintings of the orientalist genre were frequently depicted as victims of male exploitation. used it merely as a ‘project of the imagination’. In this way conﬂict in the Islamic world would be contained. and the absence of scenes of work and industrial production – an absence which. usually naked and enslaved. Moreover. though some artists of the orientalist genre did portray the Near East as an actual place. 1983. in other words. sadistic or both. implied oriental idleness and neglect. in the context of the physical decay of the Muslim city. and hence justiﬁable control over. always implicitly present as the originator and potential viewer of the work. traditional and unthreatening. hidden behind a mask of stability. while the people thus 67 . but also images of the white man’s superiority to. could be ‘projected’ with impunity. Death of Sardanapalus (1827–28). erotic. the absence of the act of creation. others. at the instigation of the great powers. Nochlin argues. a ‘fantasy space’ or ‘screen’. a mere reﬂection of some kind of pre-existing oriental reality. albeit timeless and unchanging. Muslim religious practices were depicted as being picturesque. was haunted by a number of apparent absences. and even a childlike indifference to the need to preserve culture and tradition.
Where French 68 . in which artists such as Melville. Not that a single school or tradition of orientalist painting ever existed. much inﬂuenced in one way or another by impressionism. Roberts. a late nineteenth-century phase. The history of orientalism in the arts. pp. namely the Europeans. geometrical intricacy of Islamic art and design. Decamps and Delacroix endeavoured to create either a sort of topographical and archaeological realism or an energetic and vibrant romanticism. he suggests. in which 100. in which artists such as Kandinsky. an early nineteenthcentury phase. sought to extend the range of their subject matter even further. in Algeria. characterized by the creation of images of an imagined East. John MacKenzie.000 Muslim tribesmen fought for their independence under the banner of ‘Islamic idealism’ (Nochlin. 126–7). and a turn-of-the-century phase. 1983. can be divided into ﬁve principal phases: a late eighteenth-century phase. Fromentin and Gérôme attempted to take realism even further than their predecessors. no reference could be permitted to such events as the Holy War of 1871. on the other hand.ORIENTALISM portrayed would be identiﬁed as being ‘irredeemably different from. not based on direct experience of any kind (see. more backward than and culturally inferior to those who construct and consume the picturesque product’. Matisse and Klee found inspiration in the abstract. as was the motivation of many of the painters concerned. argues that the historical development of the orientalist genre was in fact far more complex than Nochlin allows. A Procession through the Hyppodrome and Gavin Hamilton. Theory and the Arts (1995). in which artists such as Vernet. a mid-nineteenth-century phase. Hogarth. in which artists such as Denon. In the process. in Orientalism: History. illustrations of Beckford’s Vathek). for example.
imperialism in the Near East. British painters of that period generally adopted a less ﬂamboyant approach. no clear correlation can be established between the evolution of orientalism in the arts in the nineteenth century and the rise of European. did the British acquire Cyprus and. while the Ottoman Empire. Only in 1878. French orientalism was largely inspired by Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt in 1798 and the French conquest of Algiers in 1830.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS painters. and only in 1881 did the French acquire Tunis. Egypt. to indulge in grandiose gestures. had shown a remarkable capacity for recovery. particularly in the period of the Crimean War (1853–56). the area of the Red Sea and East Africa. Palestine and parts of Arabia earlier lost to the Empire. had built up a substantial imperial presence in the Sudan. and in the period of the war itself. in the early part of the nineteenth century. In MacKenzie’s view. were inclined. did the 69 . for example. mainly British and French. retaking control of Syria. Malta and Egypt – and the French worked for the preservation of the Ottoman Empire. but thereafter the paths trodden by orientalism in the arts and British and French imperialism diverged. True. which was seen as a useful bulwark against the advance of Russia in the area. such as Delacroix. Throughout the middle years of the nineteenth century. the Egyptians. which led to the collapse and partition of the Ottoman Empire. in the period of the Eastern Crisis. supposedly the ‘sick man’ of Europe. like the great powers bent on imperial expansion. themselves. the British – who had early on established effective control of the Mediterranean route to India. in 1882. remaining low key and pragmatic. Meanwhile. Only in the period immediately preceding the outbreak of the First World War. by way of Gibraltar.
the Italians occupied Libya (1911). simply did not march in step with imperialism. and the British mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine. France and Italy – in the period immediately following the end of the First World War. MacKenzie concludes. and the British formally annexed Egypt (1914). Burma (Talbot-Kelly). was cultural proximity.ORIENTALISM European great powers make further substantial advances in the area. the explanation for that should be sought not in imperial ambition. Nor did it merely celebrate ‘otherness’. Finally. in particular India (Lear. Tornai. As for orientalist interest in violence and cruelty. that 70 . based on Said. but in a Romantic urge to portray the sublime. but none produced a comparable body of painting. but a closer reading would suggest that they are less opposed than might at ﬁrst sight appear. Australia and South Africa. enjoying the patronage and fame of the orientalists. At ﬁrst sight the interpretations of orientalism put forward by Nochlin and MacKenzie appear diametrically opposed. Menpes). Orientalism in the arts. historical parallelism and religious familiarity. the French were granted a League of Nations mandate for Syria. What it reﬂected. chapter 3). 1995. if anything. The French then occupied Morocco (1911). Many other British imperial possessions were. Horsley. according to MacKenzie. the subject of artistic representation in the nineteenth century. MacKenzie effectively accepts Nochlin’s contention. in the peace settlement imposed on the Near and Middle East (a recently invented geographical designation) by the victorious Entente powers – Britain. whose work appeared so frequently in exhibitions staged in the Royal Academy and the Salon (MacKenzie. Swoboda.
But he ﬁnds that the explanation for this characterization lies not in a desire to stereotype the Orient. Thus the emphasis on oriental craftsmanship and design may be seen as an escape from the drab uniformity of mass production. hospitality. protecting their citizens 71 . cultural and political transformations of imperialism’. though whether European statesmen and imperialists. irrational. but in an atavistic desire to escape from the constraints and imperfections of European life and recreate the ‘ancient verities’ (quasi-feudal personal relations. however deﬁned. sexually corrupt and decadent. prurient sensuality as an escape from Christian Puritanism. did to some extent create in the nineteenth century a series of stereotypical images of the Islamic Near East. acquiring control of markets and economic resources. clean vendetta) associated with a now lost civilization. resisting the advance of Russia. preserving the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. as seen reﬂected in the convex mirror of the Orient. the feminizing of the oriental male as an attempt on the part of the European male to explore and deal with his own divided identity. Thus it can be argued that orientalism in the arts. female protectiveness and the settling of scores by a swift. intent on maintaining peace in the Balkans. industrialized society. loyalty. in other words. was not so much a comment on the ‘other’ as an analysis of the ‘self’. to make it ‘more amenable to the economic. capable of shaping European perception of the area and facilitating the onward march of imperialism. unchanging. securing control of the route to India. respect for Islam as an escape from the emptiness of European agnosticism. Orientalism in the arts.ORIENTALISM IN THE ARTS the painters of the orientalist genre frequently portrayed the East as backward. and the depiction of oriental languor as an escape from the frenetic character of life in a Western.
as MacKenzie has pointed out on a number of occasions. and then Germany. 72 . while France’s ‘other’ was similarly ﬁrst Britain and Russia. since Britain’s principal ‘other’ in the nineteenth century was ﬁrst France. and ﬁnally. Germany. would have been seriously inﬂuenced by such stereotypical images and pre-conceptions must remain in doubt. particularly.ORIENTALISM from attack and preparing for war with each other. then France and Russia. at the turn of the century.
Pannikkar. 1972). became widespread. But it was only in the period of decolonization that followed the end of the Second World War that attacks on orientalism. 73 . and Bryan S. ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. also published in 1978. A. White Masks (Pluto. has pointed out in his essay ‘Orientalism and After’ (in Ahmad. 1967). Such attacks might include K. 1992).THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM FIVE THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM As Aijaz Ahmad. attacks on colonial cultural domination are almost as old as colonialism itself. seen as a pillar of the intellectual hegemony exercised by the European imperial powers. the noted Indian scholar. Turner’s Marx and the End of Orientalism. 1959).. Jonah Ruskin. published in the Islamic Quarterly in 1964 and 1979. Edward Said’s Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. and Aimé Césaire.R.L. Discourse on Colonialism (New York: M. Among these. published in Diogenes in 1963. 1971).M. ‘English-speaking Orientalists’ and ‘Second Critique of the English-speaking Orientalists’. Tibawi’s two articles. Asia and Western Dominance (George. Franz Fanon. published in 1978. four in particular stand out: Anouar Abdel-Malek’s article. Black Skin. Allen and Unwin. The Mythology of Imperialism (Random House.
In the course of his life he published several works on Arab history. in 1910. where he was awarded a BA degree in 1939. Egypt and America. 1977). Educated at Tel-Karm School and a Training College. Abdel-Malek. after working for a time in Palestine as a teacher of history and a Department of Education inspector. and the Sorbonne. at the Institute of Education. and Anglo-Arab Relations and the Question of Palestine 1914–21 (Luzac. born in 1935 and brought up in Palestine. where he was appointed to a post at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientiﬁque. Tibawi attended the American University of Beirut. Paris. 1961). he studied the administration of education. out of favour with the Egyptian government because of the left-wing stance he adopted. moved to Paris. A. Arabic Service. in Jerusalem. as a result of a road accident. sponsored by a British Council scholarship. After studying at the French Jesuit College in Cairo. again on education. including British Interests in Palestine (Oxford University Press. he moved to London where. lecturing. A Modern History of Syria (Macmillan. He then settled in London. Later in life. and occasionally writing for the BBC. as a noted authority on Muslim law. taking a PhD degree in education in 1952. he was appointed a research fellow. Cairo. Edward Said is a Palestinian (Christian Protestant) Arab. In 1947. He died in London in 1981. he moved to Harvard where. later known as the Arab College.L. and teaching philosophy for some years at the Lycée al Hourriyya. where he attended both Princeton and Harvard 74 . born in Cairo in 1923. Palestine. by then an established writer and journalist.ORIENTALISM Anouar Abdel-Malek was an Egyptian student of sociology and philosophy. 1969). Tibawi was a Palestinian born in Tayba.
therefore. in need of radical revision. Before the publication of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient in 1978. a keen student of Marxism. 1966) and Beginnings: Intention and Method (Basic Books. argues that the victories achieved by the various national liberation movements in the post-Second World War period produced a crisis at the heart of orientalism. ‘ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS’ In ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. In the late 1960s he became involved in anti-Vietnam campus activities. teaching English and Comparative Literature. Orientalism had. where he was appointed to a post at Columbia University. The subject was. Capitalism and Class in the Middle East (Heinemann. and in the 1970s in the Palestine liberation movement. he lectured for a time at the Universities of Aberdeen and Lancaster. including Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (Harvard University Press. a subject deeply infected by europeocentricism. In 1977 he became a member of the Palestinian National Council. Postmodernism and Globalism (1994). Bryan S.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM Universities. His books include Weber and Islam: A Critical Study (Routledge and Kegan Paul. he published a number of books. 1984) and Orientalism. born in Birmingham in 1945 and educated at the University of Leeds. After graduating from Harvard with a PhD in 1964. Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978). as many of the erstwhile objects of study. 1978). Abdel-Malek. before being appointed Professor of Sociology at Flinders University of South Australia in 1982. 1975). Turner is an English sociologist. the colonial peoples. had now become ‘sovereign’ subjects. he moved to New York. After taking a PhD at Leeds in 1970. 75 . of course.
In the ﬁeld of Arabic and Islamic studies. the European ‘normal man’ was transcendent. with regard to whom the studying subject. missionaries. inalienable and intangible. non-autonomous and nonsovereign. colonial ofﬁcials. and contributed to a revival of national consciousness in many Asian and African countries. in order the better to ensure their enslavement. Such ‘objects of study’. of an essentialist character. businessmen. publicists and adventurers. such as homo Sinicus. organized orientalist congresses. imbued with a ‘constituted otherness’. established an accepted method of study. collected and catalogued many Arabic manuscripts. historical. and sometimes even in naked racism. whose only objective was to gather intelligence about an area to be colonized and penetrate the consciousness of the people concerned. published numerous important works. Both orientalists and the other groups concerned tended to view the oriental peoples as ‘objects of study’. Essentialist conceptions of the peoples concerned found expression in various ethnic typologies. homo Arabicus and homo Africanus. As it was taken for granted that the study of oriental cultures and civilizations. deposited mainly in European libraries. it had contributed to an understanding of ancient civilization. in particular. The essentialist approach adopted by the orientalists largely determined their methods of study. But the fact remained that orientalism was profoundly affected by prejudice – a prejudice also displayed by an amalgam of university dons.ORIENTALISM produced much valuable work. little or no attention was paid to their contemporary 76 . like those of ancient Greece and Rome. military men. were expected to remain passive. non-participating. should be concerned primarily with their essential ingredients – language and religion – and with their periods of greatest achievement.
As for the work of scholars belonging to the Orient. Paris. between those belonging to the colonial powers. and no allowance was made for social evolution. a French orientalist. and the Guimet Museum. assembled in European libraries and museums. Berque. particularly those coming from the East. disinterested and committed. that should for the most part be ignored. as the product of an assumed ‘oriental’ mentality. and those belonging to the socialist states and movements of Eastern Europe and the three ‘forgotten continents’ (Asia. the so-called ‘Hellenism of the Arab peoples’. great collections of oriental manuscripts and other material relating to the Orient. and a report drawn up by the Hayter Commission (1961) in Britain. speaking on behalf of French culture. in recent years a number of European scholars had come to acknowledge the crisis lying at the heart of orientalism. In order to facilitate their studies of such ‘classical’ or ‘dead’ cultures and civilizations. Recent works by J. in its report. or even denigrated. including ‘European’ America. Western orientalists. by deﬁnition. recommended the adoption by the British government of a policy based 77 . London. and conclusions drawn at various Soviet congresses in the 1950s and 1960s as representative of the latter.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM condition. Catholic and Protestant missionaries and other agents of empire. Many of these collections remained closed to scholars. but their response had been divided. such as the British Museum. be one of decadence and decline. which would show a greater respect for the ‘Arab side of things’. Berque. which it was assumed must. advocated the creation of a new orientalism. According to Abdel-Malek. might be taken as representative of the former. while the Hayter Commission. supported by colonial administrators. Africa and South America). passed over in silence.
In their work Soviet orientalists. the balance sheet of colonial imperialism. however. a series of Communist Party congresses and conferences. which had for centuries suffered from underdevelopment. be tantamount to a relapse into europeocentricism. taking into account its ‘internal contradictions’. justiﬁed a special approach. continued to argue that.ORIENTALISM on the American model. following the collapse of the principal European empires. but as its creators. mainly European. stimulate an interest in living oriental languages and shift the emphasis from classical to modern studies. although traditional orientalism was antiquated and outmoded. in particular. fully recognizing the implications of the political resurgence of the Orient. Orientalists might. in the present state of world evolution. should where possible reﬂect objectively on the history of the Asian and African countries and assist their peoples in their struggles for national and social liberation. In the socialist sector. as this would. it was not yet appropriate to reduce the scientiﬁc study of the countries of Asia and Africa into the generality of historical and linguistic science. within the general framework of the periodization of human history. the appearance of the national liberation movements in the colonies. some socialist orientalists. starting with the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956. imperialist intervention and a Mediaeval social structure. consider the importance of the ‘Oriental mode of production’. Differences between Europe and Asia. designed to provide more and better information about the contemporary Orient. In the discussions which ensued. recommended that a new approach to orientalism be adopted. on the other hand. involving an elimination of europeocentricism and a recognition of the right of the peoples of Asia and Africa to be treated not as mere objects of history. objectively more 78 .
the appearance of a third type of nation (in addition to the two types distinguished by J.V. all Soviet universities were obliged to engage in the study of Asia and Africa. which is attached to the Academy of Sciences. At the heart of their misunderstanding lay a refusal to acknowledge Muhammad’s role as the bearer of a divine message. which tends to become ‘the central element of the popular forces. Stalin) within the Afro-Asian group. and the different role of the working class. A. between the USSR and the Afro-Asian states and popular movements.000. orientalism back to the Middle Ages. the importance of the factor known as ‘national psyche’. when Byzantine and Roman Catholic theologians and polemicists painted a misleading picture of the religion. 1963. Tibawi traces the prejudice against Islam and Arab nationalism which he detects in much European. pp. 123–4). of the people’. mainly Englishspeaking. published in the Islamic Quarterly in 1964.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM advanced than many working-class movements in Europe. personnel employed in oriental studies. became the biggest oriental institute in the world. and not of a ‘unique dominating class’ (Abdel-Malek. the closer relations established in the period of decolonization. or related subjects. No longer was it possible to study oriental studies without a knowledge of Russian. and a publishing house specializing in oriental studies published a new title every two or three days.L. the ‘universalization of Marxist thought’. ENGLISH-SPEAKING ORIENTALISTS In the ﬁrst of his two critiques of English-speaking orientalists. The Institute of the Peoples of Asia. According to Abdel-Malek. numbered 18–20. led to a massive expansion in Soviet orientalism. As a 79 .
lacking in scientiﬁc detachment and ﬁlled with prejudice. and Muhammad as a ‘false prophet’. in his view. Jibrcl. Among the academic failings of English-speaking orientalists identiﬁed by Tibawi. the greatest is. It was from the ranks of these ‘ambassadors of Christ’ and ‘Christian gentlemen’ that there appeared a new species of Arabic. From this fundamental misunderstanding many other academic errors arise. through the agency of the angel. asserting falsely that the Koran is Muhammad’s composition. Nor was it diminished in the period of imperial expansion which followed the creation of the European nation states. an unwillingness to recognize the fact that. 80 . the Koran as a ‘tissue of absurdities’. To the community of Islam. at intervals. 58). This truth many Islamists and orientalists. p. did nothing to dispel this misunderstanding. when generations of Christian missionaries and empire builders came to exercise a powerful inﬂuence on education in the Muslim world. Muhammad is the last of God’s messengers to humankind. Not only is the message itself of divine origin. From the beginning. sent to complete and conﬁrm earlier messages revealed by former prophets. eternal and uncreated. transmitted to Muhammad. Closer contact with the Muslim world. an ‘impostor’ and an ‘anti-Christ’ (Tibawi. therefore. therefore. 1964. in the period of the crusades and the Ottoman conquest of the Balkans. These include a search for the Judaeo-Christian origins of Islam. for the community of Islam. fail to acknowledge.ORIENTALISM result. Islam was portrayed as the ‘work of the devil’. Turkish and Persian specialist. lacking in objectivity. but also the call to preach it. the forerunner of the professional orientalist. the Koran is the Speech of God. Western orientalism has been less than objective. in recent years this prejudice has been transferred to Arab nationalism. Moreover.
In Tibawi’s opinion. the prejudice generated in Europe by ignorance of Islam has in recent years been extended to embrace also Arab nationalism. part of which is derived from revelation and not. through human agency. and also by the dislike many orientalists feel for Muslim culture and the Muslim peoples. European misunderstanding regarding the nature of Islam has been exacerbated by the failure of many Englishspeaking orientalists to speak Arabic.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the promotion of an essentially secular ‘comparative religion’ approach to the study of the religion. and part from prophetic tradition. It is from a failure to understand this difference that many Western misunderstandings regarding a possible reform of Islam and its institutions arise. open to interpretation and change. irritation at a rejection in the Muslim world of the Western European liberal constitutional model (largely discredited by Western illiberal misconduct in the Arab world). concern regarding the supply of Middle Eastern oil. and a misunderstanding of the nature of the SharC‘ah (Islamic law). therefore. subject to mutation. Turkish or Persian sufﬁciently well to enter into a conversation with a learned Muslim on the subject. Inspired by fear of communism. and those who reject such proposals as ‘reactionaries’. Those parts of Islam that are based on prophetic tradition are open to reform but those parts that are based on revelation are not. and ultimately by disappointment at the decline of Western power in the 81 . In this too they show their ignorance. a misunderstanding of the Muslim view of Christ and Christianity. In this context Europeans frequently misunderstand the position. sympathy and support for the Israeli cause. deﬁning Muslims who respond favourably to European proposals regarding reform as ‘liberals’.
All too often the orientalists concerned meddled in politics. the motives and methods employed remain the same: animosity and prejudice using distortion and misrepresentation. In his ‘Second Critique of English-speaking Orientalists’. Holt. Bosworth and John Wansborough. P. In particular. such as Zionism. Rather it is expected that. Bernard Lewis. Moreover. patterns and tendencies inherent in the native tradition. Montgomery Watt. Kenneth Cragg. acting as advisers to governments and supporting particular causes. is replete with distortion and evasion. though he does acknowledge the greater degree of tolerance displayed by some Christian clerics.ORIENTALISM Middle East. have created a ‘pile of learning’ which. published in 1979. he concludes. numerous orientalists. Western academics. reminiscent of earlier attacks mounted on Islam and Muhammad in the Middle Ages. like Western knowledge of Islam. particularly those who appear in their new incarnation as Middle East specialists. continue to ﬁght. against Islam and Arab nationalism. including W. continue to pronounce on the Judaeo82 . with varying degrees of subtlety and crudeness.M. as the idea of nationalism originated in the West. the ﬁght is now carried on with greatly reduced forces.E. English-speaking orientalists and pseudo-orientalists. reviews the progress made in English orientalism and examines a number of instances of orientalist bias in recent publications. both on the academic and on the missionary front. on the missionary front. While it is true that. C. Tibawi re-examines the problems raised in his ﬁrst critique. For the most part he ﬁnds little cause for comfort. the Islamic or Arabic variety would necessarily follow the Western model. on the academic front it is waged with an increased fury. In such work little or no attempt is made to discover basic principles.
remains dominated by Christian and Jewish writers. and few take the trouble adequately to explain the Muslim point of view. second edition. and many continue to engage in political controversy (Tibawi. 1913. such as The Encyclopaedia of Islam (Arthur Schaade and Richard Hartmann. are but little concerned with Muslim society and its people. and both. being largely based on books. 1960). they prefer to edit collections of articles. and the Cambridge History of Islam (Holt et al. ‘on’ Islam. undermining its tradition. and the second. Instead. the present generation takes little interest in the possibility of a ‘reform’ of Islam. The possibility that modern European thought might be required to respond to Islam is not considered. .THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM Christian origins of Islam and the related question of Muhammad’s sincerity. The Legacy of Islam (Arnold and Guillaume. but not ‘of ’ it. 1931 and 1979). purporting to be studies of one general subject. Many orientalists. in writing the history of Islam and the Arabs. 1970). . synthesise next to nothing. display ignorance and prejudice. by different hands.. though those who do continue in the arrogant assumption that Islam must respond to modern European thought. and even neglect to correct factual mistakes’. Both editions of the Encyclopaedia of Islam are. Examples of orientalist ignorance and prejudice might be found in many works. 15). sum up even less . as the 83 . in which the editors have managed to ‘sprinkle’ a few token Muslim and Arab contributors. p. Few contemporary orientalists engage in the difﬁcult task of editing Arabic manuscripts. Unlike earlier generations of orientalists. 1979. Much of the work disﬁgures and misrepresents Islam. Many such collections are prefaced by introductions which ‘introduce very little. in Tibawi’s opinion. The ﬁrst edition is practically without Muslim contributors.
Ideally. 1979. they remain Eurocentric in their view of Islam and the Arabs. without balancing them with an opposite view. Like their predecessors. racial and other bias and thereby promoting international and human understanding’ (Tibawi. is both arrogant and offensive. The ﬁrst version is derived from love. Rather 84 . places formidable barriers between themselves and enlightened Muslims. On almost all essentials there is a complete divorce between the two. p. the second from hatred. many of whom act as agents of British imperialism and Zionism. From his analysis of English-speaking orientalism. but such cannot be the case as long as British orientalism is controlled by an ‘unavowed fraternity of mutual congratulation whose members restrict publications to their own product and that of their colleagues and protégés’. with a view to ‘purging it of national. Many signiﬁcant facts are suppressed. which is also written almost entirely by Christian and Jewish writers. At the same time it fosters prejudice against Islam and a misunderstanding of Muslims in the Western mind. The scheme of things created by Western orientalists. at least in one of the key articles. To publish offensive opinions about Islam in this way. 29). In The Legacy of Islam. Tibawi concludes that there are two versions of Islam.ORIENTALISM Muslims know it. many of them Zionist Jews (Tibawi. both as a religion and as a civilization. scepticism and speculation. 1979. p. tendentious statements abound. as do untenable assertions. 26). Such orientalists and pseudo-orientalists are behind the times. and they obstinately refuse to respond to the post-war movement for a revision of conventional history. faith and tradition. and throughout there is disturbing evidence of an ‘insidious campaign’ to adulterate Islamic history. learning ought to have no national or racial boundaries.
intellectual. as one of its deepest and most recurring images of the ‘other’. practised not just by orientalists. to manage – and even produce – 85 . Edward Said. becomes a way of coming to terms with the Orient. during the postEnlightenment period. Englishspeaking orientalists might do well to express sympathy for Muslims and Arabs in distress. historians and philologists. Tibawi. thus identiﬁed as a sort of Foucauldian discourse. expands the critique of orientalism mounted in the post-Second World War period to an extraordinary extent. an academic discipline. incorporating almost every aspect of European life and thought. economic and political.L. sociologists. social. until it appears to be allembracing. whose Islamic fundamentalism he no doubt ﬁnds unattractive). ORIENTALISM: WESTERN CONCEPTIONS OF THE ORIENT In Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (1978).THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM than continuing to denigrate Islam and the Arabs. Orientalism. but also by anthropologists. and an accepted grid for ﬁltering the Orient into Western consciousness. restructuring and having authority over the Orient. in particular the Palestinian Arabs. and the Americans in the later part of the twentieth century. based on the Orient’s special place in European experience. driven from their homes by the Israelis. For Said. a Western style for dominating. building on the work of Abdel-Malek and other critics of orientalism (but hardly at all it would seem on the work of A. particularly as practised by the British and the French in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. religious. according to Said. was able. psychological. orientalism. a style of thought based on an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident.
though he recognizes that in many cases a wider frame of reference. elaborated at considerable length in the later sections. and for personal reasons. and later in America – a fact which led him to want to ‘inventory’ the traces left on himself. is something more. are by 86 . and American imperialism in the later part of the twentieth century. entitled ‘Orientalist Structures and Restructures’. a self-sustaining myth and an internally structured archive. by Anglo-French cultural predominance – Said. ‘The Scope of Orientalism’. an account of the way in which orientalism later developed. that orientalism. politically. namely a ﬁeld of studies. embracing almost the whole of European culture. Spanish and Portuguese imperialism and orientalism. militarily. sociologically. It is also in this section that he identiﬁes the origins of the principal features of the orientalist myth – that orientals. scientiﬁcally and imaginatively. It is in the ﬁrst of these three sections. entitled ‘The Scope of Orientalism’. unlike occidentals. is concerned mainly with AngloFrench-American relations with the Arab world and Islam. shaping European thought and opinion. and an account of contemporary orientalism entitled ‘Orientalism Now’.ORIENTALISM the Orient. the oriental subject. concerned with the predominance of British and French imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For practical reasons. Said’s analysis of Anglo-French-American orientalism is divided into three parts: a survey of the early history of orientalism. Russian. would be appropriate. in his study of orientalism. besides being merely an academic discipline. ideologically. that Said makes his essential case. Italian. both then ruled by the British. involving German. concerned with the fact that he was brought up and educated in Palestine and Egypt.
including Lamartine’s Voyage en Orient (1837). menacing. European orientalists. originally students of biblical studies. is for the most part conventional enough. a foundational text. and even to the construction of Ferdinand de Lessep’s Suez Canal in 1869. Bonaparte’s expedition created a tradition of orientalist research and investigation that led directly to the publication of a series of signiﬁcant texts. La Renaissance orientale (1950). Said’s account of the rise of orientalism. turned orientalism into a vast ‘treasure house’ of learning about the East. Lane’s Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836) and Renan’s Histoire générale et système comparé des langues sémitiques (1848). led to a rapid expansion not only in French. he explains how d’Herbelot’s encyclopaedic Bibliothèque orientale (1697). Vingt-sept Ans d’Histoire des études orientales (1879–80) and Gustave Dugat. 87 . Drawing on Raymond Schwab. following the despatch of Jesuit missions to China and the establishment of British East India Company power in India. and how Napoleon Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt in 1798. irrational. Said explains how. Histoire des orientalistes de l’Europe du XIIe au XIXe siècle (1868–70). woven into the text of Orientalism. demonic and sexually corrupt. helped shape oriental studies in the eighteenth century.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM nature mysterious. Jules Mohl. and the British occupation of Egypt in 1882. semitic languages and Islam. as an academic discipline. than to the rise of Arabic studies. although he does tend to pay rather more attention to the rise of Indic. combined with the publication in 1809–28 of the Déscription de l’Egypte. Jones and others gave rise to Indic studies. In particular. In Said’s opinion. how the remarkable discoveries made in India by Anquetil-Duperron. but also in European orientalism.
West and East and ‘self’ and ‘other’. but in the period of Homer’s Iliad. binary division was repeatedly reinforced by Roman geographers. Mediaeval merchants. the product of ‘imaginative’ geography. orientalism. its latest embodiment. Aeschylus’s The Persians. Asia was identiﬁed as Europe’s ‘other’. in the European imagination. Prester John and Muhammad. through Islam. as thus deﬁned. more traditional accounts of the subject is in its deﬁnition of orientalism as a Foucauldian discourse and ﬁeld of study. Asia is identiﬁed as a region associated with emptiness. devastation and an apparently 88 . on which the East. deﬁning the Orient and the oriental. and such archetypal ﬁgures as Cleopatra. In this way a ‘stage’ was constructed. an obsession with classical text. Alexander. Nicholas of Cusa). In Euripedes’s The Bacchae. According to Said. Mandeville. Thus in Aeschylus’s The Persians. the demonic and the irrational. mysterious and demonic. symbolized by such colourful places as Troy. It was from this great storehouse of ‘theatrical’ imagery that the principal features of orientalism. Nineveh and Babylon. Isis. danger. and in The Bacchae it was associated with the Dionysian cult. Astarte. John of Segovia. historians and public ﬁgures (Herodotus. In The Persians. was represented. it is associated. writers and crusaders (Marco Polo. Lodovico di Varthema) and Mediaeval Christian writers and polemicists (Dante. a huge eclecticism and a deepseated binary distinction between Occident and Orient. the Sphinx. Caesar). loss and disaster. originated not in the eighteenth century or thereabouts. it is associated with excess. Sodom and Gomorrah. were drawn. In the works of Mediaeval polemicists and theologians. In the following centuries this essential. as a self-sustaining myth. and Euripedes’s The Bacchae.ORIENTALISM Where Said’s account of orientalism differs substantially from earlier. the Magi. with terror.
the development of historicist ideas. Tasso and Cervantes. and psychologically speaking. Scott. Rhetorically speaking. Hugo. such as Jones. Shakespeare. Byron. which identiﬁed cultures as organic. In ‘Orientalist Structures and Reconstructions’. Disraeli. Marlow. such as Goethe. Bopp and Schlegel. Hamann). Also instrumental in the twentieth century were such writers and travellers as Doughty.E. the orientalism thus created should be seen as a form of radical realism. it should be seen as an attempt to anatomize and enumerate the East. philology and religion. which in due course facilitated Western imperialism. such as Gobineau. as a form of paranoia. inspired by a particular spirit or genius (Vico. the development of comparative studies. From this orientalist discourse arose the nineteenth-century discipline of orientalism.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM irrational unwillingness to acknowedge the evident truths of Christianity – images later reinforced by the writings of such major Renaissance ﬁgures as Ariosto. These elements loosened the dependence of European thought on Christianity and 89 . T. Said identiﬁes four elements which helped lay the foundations of modern orientalism: an expansion in overseas exploration. Barrès. Vigny. and travellers and writers. and an obsession with clariﬁcation (Linnaeus. Lawrence and Forster. Said concludes. which attempts to identify the East as ﬁxed and unchangeable. Herder. Renan and Humboldt. Philosophically speaking. particularly in history. Burton. Milton. Kinglake. Nerval. Montesquieu. George Eliot and Gautier. Flaubert. Chateaubrand. Lamartine. students of linguistic and racial studies. Loti. Instrumental in creating the orientalist foundations of imperialism were students of Sanskrit and Indic studies. Lane. Johnson).
and wore down the ‘obduracy’ of the European conception of ‘self ’ and ‘identity’. repeatedly reinforced throughout the nineteenth century by the writings of a variety of European scholars. systematizing its texts and laying down a code of pedagogic practice. Chateaubriand. explorers and pilgrims. Leading ﬁgures in the new orientalism include Silvestre de Sacy and Ernest Renan. The orientalist structure of stereotypical images of the Orient. should be seen as an act of ‘imperial power’ exercised over ‘recalcitrant phenomena’ (Said. seen as an archetypal nineteenth-century student of philology and oriental languages. Said believes. Yet he remained willing. and their colleagues and successors. adopted what he believed to be a strictly scientiﬁc approach to his work. as ‘inorganic. William Muir. in his Histoire générale et système comparé des langues sémitiques (1855). Nerval. redeployed or redistributed in the secular framework of orientalism. This orientalist construction. opened the way to a more genuine understanding of European history. Renan. Sacy. while the Indo-German languages he identiﬁed as ‘alive and organic’. according to Said. but they did not eliminate the old ‘existential paradigms’ of European history. arrested. Many of these. was. and by implication the Semitic peoples and cultures. played a decisive part in shaping nineteenth-century oriental studies. Those were simply reconstituted. to identify Semitic languages. totally ossiﬁed. p. 90 . which became a vehicle for the exercise of European power over the Orient.ORIENTALISM Judaism. 1978. 145). created by such orientalists as Sacy and Renan. incapable of self regeneration’. Reinhart Dozy and Caussin de Perceval. Lamartine. according to Said. including such noted ﬁgures as Flaubert. travellers.
mainly British and French. One way or the other. scholars (Sacy. classifying and reproducing the Orient – that is to say creating a ‘reduced model’ of the Orient. and affected also by a reduction of Western dominance over the rest of the world. as represented in the works of imaginative writers (Flaubert. Latent orientalism. is conservative. the West. Cardinal Newman. Said once again outlines his interpretation of orientalism as a positive doctrine about the East. an inﬂuential academic tradition and an area of concern. all contributed to the European. in the period of the First and Second World Wars. Lane). Nerval). visited the Orient. Lane. willed over the Orient by the West.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM Kinglake. Disraeli and Burton. and colonial administrators (Cromer. Burkhardt). all inherently racist. which elides the Orient’s difference with its weakness. including Carlyle. According to Said. Manifest orientalism. unanimous and unchanging. Orientalism. strident nationalism and moral failure. is various and unstable. Hugo and Karl Marx. deﬁned by travellers. Gobineau). commercial enterprises. is fundamentally a political doctrine. suitable for the prevailing dominant culture and its theoretical and practical contingencies. did not. But a number. experienced a phase of cultural crisis. codifying. 91 . governments. imperialist and ethnocentric. Absent for the most part from all such works is any feeling for the Orient as a ‘genuinely felt and experienced force’. in effect a category of European thinking. students of racial theory (Cuvier. In ‘Orientalism Now’. Curzon). consciously or unconsciously. he concludes. project of regulating. military expeditions and many other groups and institutions. cultural historians (Ranke. threatened by a rising tide of barbarism.
Said suggests. But students of Islamic orientalism remained for the most part impervious to change. might be taken as a typical orientalist of the period. Lewis. H.A. It could be found variously in American newspaper reports. Leonard Binder. mainly in his American incarnation (Gibb moved to Harvard in the 1950s). imperialism. and a conviction that the Orient is eternal and unchanging. A list of the scholars referred to might include Morroe Berger. Vatikiotis and Bernard Lewis. it was now enlisted in the service of American imperialism.A. two of the greatest and most sympathetic European orientalists of the period. trade. despite a pretence of liberal. Gibb. culture and politics.J. continuing to preserve the mythological and ideological backwardness of their subject. Even H. as deﬁned by its principal dogmas – a belief in the existence of an absolute and systematic difference between East and West. seeking. Said ﬁnds that orientalism. cartoons. were not immune to such failure. something to be feared – survived intact. to ‘debunk’.R. Gil Carl Alroy. mainly British and French. oil. ofﬁcial reports and the work of various scholars. David Gordon. Gibb and Louis Massignon. again mainly in his American incarnation.R. P. incapable of deﬁning itself. the Cold War). with particular reference to the Near and Middle East (Israel.ORIENTALISM This experience led many Western scholars to adopt a more sympathetic approach to the study of alien cultures. In the post-Second World War period. caricatures. an obsession with classical text. Where in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries orientalism had been enlisted in the service of European. students for the most part of Near and Middle Eastern history. ‘whittle down’ and ‘discredit’ 92 . in which America emerged as the dominant world power. objective scholarship.
attitudes and theories which infects not only the classical works of Islamic studies. allow orientalists.R. passionate and unreﬂecting. MARX AND THE END OF ORIENTALISM In Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978). in Said’s eyes. in his view. which he describes as an ‘overdeveloped’ luxurious system.A. 1978. By orientalism. Bryan S. and by refusing to acknowledge the right of the Palestinian Arab people to protest against the Zionist invasion and colonization of their country. in the sense that all the institutions of a society are the expression of a primary essence. which he more or less takes for granted. economics and sociology. irrational. These arguments. This syndrome. 316). p.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the Arabs and Islam (Said. society is an ‘expressive totality’. is concerned not so much with the failures of orientalism. p. such as H. but also extensive areas of geography. published coincidentally in the same year as Said’s Orientalism. Turner means a syndrome of beliefs. consists of a number of basic arguments: social development is caused by characteristics which are internal to a society. Bowen. but seemingly uninﬂuenced by it. Gibb and H. as with the effect those failures had on Marxism and the characterization of the history and social structure of North Africa and the Middle East. a leading Marxist sociologist. This he is supposed to have done by suggesting that Islam is not merely a religion but also an anti-Semitic ideology. is the culmination of orientalism. 319). mainly in the nineteenth century. in Turner’s opinion. 93 . the historical development of a society is either an evolutionary progress or a gradual decline. 1978. Turner. as a dogma that ‘not only degrades its subject matter but also blinds its practitioners’ (Said. Lewis’s work.
1950. Middle East Cities (University of California Press. it also fails to explain the true reason for the economic and political underdevelopment of North Africa and the Middle East. whose inner essence unfolds in a dynamic progress towards democratic industrialism. radical culture. Assumptions about 94 . Classical Islam (Allen and Unwin. remains trapped in a peripheral relationship with the global centres of capitalism. and Ira M. on the one hand. These missing features are then used to explain why Islamic civilization failed to produce capitalism.E. not only is the orientalist model of Islamic society empirically false. timelessly stagnant or in decline. 1970). What actually happens is that capitalism.ORIENTALISM Islamic Society and the West (Oxford University Press. This arises from the fact that Islamic society. and Islamic society. based on the orientalist model. evolutionary path from ‘traditional society’ to ‘modern society’ is no longer open. They persist in posing futile questions about spontaneous capitalist development. so that a unilinear. intensiﬁes and conserves pre-capitalist modes of production on the periphery. 1957). the conditions for development on the periphery are fundamentally changed. but by a cluster of absences – the missing middle class. G. Once the global centres of capitalism have been established. In this context North African and Middle Eastern societies are deﬁned not by their own characteristics. 1969). once established. on the other. and the absence of revolutions. fail to grasp this fact. the missing city. Lapidus. In Turner’s view. in the Middle East and North Africa. the absence of political rights. von Grunebaum. to establish a dichotomous ideal type of Western society. to generate modern personalities and to convert itself into a secular. Advocates of the internalist theory of development.
Diogenes (1963). 1978. Surprisingly. stagnant or in decline – mainly from Abdullah Laroui. Turner. The Venture of Islam (University of Chicago Press. involving certain fundamental assumptions regarding the nature of Islamic society – namely that Islamic society is essentially authoritarian. 1975). Marshal Hodgson. secularization and modernization for instance – become in this context irrelevant (Turner. 1973). ‘Why Can’t They Be Like Us?’. the Muslim city. and so on – it must ﬁrst deal with its own theoretical problems. and Ralph Coury. A thoroughgoing Marxist analysis of the economic and political development of North Africa and the Middle East would then. reactionary. 95 . 1 (1964). despotic. according to Turner. according to his own account. Before. though he does refer to Abdel-Malek’s ‘Nasserism and Socialism’. as some Hegelian versions of Marxism overlap with orientalism – both see history as the unfolding of an essence – Marxism itself has become infected by the orientalist afﬂiction. mosaic stratiﬁcation. Socialist Register. however. 1974). therefore. derived his characterization of orientalism as an academic study.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the universal relevance and signiﬁcance of European models of development – the bourgeois revolution. circulating elites. 4. he does not cite Abdel-Malek. make orientalist contributions to the subject almost entirely superﬂuous. ‘For a Methodology of Islamic Studies’. Diogenes (81. Unfortunately. Marxism can undertake the task of purging orientalism of its many faults and misconceptions – belief in the unique nature of oriental despotism. ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. historical stagnation. Review of Middle Eastern Studies (1. chapter 6). purging itself not only of orientalism but also of certain aspects of Hegelianism. in Marx and the End of Orientalism.
that orientalism. and all four agree that the origins of this bias lay in the remote past.ORIENTALISM ANALYSIS What is surprising about the four critiques of orientalism mounted by Abdel-Malek. but it would appear more likely that it was the product of a common sense of resentment felt by the four critics of orientalism regarding the extraordinary power exercised in the period of their youth by the combined forces of imperialism and capitalism. in the case of Abdel-Malek and Said in the world of ancient Greece. All four agree that orientalism. acting for the most part in the service of imperialism. according to his own account. Said PalestinianFoucauldian and Turner English-Marxist – all four arrive at the same conclusion. Tibawi. the son of working-class parents. though each of their authors approaches the subject from a different point of view – Abdel-Malek Egyptian-Marxist. Said and Turner. were both Palestinians. born and brought up in a country controlled at the time by the British. is the fact that. It is tempting to conclude that this unanimity was the product of some kind of Foucauldian discourse. The similarities between the four critiques are striking. created stereotypical images of Islam/the Orient/the East. is deeply ﬂawed. Tibawi Palestinian-Islamic. Similarities between the work of Abdel-Malek and Turner may be accounted for by 96 . created in a post-colonial ﬁeld or episteme. after all. Tibawi and Said. born and brought up in the period of the British mandate. in crisis and in need of radical reform. as an academic discipline. and Turner was. and in the case of Tibawi and Turner in the Mediaeval Christian confrontation with Islam. Abdel-Malek was an Egyptian. in the period following the end of the Second World War.
as set out in Power/Knowledge (1980). vehicles of ‘economies of power’. continues to assert that there is a material Orient. ‘sovereign’ subject and an oriental object. the senses and reason. is not a matter of objective fact. Foucault’s view of knowledge. and similarities between the work of Abdel-Malek and Said by the fact that Said to some extent built on the foundations laid by Abdel-Malek. scientiﬁc knowledge of the world. following Foucault. In the form of an ideology. revealed to Muhammad. Yet. that is to say. in Orientalism. but the outcome of a struggle for power. For Tibawi. create 97 . The essential differences between the four – the most important of which is Said’s radical redeﬁnition of orientalism as a sort of Foucauldian discourse and an instrument of imperialism – arise out of their different approaches to the question of knowledge. man has direct access to the word of God. shaped by the knowing subject’s point of view or perspective. Said. assumes that knowledge is closely related to power. both good Marxists. and knowledge of the world. Knowledge of the world may be acquired by means of intuition. in the context of the debate about orientalism. known by man. knowledge may be divided into two parts: eternal knowledge. deﬁned as matter. but in the Koran. Knowledge. consists of a series of representations. a good Muslim. paradoxically. For Said. about which true knowledge may be obtained. God’s creature. in which ‘events’ and ‘discourses’. known by God.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the fact that both are Marxists. knowledge. Such representations are essentially unstable. knowledge may be used by the ruling class to exploit and suppress the working class. but after long usage they become accepted as ﬁxed and unchanging. For Abdel-Malek and Turner. at least. employing in particular his concept of a European. is possible.
Each society has a ‘general politics’ of truth. power should be conceived not in terms of what it denies. therefore. in Nietzsche’s view. Genealogy. This critique. and they become the object. controlled by a few great political and economic apparatuses. not outside power. existing somewhere in the universe. they are deeply involved in ideological struggle. produced by it. implies among other things the abolition of all essence. At the same time. History’ in Hommage à Jean Hyppolite (1971). or rejects it and deﬁnes it as error. as Nietzsche made clear on a number of occasions. Truth is. presumably in the mind of God. In (European) societies like ours such ‘political economies’ of truth are generally centred on a scientiﬁc discourse and on the institutions which produce and support it. based almost entirely on Nietzsche’s critique of the Socratic (Platonic) ideal – the idea that objects in the world are copies of basic ideas. but in terms of what it creates. which in the constant ﬂow of things achieve a ﬁxed shape or identity. represses and rejects. Numbered among the things that power creates are both subjective identity and the objects of knowledge. Foucault’s account of the relationship between power and knowledge is. it implies the abolition of being. In this context knowledge 98 . ﬁxed identity and the metaphysical. nor lacking in it. universal prototypes or forms.ORIENTALISM new ‘networks’ and ‘regimes’ of knowledge. that either accepts a discourse and makes it function as truth. of immense diffusion. All that is left after the abolition of being. is becoming. but a thing of this world. That is to say. Such discourses are subject to constant economic and political incitement. in various forms. as he explains in his essay ‘Nietzsche. In this context. forever changeable and unstable.
in The World As Will and Representation (1819). quoting his deﬁnition of truth as a ‘mobile army’ of metaphors. and embellished. In his Critique of Pure Reason (1781 and 1787) Kant showed that all knowledge is limited by the conditions of its own experience. from the fact that he feels uncomfortable with Tibawi’s deep sense of personal commitment to the Islamic faith. In Orientalism. succeeds in breaking the orientalist rule. of course. and which after long usage seem ﬁrm. evident in his attack on orientalist interpretations of the Koran. transposed. a sum of human relations. Said’s evident unwillingness to incorporate Tibawi’s critique of orientalism into his study of the subject arises. Said acknowledges his debt to Nietzsche. Truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that that is what they are (Said. a Palestinian Arab. and that there can. stands Schopenhauer. deﬁned by Nietzsche as will to power. which have been enhanced. Beyond Schopenhauer stands Kant. whose distinction. determine knowledge. therefore. metonyms and anthropomorphisms. politically and rhetorically. 203). perhaps. including the philosophy of knowledge. Beyond Nietzsche. canonical and obligatory. between will (numena) and appearance (phenomena) provided Nietzsche with many of the essential ingredients of his critique of idealism. The perspective of the viewer and the categories of his perception must. in the nature of things. be no direct knowledge of the ‘thing-initself’. p.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM and truth are deﬁned merely as illusions that veil reality. whose so-called ‘Copernican turn’ laid the foundation of virtually all modern philosophy. and also from the fact that Tibawi. 1978. identiﬁed by 99 .
what is surprising about Said’s account of orientalism is the extent to which he. Ahmad enquires. In this context it may be remembered that. in the so-called Dark Ages. that since the Orient is incapable of representing itself. it must be represented. the Visigoths. Far from being intimidated by the West. As several writers. To the present day substantial Muslim populations survive in Bosnia. acceptable. have pointed out. except in so far as post-Renaissance Europe began to trace its lineage from that Antiquity. from an intellectual point of view. essentialized Europe. Muslim Turks. in Orientalism. in his two critiques of English-speaking Orientalists Tibawi. the Goths. providing it with a ﬁxed and unchanging identity. If essentialization of the Orient is not. has himself. the Tartars and the Magyars. including the Huns.ORIENTALISM Said. succeeds in mounting a devastating critique of Englishspeaking orientalism. a critic of European essentialization of the Orient. would not have accepted such an essentialization. including Aijaz Ahmad. how can it be permissible for Said to essentialize Europe? Foucault. for one. the Scottish imperial historian. and that for almost six hundred years the Balkans were ruled by the Ottomans. writing from an Islamic point of view. that for long periods parts of southern Spain and Sicily were Muslim. while reversing most of its prevailing assumptions. He would have rejected out of hand the proposition that an integral relationship existed between ancient Greece and modern Western Europe. Europe was overrun by a variety of nonEuropean tribes and peoples. the noted Indian scholar. and John MacKenzie. the Avars. originating in Asia Minor and beyond. Albania 100 . identifying in considerable detail what he believes to be its major faults.
It is evident that Turner’s approach to the problem of orientalism – Marxist. globalist and class-based – differs substantially from those of Tibawi and Said. Nor would he be able to sustain his indictment of European orientalism.THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM and Bulgaria. at least. Turner’s solution to the problem of orientalism is a Marxist analysis of oriental society. cultural and political identity. German and Slavonic. purged of Hegelianism – purged that is to say of the teleological concept of progress. and ‘self’ and ‘other’. though of course the way would still be open to a class-based analysis of the politics and history of the Middle East. deﬁned by him as a style of thought based on an ontological and epistemological distinction made between the Orient and the Occident. on which he builds his thesis. a fellow Marxist. Said’s essentialization of Europe. existing from the times of Homer. Roman Catholic and Orthodox. Roman Catholic and Protestant. between Greek and barbarian. Latin and German. though not so much from that of Abdel-Malek. carried out by a Marxism purged of the essentialist and teleological elements of Hegelianism. as seen in the development of European society from slavery to capitalism – would survive such a puriﬁcation. West and East. Hapsburg and Ottoman. But it may be wondered whether a Marxism. 101 . Without it he would be unable to sustain the essential distinction between Occident and Orient. Roman and Greek. as a geographical. German and French. It might also be remembered that from the beginning Europe was riven by division. not to speak of the scores of lesser divisions that have also from time to time fragmented the continent. East and West. is of course not an accident. and Soviet and capitalist.
an article published in Naseer H. but with the exceptions of Claude Cahen.A. Turner’s Marx and 102 . Professor of Muslim history at the Sorbonne. as traditionally practised. provoked an extraordinary response. Tibawi. reﬂected in the sixty or so reviews of Orientalism published at the time and the many books and articles on the subject which followed. including ‘Shattered Myths’. was subjected to minute analysis. Abdel-Malek’s ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ provoked considerable interest in orientalist circles.ORIENTALISM SIX RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM Responses to the assault on orientalism mounted by AbdelMalek. together with other associated writings. few orientalists took the trouble to respond. In the process. Paris. Said’s Orientalism. almost every aspect of orientalism. Professor of Arabic languages and literatures at the University of Rome. Aruri. and ‘Arabs. and Francesco Gabrieli. as were the arguments put forward by Said and his opponents. a review article published in the New York Times Book Review (1976). including such noted ﬁgures as H. Middle East Crucible (1975). Said and Turner in the 1960s and 1970s varied. Islam and the Dogmas of the West’. Gibb and A. but again the public response was muted. Arberry. Tibawi’s ‘English-speaking Orientalists’ disturbed and offended many orientalists.J.R.
a book more concerned with the impact of capitalism in the Third World than with orientalism as such.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the End of Orientalism (1978). Gabrieli – who like Cahen looked on orientalism as a ‘brilliant chapter of contemporary European culture and civilisation’ (Gabrieli. that the ‘old generic term’. Gabrieli argued. many orientalists. ‘ORIENTALISM IN CRISIS’ The interesting thing about the responses offered by Claude Cahen and Francesco Gabrieli to Abdel-Malek’s indictment of orientalism in ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. But where Cahen remained content to adopt a moderate approach. 128) – chose to challenge central aspects of Abdel-Malek’s analysis. and that orientalists had in the past paid insufﬁcient attention to the recent history of the peoples and cultures of the Orient. was now outdated and in need of reform. concerned mainly with the ‘richest examples’ of oriental culture. while challenging his conclusions. literary and religious – was political and economic. also proved contentious. linguistic. orientalism. such as Edward Browne. While it was true. p. as a language-based subject. that did not mean that the main motivation of European interest in the East – historical. though its impact could not be compared with that of Orientalism. arguing merely that orientalism had in the past contributed greatly to the rediscovery of ancient civilizations and that it should be permitted to survive. that it had frequently functioned as an instrument of imperialism and colonialism. is that. On the contrary. neither challenged the validity of his four principal propositions: that orientalism had in the past generally observed the East from a Western perspective. 1965. Louis 103 . that orientalism had in the past become to some extent implicated in the subjection and exploitation of the East.
So long as the East failed to overcome the complex of suspicion and ill-feeling that prejudiced the prospect of friendly co-operation with the West. 1965. 132). had been engaged merely in a ‘disinterested and impassioned search for the truth’ (Gabrieli. Marxism. aesthetics and economics. To these the East had little to offer. who would have insisted that their interest in Eastern culture and society was entirely distinct from the practices of the colonial powers. p. philosophy. Almost all modern conceptions. When the AfroAsiatic peoples preach hatred and contempt for the West in dogmatic formulas. The road to scientiﬁc progress and intellectual maturation in the study of oriental civilization still passes through Western orientalism – that is to say through European historical.ORIENTALISM Massignon and Leone Caetani. along with Hegelianism and Leninism. for instance. master ideas and interpretations of history were now European. the basis of Abdel-Malek’s analysis of orientalism. European orientalism had become merely a scapegoat for the East’s own problems. it should not speak with so much presumption of an 104 . for the foundations of such an approach did not as yet exist. they do so by adopting weapons forged by the West. The peoples of the East might justiﬁably assert their right to be considered as the ‘subjects’ of history. for its own purposes. was itself a fruit of Western thought. and not as its ‘objects’. Nor should it be expected that the East would in the near future succeed in developing a new approach to the study of oriental civilization and culture. anxieties and pains. philological and sociological thought. but it should not be expected that the West would renounce the result of its secular study of the evolution of humanity and look at the Orient with oriental eyes and mentality. based on modern Eastern interpretations of historiography.
two leading English orientalists. admitted that the story Tibawi 105 . It is evident that Gabrieli’s response to ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ was written before the publication of Said’s Orientalism and his other attacks on the subject. deeply disturbed by the critique. ‘ENGLISH-SPEAKING ORIENTALISTS’ Tibawi’s critique of orientalism. according to Tibawi’s own account. but they both wisely refrained from entering into a prolonged dispute on the subject. as deﬁned by Said. as a good Marxist. while the East is assumed to be suspicious. less constrained. unfriendly and dogmatic – all this despite the fact Abdel-Malek. Gabrieli. while Arberry. and a reference to European ‘reason’ contrasted with Asiatic ‘passion’ (‘passionate words’ which we believe should be answered with ‘calm reason’). 1965. These include easy assumptions of European friendliness and honesty. had gone out of his way to couch his arguments in the most dispassionate language he could manage. though it did make a considerable impact on the orientalists concerned. contrasted with Asiatic ‘suspicion and ill-feeling’. in other words. blaming orientalism for its own ‘agonising crisis’ (Cahen. Gibb tacitly accepted many of the criticisms made.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. in ‘English-speaking Orientalists’ (1964) (later followed up by a ‘Second Critique’ in 1979) provoked surprisingly little response. the West is generally assumed to be reasonable. open to ‘friendly co-operation’. In Gabrieli’s account. it is probable that Gabrieli would have avoided some at least of the instances of ‘orientalism’. dispassionate. 1965). Gibb and Arberry. friendly. Had it not been so. that occasionally mar his response. were.
Little concludes. Nor. Little. Montreal.ORIENTALISM told was ‘sad but unfortunately true’ (Tibawi. that it cannot be understood by employing the analytical and critical methods used by scholars. it seemed. 1980). As for Tibawi’s analysis of Western hostility to Arab nationalism. of the Institute of Islamic Studies. cannot speak any Islamic languages properly. and few Muslims have mastered a Western tongue. In his response. for most orientalists. and that those viewing a religious system from the outside can never fully appreciate the signiﬁcance of the experience of those engaged in it – gives the impression that he would have preferred it if non-Muslims had not studied Islam at all. while pleading for a more sympathetic and tolerant approach to Islam. In the process. for Tibawi appeared to believe that Arab nationalism was inseparable from Islam. Canada. It was left to Donald P. 1979) – the article also contains comments on Abdel-Malek’s ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ and Said’s ‘Shattered Myths’ – Little. Arberry invited Tibawi to lecture on the subject at the Middle East Centre in Cambridge. that too was suspect. Later. and that ‘what is hostile to Arab nationalism 106 . to respond more fully to Tibawi’s attack. was much to be gained from discussing the subject directly with Muslims. after ﬁrst summarizing the contents of Tibawi’s article. from Tibawi’s account. Tibawi has effectively closed all the doors by which orientalists have traditionally approached Islam. In this way. based as it is on three central assertions regarding the nature of religious experience – that religious experience is essentially intuitive. contained in ‘Three Arab Critiques of Orientalism’ (Little. according to Tibawi. concludes that his analysis. he has gone out of his way to denounce the very orientalists (Cantwell Smith and Montgomery Watt) who have leaned over backwards to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities.
Professional orientalists continued to distort and misrepresent Islam. So-called moderate orientalists. in a somewhat ill-tempered article. His summaries of the arguments presented were ‘brief and inadequate’. bordering on the journalese. Little’s method of treatment was. Tibawi. in a reversal of his previous position. p. His response amounted to a ‘blatant and unreasoned tirade’. 115). within the context of rigid Western norms and standards (Little. Tibawi.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM is automatically hostile to Islam and vice-versa’. Little had suggested that some orientalists had attempted a misguided reformulation of Islam. entitled ‘On the Orientalists Again’ (Tibawi. and expressed the hope that in the future a ‘more measured tone’ might be adopted. whom he appeared to idolize. had voiced strong objections to well-documented criticism of certain orientalists (Guillaume. though Little does respond sympathetically to Tibawi’s plea that Arab politics should not be judged. ‘simplistic’. Producing no concrete evidence to back up his opinions he. showed. von Grunebaum. no such change had in fact taken place. As for Little’s imputation that he. Little. Following the publication of Little’s ‘Three Arab Critiques of Orientalism’. But as the ‘Second Critique of English-speaking Orientalists’. recently published. 1979. regarded the treatment of Arabs and Islam by 107 . 1980) took the opportunity offered by the editor to respond to what he described as Little’s ‘belated’ response to his article. in his view. or even analysed. identiﬁed by Little in his article (Cantwell Smith. interspersed with his own opinions and embroidered with rhetorical questions and exclamation marks. remained shackled by the legacy of Mediaeval prejudice. Montgomery Watt). This he found to be inadequate in almost every respect. True. Montgomery Watt and others).
Wilson III). Geertz. was from the beginning deeply divided between those who. contained in Said’s Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (1978). or by Little’s failure to engage in the ‘rigorous analysis’ he believed a ‘detailed and documented discussion’ of the subject warranted.ORIENTALISM Western scholars with a ‘deep bitterness and resentment’. This may have been inspired by what Tibawi saw as Little’s failure to appreciate the epistemological consequences of the Muslim belief that the Koran. this he rejected out of hand. the argument illustrates all too clearly the difﬁculties inherent in any attempt made to bridge the gap between a Muslim and a Christian/ secular view of knowledge. What he had in mind was the callous indifference with which the so-called Arabists and Islamists among the orientalists viewed the colossal injustice and human misery inﬂicted on the Palestinian Arab nation. Hourani. embodies the word of God. religion and the world. were generally convinced of its validity (Clifford. Tibawi’s contemptuous response to Little’s remarks betrays a strength of feeling out of place perhaps in an academic debate. those who for a variety of reasons considered it to be for the most part invalid (Lewis. Beckingham. Ernest J. Talal Asad. though occasionally critical. ORIENTALISM: WESTERN CONCEPTIONS OF THE ORIENT Opinion regarding the critique of orientalism. MacKenzie) 108 . Gran. despite failing to live up to its standards. Inden. One way or the other. yet claimed to be the heirs of a humane and liberal tradition. What he really felt was disappointment and disenchantment with those who. Butterworth. Richardson. as transmitted by Muhammad.
yet opposed his thesis root and branch. and so on) which frequently inﬂuence it. based not so much on the nationality and religion of the scholars and intellectuals concerned as on their attitude to history and the modern and post-modern philosophical ideas (deconstruction. accepted it more or less in full. Aijaz Ahmad. intellectual hegemony. a leading orientalist and professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton. an Indian Marxist. Bernard Lewis. But a pattern of sorts can be detected. as the white man’s ‘other’. though generally sympathetic. though sympathetic to Said’s anti-imperialist stance. Aijaz Ahmad. a leading Indologist. Halliday). to accept it. generally condemned Said’s approach. in Asia and the role played by the American black. al-Bctar. in America. attacked Said’s failure to appreciate the part played by economic forces in the shaping of British and French imperial history. a historian of British imperialism. Wilson III. condemned Said’s ‘anti-scientiﬁc’ approach.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM and those who. while critics committed to a modern or 109 . called in question certain aspects of Said’s approach ( Jalal al-’Azm. rejected Said’s thesis out of hand. a leading black American scholar. particularly those who had suffered from the depredations of British and French colonialism. Critics committed to a traditional (realist) approach to the writing of history – these might include the Marxists – such as Lewis (1993) and MacKenzie (1995). while Jalal al-’Azm. while John MacKenzie. the white man’s ‘other’. while Ronald Inden. an Arab writer and philosopher. Opinion regarding the validity of Said’s Orientalism was then mixed. Ernest J. Kopf. But such was not always the case. Professional orientalists might have been expected to reject Said’s thesis. and Third World scholars and intellectuals. saw a parallel between the role played by the oriental. truth as illusion.
according to this scenario. once the title of a scholar engaged in the study of the languages and cultures 110 . and the classical profession to which they belonged. such as Behdad (1994) and Hildreth (see MacKenzie. p. Lewis concludes. but a whole profession. A brief survey of some of the reactions provoked by Orientalism might serve to illustrate this point. both by the defenders of Orientalism and by its critics. though it has to be admitted that in most cases no clear dividing line can be established. Only Greeks would be allowed to teach Greek history. as if a group of patriots and radicals from modern Greece had decided to accuse classicists. might be taken as a classical expression of the tradional orientalist point of view. not just one or two orientalists accused of racial prejudice and bias. Classicists. ﬂedged in America’ (Lewis. hatched in Western Europe. In his article Lewis challenges Said’s right to indict.ORIENTALISM post-modern approach. of insulting the great heritage of Hellas. in this lively and at times heated debate. ﬁrst published as an article entitled ‘The Question of Orientalism’ in the New York Review of Books (1982). but with regard to orientalism this is effectively what Said has done. At the same time it will illustrate the nature of the arguments advanced. It is. would be seen as ‘manifestations of a deep and evil conspiracy. the term ‘orientalist’. write on the subject and conduct programmes of academic studies in that ﬁeld. 1982. As a result. he suggests. and later in a revised form as a chapter in Islam and the West (1993). the picture is absurd. 1994) generally approved of it. Stated in such terms. ‘THE QUESTION OF ORIENTALISM’ Bernard Lewis’s rebuttal of Said’s critique of orientalism. incubated for centuries. 49).
published in 1962.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM of the Near East. Russian and Soviet orientalism was excluded. such as Claude Cahen. and an arbitrary selection of orientalists.H. were disregarded. But the principal contemporary exponent of antiorientalism was. Edward Said. Nerval and Cromer. and a number of leading orientalists. whose Orientalism had been published in 1978. German. and a reduction of the Middle East to a small part of the area. Kramers to the study of Muslim economics. who had nothing to do with orientalism. already under attack in Asia and Africa. a concentration on British and French imperialism and orientalism. and even in Europe (the International Congress of Orientalists had already agreed to abandon the use of the word in 1973). accusing orientalists of colluding with Christian missionaries to secure the destruction of Islam. mounted mainly in the Arab world. according to Lewis. E. but a series of writers and politicians. published in 1963. No mention was made in Orientalism of Edward Lane’s multi-volume Arab–English lexicon. had become poisoned. such as Chateaubriand. These include a reduction of the Orient to the Middle East. earlier attacks on orientalism. ﬁrst published in 111 . According to Lewis. and an attack on Zionist academic hegemony. include a tract by a Muslim professor at Al Azhar. Levi-Provençal and Henri Corbin. 1974. Unaware of the contributions made by such orientalists as Adam Mez and J. In this work Said had made a number of ‘very arbitrary decisions’. were accorded the status of ‘orientalist’. published in a Beirut magazine in 1974. polluted beyond salvation. Austrian. Persian and Semitic studies were ignored. Abdel-Malek’s ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. in Egypt. This meant that Turkish. Said had credited Maxime Rodinson with the ﬁrst account of the subject (Islam and Capitalism.
in short.ORIENTALISM 1966). he had been puzzled by Said’s eccentric account of the subject. as a whole. were incapable of serious action. evidence. persons and writings’. foreplay. made in Orientalism. No doubt there were orientalists who. Later. As for Said’s charge. But as an explanation of the orientalist enterprise as a whole. an ‘obsessive search for hostile motives’ and a ‘lexical HumptyDumptyism’ of the most astounding kind. in the revised version of his article. so beloved of science ﬁction writers? The explanation. an attempt on Said’s part to devise one of those alternative universes. masturbation and coitus interruptus. Lewis admitted that. published in Islam and the West. served or proﬁted from imperial domination. had given the derivation of an Arabic word for revolution (thawra) in such a way as to suggest that the Arab people. ‘from the end of the seventeenth century’. Said had 112 . a ‘contempt for fact. Ignorant of Near Eastern history. in particular his post-dating of the rise of Arabic studies in England and France and the relegation of German scholarship to a secondary role. The use of carnal imagery in politics was as natural to the ancient Arabs as horse imagery was to the Turks and ship imagery to the maritime peoples of the West. Said’s analysis was ‘absurdly inadequate’ (Lewis. showed a ‘capricious choice of countries. lay in the fact that. the derivation of the word he had given was a standard one. recognizable to anyone familiar with Arabic lexicography. in his account of the rise of orientalism. that he. Lewis. 1982). Was this. and even probability’. in reading Orientalism. he eventually discovered. he wondered. an ‘arbitrary rearrangement of the historical background’. he had asserted that England and France dominated the Eastern Mediterranean. Said’s work. objectively or subjectively. inclined only to indulge in ‘bad sexuality’.
had begun in the High Middle Ages. ﬁrst by the Saracens. when Europe was threatened with conquest. Western interest in the Islamic World. as a discipline concerned with Islam and the Arabs. the ‘earliest scholars of Islam’. Orientalism. as Lewis had suggested. in both scholarly and nonscholarly circles. Lewis’s hard-hitting critique of Said’s Orientalism. provoked an immediate response from Said. In a letter to the editor. 1993). Western interest in India had developed in a period of Western dominance. a practice ‘thoroughly in keeping with the least creditable aspects of old-fashioned colonialist Orientalism’. published on 12 August 1982. a work mainly concerned with the Anglo-French discovery of India.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM drawn not on the standard works on the subject. European interest in Islam derived from fear of a monotheistic. where Islam is viewed as ‘belonging to a 113 . on the other hand. simply cannot be compared with classical philology. but on Raymond Schwab’s La Renaissance orientale (1950). he accused Lewis of ‘suppressing or distorting the truth’. Once this fact was understood. an ‘extraordinary capacity for getting everything wrong’ and a passing off of ‘wilful political assertion’ in the form of scholarly argument. survived to the present day. when Europe was powerful and expanding. published in the New York Review of Books. culturally and militarily formidable competitor of Christianity. and then by the Turks (Lewis. For a world of difference existed between the development of Indic and Islamic studies in Europe. and the impact of that discovery on European learning and culture. This fear. Said’s ‘mystifying schema’ of Arabic studies in the West became intelligible. together with the hostility it provoked. But it did not make it more acceptable. which found expression in the work of Mediaeval polemicists.
work for governments whose designs in the Islamic world are economic exploitation. Said. that he had omitted German orientalists from his account of the subject.ORIENTALISM part of the world. Many Islamic specialists. important as it was. and historically against Europe and the West’. They had responded merely with aggrieved outrage. yet another example of Lewis’s ‘bogus learning’. Lewis’s criticism. As he had explained in Orientalism. why he had considered Lane’s Modern Egyptians more important. Many Sinologists and Indologists had attempted to deal with the issues he. Lewis’s defence of orientalism was an act of ‘breathtakingly bad faith’ (Said and Lewis. His contention that he. There were good reasons. than his Lexicon. he found to be misplaced. 1982). Said. In this context German orientalism. hardly merited a response. including Lewis himself. appeared merely as an elaboration and extension of the essential Weltanschauung adumbrated by the British and the French. domination or downright aggression. for instance. mere point scoring. for his purposes. As for Lewis’s remark that he had not attacked Soviet orientalists. Lewis’s defence of his deﬁnition of the Arabic word thawra (revolution). geographically. Strong afﬁliations continue to exist between orientalism and imperialism. the Orient. this was because Soviet orientalists attacked 114 . In his reply Said vigorously rebutted the charges. a substitute for self-reﬂection. had raised in Orientalism. of inaccuracy. ignorance and tendentiousness. counterpoised imaginatively. also voiced elsewhere. but not the Islamicists and Arabists. laid against him by Lewis. he had left out German orientalism because he was concerned mainly with the close relationship that existed between orientalism and British and French imperialism. only discussed minor works of minor orientalists was also misplaced. for their attacks on Muhammad.
The most important points he had simply ignored. Orientalism. As for the speciﬁc issues he. as had Western orientalists. But all such political polemic was irrelevant to the matter under discussion. but as the work of a lobbyist and propagandist. Lewis’s attack on Orientalism. in turn. Arabs and Muslims would look on him as their political enemy. The 115 . was ﬂawed. Said’s defence of his dating of the beginning of orientalism. They had not singled out Islam for attack. these Said had responded to merely with evasion. namely the attack on orientalism. bluster and innuendo and guilt by association’. which he interpreted as a ‘scream of rage’. where he evidently felt more at ease. nor briefed ‘area embassies’ on US security interests – again both charges laid by Said. But in his response. was an ‘unsavoury mixture of sneer and smear. in addition to direct personal abuse. fudge and quibble. to respond to Said’s letter. except the façade of scholarship. Said had attempted to shift the discussion from the ground of scholarship to that of politics. In the Arab world today. Given the opportunity. had raised in his article. In this he had followed very closely on the standards of analysis and exposition established in his book. for instance. should be seen. Judaism and other religions. Neither had he carried out any mission for the US State Department. In his work.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM also Christianity. All Said seemed able to offer. Lewis. not as a defence of ‘scholarly validity’ and ‘intellectual precision’. which he attributed to the Church Council of Vienne in 1312. Lewis went out of his way to insist that at no time had he advised the various congressional committees he attended to send arms to Israel – a charge laid by Said. This must stand or fall on its scholarly merits. in short. politics always overrides everything.
study the Orient? Two explanations have been given: that higher civilizations frequently engage in the study of lower civilizations and that knowledge is power. he enquired. was mistaken (Said and Lewis. 1982). Arab and Turkish conquerors. In a chapter entitled ‘Other People’s History’. interested only in stealing other people’s possessions. and more tenuous than is supposed. Why. but that relationship was narrow. but the end of Mediaeval orientalism. As for Said’s assertion that German orientalism was merely an elaboration of British and French orientalism. showed little interest in the Christian civilization they wished to conquer. Arabic studies in Germany. It was not until the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation that a new kind of orientalism began to develop in Europe. and earlier than in Britain. Hebrew and Syriac at various European universities. Scholarship and imperialism may at times have been related. Nineteenth-century English writing on the history of 116 . On those grounds alone Said’s thesis. and for that matter in Holland. Lewis’s argument – one can hardly call it a debate – with Said over the nature of orientalism did not end there. Greek. marked not the beginning of modern orientalism. particularly in the modern period. now under attack as an agent of empire.ORIENTALISM decision taken by the Church Council. does the orientalist. Lewis once again returned to the subject. advancing on Europe in the southeast and southwest. Neither explanation is entirely satisfactory. had begun about the same time as in France. to set up chairs of Arabic. that orientalism was a product of imperialism. a predator. European study of the Orient (Islam) began at a time when European civilization was manifestly inferior to that of the Muslim world (Muslim Spain. that too was mistaken. North Africa and the Near East). published in Islam and the West (1993).
the second in Oxford in 1636. Islam. the ﬁrst chair of Arabic was founded in the Collège de France by King Francis I in 1538. French writers. seeking to promote la mission civilisatrice de la France. and to learn Greek. on the other hand. was far removed from orientalist scholarship. in Asia and Africa. the languages associated with its faith. in the manner described by Said. Studies of the history and culture of TransCaucasia. from the beginning. under Stalin and some of his successors. for 117 . Hebrew and Aramaic. but he does put forward a number of ‘tentative suggestions’. The ﬁrst British incursion into the Arab world came only in the early nineteenth century. designed in part to conﬁrm English readers of the rightness of English rule in India. Lewis admits that he is unable to offer a clear explanation as to why Europeans studied oriental cultures in the past. again had little to do with French orientalism. Secondly. in the Persian Gulf and Aden. Christian Europe needed. Central Asia and the countries beyond were there instituted with the speciﬁc purpose of supporting Soviet rule. The ﬁrst French incursion into an Arab country occurred in 1798. Firstly. as practised in English universities. In his chapter. on the other hand. In England. to look outward. If a place were to be sought where academic orientalism and government/imperialism were directly related. it should be sought in the Soviet Union. the ﬁrst chair of Arabic was founded in Cambridge in 1633. To link the beginnings of English and French orientalism with imperial expansion is to reverse the course of history.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM India. both to discover the mainsprings of its civilization. Europeans needed to understand the culture and religion of their enemy. In France. inspired by a deep sense of loss – many of the countries conquered by Islam had been Christian – and fear.
In his critique of Orientalism Lewis is no doubt right to question Said’s over-dependence on Raymond Schwab’s La Renaissance orientale (1950). that imperialism promoted orientalism but that orientalism. but of a whole profession. European merchants. intellectual development in Europe.ORIENTALISM many centuries triumphant. that strong afﬁliations exist between orientalism and the European literary imagination. trading in the Near and Middle East. is equally right in concluding. That is to say. many of whom travelled to Europe. Europeans who wished to study science and philosophy were obliged to study Arabic. in his reply to Lewis’s ‘The Question of Orientalism’. promoted curiosity. Fifthly. his misuse of the word orientalist. his failure to include accounts of German and Soviet orientalism. that Lewis fails to respond adequately to the central message of Orientalism. promoted imperialism. Fourthly. Said’s argument is not. as Lewis at times seems to suppose. and his occasional historical errors and evasions. a privilege seldom granted to Muslim merchants trading in Europe. founded by. But Said. Thirdly. in the Middle Ages. and that a clear relationship can be established between the rise of modern oriental scholarship in Europe and the acquisition of Eastern empires by Britain and France. among others. while religious conﬂict between Catholic and Protestant in the period of the Reformation drove both Catholics and Protestants to seek the support of Arab Christians. his indictment not only of individual orientalists and writers. Homer and Aeschylus. were permitted to establish trading posts. in the age of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. in one way or another. it can be argued. the heir to a ‘narcissistic’ tradition. through his writing ‘creates’ the Orient – an Orient which 118 . the orientalist. Dante and Marlow. felt no such need.
Said had not fallen into the trap into which he accused the orientalists of falling. his writing ‘forceful and brilliant’. like Cromer. Lamartine and Flaubert. like Chateaubriand. by Said. might then be subjected to European conquest and colonization. yet constitutes a remarkable reading of Europe’s intellectual and political history. in a review of Orientalism published in the New York Review of Books (1979). 1982). might have enabled him more effectively to defend the intellectual integrity of his project. an ideal type. A hundred years of orientalist study of Islam has produced a body of 119 . Had he not constructed an abstract concept. But he wondered whether. Other orientalists. such expectations are hardly likely to be fulﬁlled (Said and Lewis. A more tolerant reading. a leading orientalist. and even nineteenth-century writers. and of scarcely concealing the ‘ideological underpinning of his position’. found Said’s work to be ‘powerful and disturbing’. like Massignon and Ritter? The answer must be no. worthy of further consideration. of Lewis’s critical analysis of his work. however ﬂawed. and in which Said accuses Lewis of verbosity. free from extraneous and accidental elements? Such a concept might serve to describe politicians and colonial servants.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM once created. but many expressed reservations about Said’s approach. Albert Hourani. A more sympathetic reading of Orientalism might have persuaded Lewis that Said’s work. in the European imagination. But in a world in which Lewis accuses Said of ‘politicising the whole question and assigning a political signiﬁcance not only to his own statements but also to those of any who have the temerity to question his facts and methods’. in his analysis of orientalism. anthropologists and historians with an interest in oriental history proved more sympathetic. but can it be used to describe the work of great Islamic scholars.
but unfortunately his book was almost impossible to read. an avoidance of unfounded generalization. Sensible statements are sometimes clothed in the ‘unbearable jargon of philosophic sociology’. He does not see that the orientalist thesis he describes. and a feeling for the quality of individual thinkers. orientalists were not guilty of what Said calls orientalism. Said’s need to be all-embracing leads him to make some very odd historical statements. namely that of ‘Islam’ as a system of thought. and generating a greater self-awareness. Christian. dealt with a ‘profoundly interesting concept’. found that Said’s Orientalism. that nineteenth- 120 . not seen as the reverse side of something else. as Marx predicted. Gramsci and Michel Foucault drop ‘with a dull thud’ to authenticate statements or suggest methods. It is Islam. in a review published in the New York Times Book Review (1979). Within the limits of such work. the product of an acute analytical mind. destroying the feudalism that holds the peoples of the East in thrall. between East and West. J. but in its speciﬁc nature. the West’s impact on the East will prove beneﬁcial. Greek. There is in that work a cautious and careful use of original sources. It is true that a general concept has shaped such work. giving them a promise of a richer and longer life. Eventually.H.ORIENTALISM work which ‘cannot be regarded as badly done’. seen in relation to earlier systems. a professor of history at Cambridge. Eventually the intellectual interchange. Plumb. which ‘one can accept’. The names of Lévi-Strauss. in so far as their works reveal them. Said should have read more Marx and less Lévi-Strauss. Jewish. But that concept is not another idea of the Orient. as Said has described it. breeds its own antithesis. a sense of the interrelation between intellectual movements and social and political events.
Anyone trying to teach Asian history to American students in a reasonably objective way – as part of human history – knows that. It has a concrete reality. James Clifford. It is simply not a work of historical scholarship. the search for a new identity in the modern world and a reconstruction of Hindu tradition. the emergence of historical consciousness. a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. In particular. a leading anthropologist. a chapter published in his The Predicament of Culture (1988). deﬁned by Kopf as a ‘sewer category’ of Western intellectual thought. Said’s essential conclusions. Nirad Chaudhuri’s Autobiography of an Unknown Indian (Macmillan. a serious 121 . 1953). But Said’s orientalism. in short.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM century orientalism generated. comparable to Jawaharlal Nehru’s The Discovery of India (Calcutta: Signet. is complex. a narrow polemic dominated by immediate political goals. changes over time and is never monolithic. Said’s study of orientalism. lacks precision. in a review article entitled ‘Hermeneutics versus History’. where it contributed to the modernization of Indian vernacular languages and literature. cannot be challenged. should not be confused with orientalism as history. published in the Journal of Asian Studies (1980). Said fails to pay proper attention to the part played by orientalism in India. sees Orientalism as a personal protest. David Kopf. will result in the destruction of the very orientalism that supported it. internally diverse. 1946). comprehensiveness and subtlety. in ‘Orientalism’. he believes. 1951) and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (Cape. That exists and has existed outside Said’s conception of it. sees Orientalism as a work of considerable merit.
Finally. sometimes forced. In his work Said remains uncertain whether orientalism is concerned with a real Orient. and North Africa. in particular its relationship to India. the kind of critical questions posed by Said have been familiar since the Algerian war. the Far East. Sometimes brilliant. as Said at times seems to suggest. in ‘Enough Said’. following Foucault. most fundamentally. In a French context. then no possibility exists of the object chal122 . as do the discursive alliances of knowledge and power produced by anti-colonial and nationalist movements. Fanon and others. Michael Richardson. It would simply not be possible to castigate recent French orientalism in the way that he does the discourse of the modern American Middle East experts. Gramsci. should also be questioned.ORIENTALISM exercise in textual criticism and. it is in the end numbingly repetitive. Said may. Said is perfectly correct to identify a discourse that dichotomizes and essentializes in its portrayal of the other. the omission of North Africa is crucial. the Paciﬁc. but the humanist values he adopts escape oppositional analysis. If the relationship of occidental subject and oriental object is not reciprocal. or merely with the Orient as mental construct. As for the limitations imposed by Said on his account (genealogy) of orientalism. a series of important if tentative epistemological reﬂections on general styles and procedures of cultural discourse. for it ensures that he does not have to discuss modern French orientalist currents. Anthropological orthodoxy. but the discourse should not be identiﬁed with orientalism alone. Anthropology Today (1990) pointed out that Said’s analysis of orientalism raises the fundamental question of the relationship between subject and object. adopt an oppositional stance. based on a mythology of ﬁeldwork encounter and a hermeneutically minded cultural theory.
obsessed with the problem of representation. The only way out of the impasse would be for the subject to correct its own misrepresentation. is his foregrounding of literature. would make the mistake of believing that people in general equate images of the Orient with the reality of the things they represent. in Richardson’s opinion. New Delhi – published in Studies in History (1991). a condition of imposed silence. which was to identify a reciprocal relationship between the French peasantry and the Bonapartist party in the period of the 1848 revolution. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Only an academic literary critic. shows a curious naivety as to how people actually perceive images. might be taken as a representative sample of the Marxist response to Said’s work. Central to Said’s approach to orientalism. and developing alternative models of reality. This facilitates a reading of history not from the basis of material production and 123 . Said. they must be represented’ – these displayed a complete misunderstanding of Marx’s intention in making the remark. Literatures (1992). as Said seemed to assume. an unlikely development. in In Theory: Classes. contained in ‘Between Orientalism and Historicism’ – a shorter version of a talk originally given at a Fellows’ Seminar held at the Centre of Contemporary Studies. though in his critique Ahmad ranges far beyond the usual conﬁnes of a strictly Marxist approach.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM lenging the subject. In so interpreting Marx’s remark. and later expanded in ‘Orientalism and After’. and not. A MARXIST (INDIAN) RESPONSE Aijaz Ahmad’s critique of Orientalism. Nations. Ahmad concludes. in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte – that ‘they cannot represent themselves. As for Said’s repeated references to a remark made by Marx.
refuses to accept the consequences of his mapping of history. a noted study of some aspects of the European humanist literary tradition – and Nietzschean (Foucauldian) anti-humanism. Said.ORIENTALISM appropriation. in other words. where he wrote Mimesis (1946). According to Ahmad. many of Said’s theoretical. in the conventional form of a continuous European literary textuality. but from its systems of representation. Said’s three-fold deﬁnition of orientalism – as a profession. but such an origination would be completely incompatible with the approach to history adopted by Foucault. in ways which are mutually incompatible. the equally irresistible pressures of Auerbachian High Humanism force him to trace the origins of discourse. Aeschylus). and disables himself from acquiring a coherent anti-imperialist position by adopting an attitude towards Marxism so antagonistic as to be virtually hysterical. exempliﬁed by the work of Auerbach. a style of thought based on an ontological and epistem124 . methodological and political problems arise from his determination simultaneously to uphold the absolutely contrary traditions of what Ahmad refers to as Auerbachian High Humanism – Auerbach was a German-Jewish scholar who in the period of the Second World War sought sanctuary in Turkey. all the way back to ancient Greece – an impossible position. orientalism. As a result. Said implicitly accepts the humanist tradition. If ‘Foucauldian pressures’ force him to trace the beginnings of ‘Orientalist discourse’ from the eighteenth century or so. In locating the origins of orientalism in the period of Antiquity (Homer. deﬁnes his object of knowledge. while employing Foucault’s concept of discourse. Said tries to occupy theoretical positions that are mutually contradictory.
p. 125 . In particular. For Ahmad this is not merely a matter of polemics. in much the same way that he accuses Europe and the West of essentializing Asia and the East.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM ological distinction made between Orient and Occident. What gave European forms of prejudice their special force in history. Islamicate and Christendom. quite speciﬁcally. xenophobia and bigotry – which have been at work in all societies. Not that. or a system of misrepresentation. As he makes clear. what he is suggesting is that there have historically been all sort of processes – connected with class and gender. and a corporate institution – also causes problems. Muslims frequently make similar distinctions. the case Said describes. ethnicity and religion. in the post-modernist sense (Nietzsche’s ‘mobile army of metaphors’) attached to it by Derrida and Foucault. of Europe’s identiﬁcation of a hostile ‘other’. according to Ahmad. 1992. Said fails to decide whether he considers the orientalism he identiﬁes to be merely the product of a system of representations. with devastating consequences for the lives of countless millions. wilfully produced by the West. Throughout Orientalism. his deﬁnition of orientalism as a style of thought based on an ontological and epistemological distinction effectively essentializes Europe. in Ahmad’s view. while Hindus routinely contrast Hindu spirituality with Western materialism and Muslim barbarity. was ‘not some transhistorical process of ontological obsession and falsity – some gathering of unique force in domains of discourse – but. both European and non-European. between East and West. 184). is in any sense unusual. the power of colonial capitalism which then gave rise to other sorts of powers’ (Ahmad. used as a means of identifying the ‘self’.
as a diseased formation. in a manner unfortunately ‘all too familiar to us. 1992. in allocating blame for the depredations of imperialism and colonialism. It fails to make due allowance for the contribution made by the intelligentsia of the colonized countries concerned to the formation of Western textuality. At the same time. made in India and Latin America. It fails to take account of the criticisms of colonial cultural domination. against which misrepresentation can be measured. political and military. p. It fails to pay proper attention to the ‘enabling conditions’ of the orientalist discourse. In a follow-up article to ‘Between Orientalism and Historicism’ and ‘Orientalism and After’. Ahmad mounted a detailed defence of Marx. An emphasis merely on representation saves them from this embarrassment. entitled ‘Marx on India’. The former case would allow no such positive outcome. In this respect.ORIENTALISM The latter case would suggest that an objective reality exists. 182). dismissed by Said in 126 . who live on the other side of the colonial divide’ (Ahmad. economic. In other respects too Said’s analysis of orientalism may be found wanting. According to Ahmad. they might be compelled to look more closely at their own contribution to the outcome. in its psychologizing of orientalism as a form of European ‘paranoia’. in the nineteenth century. it risks dismissing an entire civilization. Finally. Asian and African readers would inevitably be tempted to enquire how the system of representations described actually compared with their own ‘real’ experience. Said’s ideal reader is a Western reader. it is a peculiarity of the postmodernist mind that it elides objective experience into a purely textual notion of ‘representation’. also published in In Theory (1992).
In his writings about India. published in the New York Tribune in 1853. If his comments on India were authorized by some kind of Foucauldian discourse. but by a belief in the Enlightenment values of unity. universality and human potential. Ahmad makes it clear that Said’s reading of Marx. and on the kind and degree of violence which would inevitably issue from a project that sets out to dissolve such a mode on so wide a scale’ (Ahmad. His views were generated not by racist values. then it was not the discourse of orientalism. ‘EDWARD SAID AND HIS ARAB REVIEWERS’ In his article. completely ignores what Indian historians have had to say on the subject. in particular Marx’s two most famous articles on India. 1992. who had allowed himself to be ‘censored by the lexicographical police action’ of orientalism. is wrong in almost every respect. to which he does not belong. but the nineteenth-century discourse of political economy. Emmanuel Sivan. in even more vitriolic terms. published in Interpretations of Islam: Past and Present (1985). on the comparative structuration of the different pre-capitalist modes. entitled ‘Edward Said and his Arab Reviewers’. and they were the necessary and logical outcome of the positions he held on ‘issues of class and mode of production. Marx had not said anything which he had not also said about Europe. Said fails to set Marx’s comments on India in the context of his other writings. and places Marx in a category of English and French travel-writers. as applied mainly to Europe and America. ‘The British Rule in India’. attempted a survey of 127 . a student of modern Middle Eastern history at Princeton.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM Orientalism as an ‘unsavoury child of historicism’. 230). In his article. p. and ‘The Future Results of the British Rule in India’.
Muhammad Husayn ’Alc al-Saghcr. It is not based on a close examination of the evidence. In his article. He is also the author of a controversial agnostic analysis of Islamic thought. but four works merited further consideration: Sadik Jalal al-’Azm. Al-’Azm. an authority on Koranic studies. ‘Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse’ (1981). Hanafc. three of the four authors mentioned are leading Arab intellectuals. part of which appeared as an article published in Khamsin (1981). Most of these he found to be merely descriptive and cursory. a courageous critic of religious traditionalism.ORIENTALISM Muslim and Arab responses to Said’s Orientalism.000 or so books about the Arab East. and in 128 . Sivan ﬁnds that al-’Azm and al-Bctar – the most prominent of the four – agree with Said that knowledge is intertwined with power. published in the period 1800–1950. ‘From Western Orientalism to Arab Orientalism’. According to Sivan. and that orientalism as an intellectual enterprise had close ties with the colonial domination of the Middle East. ‘Arab National Thought in the Balance’. could have read the 60. Orientalists and Koranic Studies (1983). Yet both felt ill at ease with Said’s book. Al-Bctar wondered how Said. Both agree that Said’s study of orientalism is ahistorical and unscientiﬁc. in a few short years. is a specialist in hermeneutics. Al-Bctar. and Hasan Hanafc. also US trained. a graduate of the Sorbonne. in QadAyA ’Arabiyya (1978). is the author of one of the best Arab critiques of the 1967 Arab–Israeli war. Nadcm al-Bctar. a work that cost him his job at the American University of Beirut. Less well known is al-Saghcr. educated at Yale. is one of the most important Arab thinkers of his day. Al-’Azm wondered why Said did not restrict his account of orientalism to the modern period. in HudEd al Huwiyya al-Qawmiyya (The Boundaries of National Identity) (1982).
would by implication exonerate orientalism of all the charges laid against it. a facility not available to British and French orientalists who. driven by the imperatives of empire. Said effectively essentializes the West. Arab reviewers in general. that he engages at times in extreme subjectivism. according to Sivan. and even racist. 129 . if accepted. seen as an essential ingredient of the European mind. Sivan goes on. almost denying that it is possible for a Westerner to describe the East objectively – an assumption which. Whatever the position may have been in the nineteenth century. ‘Arabo-Islamism’ and ‘political Islam’ – to promote what Al-’Azm refers to as ‘Orientalism in Reverse’.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM attributing erroneous. were compelled to consider the present (living) condition of the Islamic world. more than any other. As such it was enabled to treat Islam as a dead civilization. starting with ancient Greece. encourage backward-looking Arabs – supporters of ‘Pan-Arabism’. was inspired not by imperialism and colonialism. that he fails to pay proper respect to the great achievements of orientalism. and that he fails to include German orientalism in his study. views to Europe. concerned lest Said’s attack on orientalism. in much the same way that he accuses the West of essentializing the East. ﬁnd that Said fails to place the eighteenth-century critique of Islam in its proper context – the Enlightenment critique of Christianity and religion. By this Al-’Azm meant the essentializing of an authentic Islamic or Arab character. Arab reviewers were. no respectable European scholar would today adopt the views associated by Said with orientalism. but by classicism. German orientalism.
unchanging over time. As long as it prevails the Arabs will. the plaything of others: ‘God. as Said asserts. 1985. Arab liberal and forward-looking intellectuals believe. fate and the dictator become one in our eyes. 1985. ‘Islam’ and ‘other myths’. If Said found their work second rate. He who questions this is accused of atheism. Said’s denigration of their work was clearly an important issue. in Said’s refusal to recognize the continued relevance of the Arab-Islamic past to the present state of things in the Middle East. they had merely tried to liberate the Arab people from the ‘dregs and residues of the past’. p. authority. remain devoid of will power and deﬁcient in perception and reasoning. recent work carried out by Arab intellectuals shows that. In these. that it referred to their own writings. and prevent progress. p. Said at one point accuses Arab intellectuals of engaging in ‘orientalisms’. Arab reviewers found this accusation particularly offensive. and opposed to the materialist West. as al-Bctar explains. threatens to cut the Arab world off from modernity. To the Arab reviewers concerned. according to Sivan.ORIENTALISM harking back to the seventh century. Arab society remains permeated throughout by traditional Islamic values – regarding male–female relations. as Hanafc puts it. as they assumed. 143). Such mystiﬁcation. by which he means ‘secondorder analyses’ of the ‘Arab mind’. as many Western orientalists have long suspected. it remains central. intrinsically spiritual and idealist. In Orientalism. 130 . the ‘primordial divergence’ between Said and his Arab reviewers lay elsewhere. It is as though the era of science and reason has barely touched us’ (Sivan. 142). But. no doubt rightly. Far from the Arab-Islamic past being irrelevant. he should have taken the trouble to explain to them why that was so (Sivan.
are saddened that Said. frequently obscurantist. Arabs are. to practise verbal legerdemain. and that in order to inﬂuence them one should comprehend their logic and dynamics. Their angst is not the faked one of the radical chic. They know what a hold the Islamic past has on Arab society. . a secularist and a modernist. They cannot afford to be caught up in the clichés and fantasies of the outsider and the tourist. This mystic philosophy creates a man who does not recognize history as an independent truth. 1985. who seemed to be one of them. It is a ‘holistic philosophy of life through which society deﬁnes its place in history and its internal rules of the game. . This is a society which deﬁnes all its activities and the events occurring around it through ritual and relationship with God’ (Sivan. . Of course Arab society changes over time.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM subservience. The Weltanschauung of Arab society is religious and transcendental. family descent and attitudes to death – supposedly drawn from an ideal past. and to provide ammunition for ‘defrocked secularists’ who wish to embrace ‘Orientalism in Reverse’. appears to blame orientalism for all the ills of the Arab world. Arab intellectuals have to face up to the realities of the Arab world. as a matter of observable fact. 149). Unlike Said. p. 131 . a man who is unaware of the fact that there are objective factors and tendencies which exist beyond human aspirations and intentions. Arab reviewers. As Al-Bctar remarks: ‘Arab political backwardness’ is a product of attitudes shaped in the sixth century. fatalistic and passive. Sivan concludes. but the real one of people who have a clear perception of their ultimate goal but also of the formidable obstacles blocking the road. but on the whole the old norms remain in force. escapist.
that orientalists invariably write about Eastern culture and civilization as if it were dead. in ‘Orientalism: A Black Perspective’.ORIENTALISM What is interesting about the Arab reviewers of Orientalism is that where they might. that there is no such thing as an Islamic society and an Arab mind. These include the suggestion that the oriental project is from start to ﬁnish riddled with prejudice. the orientalism Said describes – seen by Wilson as a dominant ideology. As such it should be of particular 132 . and. de-naturing and assimilating other cultures – is fundamentally a political doctrine. In that respect their views deserve the most serious consideration. capable of capturing. an article published in The Journal of Palestine Studies (1981). unconnected with many of the more sophisticated but less relevant (from their point of view) issues raised by Said. a member of the Political Science Department at the University of Michigan. Ernest J. questioning the validity of his method and challenging many of his principal conclusions. as natives of the Middle East. Wilson III. a keen student of the workings of the capitalist system and ﬁghter for black rights in America. erected on a sure base of economic and political domination. A BLACK PERSPECTIVE Where the Arab reviewers of Orientalism described by Sivan look at Said’s work from an Arab point of view. they have been forced to make radical choices. looks at it from the perspective of a black American. most signiﬁcantly. they have in fact adopted a critical approach. have been expected to give full backing to Said’s attack on orientalism. For Wilson. This is because as secularists and modernists seeking to tackle the problems inherent in Arab society. that orientalism is incapable of objective observation.
have been Arabs and deﬁned as respectable As a consequence of his tight focus on the role of the oppressor. by challenging the very notion of an entire paradigm and replacing it with a world-view reﬂecting the structural position and cultural heritage of the oppressed group. particularly in the Middle East. Wilson concludes. just as in America. dominant cultures. not only try to maintain the integrity of their world-view. 133 . such as the AfroAmericans and the Palestinians. the ‘mirror image of civilized and white people’. by crafting and recrafting modes of knowing other cultures. they also respond by seeking to prevent suppressed groups. such resistance must exist. Like other orientals. to be feared and controlled. Afro-Americans too have been an ‘other’. and by seeking to unite oppressed groups in alliances and working for the creation of new world-views. does not deal with oriental resistance to Western cultural domination. Said.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM interest to Afro-Americans. rather than on the role of the oppressed. where Afro-American scholars have attempted to challenge the prevailing biases of white scholarship. Intellectuals and political leaders of such oppressed groups can challenge orientalist categorization in three ways: by challenging the sub-categories of the orientalist paradigm. This latter challenge to Western dominance occurred when American blacks and the Palestine Liberation Organization recently began discussions – a development that caused consternation among the American political and economic elite. in Orientalism. who in America subjected to a kind of internal orientalism. Faced with such challenges. from uniting against them. operating within a Third World perspective. but Wilson suspects that.
for example. mainly in the Third World. At the same time they should examine more seriously and consistently the role that international alliances might play in future black liberation movements – movements that may be the best hopes for a more humane and democratic America. The foundations have been laid down. the dominated of the world. in Orientalism. adopting a currently fashionable epistemological view. Orientalists. is attainable. what divides Said from many of his critics is the fact that while Said. Foucault. in particular. or at least an approximation to it.ORIENTALISM In order to build a more humane and democratic world order. believing that truth. seek to understand history. must fashion a consistent set of goals and a set of strategies and tactics to get there. phenomenon). whether in the Middle East. ﬁrmly wedded to a traditional (realist) approach to the writing of history. in work undertaken. and those who. for the most part. American blacks should explore the implications of this work for their own efforts to achieve liberation within the USA. As Lewis puts it in ‘The Question of Orientalism’. ‘EDWARD SAID AND THE HISTORIANS’ As we have seen. North America or Africa. and by implication the world. to create a New International Economic Order. tends to view his subject through the prism of modern and postmodern philosophy (in particular the philosophies of Nietzsche. seek to obtain an understanding of oriental history by means of a ‘minute 134 . in the debate regarding orientalism the academic world appears to be divided between those who. Derrida and the Marxist Gramsci) his critics remain. by way of a study of the facts (evidence. believe that absolute truth is either non-existent or unattainable.
held at the College of William and Mary. centred round a talk. has effectively essentialized the West. MacKenzie argues. later published as an article in Nineteenth-Century Contexts (1994). In his article. a British student of imperial history. a stereotypical ‘other’. motive and purpose. according to Lewis. This picture historians of Western imperialism and the arts have generally rejected. hermetic and unchanging. bears any relationship to the record of constant change. given by John MacKenzie. MacKenzie attempts to explain why Said’s analysis of East–West relations in Orientalism (and also in Culture and Imperialism. guilty of producing and reproducing a prefabricated East.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM examination of difﬁcult texts’. heterogeneity and sheer porousness of imperial culture. Said. basically unchanging self. ‘Edward Said and the Historians’. facts don’t matter. history is a matter of material fact. In the process he has produced a stereotypical picture of Western culture. Virginia. 1993). for neither the retreat into an essentialized. at an Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference. All that matters is attitude. and all knowledge is slanted. the instability. 135 . For the former. ideologically continuous. In accusing the orientalists of being tools of Western imperialism. in much the same way that he accuses the West of essentializing the East. made so little impression on historians of Western imperialism and the arts. entitled ‘Edward Said and the Historians’. This distinction appears particularly clearly in a debate which occurred in Nineteenth-Century Contexts in the mid-1990s. For the latter. nor the freezing of the ‘other’ in a kind of basic objecthood. truth doesn’t matter. subject to the rules of evidence and the laws of rational analysis. All discourse is a manifestation of a power relationship.
he rejects the ‘cultural guerrillas’ – nativism. he makes the promotion of cross-cultural awareness. Britons. which he claims to seek. such as Linda Colley. in that an author attempting to identify a master-narrative discourse of the Orient. While apparently writing within the humanistic tradition. outside any scholarly collective. 1707–1837 (Yale University Press. Identifying orientalism as an ‘imperial totalizing project’. he stands. Other historians. according to MacKenzie. generally sought to analyze the speciﬁc and contrasting. Much inﬂuenced by Gramsci and Foucault. disabling paradox appears. and David Kopf. even oppositional. theoretically impossible. he rejects the Marxist tradition. have pointed out that Britain’s ‘other’. character of different periods. himself distrusts all global theorization. Discounting the possibility of a ‘theorization of the whole’. 1992). operating over at least two centuries.ORIENTALISM MacKenzie ﬁnds Said’s philosophical stance with regard to the history of orientalism perplexing. Thus. Said seeks to expose its deﬁciencies. as a hermetically sealed and stereotypical culture. Historians such as John Sweetman. Toying with the language of base and superstructure. The Oriental Obsession (1988). nationalism and fundamentalism – that beset the fringes of the master-narratives. unlike Said. whose version of orientalism is broadly and even independently instrumental. an extraordinary. Thus it can be shown that the orientalists of the Enlightenment had little in common with the orientalism of the period of the Anglicist–Orientalist controversy. Essentializing the West. in the eighteenth 136 . British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance (1969). It is as if Said’s critical. according to MacKenzie. he distrusts all other ‘meta-narratives’. Forging the Nation. totalizing head was at war with his nomadic polymorphous heart. or claims to stand. have.
the interrelationship of ideas and events. Historians. and link it to speciﬁc episodes. was not. Rather. Said. however complex. when Imperial Russia. in other words. placed in an exotic context – just about as antiimperialist an opera. was this necessarily always the case. falls into all the pitfalls historians constantly warn their students against: reading present values into past ages. an imperial spectacle. is yet supposed to display unchanging intention and effect over a century and a half. which. they seek to tie analysis to a ﬁrm empirical base. as Said suggests. sagas and heroic ﬁgures were created in many European states and nations which had more to do with the leitmotifs of class and European ethnicity than they had to do with empire and race. in short. territories. but France. concerned with national identity and freedom. 137 . idealized pasts. economic and intellectual milieu in which sources are produced. Nor when European culture was apparently concerned with the East. to moralize. new national histories. Nor are they inclined. Germany and Soviet Russia became Britain’s principal ‘other’. concerned with explaining change over time. Verdi’s Aida. in Culture and Imperialism (1993). and the social. historians have never felt conﬁdent about the predictive and practical purposes of their discipline. myths. and deﬁnable socio-economic contexts in the historical record. as Said suggests. as you could get.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM and early nineteenth centuries. feel uncomfortable with Said’s ‘discourse’. particular individuals. even when dealing with broader time spans. for instance. They seek out unities of period. was not. who appears to have little understanding of the role of irony and accident in history. In these and later periods. Unlike Said. designed to illustrate Europe’s conquest of Egypt. but a reworking of a number of common European themes. place and person. Asia and the Orient. as Said is.
138 . MacKenzie’s analysis of Said’s work on orientalism. It is in this context that Said’s analysis of orientalism and cultural imperialism should be viewed. In ‘Lamentations on Reality: A Response to John M. MacKenzie’s “Edward Said and the Historians” ’. and interpretation. One way or the other. as conceived by the nineteenth-century German historian. a social historian of medicine. and missing the multiple readings emanating from the conﬂict between authorial intention and audience expectation. Historians today. are no longer certain where the foundations of history lie. archive and source. founded on text. Gramsci and Foucault have opened up large areas of common ground between the two. most would argue that a clear distinction can no longer be maintained between empirical truth. Nor is the choice any longer simply between the Marxist socio-economic paradigm – which Hildreth supposes to be MacKenzie’s ‘terrain of analysis’ – and discourse theory. Any historian who has taken a few breaths outside the archives in recent years knows that the ‘historical procedures’ and ‘tenets’ he refers to are no longer taken for granted. is no longer acceptable. Ranke. inﬂuenced by critical theory and cultural studies.ORIENTALISM passing judgements on previous generations. The concept of absolute objectivity. failing to discriminate intention from effect. published in NineteenthCentury Contexts (1995). in objective reality or cultural production. a feeling of nostalgia for a fast-disappearing consensus regarding the practice of history. Martha Hildreth. In recent years scholars such as Althusser. suggested that MacKenzie’s article contains a subtext. Even the existence of a ‘ﬁrm empirical base’ has been called in question. culture and imperialism provoked a lively response.
cause and effect. while refusing to acknowledge the epistemological basis of their facts and contexts. similarly ﬁnds that in his article. Verdi’s Aida is about the interweaving of conﬂicts between ‘imperial power and subordinate nationalism’. His supposed ‘inability’ to appreciate the ironic and the unintended stems from his denial of the decontextualized subject. while preserving their own position of free subjectivity and avoiding questions relating to their own perspective and identity. following Hayden White and Hans Kellner. It enables them to arbitrate the historical record and distinguish agency. intention. a student of English at Rutgers University. That is to say he can show how the discourse creates its own product and participatory tropes (see MacKenzie. in other words. MacKenzie has failed to read Said with the sort 139 . MacKenzie referred to Said’s failure to appreciate the value of irony. Bruce Robbins. it is a textual witness to the construction of a discourse. For MacKenzie. action and insight. allows historians to claim the status of relative truth for their accounts. pretends to no such disengagement. between ‘private anguish and public duty’. Irony. irony represents merely a theoretical device used to escape the full implications of the abandonment of absolute objectivism. intention. Nineteenth-Century Contexts (1995). New Jersey. 1994). he can show connections that are inconvenient for that discourse. In Hildreth’s view. In ‘The Seduction of the Unexpected: On Imperialism and History’. For Said. ‘Edward Said and the Historians’. Precisely because Said refuses to enter into the pre-existing historical discourse of nationalism and imperialism. in his work.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM In his analysis of Said’s work. Said.
it cannot be about another as well. Many historians. and that historians can and must be objective. to reject Whiggish narratives of disciplinary development and to incorporate their self-conscious explorations into the uses and abuses of knowledge in other sorts of narrative. 140 . who has done path-breaking work on the history of anthropology. have learned. imperialism and gender. such as the intellectual historian James Clifford. that Said has had ‘less effect upon historians than might have been expected’. Though MacKenzie does recognize Said’s inﬂuence on the Subaltern Studies group of mainly Indian historians. As for MacKenzie’s accusation that Said’s work on orientalism and imperial culture is ahistorical. Texts such as Aida he reads at times with a ‘righteously single-minded dogmatism’. disinterested and non-ideological. Robbins also calls in question. such as. if also problematic. involvement of ‘contemporary criteria’ in any account of the past. what is ‘strikingly ahistorical’ is MacKenzie’s blithe assumption that the past can and must be seen for what it really was. a text can be about many things. from Said’s Orientalism and also from Foucault. The abuses of simple-mindedly presentist history are no excuse for ignoring a century and a half of voices that have argued the necessary.ORIENTALISM of generous regard for hidden complicity. tend to assume that since there are many histories happening at the same time. on the other hand. He appears to believe that if a text is about one thing. ironic complication and unintended consequence he recommends to others. MacKenzie’s conclusion. for instance. including Clifford. Literary critics. he fails to take account of his inﬂuence on historians concerned with the history of the disciplines.
may be ill advised. reveals an ‘unavowed political agenda’. in Orientalism. MacKenzie. His conclusion that Said. in articles published in Nineteenth-Century Contexts. MacKenzie responded to the comments made by Hildreth. and the media. popular culture. Far from being a typically conventional (conservative) historian. at the College of William and Mary conference and thereafter. pointing out that most of the responses provoked by MacKenzie’s article. springs heroically to MacKenzie’s defence. 1994). also published in Nineteenth-Century Contexts (1995). Nineteenth-Century Contexts (1995).RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM In his comments on Said’s work. constructs a ‘hermetic and stereotypical Western culture’ and his setting himself up. In ‘The Connection between Things’. MacKenzie vigorously rebutted virtually all the charges made against him. MacKenzie is in fact. Tim Youngs. defending his discipline from contamination. with no regard to the historical and social circumstances of their composition. and a ‘revisionist desire to tilt the moral scales back in favour of the colonists’ (see Mackenzie. In his reply. All too many of them pluck passages from texts. of Nottingham Trent University. But the fact remains that some colonial discourse analysts are worryingly ahistorical. in an article entitled ‘A Reply to My Critics’. are misdirected. as the spokesperson of his own discipline. Robbins and others. ‘Edward Said and the Historians’. on the other hand. Far from being 141 . and proceed to paint their ideology by numbers. in Robbins’ opinion. a keen proponent of the new socio-cultural approach to the writing of history. as his record shows. as in the General Introduction to his ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series (published by the Manchester University Press). in particular the history of art.
anti-imperialist camp. What he was actually trying to do in his talk/article was to explain why the mainstream of British imperial historiography remained so largely uninﬂuenced by Said’s insights. Culture and Imperialism) might be. remain open to criticism. published in Nineteenth-Century Contexts (1995). in Culture and Imperialism (1993). then at least the cultural mood of the past’. In the 1960s and 1970s. pro-imperial and prejudiced as a historian. had pointed out that Said. he had throughout his professional career always located himself in the radical. His work on imperial propaganda and the relationship between imperialism and popular culture was intended to demonstrate the extraordinarily pervasive character of the mindset of empire. raises 142 . he had published a number of works on African history which adopted an Afro-centric approach. in MacKenzie’s opinion. Throughout he had remained personally committed to the history of the oppressed and the hitherto voiceless. Later in the 1980s and 1990s he had published works on imperial environmental history.ORIENTALISM reactionary. by replacing it with one in which literature becomes the authority for assessing ‘if not history. had attempted to reverse the usual position. But such sympathies. Clare A. it should. and ‘objectivist’. were not a reason for him to neuter his critical faculties. and he had always remained open to the use of a multi-disciplinary approach to the writing of history. Such a reversal. like Said’s own orientalist targets. However sacred a text Orientalism (and its subsequent apocrypha. Simmons. in an article entitled ‘Thoughts on “Said and the Historians” ’. according to which ‘history provides the authority for literature’. which he shared with Said. conservative and straight-laced as a person. One of MacKenzie’s critics.
He accepts that all documents are socially and ideologically constructed. He also accepts that historians should. economically or culturally constructed. that many lie and that the most careful acumen must be brought to bear upon them. whenever possible. Hildreth’s notion.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM the question of the relationship between fact and interpretation and the related question of the relative weight of different sorts of source material. 143 . But if the historian is not to drown in a sea of relativism. Some at least of the challenges posed by literary criticism to historical scholarship come from contemporary theorizing that simply does not ﬁt aspects of historical reality as it would be acknowledged by historians of imperialism. and that this has not always been the case. Hildreth’s article. such as cultural artefacts. does not bear examination. but he does not recognize himself in it. In his article MacKenzie had been concerned to point out that in some key cases such a ﬁrm foundation does not exist. for instance. visual images and packaging. MacKenzie ﬁnds to be a powerfully argued piece. All historians now accept that many ‘facts’ are socially. He simply does not make the distinction between relativist analysis and documentary fact that she assumes. multivalent and constantly shifting. But that does not mean that they should abandon the document altogether and engage in ‘free-ﬂoating theoretical inquiry’. there must be a category of observable phenomena upon which interpretations can be built. that ‘nineteenth-century bourgeois individualism involved a ﬁxed male subjectivity which reiﬁed certain modes of thought and being in the world’. ephemera. The evidence suggests that the nineteenth century was polyglot. get out of the archives and study other sources.
that ‘facts do not at all speak for themselves. and appearance and reality. Throughout his work he has sought to promote a subtle approach to the writing of history. Kant. taking place in the brain. or is it the product of a series of neural events. Is perception merely a reﬂection of an external world of real causes and powers. or does the mind create matter. disinterested and non-ideological. MacKenzie. that is to say a physical causal relation between physical objects and brain events. MacKenzie makes an admirable attempt to bridge the gap that apparently divides the objectivist/realist historian from the discourse theorist. in all its various manifestations? Or is there a two-fold relation between perception and the world. but require a socially acceptable narrative to absorb. Said’s remark. desires to ‘tilt the moral scales back in favour of the colonists’. Does matter impinge on the mind. Hume and many others) have for centuries struggled with the same problem. That he has not quite succeeded in so doing is scarcely surprising. encouraged transdisciplinary and radical studies. and is anti-pathetic to gender and women’s studies. expressed in terms of the relation between subject and object. and collaborated with women scholars. Berkeley. perhaps cognitive or semantic relation between brain events and the mind? In so far as human experience is the product of a series of 144 . and another.ORIENTALISM MacKenzie again rejects out of hand Robbins’ numerous accusations that he. he accepts. believes that historians can and must be objective. but he would insist that at the heart of that circulation must lie identiﬁable phenomena. accepts routine periodizations of history that achieve a line of demarcation only at the cost of ‘myopic triviality’. mind and matter. In his defence of his article. as philosophers (Descartes. sustain and circulate them’.
not least that of Ernest Gellner. proved premature. Dr Johnson’s notorious stone can still be kicked. But historians. Turner’s Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978) provoked a number of vigorous responses. Frykenberg. it can be argued that the discourse theorists have the better of the argument. and D. numerous historians. evidence. and for that matter discourse theorists writing about history. measured. phenomena).A. in which. for after all there is in fact no real world which may be observed. made little or no impression on the historians of imperialism. in accordance with reality or opposed to it. MARX AND THE END OF ORIENTALISM Bryan S.A. including Jefferey Auerbach. MacKenzie’s assumption that Said’s analysis of orientalism. language and ultimately discourse and text. In N. Washbrook contributed an article entitled ‘Orients and Occidents: Colonial Discourse Theory and the Historiography of the British Empire’. in Orientalism. Our world may not be as ‘real’ as was at one time supposed. image. The Oxford History of the British Empire (Oxford University Press. The world they inhabit is the ‘real’ world of daily experience. 1998). historical or other. independent of image and appearance. In the ‘real’ world in which we live.RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM mental processes which ﬁnd expression in consciousness. feeling. C. in a review article entitled ‘In Defence 145 . valid or invalid. made a number of references to Said’s work. whatever the philosopher may say. do not inhabit a world of mere appearance (mind. but it remains nonetheless a remarkably concrete place. identiﬁed and employed as a standard of truth. are true or false. Bayly and Robert E. facts. data. Canny.
in his view. would Elie Kedourie. ﬁt into Turner’s categorization of the orientalist as a scholar who contrasts the undesirable stagnation of the East with the admirable dynamism of the West? Can it be seriously contended that the economic underdevelopment of the Middle East is a consequence of its dependence on the global centres of capitalism. In this article Gellner recognizes the extent of Turner’s ambition not only to purge orientalism of its numerous errors. that lay on the periphery? Is not Turner himself guilty of the very same European ethnocentrism with which he charges the orientalists. would not that assumption make the dependency theory of underdevelopment superﬂuous? Turner’s implication that orientalist support for the stability/stagnation thesis somehow implies a moral failure. in the absence of that inﬂuence. including a period in which it was Western Europe. for instance. Gellner ﬁnds worrying. an orientalist who admired the stability of the Ottoman Empire and deplored its disruption. no such development would have occurred. when that underdevelopment preceded the impact of capitalism by many hundreds of years. merely historical and sociological. Such questions are. best decided on the basis of the evidence available. But he questions many of Turner’s conclusions. but also Marxism of its orientalist and Hegelian inﬂuences. not the world of Islam. for in so far as he believes that the stagnation of the Orient is due to the external intervention of the ‘global centres of capitalism’. oriental society would have developed independently – a thesis which would seem to imply a unilinear theory of social development? Alternatively. does he not also believe that. Where. Turner’s search for self146 . in such circumstances. Sociology (1980). if it were assumed that.ORIENTALISM of Orientalism’.
Might not this obligatory de-orientalization turn out in the end to be the ‘subtlest and most insidious form of conceptual colonialism’? 147 .RESPONSES TO THE ASSAULT ON ORIENTALISM puriﬁcation on the other hand – in Marx and the End of Orientalism. Turner claimed to be engaged in a ‘personal work of decolonisation’ – Gellner ﬁnds generous and admirable. But he suspects that it might not be all that it seems.
J. of the works published in the following decades – most of them in effect case studies in the history of orientalism and imperialism – seriously questioned Said’s central thesis. if any. Sheldon Pollock. Europe and Asia. similarly showed the extent to which European culture was inﬂuenced by oriental thought and religion. showed that. Clarke.ORIENTALISM SEVEN CASE STUDIES Said’s Orientalism. while grudgingly accepting Said’s thesis that the West occasionally stereotypes the East. Few. in ‘Deep Orientalism: Notes on 148 . in History. largely unrelated to reality. varied. Orient and Occident. John MacKenzie. and to a lesser extent the other critiques of orientalism published in the 1960s and 1970s. in Oriental Enlightenment (1997). with regard to the arts at least. But almost all showed that European responses to the Orient were far more complex. heterogeneous and unstable than Said supposed. sparked off an explosion of interest in the intercultural relations of East and West. J. Theory and the Arts (1995). that the West all too often created stereotypical images of the East. though Clarke is more prepared than MacKenzie to accept Said’s central message. for instance. and that the West was as much inﬂuenced by the East as the East was by the West. the intercultural relations of Europe and Asia were in almost every respect reciprocal.
Sharif Gemie. was capable of creating. in Women’s Orients (1992). with devastating consequences for both the host community and the ‘other’. while accepting Said’s thesis that European men were frequently guilty of orientalism. 149 .J. fully accepting the validity of Said’s thesis. showed how orientalist attitudes shaped the writing of James Mill’s The History of British India (1817/1820). in Ungoverned Imaginings (1992). in ‘Scottish Orientalism’ (1982). or at least helping to create. arguing that more often than not Western women travelling in the Middle East were capable of establishing excellent personal relations with their oriental counterparts. Rana Kabbani.CASE STUDIES Sanskrit and Power beyond the Raj’ (1993). if anything going even further in her condemnation of orientalist attitudes than Said himself. showed how European orientalism effectively created the ‘religions’ of Hinduism and Buddhism. in ‘France. showed how Said failed to appreciate the part played by Algeria in the formation of French orientalism. but Billie Melman. orientalism. in Kipling and Orientalism (1986). in Imagining India (1990). B. fully conﬁrmed Said’s thesis. a view challenged by Javed Majeed. fully accepting Said’s thesis. in Orientalism and Religion (1999). while Richard King. questioned the extent to which Western women travel writers were also infected by the virus. endeavoured to correct what she saw as Said’s misunderstanding of the nature of Scottish orientalism. Jane Rendall. Orientalism and Algeria’. an internal ‘other’. an article published in The Journal of Algerian Studies (1998). showed how the orientalism practised by the Anglo-Indian community in India in the nineteenth century differed from that of the British metropolis. Moore-Gilbert. in Imperial Fictions (1988). in Germany in the 1930s. Finally. showed how. as practised by German orientalists. Ronald Inden.
the theoretical critique developed by many of his critics and a re-examination of a variety of other art forms eventually led him radically to revise his opinion. Germanic). In MacKenzie’s view. he concluded that Said’s thesis that the West inhabited a hermetic and stereotypical world. music and theatre. European concepts of ‘self’ and ‘other’ were far more complex than Said supposed. Far from inhabiting a closed world. and that its analytic techniques could be extended to apply to theatre. design. mainly in the ﬁeld of the arts. The European states. architecture. instability. heterogeneity and sheer porousness. But a further consideration of some of Said’s sources. had in fact been one of constant change. following a thorough study of the relations between East and West. invented 150 . some formed only in the nineteenth century. sought the reinvocation of mythic pasts (Norse. cinema. Theory and the Arts (1995) originally found Said’s Orientalism so provocative and stimulating that he felt that its range could be widened to include the popular arts. Western culture. sometimes slow but inexorable. closed to the inﬂuence of the ‘other’. was completely wrong. Both ‘self ’ and ‘other’ were locked into a process of mutual modiﬁcation. besides responding to other continents and their cultural and artistic complexes. In the end. the author of Orientalism: History. Celtic. John MacKenzie. It is impossible to recognize there either the ‘essentialized basically unchanging Self ’ or the freezing of the ‘other’ in a kind of ‘basic objecthood’. and exhibition. reacted both positively and negatively to each other. THEORY AND THE ARTS According to his own account. for instance.ORIENTALISM HISTORY. sometimes running as fast as a recently unfrozen river. mainly nineteenth-century imperial culture.
pre-industrial world of supposedly uncomplicated social relations. and even a reversal of the ‘scientiﬁc’ developments of Western art and design. such as the ‘folk’. One way or the other. In architecture. a supposedly appropriate separation of the gender spheres and enthusiasm for craft production. orientalism created a fresh visual and dramatic language. revolutionary approaches to ornament. This process was for the most part synthetic. such as Mozart. orientalism was used to create a feudal. the development of the Western arts would have been radically different. often involving a parodying of the self through a portrayal of the other. colour. composition and texture. In music. composers. discovered in the East an extension of instrumental language. together with opportunities for display and satire. challenging preconceived ideas. a culwhen make 1995. shaped by market forces: it seldom involved a realistic facsimile. different sonorities. its resultant social 151 . The arts of the Eastern tradition were frequently used as weapons to attack the production processes of industrialization. it offered fresh conjunctions. orientalism in the arts was more often than not oppositional. the marriage of form to function and a whole fresh language of design. Only orientalism is placed in this wider context does it sense as one of several ‘courts of appeal’ (MacKenzie. 209). Weber and Mayerbeer. new melodic possibilities and complex rhythmic patterns. Far from facilitating Western rule of the Orient. Cherubini. it produced new sensations over a whole range of artefacts. In design.CASE STUDIES internal others. heroic connections with the environment. clear legal obligations. chivalric. had it not existed. In art. In the theatre. new syncretic approaches. and searched for tural renaissance in Mediaevalism and chivalry. p. different ways of handling space.
orientalism was endlessly protean. The modern critics of orientalism. In reality. Often what was presented in this way was made to seem endlessly attractive. 1997). and possibly more. have been too procrustean. Clarke’s account of its impact on European philosophy (Oriental Enlightenment. Fixed images of the oriental may from time to time have appeared in popular culture. but such stereotyping was not invariably offensive. p. 213). stereotype and caricature. to the Orient than the Orient did to Europe.ORIENTALISM relations and its shoddy products. technical and political superiority remained for a 152 . At the same time. racially conscious attitudes. an avoidance of oversimpliﬁcation and an awareness of the possibility of a multiple reading of text. like Raymond Schwab’s account of its impact on European literature (La Renaissance orientale. 1995. and notions of moral. as MacKenzie himself admits in his conclusion to Orientalism: History. a respect for the facts. 1950) and J. MacKenzie concludes. ‘another side of the self waiting to be released from repression or ﬁnancial and social constraint’ (MacKenzie. MacKenzie’s account of the impact of the Orient on the European arts. offers an alternative and highly convincing reading of the intercultural relations of Europe and Asia. using many of the arguments already advanced in ‘Edward Said and the Historians’ (1994). they have too often damaged the very intercultural reactions they seek to promote. Yet. Theory and Arts.J. it exposes many of Said’s methodological and other inadequacies. showing that Europe owed as much. a consciousness of intellectual context. regarding the need for a clearer periodization. as often consumed by admiration and reverence as by denigration and depreciation. By creating a monolithic and binary vision of the past.
The colonial rulers of British India. usually looked on the beliefs and practices of the Asian peoples with horror and disdain. though the relative signiﬁcance of that discourse might well be called in question. All too often Western interest in the Orient – for Clarke mainly east and south Asia rather than the Middle East – was guided by a desire to escape into some remote and fantastic ‘other’. beliefs and religious practices of their subject peoples with indifference and scorn. ORIENTAL ENLIGHTENMENT In Oriental Enlightenment (1997) J. as symbolized by Shangri-La. saw themselves as a caste above the rest. material for dreams of lost wisdom and a golden age. Missionaries and others. frequently ridiculed both by scholars and the common people for its backwardness and moral vileness. though never colonized in the full sense of the word. while the inﬂuence of the West on the East was readily acknowledged. Western reaction to the complex set of phenomena associated with orientalism was generally one of ‘partial amnesia’.CASE STUDIES period highly prevalent in European popular culture. where it was hoped a lofty means of uplift might be found. concerned with religious rather than commercial and political conquest. Clarke effectively accepts Said’s thesis that. Extensive oriental inﬂuence on the arts then presumably does not rule out the existence of a structured European orientalist discourse.J. described by James Hilton in Lost Horizon (1933). for example. with some notable exceptions. European attitudes to the East often embodied a mixture of patronizing chauvinism and racist contempt. the ﬁctional Buddhist paradise. yet became in the period of Western imperial expansion a standard object of ethnocentric bias. 153 . China. all too often treating the sensibilities.
and to engage with Eastern ideas in ways which are creative. Diderot and the Encyclopaedists). and the modern period (Wagner. Schlegel. the scientiﬁc revolution. Evidence of this fascination may be found in the period of the late Renaissance. It does not represent a sufﬁcient one. but as a ‘luxuriating fascination for the East’ (Clarke. Orientalism. and reciprocal. 154 . though not entirely misconceived. conﬁdence and security that resulted from the Renaissance. the Enlightenment (Montaigne. a retreat into the irrational or an expression of ‘Faustian’ curiosity. Schopenhauer). suggests. Leibnitz. orientalism represented a means of confronting some of the West’s most pressing and immediate problems. Bayle. European hegemony over Asia may represent a necessary condition for orientalism. the Reformation. Nietzsche. is. This attempt cannot on the face of it be understood merely in terms of ‘power’ and ‘domination’. Eliot. deﬁnes orientalism not as an isolated phenomenon. Emerson. Schelling. the Romantic era (Herder. Clarke sees it as an attempt on the part of the West primarily to integrate Eastern thought into its own intellectual concerns. p. is not so much a master narrative of Western imperialism. 17). drawing on Foucault. as Said. an oversimpliﬁcation. in Clarke’s opinion. Where Said sees orientalism merely in terms of colonial exploitation.ORIENTALISM But such a representation of East–West relations. Clarke. in Oriental Enlightenment. the New Age Movement and the beat generation). Voltaire. as an attempt on the part of the West to confront the structures of its own forms of knowledge and power. Pound. 1997. Far from being fundamentally escapist. open-textured. the rise of capitalism and the dissolution of the Mediaeval Christian theological. a closed monolith. Central to these was the loss of certainty. Goethe. in other words. Montesquieu. economic dominance and racial prejudice.
more open and complicated styles of thinking. and secondly. These developments. Clarke argues. that is to say. that orientalism. The rationalism of the Enlightenment. a long history. Clarke’s analysis of the history of East–West relations. It was as a result of these changes. The rediscovery of the sceptical and atomistic philosophies of ancient Greece undermined orthodoxy and opened the way to new. the absence of a common standpoint and the important part played by context – a signiﬁcant dialogue between two radically different cultures is possible. from ancient times to the modern period. helped ﬁrstly. a condition profoundly analyzed by Nietzsche.CASE STUDIES philosophical and political synthesis that these developments entailed. The Protestant Reformation effectively put an end to the universalist projects of Mediaeval Christianity and the Renaissance. to create a painful void in the spiritual and intellectual heart of Europe. in its modern incarnation. combined with the global expansion of European political and commercial interest. A hermeneutic engagement between peoples might even be 155 . typiﬁed by Descartes’ Meditations. in Clarke’s opinion. despite the numerous problems involved – these include the nature of the language barrier. arose. persuades him that. to beget geopolitical conditions which facilitated the passage to Europe of alternative world-views from the East. The breakdown of European conﬁdence had. and opened up the exciting but alarming prospect of pluralism. The Renaissance led to an inﬂux of ideas from classical Greece and Rome and from esoteric Jewish and Hermetic traditions. combined with the rise of modern science and other developments in Western philosophy. led inexorably to nihilism. the difﬁculty of translation.
an ancient language connected to Greek. German and English. independent of Latin and Semitic sources of identity. albeit locally inﬂected. was driven by the German romantic quest for identity and the emerging vision of Wissenschaft. German Indology. read a book or engage in the most trivial conversation. Nor should this conclusion come as a surprise. Such knowledge and power. cultural and linguistic barriers every day. As in the case of Germany in the period of the Third Reich (1933– 45). is not invariably directed at the colonial ‘other’. After all. suggests that the relationship identiﬁed by Said. people cross conceptual. for every act of communication involves a measure of decipherment and interpretation. was merely a speciﬁc instance of a larger. ‘DEEP ORIENTALISM’ In ‘Deep Orientalism? Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj’. Sheldon Pollock. now considered degenerate – an 156 . In Pollock’s view. not only when they translate a foreign text. transhistorical. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament (1993). but also when they listen to a lecture. in Orientalism. between Western knowledge of Asia and colonialism. relationship between knowledge and power in the world. The discovery of Sanskrit. he suggests. it might also be directed inwards. Aryan identity. in Carol A. a student of classics and Sanskrit at Harvard. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer. offered the Germans the prospect of an IndoGermanic. stretching as far as the limits of human experience and language allow. towards the orientalization (colonization and domination) of an internal ‘other’. the dominant form of Indianist orientalism in Germany in the modern period.ORIENTALISM envisaged as a universal phenomenon.
Helmuth Arntz. which could be considered scientiﬁcally validated by its ‘Aryan origins’. the ‘almost Nordic Zeal’ that lies in the Buddhist conception 157 . Hermann Lommel. the legitimate’. but they all displayed the same characteristics: a belief in the existence of a past Aryan culture. a Vedic specialist at the University of Munich. a belief in Indo-Germanic. Contributions to this form of internal orientalism – archaeological. varied. Paule Thieme. arisch. Indological – made by such noted scholars as Walther Wüst. Wilhelm Koppers and Erich Frauwallner. recently instituted in Germany. moreover. comparative religion. folklore and archaeology. as instanced in a series of German National Socialist measures. published by Walter Wüst. had been preserved in the present thanks to the existence of a traditional racial memory (Erberinnerung). philological.CASE STUDIES identity. Jacob Wilhelm Hauer. As a result it became possible to justify intellectually an internal colonization of Europe. In his article Wüst assembled material drawn from etymology. The ‘deep signiﬁcance’ and ‘indestructible grandeur’ attaching to the term Arier. anthropological. Ludwig Alsdorf. A single instance of the type of material cited by Pollock – an article entitled ‘German Antiquity and the History of Aryan Thought’. in Süddeutsche Monatshefte (1934) – might serve to illustrate Pollock’s case. The kg Veda as an Aryan text ‘free of any taint of Semitic contact’. including the ‘Law on the Reconstitution of the Civil Service’ and the ‘Law on the Overcrowding of German Schools’. to show that the ancient Aryas of India were people who felt themselves to be ‘privileged. Aryan superiority. literary history. and a conviction that knowledge of Aryanism was built on secure scholarly foundations. a belief in the importance of its survival and meaning for the German present.
and a scholarly justiﬁcation of domination. declared that he saw Hitler’s Mein Kampf as a ‘Mirror of the Aryan World View’. deﬁned as the study of the Orient. before the ofﬁcers of the SS ofﬁcer corps South and the SS subordinate commanders and regulars of the Munich garrison.ORIENTALISM of the mArga. the ‘volksnahe kingship’ – such was the meaning of the Indo-Aryan past for the National Socialist present. according to Wüst. in 1937. for Wüst. could not be understood without a knowledge of the past. in Munich. orientalism. the ‘Indo-Germanic religion-force’ of yoga. 1993. A defender of the orientalist profession might be tempted to argue that German Indology. is the need they felt to legitimate the National Socialist Weltanschauung. Yet the fact remains that the developments in German Indology in 158 . 89–90). and that in any case. survived from the second millennium BC right up to the present (Breckenridge and van der Veer. can hardly be held responsible for events occurring in Europe. What is signiﬁcant about Wüst and his other like-minded colleagues. by anchoring it ﬁrmly in orientalist scholarship – a scholarship that all too often displayed the characteristic signs of orientalism: an ontological and epistemological division between ‘them and us’. Pollock concludes. generated by the peculiar circumstances of the time. a present that. This world-view had. in a speech given in the Hacker Keller. The ﬁnal outcome of the Indology they produced – a mixture of non-scholarly mystical nativism. pp. Wüst. the sense of race and the ‘conscious desire for racial protection’. deriving from romanticism and the supposed objectivism of Wissenschaft – was the ultimate ‘orientalist’ project. in the National Socialist period. the legitimization of genocide. represented merely an aberration.
Burton. a Muslim feminist. and in the following decades European travel writers. and that Western culture was itself to some extent shaped by warped representations of the East (the Orient. threatened by Islam. After Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt. an account of Western travel writing in the Near and Middle East – mainly Galland. Galland’s translation of the Arabian Nights. Lane. such as Chateaubriand (Itinéraire de Paris à 159 . appeared at a moment of Ottoman defeat. But as the Islamic (Ottoman) threat diminished. IMPERIAL FICTIONS In Imperial Fictions (1988). In the Middle Ages. that Western travel writers. the opposite. the foil). show beyond peradventure that it is possible for a branch of European orientalism to display an extreme form of prejudice. the enemy. inescapably subservient to that discourse. aimed at the defeat and destruction of its great rival. totally undermining whatever claim it may have had to impartiality and disinterestedness. ﬁnds wholly in favour of Said’s thesis: that there exists a predetermined discourse regarding the Orient. generated a powerful polemic. fear changed to fascination. described by Pollock. the Christian West. in Kabbani’s view. journalist and student of English and Arabic literature. were deeply implicated in the imperialist project. The literary fabrication of the East was. Doughty and Lawrence – Rana Kabbani. and Western composers copied Turkish music in the period of Ottoman decline. educated in America and England. the other. the product of changed relations between the Islamic East and the Christian West.CASE STUDIES the National Socialist period. for instance. the wearing of turbans became all the rage in Europe.
chose to present the sum of his experience in ‘one 160 . who had culled a vast store of knowledge from his Eastern travels. Muslim travellers. Lane. 1836). Burton (Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah. 1935). the creation of such stereotypical images of the ‘other’ was in any sense original. Not that. Lane (Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. Al-Maqdisi and Idrisi. in the seventh to fourteenth centuries. 1888) and Lawrence (Seven Pillars of Wisdom.ORIENTALISM Jérusalem. supposedly a scholar committed to the pursuit of absolute objectivity. such as Ibn Khurdadbih. promiscuity. could not help falling a victim to the common distortion of selectivity. cruel. timeless. had themselves created similar images of the ‘other’. Antony and Cleopatra). in his Natural History. 1855–56). Beckford (Vathek). as had Pliny. and Columbus and Cortes. But few. in their accounts of their travels. travelling in the Far East and Southeast Asia. 1811). jealous. Burton. emissaries and explorers. Shelley (‘The Revolt of Islam’). she believes. Pigafetta. in his description of Magellan’s ﬁrst voyage. Doughty (Travels in Arabia Deserta. Other writers involved in the creation of stereotypical images of the East include Shakespeare (Othello. created a series of self-conﬁrming stereotypical images of the East – as alien. Kabbani does not deny that the travel writers she describes had frequently acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the East. irrational. Coleridge (‘Kubla Khan’) and Moore (Lalla Rookh). comprehend and ultimately rule over the Orient. lethargic and lascivious – designed to codify. choosing to stress those tales – of perverted sexuality. a man of extraordinary energy. in Kabbani’s view. licentiousness and indecency – which would most interest his readers. succeeded in escaping the orientalist trap.
escaped the orientalist net. part of the goods of empire. 110). lacking in rule’ (Kabbani. a realm that at that time could only be depicted by an unconventional man. the representations of women. chose to exile the Arabs he observed to a ‘spurious ancientness’. Doughty. who like Burton sought in the East sexual liberation. that Western men inferiorized the oriental. Only Blunt. a man who liked to perceive himself as a Christian patriarch. Women. where they would no longer be recognizable as contemporary beings with similar wants and aspirations to his own. and that oriental women were doubly inferior. who looked on the Bedouin Arabs as representatives of a pastoral and chivalric tradition. namely that all women were inferior to men. full of depressions and exaltations. portrayed the Arabs as primitive and irrational. reﬂected a standard Victorian prejudice. felt unable to call for an end to British rule in India. that is to say. constructed by writers like Burton. Throughout his career in the East he championed Islam and the colonized (the Algerians. p. calling for an end to Ottoman rule in Arab lands and the removal of the Caliphate to Mecca. The Arab mind. were chattels. according to Kabbani. then they could be exploited without misgiving.CASE STUDIES speciﬁc mode’. long eroded in Europe by industrialism and new money. 161 . They were there to be used sexually. His East was the conventional sensual realm of the Western imagination. is ‘strange and dark. found much support among other women writers. and if it could be suggested that they were inherently licentious. 1988. being both women and orientals. the living rewards available to men. the Arabs and the Egyptian nationalists). In Kabbani’s view. Yet even he. the Indian people. Lawrence. Rana Kabbini’s thesis. he wrote.
in ‘Cultures of Rule. sees Said’s analysis of orientalism – deﬁned as a form of political and cultural domination. are used to inferiorize not only women but also whole cultures. that Western men inferiorized women. in ‘Gender Studies. argues that. served to merge the colonizing adventure deﬁnitively with the sexual adventure (Miller. Social Analysis (1989). a ‘prevailing imagery of penetration.ORIENTALISM Rosalind O’Hanlon. Jane Miller. just as they inferiorized the oriental. Billie Melman. in Seductions (1990). submissive and cunning – as an implied attack on women. Susan Hekman. of stamina and of the eventual discovery of the strange and the hidden at the end of a journey. constructed by the West. Kabbani’s thesis. Finally. Communities of Resistance: Gender. in Women’s Orients (1992). in which the dominated are persuaded to internalize the rationale for. Discourse and Tradition in Recent South Asian Historiographies’. in Gender and Knowledge: Elements of a Postmodern Feminism (1990) concludes that the exclusion of women from the realm of the subject has been synonymous with their exclusion from the realm of rationality. excess and balance. a study of 162 . particularly in the Victorian period. But her supposition that women’s travel writing. Berkshire Review (1986). was widely contested. was then widely supported. Cross-cultural Comparison and the Colonial Organisation of Knowledge’. emotion and reason. expressed in Imperial Fictions. sees the orientalist characterization of the oriental – as effeminate. In other words. requiring courage and cunning’. in Western relations with the Third World. irrational. constituted an intrinsic part of the patriarchal discourse. and even the justice of. Veena Das. p. 117). 1990. categories of nature and culture. their own domination – as an implicit analysis of male–female relations.
Lady Luggard. Flora Shaw. Florence Nightingale. and shaping discourse. no ‘monoglot’ authorial voice. mainly concerned with the Middle East. Melman concludes. Elizabeth Craven. in turn. one authority ordering experience. reﬂecting a variety of inﬂuences. Mary Garnett and many others – concerned with the Middle East. frequently those concerned with evangelical and scientiﬁc pursuits. far from being mere ‘token travellers’. did on occasion display signs of Western prejudice. There was not. ethnocentrism and lack of empathy. individual. group. a number of women travel writers. Lady Anne Blunt. but a number of equally signiﬁcant models of perception and action (central to these were the Turkish Embassy Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu). ‘emergency men’. operating within and subsumed by the hegemonic cultural apparatus of Western male tradition. but a variety of diverse texts and a ‘heteroglot’ language. fully capable of establishing a personal rapport with the people among whom they lived. tolerating difference and making comparisons between the morals and customs of the host community and the one from which they came. were modulated by that encounter. but for the most part women travel writers in the Middle East entirely escaped the orientalist trap. which characteristically were located outside the places identiﬁed with political 163 . Amelia Edwards and Gertrude Bell. but diverse foci. gender and class. reconstructing information. There was no single focus of power and knowledge about ‘things oriental’. True. There was no single literary canon. Julia Pardoe. such as Harriet Martineau.CASE STUDIES women’s travel writing. argues that women travel writers – Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. creating in their writings a plurality of voices and idioms. Amelia Hornby. remained for the most part independent. which moulded actual encounter with alien peoples and places and. richly manifesting shifts and changes in sensibility.
smaller missionary enterprises and new scientiﬁc societies (Melman. Melman continues. p. but the work of women travel writers. described in Women’s Orients. to be applied indiscriminately in studies of orientalism. On the contrary. These foci included voluntary philanthropic organizations. Seen from the point of view of women’s travel writing. Reina Lewis. in Gendering Orientalism: Race-FeminityRepresentation (1996). Representations of the different. but a place comparable to the bourgeois home. should be related ﬁrst and foremost to the Bildung of individuals. In addition to national and regional differences. Such differences cannot be comprehended as solely political. oriental women became the feminine West’s recognizable mirror image. Western ‘Man’ may have constructed the Orient and the oriental as his ‘other’. already noted by a number of students of the subject. do not easily yield themselves to binary models.ORIENTALISM domination and economic expansion overseas. an examination of the contribution 164 . A number of conclusions. missionaries and explorers did not perceive the oriental woman as the absolutely alien. The haremlik was for Western women not the non plus ultra of an exotic décor. the evolution of class culture and concepts of gender and feminine sexuality. irrational and inferior. that is to say. the ultimate ‘other’. but Western women travellers. may be drawn from the foregoing. 1992. the reconstruction of the Orient should not be separated from the construction of the notion of empire and modern imperialism. exoticism and cultural exchange in the colonial era. varieties of class and gender must also be taken into account. Of course. 315). Europe and the West are not uniﬁed categories.
Voltaire. Substantial numbers of women artists. Montagu. Forster – Lisa Lowe. Lewis concludes. fragmented and contradictory (Lewis. Nevertheless. produced spaces from and in which women could represent. Orientalism was never static. that is to say. 237). 1993) that European orientalism created (in Lewis’s words) a homogenous discourse enunciated by a colonial subject that was uniﬁed. in short. In Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (1991) a study of orientalism in French and English literature – Flaubert. Montesquieu. It was partial. like Lewis. does not go as far as Melman in challenging Said’s view (somewhat qualiﬁed in Culture and Imperialism. were engaged in orientalist representation. class and nation. but it is necessary to recognize also the extent to which a degree of ﬂuidity was necessary to the maintenance of that hegemony. The hegemonic knowledge about the East that Said identiﬁes as fundamental to imperialism can still be recognized. appropriate and minimize the threat created by their alternative voices. not only of race and orientalism but also of gender. neither simply supportive nor oppositional. while at the same time developing strategies to contain. challenges that were not simply an unavoidable burden.CASE STUDIES made by Henrietta Brown (paintings of harem scenes) and George Eliot (Daniel Deronda) to the construction of the imperial project. Diderot. The nineteenth-century orientalist discourse. but were themselves productive of dominant and alternative deﬁnitions. their contribution was far more ﬂuid and contested than the standard orientalist model would lead one to expect. Women’s relationship to orientalism was. inevitably inﬂuenced by imperial ideology. p. It was perpetually fending off or responding to challenges from within and without. intentional and irredeemably male. does not challenge Said’s essential 165 . 1996.
in emphasizing so mercilessly the extraordinary contributions made by the travel writers she deals with. strengthen the image projected (intentionally or otherwise) by Said. in particular Burton. to the construction of the orientalist topos. she argues for a conception of orientalism that allows for the heterogeneous and the contradictory. inconsistencies and slippages. Yet paradoxically. identically constructed through time. calls into question the typicality of her chosen subjects. in Imperial Fictions. like Melman. Lewis and Lowe. In this context the binary opposition of Occident and Orient should be seen as a misleading perception.ORIENTALISM contention that British and French culture exercised colonial domination over the Orient by constituting certain sites and objects as oriental. on the other hand. in Women’s Orients (and to a lesser extent Lewis’s and Lowe’s). in Orientalism. of orientalism as an essentially Western European male construction. Rather. Melman’s contribution to the debate. while Melman. but of an uneven matrix of orientalist situations stretching across different cultural and historical sites. 166 . consists not of an unchanging topos. she refrains from totalizing orientalism as a monolithic development discourse that uniformly constructs the Orient as the ‘other’ of the Occident. effectively undermining the concept advanced by Said of orientalism’s homogeneity. But in her study. in emphasizing the heterogeneous nature of the contributions made by women travel writers. Kabbani’s account of Western travel writing. in her view. Orientalism. is a powerful endorsement of Said’s thesis regarding orientalism. Kabbani. each one of which is internally complex and unstable. Doughty and Lawrence. is a powerful challenge. which serves merely to suppress speciﬁc heterogeneities.
This to some extent he does. as revealed in the works of writers such as Beckford. It can be argued. displayed all the worst features of orientalism. by showing that Anglo-Indian orientalism was throughout the period of British ascendancy ﬂuid. therefore. changeable and frequently driven by contradiction. as deﬁned by Said – the portrayal of India and the East as gorgeous. metropolitan orientalism.J. but the greater part of his book is concerned not so much with Said. advanced in Orientalism. that British orientalism. fabulous. effeminate (the ‘effete Gentoo’).CASE STUDIES KIPLING AND ORIENTALISM In Kipling and Orientalism (1986). fully conscious of the realities of life in India. Dickens and Collins. unchanging and fanatical (the ‘barbarous Muslim’) – while Anglo-Indian orientalism. existed between British metropolitan orientalism and Anglo-Indian orientalism. and for the most part unavailingly. with regard to India. and aware of the constant changes occurring in the political situation there. that Moore-Gilbert’s analysis of British metropolitan attitudes supports Said’s thesis that British orientalism with regard to India was monolithic and unchanging. B. Moore. Said’s thesis. while his analysis of Anglo-Indian orientalism. challenges it. According to Moore-Gilbert. sought stubbornly. Scott. to correct metropolitan prejudice and ignorance. was essentially monolithic and 167 . Southey. mysterious. as reﬂected in several of Kipling’s poems and Kim. as with the substantial differences that. Moore-Gilbert declares that it is his intention to use the fruits of an investigation into Kipling’s relationship with Anglo-Indian culture to provide a critique of Said’s analysis of orientalism. in Moore-Gilbert’s view.
many British people. the Indian army. died of cholera – malaria. quite insufﬁcient to control 168 . on which Anglo-Indian security depended. home-sickness – the average length of uninterrupted military service in India in the ﬁrst quarter of the nineteenth century was twenty years – the imbalance of the sexes. outbreaks of cholera and typhoid – in the 1840s on a four-day army excursion to Karachi sixty-one men. as new arrivals were confronted by the realities of life in the subcontinent. Bareilly. arriving in India for the ﬁrst time. an ever-present reality. These included the ugliness of many of the major cities. Cuttack and Rohilcund. 73). 1986. clearly differentiated from the metropolis. were inﬂuenced by the metropolitan orientalist topos. appears overwhelming. consisted of a mere 67. according to MooreGilbert.ORIENTALISM unchanging. and in the 1820s further mutinies and insurrections occurred at Barrackpore. the losses suffered in an unending series of border wars. without the possibility of resistance’ (Moore-Gilbert. But the evidence cited by Moore-Gilbert. the purgatory of an Indian summer on the plains. loneliness. disillusion and insecurity. capable of generating its own values and well informed about developments in the subcontinent. which caused some observers to entertain apprehensions of a ‘universal revolt. with only ninety pieces of artillery. social isolation. according to Moore-Gilbert ﬁrst used in the early 1800s – saw themselves as an autonomous community. In 1806 a mutiny occurred at Vellore. Certainly. in support of his view that the Anglo-Indians – the term Anglo-Indian was. For the Anglo-Indians insecurity was. p.000 men. but experience soon applied an often painful corrective. is at ﬁrst sight compelling. out of a complement of two hundred and ﬁfty. In the 1830s. it is said.
formed in the eighteenth century. assisted by a small number of invalided foot soldiers.000 white troops remained in the subcontinent. On the eve of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58. only 20. In 1876 Hindu nationalists formed the India Association. immediate steps were taken to discover its true causes. dispersed over a million square miles. Anglo-Indian orientalism. Insecurity remained. responded rapidly to political change in the subcontinent. while metropolitan orientalism. though on the eve of the uprising of 1857–58. Hindu discontent increased. in other words. were toned down. seen as a serious threat to the survival of British power. Never again would they feel wholly at ease in the subcontinent. slumped back into its characteristic inattention and indifference. British stereotypes of the Muslim as a bloodthirsty fanatic.CASE STUDIES a population of one hundred million. remained remarkably unconcerned. but as Muslim discontent diminished. some ten million or so in number. a permanent feature of Anglo-Indian life. and in 1885 the Indian National Congress. according to one account. following a period of intense concern. To some extent these measures proved effective. The rest had been withdrawn to ﬁght in the Crimean War or serve elsewhere. The events of the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58 proved for the Anglo-Indians traumatic. policed the population of Benares. In May 1857. therefore. 169 . while stereotypes of the Hindu as an ‘effete Gentoo’ were further honed. a mere twenty-ﬁve white artillery men. it is said. and measures were introduced to neutralize Muslim discontent. most Anglo-Indians. As a result. Never again would they put their trust in the dependability of native forces. Following the suppression of the mutiny.
an Anglo-Indian newspaper.ORIENTALISM The insecurity felt by Anglo-Indians in India was not caused merely by the possibility of a further uprising. he concludes. Anglo-Indian 170 . So signiﬁcant did Moore-Gilbert consider Anglo-Indian fear of the consequences of what the Pioneer on one occasion called ‘false security and unpreparedness’ (1887). Moore-Gilbert is convinced. But in the end. In 1882. As an article in the Pioneer put it. p. the Indian government and its metropolitan counterpart feared a Russian advance in Persia or Afghanistan – an advance which it was feared might provoke rebellion in India. 1986 p. that in Kipling and Orientalism. on the occasion of the so-called Penjdeh crisis – a crisis provoked by a possible Russian seizure of the Penjdeh valley in Afghanistan – all army leave was cancelled and steps were taken to prepare for war. Nor were the Anglo-Indians convinced that in an emergency the British government would prove capable of defending them. particularly the second half. such as Kim. 89). then. for instance. In 1885. the Anglo-Indian community felt ‘no general conﬁdence in the watchfulness of the government to detect coming danger to the Empire. in 1881. challenging many of its principal tenets and strategies. 1986. that Anglo-Indian orientalism differed substantially from metropolitan orientalism. throughout the nineteenth century. ‘The Mutiny of the Mavericks’ and ‘The Man Who Was’. show. and a collapse of British power there – and even a direct invasion. he placed it foremost among the factors shaping the discourses of Anglo-Indian orientalism. warned that Russian encroachments ‘have become too pronounced to be regarded any longer with equanimity’ (Moore-Gilbert. the Pioneer. or its resolution to meet and beat down such danger at its outset’ (Moore-Gilbert. As occasional references in Kipling’s novels and short stories. 97).
society – as characterized by its caste system. even of the most profound and traumatic kind. capable of imagining a new relationship with ‘indigenous’ India. in his view. identiﬁes James Mill’s The History of British India (1817/1820) as the oldest hegemonic account of the history of India within the Anglo-French imperial formation. IMAGINING INDIA In Imagining India (1990). a prime example of imperial knowledge and a model explanatory text of utilitarian reductionism. By imperial knowledge he meant discourses. which painted Indian. Kipling remained a spokesman for the ‘White Man’. the inﬂexible agent of colonial government. Ronald Inden. cosmologies. he remained trapped in the political realities out of which orientalism had emerged. By hegemonic account Inden meant a text used by scholars to build and maintain the hegemony of their discourses over other knowledge. committed to the pursuit of British hegemony in India. as Said had declared in Orientalism. was for Inden an archetypal orientalist text. produced at their upper reaches by people who claim to speak with authority. in other words. By utilitarian reductionism he meant the practical. empiricist philosophy of advancement. ontologies and epistemologies. As for Kipling. an anthropologist who is interested mainly in the history of India. In the end. mainly Hindu. could not undermine. Mill’s history. its belief 171 . for all the doubt and unease expressed in his writing. shaped willy nilly by an overarching orientalism which experience.CASE STUDIES orientalism and metropolitan orientalism remained united. associated in the period of the Anglicist–Orientalist controversy with the Anglicist point of view. that is to say. its supposedly self-sufﬁcient and unchanging villages. Neither was.
In Ungoverned Imaginings: James Mill’s The History of British India and Orientalism (1992). In The History of British India. Muslim rule may to some extent have introduced new forms of administration into some of the principal departments of state. whose parents had.ORIENTALISM in divine kingship and its collective ‘Hindu’ mind – as essentially backward. on the strength of the knowledge he had acquired and the contacts he had made. come down in the world. the noted philosopher – was born in 1773 in Northwater Bridge. Logie-Pert. he was appointed Assistant to the Examiner of Indian correspondence at the London headquarters of the East India Company. Javed Majeed vigorously contested Inden’s view that Mill’s history was a hegemonic text. according to Inden. characterizes Indian civilization as essentially unchanging. the son of a shoemaker and an ambitious servant girl. Mill. where he became a successful writer and editor of numerous journals and reviews. arguing rather that it should be seen as a concealed criticism of the English class system. 172 . This interpretation did not go unchallenged. landed wealth and the conservative philosophy that supported them. the year of ﬁrst publication. barbarous. After attending Edinburgh University he moved to London. but it had not greatly altered the texture of native society. the Literary Journal. James Mill – the father of John Stuart Mill. static. despotic and irrational. The basis of Indian civilization. owing to the suppression of the Jacobites. In 1819. He began writing The History of British India in 1806 or thereabouts. and completed it in 1817. including the Anti-Jacobin Review. immutable. though he never visited India. James’s Chronicle. Scotland. and in 1830 Chief Examiner. Forfarshire. and St.
violence and deformity. stupid. prodigies. Inherently irrational. portents. 1992. In this context. divine kingship. lord-ridden. 1992. lawyer-ridden. while the beneﬁcial duties of life were ignored. described by Mill in The History of British India as ‘unintelligible. contest. The king claimed ownership of all land and the surplus value the land produced. squire-ridden and soldier-ridden’ (Majeed. seen by his colleague. they saw it as displaying no coherence. caprice. Excesses associated with the Hindu religion included human sacriﬁce. Mill’s characterization of Hindulaw as recently compiled by the pandits – as vague.CASE STUDIES the key to understanding the ‘whole frame of Hindu society’. wisdom or beauty. Rather. but not religion and its ministers. Javed Majeed sees Mill’s The History of British India in quite a different light. far from being a hegemony text. The system of government employed was theocratic despotism. in which the king controlled the army and the public revenue. governed by general laws and directed to benevolent ends. various forms of self-destruction and suttee (the burning of wives on the funeral pyres of their husbands). as ‘priest-ridden. For Majeed. p. Doubt regarding the supposed antiquity of Hindu culture and civilization should 173 . Jeremy Bentham. p. passion. 127). All was disorder. Hindu gods. is actually an implied critique of English society. 132). arbitrary and unintelligible – should be seen as an implied critique of English common law. acting only to maximize private gratiﬁcation. the Hindus never contemplated the universe as a connected and perfect system (as the utilitarians did). were worshipped in an endless succession of observances. tedious and expensive’ (Majeed. inspired by orientalist attitudes. who preside over this disorder. was caste. the History.
Mill’s The History of British India became a standard work for East India Company ofﬁcials and. deeply implicated.ORIENTALISM be seen as an aspect of Mill’s general contempt for what Bentham referred to as ‘superstitious respect for antiquity’ (Majeed. that does not mean that the philosophical radicalism advocated by Mill in The History of British India shaped East India Company policy in India. Far from seeking to impose radical change. in short. sensitive to the complexities of local politics. in this process remained active agents. 174 . eventually. based on sound utilitarian principles. in the ﬁrst half of the nineteenth century. based on sound rational principles – principles which might equally well be applied at home and for that matter in any other human society bedevilled by ignorance and superstition. British rule in India. as Majeed makes clear. the British aimed mainly to appropriate and legitimize British rule through accommodation with what Majeed refers to as ‘indigenous idiom’. 146). cautious and experimental. But. the basis of which had been laid down in the Mogul period. a textbook for candidates for the Indian civil service. should be equated with similar calls for rational legislation at home. remained conservative. For Mill. And calls for rational legislation. India provided a testing ground for the application of utilitarian theories. On the contrary. Scepticism regarding the supposed beneﬁts of monopolistic trading practices in India should be equated with doubt regarding their beneﬁts elsewhere. in India. Said’s conception that British rule in India was monolithic and irresistible simply does not ﬁt the facts. far from being passive bystanders and victims of their creation as colonial subjects. It was also for a time the ofﬁcial textbook of the Company’s college at Haileybury. p. Indian groups and societies. 1992.
175 . codify and tabulate the Orient. offers an alternative explanation for the approach adopted by a number of Scottish orientalists employed by the Company. James Mackintosh. Scottish orientalists. in Orientalism. saw the work of British orientalists. laws might then be formulated which would apply not just to this or that community or people. the better to control and colonize it. John Leyden. John Crawfurd. The Historical Journal (1982). cultural and social. Such a desire may well have driven many English orientalists in their pursuit of knowledge of the Orient in that period. in ‘Scottish Orientalism: From Robertson to James Mill’. William Erskine. should be applied to the study of man and society. According to Rendall. as a typical instance of the European inclination to classify. Dugald Stewart and Adam Smith. political. Alexander Murray. certain guidelines were laid down by the scholars of the Scottish Enlightenment for the proper study of man and society. Secondly. as expounded by William Robertson. a civilization. but to the whole of human society. the product of those aspects. On the basis of observation. Firstly. such as Alexander Hamilton. These scholars believed that methods of enquiry. but Jane Rendall. were inﬂuenced mainly by the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment. similar to those of the natural sciences. it was assumed that a close relationship existed between the various aspects of man’s life in society. all connected in one way or another with Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh Review.CASE STUDIES SCOTTISH ORIENTALISM Said. employed by the East India Company in the ﬁrst quarter of the nineteenth century. Vans Kennedy and Mountstuart Elphinstone. economic. Rendall suggests.
could be located on an evolutionary scale, a ladder of civilizations, running from ‘rudeness’ to ‘reﬁnement’. Thirdly, the mode of subsistence of a particular society – hunting, pastoral, agricultural and commercial – tended to play a critical part in determining the location of a civilization on that scale. Fourthly, progress from one stage to another was expected to be slow, undirected, sometimes accidental, and rarely the result of deliberate human intervention. The inﬂuence of the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment may be detected in the work of several of the Scottish orientalists. Hamilton, a member of the Asiatic Society, criticized the Society for what he saw as its narrow concentration on Hindu antiquities; and he suggested that even the essays of H.T. Colebrooke, the leading orientalist in Calcutta, were too much concerned with the ‘tedious ritual of superstition’, interesting only in so far as they furnished deductions of a more general nature. Murray suggested that what was needed was a historian of India with a much wider perspective, a historian with a genuinely ‘philosophic purpose’. Mackintosh and Erskine, who founded the Bombay Literary Society in 1804, sought to promote enquiry into the physical and moral sciences, in particular mineralogy, natural history and botany; and Mackintosh, who wanted to write a book (which never appeared) on the ‘History and present state of the British dominions in India’, declared that he intended to exclude ‘antiquarian research as well as uncertain or merely curious disquisitions’ (Rendall, 1982, pp. 48–9). According to Rendall, two major themes illustrate the methods and assumptions of the Scottish orientalists of that period. One is the study of comparative philology,
the other the ‘philosophical’ approach to Indian society. Alexander Murray, for instance, much inﬂuenced by Horne Tooke, a leading philologist, and Charles Wilkins, whose Grammar of the Sanskrita Language was published in 1808, wrote a History of the European Languages; or, Researches into the Afﬁnities of the Teutonic, Greek, Celtic, Slavonic and Indian Nations (1823), in which he aimed to trace the original European language, to which Teutonic was the nearest known. But he insisted that in philology, as in moral and natural philosophy, the enquirer should ‘collect as many facts of all descriptions, relating to his subject, as possible, and he should never assume a principle without ample proof of its existence, nor draw a conclusion unsupported by all the facts’. Alexander Hamilton, in a review of the accounts of two envoys recently returned from Ava and Tibet, emphasized that such observations were mainly of use to the philosopher engaged in ‘contemplating the nature of man, as displayed in his actions and opinions under every diversity of climate, government and religious system’. Elphinstone noted the need to justify the study of Asian history, by stressing its relevance to the ‘general history of the species’. Kennedy contrasted the traditional narrative subjects of both Persian and European historians with subjects more worthy of the attention of the philosophical historian. Following James Mill, that is to say, the Scottish orientalists aimed to illuminate ‘the history of society . . . in almost all its stages and all its shapes’ (Rendall, 1982, pp. 52, 59–60). For the Scottish orientalists inﬂuenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, the categorization of societies, peoples and cultures was, as we have seen, not based on a polarization of West and East, Europe and Asia, occidental and oriental, but on the placing of a society on a scale of
development. Thus, Erskine, in a translation of the Memoirs of Zehir-ed-din Muhammed Baber Emperor of Hindustan (1826), divided Asia into two parts: that lying to the north of the range of mountains, including the Himalayas, running from China in the East to the Black Sea in the West, which he characterized as being inhabited by ‘uncivilized tribes’, and that lying to the south of this line, which he characterized as being inhabited by nations of ‘comparative civilization’. In this context civilization denoted a state or society that had developed major cities, a ﬂourishing commerce and a government able to protect its people. These conditions, Erskine suggested, had been achieved in the past, in the powerful empires of Asia, to the south of the Himalayas. John Crawfurd, in History of the Indian Archipelago (1820), divided the Indian archipelago into ﬁve divisions, according both to their geographical position and to their degree of civilization. But for Crawfurd the condition of savage peoples was more or less uniform, since the ‘inﬂuence of physical and local circumstances on the character of our species does not become obvious and striking until society has made considerable advances’ (Rendall, 1982, p. 63). It should not, of course, be supposed that the Scottish orientalists entirely escaped the orientalist trap. Their inclination to categorize every aspect of oriental society, as displayed in Leyden’s great project to investigate the languages, literature, antiquities and history of the Deccan, would be considered by Said as typically orientalist. And as Rendall has remarked, the approach they adopted offered an easy rationale for assumptions of intrinsic Western European superiority, since Western Europe was automatically assumed to be at the top of the ladder of civilization. But the fact remains that the Scottish orientalists were not for the most part seeking to divide the world up into
particular sectors, based on the suspect principles of ‘self ’ and ‘other’, Occident and Orient, East and West. What they were aiming to produce was knowledge of human nature in all its aspects. As MacKenzie remarks in Orientalism: History, Theory and the Arts (1995), in failing to take account of the intellectual background of the Scottish orientalists and other factions seeking to promote a philosophic approach to the problem of Indian government, Said and his fellow critics of orientalism were oversimplifying the position.
ORIENTALISM AND RELIGION
Many remarkable claims have been made regarding the impact of orientalism on the East, but few can equal that made by Richard King, a scholar of ancient Indian philosophy and religion, in Orientalism and Religion (1999), that in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries orientalism effectively created the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. That is not to suggest that the peoples of Asia had somehow failed to develop complex systems of religious belief and practice comparable to those of Europe, but they had not, as the Europeans had done, developed the notion of ‘religion’ as a monolithic entity, involving a uniﬁed set of beliefs, doctrines and religious practices. The categorization of Indian beliefs and practices, under the general headings of Hinduism and Buddhism, was therefore left to the Europeans, mainly the British, to accomplish. The notion of a religion as a composite belief system, based on speciﬁc texts and supported by some kind of priesthood, conceived by the Europeans in the Middle Ages and the period of the Enlightenment, originated, according to King, in the third century when Christians living in the
Roman Empire redeﬁned the Latin word religio. Originally signifying a ‘re-tracing’ or ‘re-reading’ of the lore and ritual of the forefathers, in the third century the Christians redeﬁned the word to mean a banding together, in which a ‘bond of piety’ would unite all true believers. Later, a Christian model of religion that strongly emphasized theistic belief, exclusivity and a fundamental dualism between the human world and the transcendental world of the divine, to which one bonds (religare) oneself, became dominant. And in the period of the Enlightenment it was taken for granted that all cultures are, in one way or another, supported by religions, easily identiﬁable and classiﬁable, in terms of speciﬁc names such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The term Hindoo was, according to King, originally a Persian variant of the Sanskrit sindhu, the Indus River, and as such it was used by the Persians to identify the people inhabiting the region. Later the term was used by the peoples of the area to distinguish themselves from foreigners, but it was not, it seems, used as a religious designation. That development occurred as a result of the arrival of the British and French, who, as children of the Enlightenment, would have found it difﬁcult to envisage the existence of a set of religious beliefs and practices not categorized as a ‘religion’. On ﬁrst arriving in India the British referred to the peoples of the Indian subcontinent variously as heathens, the children of the devil, Gentoos (Portuguese: gentio – gentile) and Banians (the merchant populations of north India), and to their religion as the ‘religion of the Gentoos’. Towards the end of the eighteenth century the expression ‘religion of the Hindoos’ became common, and
contemporary Buddhism. in particular the Brahmanical elite. could be discovered in a body of teaching associated with its founder and his followers. European scholars. In this context. 181 . On the contrary. according to King. used the word Hinduism. much in need of reform. As in the case of Hinduism. and was administered by a community of ordained religious specialists. and in 1858 it was used by Max Müller. Introduction à l’histoire de Buddhisme indien (1844). As in the case of other Indian religions. many Hindus. It had been founded by an identiﬁable ﬁgure. were more than willing to adopt the new categorization. the Sinhalese and the Chinese conceived of themselves as Buddhists before they were so labelled by Europeans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. was seen as a degenerate version of a classical original. the Buddha. which was based on 147 Sanskrit manuscripts brought back from Nepal by Brian Hodgson in 1824. but also with the politically useful concept of a ‘national’ identity. Not that the notion of Hinduism was necessarily imposed by the British on the Hindus. as practised in Asia. as this supplied them not only with a ready-made cultural tradition. 45). supposedly inherited from a once great classical civilization. a leading orientalist. it was by no means certain that the Tibetans. in identifying Buddhist religious belief and practice as a religion. a leading Indian intellectual. In 1829 the word was used in the Bengalee (Vol. But according to King. Fundamental to the classiﬁcation of Buddhism as a composite religion founded on a series of speciﬁc classical texts was the work of Eugene Burnouf. supposedly discoverable in a series of speciﬁc classical texts. sought to impose on them an essential identity.CASE STUDIES in 1816. For the Europeans the Buddhist religion posed fewer problems than its rival. Rammahon Roy.
the appropriation by Indian nationalists 182 . and India in particular. Firstly. within which time and history had been suspended. According to King. a country with a lively and sometimes violent history. lost in time. however. In India. In King’s opinion. in which Asia in general. Secondly. shrouded in mystery. the German Sanskritist. was identiﬁed as a sacred place. for instance.ORIENTALISM Tibet. yes. it facilitated the imperial project. could be seen as the West’s gateway to its own past – to the lost innocence and childhood of humanity. 147). Thirdly. As Friedrich Schlegel. the elaborate mystiﬁcation thus created served a triple purpose. and used to promote the idea that a spiritually advanced and ancient religious tradition existed in India called ‘Hinduism’. which might be identiﬁed as the religion of the Indian ‘nation’. remarked: ‘Everything. it served to deﬁne the West as quintessentially modern and rational. 1999. educated to European standards. It is evident that King for the most part accepts Said’s thesis that in the past Western studies of Asian culture generally involved a degree of essentialization that had the effect of distinguishing Asian culture from that of the West. in characterizing the East as essentially ancient. in King’s opinion. it satisﬁed a European nostalgia for origins. in identifying the Indians and other Orientals as degenerate and backward. everything without exception has its origin in India’ (quoted by King. and that Western scholars believed that their work presented an accurate and unproblematic picture of the reality they were endeavouring to explain. the orientalist discourses thus created were not univocal. much in need of reform. p. such discourses were appropriated by the ‘new’ Indian intelligentsia. Not that.
savage and unchanging. as discovered in the Revue des Deux Mondes – a middle-brow. mysterious. concerned primarily with Algeria. travel. of French orientalism. Orientalism and Algeria: 54 Articles from the Revue des Deux Mondes. that Europeans in their writings almost invariably essentialize the Orient (Algeria. irrational. middle-class. household journal. Nevertheless. the material uncovered by Gemie in the 54 articles he investigates fully conﬁrms the thesis. public administration and literature. archaeology. Kabbani and Nochlin. French orientalism. published twice monthly in France in the period of the July Monarchy (1830–48). in their various books and articles. Africa. the Second Republic (1848–51) and the Second Empire (1852–70) – far from emphasizing the exotic and erotic elements of life in the Near and Middle East. actually covers a wide range of subjects. For the writers and readers of the 183 . published in The Journal of Algerian Studies (1998). as readers of Said. Sharif Gemie. According to Gemie. a student of the humanities. ﬁnds that Said. primitive. including history. the focal point. advanced by the critics of orientalism. war. overprivilege literary text and underestimate the importance of Algeria in the construction of French images of the East. ORIENTALISM AND ALGERIA In his study of ‘France. 1846–52’. for in the post-independence period it left Indian self-awareness deeply imbued with the orientalist presuppositions on which it had been constructed. the Near East) as exotic. exaggerate the unitary nature of orientalism. in Gemie’s opinion. violent. Kabbani and Nochlin might have expected. the Arab World.CASE STUDIES of such politically useful ideas and concepts was an unmixed blessing.
uncivilized and anarchic were ideas of France as advanced. that is to say. colonized in the following decades. civilized and disciplined. It acknowledges the patriarchal character of Algerian (Arab) society – a characteristic much admired by French conservatives – and it makes little or no attempt to feminize the East. exotic place. Gérard de Nerval and A.ORIENTALISM Revue des Deux Mondes. Gemie suggests. But in almost all other respects the orientalism discovered by Gemie. For the writers published in the Revue des Deux Mondes – these included Théophile Gautier. the Orient consisted primarily of Algeria. conquered by France in the 1830s. rational. in his investigation. revolution and class war. which could not be exposed to such salacious material. The need to impose order required national unity and a respect for authority. Colonization of 184 . and made part of France in 1848. capture. Savagery and disorder in Algeria justiﬁed the imposition of order and an extension of French civilization. violent and savage (Castellane). Léonce de Lavergne. in Gemie’s opinion. Ampère. Pierre de Castellane. Any reference to the feminization (seduction. conﬁrms the standard interpretation advanced by the critics of orientalism. In two respects only does the orientalism revealed in the Revue des Deux Mondes differ from the standard version. ruled out by the nature of the readership of the Revue. prodigal (de Lavergne). the orientalization of Algeria was used to promote ideas of French cultural superiority. Inherent in all ideas of Algeria as primitive. management) of the East was. In France.-J. unchanging (Ampère). irrational. irrational (Gautier) and backward (Nerval). de la Tour du Pin – the Orient was a strange. justify conquest and foster national unity. fanatical (de la Tour du Pin). threatened by the forces of socialism. J.
Algeria, in other words, would help unite France, then threatened by the rival claims to power advanced by the Legitimists, the Orleanists, the Bonapartists and the Republicans.
EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED
In the mid-1980s, at a conference held at the University of Essex, Edward Said was offered an opportunity to look again at the issues raised by his study of orientalism. This he did with both frankness and determination. He admitted that he had not yet fully digested or understood some of the criticisms made of Orientalism, but he continued stubbornly to defend his thesis that orientalists frequently played a decisive part in the formation of negative images of the Orient. Critics of Orientalism were no doubt to some extent justiﬁed in seeing his work as part of the current debate regarding conﬂict in the ArabIslamic world, particularly in the area where that world interacted with Europe and the United States of America. His own consciousness of being an oriental, indeed, went back to the days of his youth in colonial Palestine and Egypt; and his impulse to resist the ‘impingements’ of colonialism and imperialism had been nurtured in the heady atmosphere of the post-Second World War period of independence, when Arab nationalism, Nasserism, the 1967 and 1973 Arab–Israeli Wars, the Lebanese Civil War, the Iranian Revolution and its horriﬁc aftermath produced an extraordinary series of highs and lows, the revolutionary
EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED
impact of which had yet to be worked out. In such a situation of perpetual ﬂux it was evident that no one could by an act of pure will or sovereign understanding comprehend what was happening. Yet still many mainstream academics treated the Orient, the Arabs and Islam as if they were ﬁxed objects, frozen once and for all in time by the gaze of Western percipients (Barker et al., 1986). According to Said, many of the critics of Orientalism had taken his work to be a defence of Islam and the Arabs. This was not the case. Neither Islam nor the Arabs actually existed. Both were merely ‘communities of interpretation’. Like the Orient itself, each designation represented merely interests, claims, projects, ambitions, and rhetorics that were not only frequently in violent disagreement with each other, but also often at war. So saturated with meaning, so over-determined by history, religion and politics were such labels that no one today can use them without paying some attention to the ‘formidable polemical mediations’ that screen the actual objects – if they exist at all – that the labels designate. Scholars may argue that science and learning are designed to transcend such vagaries of interpretation, but as the history of orientalism shows, such assertions are all too often themselves politically motivated (Barker et al., 1986, p. 214). Said’s own critique of orientalism, he goes on, was very much a continuation of the work of A.L. Tibawi, Abdullah Laroui, Anouar Abdel-Malek, Talal Asad, S.H. Alatas, Franz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, each of whom had suffered from the ravages of imperialism and colonialism, and each of whom wished to rediscover a lost sense of identity, suppressed by orientalism. Not that the line adopted by
these writers was the only one available. Other critics of orientalism included the nativists, who wanted to promote the virtues of a native culture, the nationalists, who sought salvation in the creation of a nation state, and the fundamentalists, who sought salvation in the application of traditional Islamic values. He would not attempt to adjudicate the claims of these groups, except to say that he, personally, had always tried to avoid making claims regarding the reality, truth and authenticity of such entities as the Islamic world and the Arab World, except in so far as they were concerned with conﬂict situations, involving partisanship, solidarity and sympathy. Critics of the critics of orientalism had, in Said’s opinion, either reinforced the afﬁrmations of positive power lodged within orientalism’s discourse or much less frequently engaged the critics of orientalism in a genuine intellectual exchange. The reasons for this split were self-evident: some had to do with power and age, as well as institutional power and guild defensiveness; others had to do with religious or ideological conviction. All were political. For sheer heedless anti-intellectualism, unrestrained and unencumbered by the slightest trace of critical selfconsciousness, no one, in Said’s opinion, achieved the sublime conﬁdence of Bernard Lewis. As for the view of Islam propounded by Daniel Pipes, in In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (1983), this represented neither science, nor knowledge, nor even understanding. It was a statement of power and a claim to absolute authority. It was constituted out of racism, and designed to appeal to an audience already prepared in advance to listen to its muscular truths. Similarly, much of the animus against Orientalism was inspired by Zionists, opposed to the Palestinian cause, and by orientalists, members of the guild
EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED
of orientalism, defending their professional terrain from outside scrutiny. It should not be forgotten that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the destruction of Palestinian society and the sustained Zionist assault on Palestinian nationalism were all staffed by orientalists. One of the legacies of orientalism was, in Said’s opinion, historicism – the view pronounced by such leading intellectuals as Vico, Hegel, Marx, Ranke and Dilthy, that if human kind has a history, it is produced by men and women, and can, at any given moment, be understood historically, as possessing a complex but coherent unity. Bryan S. Turner, in Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978), has gone a long way towards fragmenting, dissociating, dislocating and decentring the experiential terrain covered by historicism; and he has identiﬁed the need to subvert the polarities and binary oppositions of Marxist-historicist thought (voluntarism versus determinism, Asiatic versus Western society, change versus stasis), in order to create a new way of analyzing plural, as opposed to single, subjects. In order to complete this task it will be necessary to think in both political and theoretical terms, locating the main problems in the area of domination and the division of labour. The material of historicism that is to say, must be dispersed into radically different objects and pursuits of knowledge. In Said’s opinion, the reconsideration of orientalism and other, related issues, such as male gender dominance and patriarchy in metropolitan societies, has already led to a new interest in the conﬁgurations of sexual, racial and political asymmetry, underlying mainstream, modern, Western culture, adumbrated and illustrated respectively by feminists, black studies critics and anti-imperialist activists.
1979). Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition (1983) and Partha Mitter’s Much Maligned Monsters (Clarendon Press. not less reﬂective and critical for being decentred.ORIENTALISM Examples of this include Sandra Gilbert’s recent study of Rider Haggard’s She. 1983). therefore. they ‘selfconsciously situate themselves at vulnerable conjunctural nodes of on going disciplinary discourses’. marginal and oppositional with 190 . They represent. new theoretical models that upset or at the very least radically alter the paradigmatic norms’ (Barker et al. in Partisan Review (50. 1973). and Peter Gran’s The Islamic Roots of Capitalism (University of Texas Press. 3. They appeal to a plurality of audiences. 1986 p. new praxes of humanist (in the broad sense of the word) activity. for the most part non. Abdul Jan Mohamed’s Manichean Aesthetics (University of Massachusetts Press.. each with its admitted (as opposed to denied) interest. What these works have in common is the fact that they are all interventionary in nature. 1983). 1977). they offer the possibility of common grounds of assembly between them. where each of them posits ‘nothing less than new objects of knowledge. canonicity and science. planes of activity and praxis. rather than one topography.and in some cases antitotalizing and anti-systematic. commanded by a geographical and historical vision locatable in a known centre of metropolitan power. Other works driven by impulses similar to those fuelling the antiorientalist critique include Raymond Williams’s The Country and the City (Hogarth. They are also consciously secular. operate on a number of terrains and work for a variety of constituencies. political desiderata and disciplinary goals. 226). All work out of what might be called a decentred consciousness. The result is that instead of seeking common unity by appeals to a centre of sovereign authority. That is to say. methodological consistency.
coercive system of knowledge. What is. surprising is his apparent belief that earlier orientalist works. In an Afterword to the 1995 edition of Orientalism – also published. mainstream and canonic.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED regard to the mainstream. as a dominating. coercive systems of knowledge (Barker et al. 228). Sacy. a defence of Islam and the Arabs. that authors such as Raymond Williams and Eric Hobsbawm worked out of a decentred consciousness. metropolitan. 1986. perhaps. Said’s condemnation of orientalism.. It was an attempt to show that concepts such as ‘Orient’ and ‘Occident’ correspond to no stable reality. coercive system of knowledge. and that their works have not already become part of a dominating. in an edition of the Times Literary Supplement (1995) – Said made it clear that his critique was not intended as an attack on the West. Far 191 . did not posit new objects of knowledge. Colebrooke and Hamilton. generally authoritarian systems from which they emanate and against which they now agitate. ‘Orientalism Reconsidered’ (1986) was by no means Said’s last word on the issues raised by his critique of orientalism. in a somewhat shortened version. Jones. under the signiﬁcant title ‘East Isn’t East: The Impending End of the Age of Orientalism’. such as those of Anquetil-Duperron. and they are political and practical in as much as they intend – without necessarily succeeding in implementing – the end of dominating. seek to alter paradigmatic norms and appeal to a variety of audiences and constituencies. locatable in a known centre of metropolitan power. is fully in line with his previous analysis of the subject. p. or a defence of the downtrodden and the abused. commanded by a geographical and historical vision. It was none of these things.
A number of Westerners. hitherto deprived by the West of an opportunity to express themselves. societies and peoples. saw it as a defence of Islam. This approach suggests the existence not only of an enduring oriental reality. the ‘self’ and nationalism. saw it as a book which for the ﬁrst time enabled the ‘subaltern’ classes (the ‘wretched of the earth’) to answer back. Such ideas provoke insecurity. According to Said. 192 . xenophobic nationalism and chauvinism. who mistakenly concluded that orientalism stood as a synecdoche for the West. as are images of an essential Orient. in particular. dynamic and complex human reality from an essentialist standpoint. is that images of an essential Islam are just that. designed to create a sense of identity – a sense of identity that may be further strengthened by the construction of an ‘other’. against which the self can be contrasted. people in general ﬁnd it difﬁcult to accept the thesis that human reality is constantly being made and unmade. Muslims and Arabs. particularly fundamentalists. merely images. they are constructs.ORIENTALISM from being natural facts. and insecurity in turn generates patriotism. ﬁnd it difﬁcult to accept the thesis that the ‘fundamentals’ of their religion are not ahistorical (hardly surprising in view of the fact that acceptance of that thesis would destroy the foundation of their religion). The downtrodden and the abused. but that as a system of thought it approaches a heterogeneous. Muslim fundamentalists. His objection to orientalism is not that it is the antiquarian study of oriental languages. Said’s own position on this issue. he explains. saw Orientalism as an attack on the West. which was under attack from orientalists who called the authenticity of their religion into question.
from above. the United States. The invigorated study of Africanist and Indological discourses. political science. the Caribbean. recourse to Marxism and the West. art history. so to speak. There a sense of confrontation between an often emotionally deﬁned Arab world and an even more emotionally experienced Western world had drowned out the fact that Orientalism was meant to be merely a study in critique. and not an afﬁrmation of warring and hopelessly antithetical identities.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED but also of an opposing but no less enduring Western essence. and the vast new developments in feminist and minority discourse – to all of these Orientalism had made a difference. enabling mode. it hides the interests of the orientalists concerned. of a decidedly rigorous and unyielding stripe. Ireland. the analyses of subaltern history. total system. literary criticism and musicology. But. Australia. he declares. The false position thus created hides historical change. the reconﬁguration of post-colonial anthropology. Many British and American academics. wanted to liberate intellectuals from the shackles of systems such as orientalism. which observes the Orient from afar. and even more important. This had already to some extent happened in Europe. and. in his view. India. had criticized Orientalism for 193 . In writing Orientalism Said had. Only the Arab world remained largely untouched. New works might then be written which would illuminate the historical experience of Arabs and others in a more generous. represents merely an attempt to use one orthodoxy to shoot down another. and there he had been upbraided for not paying sufﬁcient attention to Marx and for failing to appreciate the great achievements of orientalism and the West. as a coherent. Latin America and parts of Africa.
not a theoretical machine.ORIENTALISM its residual humanism. for instance. No one had convincingly shown that individual effort is not at some profoundly unteachable level both eccentric and original. the orientalists. did not in any way regret. qualities that gave writers like Massignon and Burton their surprising force. racism and hostility. In this context Bernard Lewis’s defence of orientalism. In his defence. Said. had pointed out that while he. Lewis. whose ‘verbosity scarcely conceals the ideological underpinnings of his position’ and who displays an ‘extraordinary capacity for getting nearly everything 194 . sloppy and uniform. had singled out the exaggeration. Claude Cahen and André Raymond. published in Islam and the West (1993). derived from its variability and unpredictability. none of which were seamless. he had not mentioned the scholarly and humanistic achievements of orientalists such as Marshall Hodgson. The most vociferous critics of orientalism were. discourses and hegemonies. These failings. for comment. The interest he took in orientalism. academic scholars specializing in the languages and histories of the East. Said. its theoretical inconsistency and its insufﬁcient treatment of agency. merely that the guild of orientalists had a speciﬁc history of complicity with imperial power. according to Said. should be mentioned. in a review of Orientalism published in the New York Review of Books (1979). perfect or inevitable. this despite the existence of systems of thought. Albert Hourani. if such they be. all of whom should be acknowledged as real contributors to human knowledge. present in much orientalism. the self-appointed spokesman for the guild of orientalists. he. as Orientalism had always been intended as a partisan book. which it would be Panglossian to call irrelevant. But it had never been his intention to suggest that orientalism was invariably evil.
Shortly thereafter Said was threatened with assassination. it is worth noting. governments whose objectives in the Islamic world are economic exploitation. For Said. What Lewis refuses to recognize is the extent to which modern orientalist scholarship has paralleled the acquisition by Britain and France of vast Eastern empires. a professor of English at Tel-Aviv University and the University of Washington. in an article entitled ‘ “My Beautiful Old House” and Other Fabrications by Edward Said’. and actively work for. entitled ‘Professor of Terror’. accused Said of distorting the history of his supposedly idyllic childhood in Palestine. Instead of accusing other people of espousing fashionable causes. author of The Jewish Idea and Its Enemies (c. Lewis should address the question of why so many Islamic specialists were and still are routinely consulted by. 343–5). a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization and an enemy of Israel. in various accounts of his life. pp.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED wrong’. claimed that he had been born and brought up in Palestine. And in 1999. a practice thoroughly in keeping with the least creditable aspects of old-fashioned colonialist orientalism. 1988). 1995. in which he accused Said of being an ‘ideologue of terrorism’. Said. Justus Reid Weiner. the son of 195 . According to Weiner. and forced to take all the precautions normally taken by a person placed in that situation. In 1989 Edward Alexander. a student of international law at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs and a lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. domination and outright aggression (Said. the consequences of his critique of orientalism and involvement with the Palestine question were not merely academic. published an article in Commentary. delivers ahistorical and wilful political assertions in the form of scholarly argument.
ORIENTALISM Wadie Said. during a family visit there. as a consulate general. can be found in Edward Said. and his family. and then by Mrs Boulos Yusef Said. An alternative account of Said’s life. 196 . and consciously encouraged others to serve up. 1999. made up in equal parts of outright deception and of artful obfuscations carefully tailored to strengthen his wider ideological agenda – and in particular to promote the claims of Palestinian refugees against Israel’ (Weiner. as he had suggested. where he had built up a successful stationery company. Said. on holiday. moved to Cairo. In fact. Out of Place: A Memoir (1999). the supposed family home in Jerusalem. that is to say. had migrated to America. according to Weiner. Wadie Said. Then. refugees from Nazi Germany. Said’s grandfather. in telling the story of his early life. Boulos Yusef. no doubt more authentic. where he had obtained American citizenship. but at the Jerusalem home of his father’s brother. Martin Buber. Said’s father. Said’s aunt. he had. following a period of service with the American forces in Europe in the First World War. actually owned until 1941 by Yusef Said. according to Weiner. and to the German-Jewish philosopher. in the early 1920s. not at the family home in Jerusalem. visiting Jerusalem only occasionally. Meanwhile. and her ﬁve children. p. to Iran. Said had been born in 1935. a Palestinian businessman. to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. whose researches are obviously ideologically driven. 24). had ‘served up. It was there that Said spent his childhood years. was divided into apartments and let variously. a wildly distorted version of the truth. who lived there before ﬂeeing to Egypt in 1947. though born and brought up in Palestine. living in a series of luxurious apartments. again as a consulate.
opted for critical self-scrutiny. Maxime Rodinson. then it may be doubted whether it can be easily eliminated. as deﬁned by Said. over and over again. is to be avoided. but to the subject matter concerned. suggests that Third World historians studying oriental history. in Orientalism. Comparative Studies in Society and History (1990). Orient– Occident divide. Said. Orientalists who have adopted this approach might include Jacques Berque. involving a direct sensitivity to the material studied. At all costs the danger of orientalizing the Orient. Anouar Abdel-Malek and Roger Owen. Gyan Prakash. in an article entitled ‘Writing PostOrientalist Histories of the Third World: Perspectives from Indian Historiography’. himself. critics and intellectuals might then grow up for whom racial. more consistently. a study might be made to ﬁt experience. who in their work risk reinforcing the existing East–West. not to doctrinal preconception. A generation of scholars. and a constant attempt to respond. perhaps. might solve the problem of orientalism by viewing all previous studies of their subject as discursive attempts to constitute objects of knowledge. Progressive scholarship. at the same time as being shaped by it. Nevertheless several academics have offered possible solutions to the problem. none wholly convincing.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM If the problem of orientalism. might still degenerate into dogmatic prejudice. openly polemical and right-minded. Modes of thinking which 197 . ethnic and national distinctions are less important than the common enterprise of promoting humanity. but with sufﬁcient effort. combined with a continual re-examination of methodology and practice. involving a variety of shifting positions. is as deep-seated as its numerous critics suppose.
though they had succeeded in challenging the hegemony exercised by European Indology. anthropological and Marxist – had for the most part proved unsuccessful. had tended in the pre-Second World War period merely to reinforce the orientalist concept of India as an autonomous.ORIENTALISM conﬁgure the Third World in such irreducible essences as religiosity. discovering its essence anew in the cultural ﬁeld. as Hindu (ancient). Marxist historians. particularly in caste. convinced that class. they had yet continued to reﬂect a battery of interests – academic. national essence. still convinced that knowledge might be discovered.C. as an undivided subject. based on modes of production. 198 .P. In Prakash’s opinion. had challenged the essentialization of India. Convinced that they had freed themselves from the colonialist imperative. First World–Third World. They had generally accepted the orientalist periodization of Indian history. might then be disrupted. such as H. Jayaswal and Beni Prasad. unshaped by the identity of the knowing subject. for instance. was the dominant factor in both societies. The ‘calm presences’ of orientalist categories. it is true. ideological and institutional – and they had continued to oppose tradition to modernization. Muslim (mediaeval) and British (modern). and they had failed to question the existence of a long and unchanging Sanskritic Indian civilization. Raychaudhuri. earlier challenges to orientalist historiography – nationalist. had similarly continued to orientalize India. poverty. Anthropologists and area studies specialists. such as East–West. such as Louis Dumont in the post-Second World War period. nationhood and non-Westernness are at all costs to be avoided. Nationalist historians. underdevelopment. which inhabit thought. now treated as being active rather than passive. K.
deny the true underclassses of the world the opportunity to present themselves as classes. like certain other kinds of social history. Rosalind O’Hanlon and David Washbrook. which fail to undertake a materialist critique of capitalism. remained foundational. and they deny them the opportunity 199 . wholly unconvinced by Prakash’s rejection of foundational (Marxist) history. and representable through. By foundational Prakash. means a work of history which is ultimately founded in. Post-modernist approaches to knowledge. some identity – individual. and only a structural approach would enable them to engage effectively in the politics of emancipation. far from being static. Criticism and Politics in the Third World’. in ‘After Orientalism: Culture. shaped by domination and rebellion.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED separate from Europe. structure – which resists further decomposition into heterogeneity. Marxist categories. but they cannot be dispensed with if orders of certainty are to be evaluated and effective historical analysis undertaken. class. and they had argued that Indian history. which aim to place Indian history in a world context. heterogeneous and contestatory. supposedly ﬁxed and essential. according to his own account. in effect Marxist) approach. Only a structural approach to knowledge would enable subordinate groups and peoples to understand the impact of the global capitalist system on their lives. argue that the problems created by orientalism and similar forms of intellectual hegemony can only be overcome by adopting a rigorously objectivist (foundational. was constantly changing. Comparative Studies in Society and History (1992). may be arbitrary and subjective. But Marxist history. allowing insufﬁcient room for further decomposition.
the character of social science will be transformed. as a fellow Marxist. East versus West. The sharp contradiction. In such a discourse Islam would be regarded as part of a wider cultural complex. it should be recognized that the debate about orientalism has been theoretically productive and beneﬁcial. who would no doubt. the emphasis was in the past placed on difference (we versus them. Postmodernism and Globalism (1994). in the orientalist discourse. As we now live in a world which is increasingly uniﬁed. in ‘From Orientalism to Global Sociology’. economic and cultural importance of which is widely admitted. suggests four possible ways of overcoming the problems created by orientalism.ORIENTALISM to portray themselves as victims of the universalistic. Thirdly. the political. embracing both Judaism and Christianity. it should be noted that whereas. Secondly. a global order. In contemporary writing about Islam. have sympathized with O’Hanlon and Washbrook. can now be seen as 200 . which in the past existed between Occident and Orient. that is to say. At the same time they reinforce the well-known hostility of American political culture to any kind of materialist or class analysis. Turner. for instance. systematic and material deprivations of capitalism. in his Orientalism. rationality versus irrationality). In the future. scholars might seek to create a discourse in which continuity between cultures would be preferred to antagonism. Firstly. in the future emphasis might be placed on sameness. it should be recognized that recent developments in the study of historical sociology have increasingly focused on the idea of a world system. Bryan S. the diversity and complexity of which is now generally admitted. it is now possible to detect a far more self-reﬂexive and selfcritical attitude to Western constructions of the religion.
Finally. The anthropological gaze might then be turned on to one’s own religious and cultural practices. according to King. suggests the adoption of a methodological stance which would effectively ‘provincialize’ Europe – the Europe that modern imperialism and Third World nationalism have. and a willingness to engage in a genuine process of dialogical learning of the type undertaken by Wilhelm Halbfass. determined to repudiate the involvement of the West in what he sees as the continued orientalization of the Third World. it should be recognized that there is considerable merit in the strategy of treating one’s own culture as strange. in Orientalism and Religion (1999). a remnant of the nineteenth-century legacy. What it requires is a serious rethinking of such basic philosophical categories as equality (or sameness) and difference. in ‘Exit from Orientalism’. a chapter in his Beyond Orientalism: Essays in Cross-Cultural Encounter (1996). 201 . historical and anthropological – might be employed in this task. Fred Dallmayr. Fourthly. Richard King. sceptical of the possibility of global forms of knowledge. argues in favour of a continued attempt to achieve cross-cultural understanding. in Dallmayr’s opinion. made universal. Exiting from orientalism. at the centre of ‘History’. the noted Indologist. based on a sustained effort of reciprocal interrogation. be problematized. requires something more than an exchange of charges and counter-chargers of Eurocentrism. by their collaborative effort and violence. not only must the construction of a hyperreal ‘Europe’. characterized by a profound otherness. Many of the traditional academic tools – philological. In order for this provincialization to be achieved. but also those of analogous constructs such as ‘India’.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED an anachronism.
In the process. exercising power over a European periphery. any tendency to construct a newly established set of relations between a ‘centre’ and a ‘periphery’. homogenized and uncontested history. as King has himself recognized. as the locus of a uniﬁed. class-based analysis (O’Hanlon and Washbrook). himself. the adoption of a post-structuralist approach to knowledge (Prakash). Marxist historians may succeed in analyzing world history in class terms. even when supposedly committed to the highest academic values. result merely in the creation of an alternative hegemonic centre. Post-structuralist historians. Marxism is itself deeply infected by orientalism. Of the six solutions to the problem of 202 . recreating timeless and undifferentiated conceptions of the past. Solutions to the problems created by orientalism include then greater self-scrutiny and the use of an improved methodology (Said). but as. as distinct from difference. according to O’Hanlon and Washbrook. a renewed attempt to achieve cross-cultural understanding (Dallmayr). according to Turner.ORIENTALISM ‘Hinduism’ and the ‘Indian mentality’. should be avoided. frequently continue to essentialize history. and the adoption of a methodological stance which would ‘provincialize’ Europe (King). Yet it may be doubted how far a number of the solutions offered would prove effective. the application of a Marxist. an emphasis on sameness. shown all too effectively how fallible academics often are. despite all their best endeavours. An emphasis on sameness. as distinct from difference. it is unlikely that they will succeed in banishing the dragon. and the search for a global order may simply result in a denial of complexity. Said has. And the adoption of a methodological stance which would ‘provincialize’ Europe might. and the search for a global order (Turner).
in the course of which academics would have little choice but to revert to the use of the traditional tools of scholarly enquiry – philological. advocated by Dallmayr (and also presumably by Said). only one appears viable: the stubborn search for cross-cultural understanding. historical and anthropological – so widely criticized by the critics of orientalism. therefore.EXIT FROM ORIENTALISM – ORIENTALISM RECONSIDERED orientalism offered. 203 .
PART THREE ASSESSMENT .
ORIENTALISM HH 206 .
concluded. DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE NINE QUESTIONS OF FACT. for instance. that orientalism. in a speech given on the occasion of his appointment as professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Exeter University. DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE The debate regarding orientalism.QUESTIONS OF FACT. launched by its critics in the period of decolonization that followed the end of the Second World War. on the other hand. a doughty defender of the orientalist profession. continued throughout the remaining decades of the twentieth century and even beyond to defend the discipline. later published in Islams and Modernities (1993). proved both stimulating and enlightening. Bernard Lewis. was so 207 . threatened in his opinion by those who believed that all scholarly discourse is inherently ideological. giving rise on occasion to strong opinion and ﬁrm conclusion. Aziz al-Azmeh. who believed that orientalism could with reasonable justiﬁcation be compared in the quality and thoroughness of its scholarship to classical studies. an Arab student of Arabic and Islamic studies employed in the West. particularly that part of the subject concerned with the study of Islam. politically motivated.
corrupted by European prejudice and myth as to warrant only radical reconstruction, undertaken on the basis of modern historical scholarship (Aziz al-Azmeh, 1993, p. 123). It is unlikely, therefore, that the issues raised in the debate regarding orientalism will be easily resolved. Nevertheless an attempt will be made to draw a number of tentative conclusions. Crudely put, the principal critics of orientalism (AbdelMalek, Tibawi, Said and Turner) believe that Europe exists not only as a geographical, but also as an ethnic, political and cultural identity; that it harboured from earliest times a mythical image of the Orient (Asia, the East); that that mythical image to a greater or lesser extent infected all forms of European life, political, cultural and intellectual; that orientalism, deﬁned as an academic subject, became infected by prejudice, against Muslims, Arabs, Semites, Hindus, orientals, and other groups and peoples – prejudice that also found expression in popular stereotypical images of the Ay-rab, the Semite, the babu, the wog and so on – to the extent that it became corrupted, degenerate, no longer worthy of respect; that orientalism, deﬁned not only as an academic discipline but also as popular interest in the East, directly and indirectly inspired and supported European, and later American, colonialism and imperialism; and that, as a result, orientalism, deﬁned as an academic discipline, arrived, in the period of decolonization that followed the end of the Second World War, at a point of crisis, making reform imperative. Again crudely put, the critics of the critics of orientalism (Lewis, MacKenzie, Aijaz Ahmad and others, not all of whom are necessarily keen defenders of the subject) question whether Europe can be so easily identiﬁed throughout
QUESTIONS OF FACT, DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE
its long history as enjoying an ethnic, political and cultural identity; whether it is possible with any degree of certainty to identify the existence of a European mythical image of the Orient, from earliest times to the present day – though virtually all admit the existence of such an image at certain times and in certain places; whether orientalism, deﬁned both as an academic subject and as popular interest in the East, was in fact as polluted by prejudice as its critics suppose; whether orientalism actually inspired and supported imperialism in the manner described by its critics; and whether orientalism is in fact in need of reform, at least to the extent ascribed to it by its critics. Moreover, some of the critics of the critics of orientalism assert that a number of the critics of orientalism, masquerading as reputable scholars engaged in an academic pursuit, are actually engaged in launching a political attack on Zionism, Jewish scholarship and the West, particularly America. To this charge the critics of orientalism generally respond that it is the critics of the critics of orientalism who are involved in launching political attacks, ﬁrst and foremost on Islam, and then on the Arabs and the Palestinian people. The evidence, such as it is, suggests that it is possible to identify a longstanding European tradition, of sorts, from ancient times to the present day, Greek, Roman and Christian; but that that tradition became at times, particularly in the so-called Dark Ages, tenuous in the extreme, much in need of resuscitation by the re-translation of Arabic translations of the Greek classics and the labours of Renaissance scholarship. In so far as Europe did actually enjoy a ﬁxed identity, that identity was ﬁrst Roman (an identity which excluded most of northern Europe) and then Christian – a development which for some years persuaded
numerous commentators to confuse Christendom with the continent. Given the existence of a longstanding European identity, however tenuous, there is no doubt that many Europeans did harbour ﬁxed images of the Orient (Asia, the East) as exotic, mysterious, magniﬁcent, irrational, cruel and barbarous. Witness the fascination displayed by various Europeans with Indian religion and philosophy – the gymnosophists – Egyptian and Persian culture and civilization, the traveller’s tales of Marco Polo, the exploits of Yenghiz Khan and Tamburlaine, images of the ‘Terrible Turk’, The Thousand and One Nights stories, the discoveries of the Upanishads and the I Ching, concepts of a ‘yellow peril’, and T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, not to speak of Madam Blavatsky’s theosophy movement, English pantomimes such as Aladdin, Kung Fu and the other oriental martial arts, the Third Age Movement and the Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela. The problem is not to identify the ingredients of a longstanding European myth of the Orient, but to estimate its signiﬁcance, political, cultural and historical. Mythical images of the Orient appear then to have remained a ﬁxed ingredient of European thinking – in so far as such a ﬁxed entity or tradition can be identiﬁed – from earliest times to the present day. But what gave those images their peculiar force and signiﬁcance, in the context of European relations with the East, was the powerful polemic against Islam, forged by Christian scholars and others in the Middle Ages, and so effectively described by Norman Daniel, in Islam and the West: The Making of an Image (1960), and Richard Southern, in Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (1962). It was almost certainly the Christian polemic against Islam that persuaded Europeans, already half convinced, that Islam and the East were by
QUESTIONS OF FACT, DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE
deﬁnition mysterious, despotic, irrational and corrupt. From the point of view of the convinced Christian polemicist writing in the Middle Ages, they could be no other. There appears to be no doubt that institutional orientalism, as distinct from individual orientalists, such as Lane, Burton, Doughty and Fitzgerald, was from the beginning occasionally implicated in the political process, subsidized and supported either by the state or by commercial interests closely connected with the state. In England and France, in the early period, chairs of Arabic and oriental studies were set up by state ofﬁcials and commercial companies with interests in the East, designed to encourage the training of interpreters; and in the periods of the British conquest of Bengal and the French conquest of Egypt further institutions were set up, designed to train orientalists for colonial service overseas. In Germany, towards the end of the nineteenth century, a rapid expansion in institutional forms of orientalism occurred at a time when the German state was for the ﬁrst time seriously contemplating the creation of a great overseas empire; and in Russia a similar development occurred in the period of Russian expansion in (Muslim) Central Asia. Of course, it can be argued that in the case of England and France, an interval of some hundreds of years is to be found between the foundation of the ﬁrst orientalist institutions and direct acts of colonization and imperial conquest, but such a thesis can only be sustained if it can be shown that there was no connection between commercial expansion and imperial conquest, an unlikely conclusion. Further evidence of the close connection that existed between British orientalism and imperialism may be found in documents connected with the foundation of the School
of Oriental Studies, opened in London in 1917. In these, it was made clear that the principal purpose of the School was the teaching of Oriental and African languages, useful to British imperial and commercial interest in Asia and Africa. As the Reay Committee report of 1908 put it: ‘As England is the country which above all others has important relations with the East, the fact that no oriental school exists in its capital city is not creditable to the nation’ (Adelson, 1995, p. 67). Prior to the founding of the School of Oriental Studies, the British Foreign Ofﬁce paid £100 a year for each student studying oriental languages at Cambridge (with an upper limit of £1,000); the India Ofﬁce provided grants of up to £2,000 a year to Oxford and Cambridge, Trinity College, Dublin, and University College, London, while the Colonial Ofﬁce gave £100 a year for the teaching of an African language at King’s College, London. Not that this expenditure was by any standard excessive. In the same period the German government spent £10,000 a year on an Oriental School in Berlin, which employed forty-two teachers, while France spent £7,000 a year on a similar institution in Paris, which employed twenty-six teachers (Adelson, 1995, p. 63). Evidence may also be found in the publication, in the period of the Second World War, of three pamphlets by leading British orientalists (Lewis, Arberry and Bowen) on British contributions to Arabic, Persian and Turkish studies. Superﬁcially, the three pamphlets appear to illustrate the fact that British orientalism remained throughout the greater part of its history independent, objective and unfettered, but further investigation reveals that the pamphlets were commissioned by the British Council, with a view to improving the image of Britain in the Middle East (Lewis, 1941; Arberry, 1942; Bowen, 1945).
already in the 1940s and 1950s numerous English and American orientalists.QUESTIONS OF FACT. Sinologists. should have been surprised that it was so. after all. recommending an increase in the amount of attention given to modern studies. in the period following the end of the Second World War. as we 213 . would subsidize orientalism. Iranists. Said. Indeed. As for the suggestion made by the critics of orientalism that orientalism. What is surprising is not that this should have been so. it was in crisis. As Abdel-Malek. Lewis and others have shown. DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE There is then abundant evidence that institutional forms of orientalism in Europe were occasionally implicated in the political process. as a profession. were advocating reform. in urgent need of reform. but as Indologists. Even the briefest of surveys of the numerous academic journals published in Europe would conﬁrm the fact that orientalists. like most academics. was. and so on. ﬁnding that the title ‘orientalist’ no longer described accurately the work in which they were engaged. particularly in the imperial period. Arabists. this orientalists had for the most part no problem in accepting. display an almost inﬁnite capacity to subvert the principal purposes of their subvention. began to describe themselves not as orientalists. though of course a majority never accepted the suggestion that. Who else. in particular Said. with the encouragement of their governments. except groups and institutions with an interest in its achievements? Not that European government subsidy of orientalism necessarily implies that the governments concerned were successful in seeking to promote commercial and imperial interest by the promotion of academic research. and in the 1960s many. as a result of its cumulative failures. but that the principal critics of orientalism.
was never. There appears to be no reasonable justiﬁcation for this redeﬁnition. as Said. an instrument of Western imperialism. a style or quality commonly associated with the East. exploiting perhaps the fact that the meaning of the word ‘orientalism’ was already variously deﬁned – as the work of an orientalist. Lewis. Said 1978. Pollock and others have convincingly shown. an instrument of Western imperialism. but the profession of orientalism. of the supposed crime of orientalism. from Homer to the present day. of ‘latent’ and ‘manifest’ orientalism. a style of thought 214 . at the Twenty-Ninth International Congress of Orientalists. a style of thought based on an ontological and epistemological distinction made between Orient and Occident. which enables Said to accuse the whole of European culture. and hundreds of European statesmen. a corporate institution designed for dealing with the Orient. except in a metaphorical sense.ORIENTALISM have seen. who had nothing whatsoever to do with the orientalist profession. No doubt. Much of the confusion that prevails in the recent debate about orientalism arises from the fact that Said. 1993). an approach to the problems of government inherited by the British conquerors of Bengal. and a school of mainly nineteenth-century painting – redeﬁned the term to refer also to a corporate institution designed for dealing with the Orient. and even an ideology justifying the oppression and exploitation of inferior groups. travellers and others. writers. the members attending actually voted to remove the term orientalist from the title of their institution (Abdel-Malek 1963. as practised in England and France at least. in 1973. the orientalist profession of what today would be referred to as ‘institutional racism’. many European orientalists were biased. capable of ethnocentric prejudice. held in Paris.
As Ali Behdad puts it. historical discontinuities. 1994. and discursive heterogeneity. throughout the greater part of its history. create ﬁxed images of the Orient. in however inadequate a manner. Melman. of every description. Lewis. As MacKenzie. to correct ignorance and prejudice. In other respects too Said’s analysis of European culture. Rendall and Gemie have shown.QUESTIONS OF FACT. the speciﬁc but crucial points of its dispersed network of representations that include strategic irregularities. can be called into question. is to engage in a type of blanket judgement more commonly associated with the world of political propaganda than academe. p. R. But to indiscriminately indict whole groups. classes. DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE based on an ontological and epistemological distinction made between Orient and Occident – though it has to be admitted that Hegel and a number of his followers attempted to make it so – and an ideology justifying the oppression and enslavement of inferior groups and peoples. and shape ideologies justifying the oppression of inferior groups. that is. made by numerous European scholars. discontinuous and heterogeneous than Said appears at times to suppose. Moore-Gilbert. in Belated Travelers (1994): In formalising orientalism’s discursive regularities and the dominant system of its ideological constellation. was an attempt. What for the most part it was. Lowe. from time to time individual orientalists. regardless of the actual contribution made by the individuals concerned. irregular. enlighten the ‘self ’ and understand. (Behdad. and even groups of orientalists (witness Pollock) did promote Western imperialism. European images of the Orient were far more complex. Said’s text cannot account for the complexities of its micropractices. nations and cultures. the ‘other’. Of course. Majeed. viewed through the prism of orientalism. professions. 12) 215 .
also a leading critic of Said’s Orientalism. Christian) adopts a post-modernist approach. Bernard Lewis (British-American). What is striking about the debate regarding orientalism inspired by the critique of the subject. adopts a Marxist (materialist) approach. whereas Tibawi (Palestinian). and the Gramscian concept of cultural hegemony. Coptic) and Turner (English). MacKenzie (1995) and Clarke (1997) have shown. as Said does in Orientalism and elsewhere (see MacKenzie. philosophical and religious afﬁliation. mounted by AbdelMalek. the Reformation and the Enlightenment. As Schwab (1950). a convinced Muslim. all leading critics of Said’s Orientalism. adopt a rigorously Marxist (materialist) approach to the subject. is the extent to which it fails to divide its participants on the basis of ethnic. adopts a Muslimhumanist approach. both leading critics of orientalism. 208). comparable to that experienced by the Europeans in the period of the Renaissance. power–knowledge and discourse. comparable to that exercised by the Occident on the Orient. 1995. racial. that the Orient failed to exercise an inﬂuence on the Occident. adopt a traditional (realist) approach to the subject – though MacKenzie claims an awareness of post-modernist theory – while Ahmad (Indian). Said and Turner in the decades following the end of the Second World War. cultural. though as Clarke makes clear. based on the Foucauldian concepts of epistemic ﬁeld. p. the conditions necessary for the realization of that revolution had already been laid down in Europe in the period of the Renaissance.ORIENTALISM Nor is it possible to maintain. Abdel-Malek (Egyptian. the impact of Asia on Europe in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led to a revolution in European thought and experience. national. similar 216 . Tibawi. MacKenzie (Scottish) and Kopf (American). and Said (Palestinian.
Does this mean that. white–black and capitalist–socialist.QUESTIONS OF FACT. simply does not apply. calling up in Said’s defence the philosophical approach advocated by Husserl. If a consistent division of sorts can be identiﬁed between the participants in the debate regarding orientalism. the standard polarization of Orient–Occident. Christian– Muslim. In the context of the debate about orientalism. it is the division between Said’s representational view of knowledge and the traditional (realist-Marxist) view taken by many of his principal critics. the forces of globalism. in academic circles at least. arriving in the process at radically different conclusions. the German philosopher. while Majeed (Indian) sees them as the product of English utilitarianism. MacKenzie and Kabbani (Arab) both employ post-modernist methods of analysis to deconstruct nineteenth-century orientalist art. sees German orientalism as an example of the power–knowledge relationship identiﬁed by Foucault. East–West. a supporter of Said. therefore. and al’Azm (Arab) criticizes Said for being non-scientiﬁc. But that division. is not sufﬁcient to establish an overall pattern. Finally. while Richardson (English) adopts a philosophical–analytical approach. though important. representational point of view. Rendall (British) and Gemie (Arab) adopt a severely empiricist approach. Pollock (American). while Hildreth (American) defends Said against the attack mounted on him by MacKenzie. DEFINITION AND SIGNIFICANCE to the approaches adopted by Abdel-Malek and Turner. 217 . Moore-Gilbert (English). Inden (American) and King (British) seek to analyze British views of Indian history from a Saidian. or perhaps better still individualism. have overcome orientalism? It would seem that it does.
Cassas.-F. Vathek. an Oriental Fantasy Jones publishes a translation of Shakuntala 1786 1789 1795 Opening of the Ecole des Langues Orientales in Paris 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte occupies Egypt Battle of the Nile French Commission on the Sciences and the Arts commences work on all aspects of Egyptian life and culture Creation of the Institute d’Egypte Publication of L. Voyage pittoresque. a collection of engravings 218 1799 Bonaparte invades Syria .ORIENTALISM ORIENTALISM: A CHRONOLOGY 1757–1914 Date Historical Events 1757 Battle of Plassey 1759 1772 East India Company assumes responsibility for the administration of Bengal 1776 1783 College of Fort William is opened 1784 Foundation of Asiatic Society of Bengal 1785 Literature and the Arts Anquetil-Duperron translates the Avesta Halhed publishes a Code of Gentoo Laws Wilkins publishes a translation of the Bhagavad Gita W. Beckford.
geography. a collection of plates and text illustrating the history. Asia Minor and Constantinople Publication of ﬁrst volume of Description de l’Egypte. French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire 1800 J. Childe Harold 219 . London R.M. Turner’s Fifth Plague of Egypt is exhibited at the Royal Academy. science and culture of Egypt 1808 1809 1811 Massacre of Mamluks in Cairo 1812 Première of Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri in Venice Byron.CHRONOLOGY of drawings by artists attached to Conte de Choiseul-Goufﬁer. Constantinople. Albania. the Destroyer. Syria. Egypt and Tunis Publication of Schlegel’s Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier Byron tours Greece.W. Commander of an Albanian contingent. an Arabian Tale 1801 French surrender Alexandria to the British and evacuate Egypt 1804 Mohammad Ali. Southey. Thalaba. expels Mamluks from Cairo 1805 Mohammad Ali declares himself Pasha of Egypt 1806 Chateaubriand tours Greece.
Lalla Rookh 1815 1817 1821 Outbreak of the Greek War of Independence Foundation of Société Asiatique in Paris 1822 Mohammad Ali completes the conquest of Sudan 1824 Demise of the Levant Company 1826 Massacre of Janisseries in Constantinople 1827 Battle of Navarino Delacroix’s Death of Sardanapalus is exhibited in Paris Decamps tours Greece and Asia Minor. Travels in Arabia V.C. Moore. Orientales Adrian Dauzats tours Egypt. Travels in Syria and the Holy Land Byron’s death at Missolonghi J. Hajji Baba of Isphahan 1828 1829 Russo-Turkish War 1830 Declaration of Greek independence French invasion of Algeria 1831 Marilhat accompanies a scientiﬁc expedition led by Baron Charles von 220 . Hobhouse.L. Syria and Asia Minor J.L. Burckhardt. and Other Provinces of Turkey Jules-Robert Auguste tours Syria Shelley. The Giaour and The Bride of Abydos J. Morier.ORIENTALISM 1813 Byron. Burckhardt.J. A Journey Through Albania. Hugo. Ozymandias T. He is commissioned by the French government to paint a picture of the Battle of Navarino J.
CHRONOLOGY Húgel to Greece. Egypt and Nubia. Lane.F. Illustrations of Cairo Flandin. Syria and Lebanon 1832 Delacroix accompanies a diplomatic mission to the Sultan of Morocco Lamartine tours Syria and Egypt Roberts visits Tangier and Tetuan Lamartine. Syria and Asia Minor D. Travels through Syria and Egypt Dauzats accompanies the expedition of the Duke of Orleans to Algeria 1836 1837 Overland route to India is established 1838 British occupy Aden 1839 War between Mohammad Ali and the Sultan 1840 Convention of London for the paciﬁcation of the Levant R. impressions. The Holy Land.W. Volney. Hay. Egypt. 6 volumes of lithographs Gerard de Nerval in Egypt. Syria and Egypt 221 1842 1843 . An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians Eugène Flandin accompanies the French army to Algeria Vernet in Algeria M. Syria.C. with Pascal Coste. Syria and Asia Minor E. Idumea Arabia. Souvenirs. embarks on a French diplomatic mission to Persia Richard Dadd tours the Near East David Roberts. Sketches in Turkey. pensées et paysages pendant un Voyage en Orient 1833 War between Mohammad Ali and the Ottoman Sultan Treaty of Unkiar-Skelessi 1834 Alexander Kinglake tours Egypt. Wilkie.
Kinglake. Salammbo Foundation of the Palestine Exploration Society First Cook’s Tour of Egypt and Holy Land 222 1865 1869 Opening of the Suez Canal . Egypt and Palestine photographed and described Edward Fitzgerald. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 1859 1860 Massacre of Christians in Damascus and Lebanon 1861 International Regime is established in Lebanon 1862 Guillaumet in Algeria and Morocco Palgrave in Arabia Flaubert.ORIENTALISM 1844 French war with Morocco 1845 Foundation of Deutsche Morgenlandische Gesellschaft 1849 1853 A. Palestine and Constantinople Gerome in Egypt 1854 Outbreak of the Crimean War 1856 Treaty of Paris End of the Crimean War 1858 F. Eothan Theophile Gautier in Algeria Flaubert tours Levant Fromentin in Algeria Richard Burton in Arabia Theophile Gautier. Voyages pittoresques en Algérie Holman Hunt in Egypt. Syria. Frith.
S. Doughty. Müller in Egypt and Asia Minor First International Congress of Orientalists is held in Paris Charles Doughty in Syria. Baedecker. ed. The Future of Islam Egypt Exploration Fund is founded in London 1885 Death of General Gordon at Khartoum 1888 G.S. Travels in Arabia Deserta 223 . Tableaux algériens C. Palestine. Palestine and Syria: Handbook for Travellers C.C. Blunt tours the Near East and North Africa L. Guillaumet.CHRONOLOGY 1871 First performance of Verdi’s Aida in Cairo Clairin accompanies Tissot’s envoy in Morocco W. Blunt. Sinai and Egypt. Picturesque Palestine. Warren. Sinai and Egypt 1872 1873 1874 1875 Disraeli purchases the Khedive’s shares in the Suez Canal Company 1876 K...M. ed. 4 volumes illustrated by various travellers 1877 Russo-Turkish War 1878 Congress of Berlin 1880 John Singer Sargent in Morocco Rimbaud in Aden and Abyssinia Flinders Petrie begins the survey of the Great Pyramid at Gaza 1881 French invade Tunisia 1882 British occupation of Egypt W.
Wanderings in Arabia Exhibition of Islamic Art in Munich Publication of the ﬁrst volume of Encyclopaedia of Islam 224 . Doughty.M. Paris P. Egypt is declared a British protectorate Gertrude Bell tours Syria. Asia Minor and Mesopotamia Kandinsky in Algeria and Tunis Matisse in Algeria G.ORIENTALISM 1893 Foundation of the Société des Peintres Orientalistes. Loti. Jerusalem et la Galilée 1895 1897 First Zionist Congress 1898 Battle of Omdurman The Fashoda Incident Kaiser Wilhelm II tours Holy Land 1899 Anglo-Egyptian Condominium is established in Sudan 1904 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm visits Tangier 1906 1907 1908 Young Turk Revolution 1910 Franco-German Convention on Morocco Foundation of Der Islam 1912 French protectorate is established in Morocco 1913 Italian occupation of Tripoli 1914 Outbreak of the First World War. Bell. The Desert and the Sown C.
Picardy. and many other works. Abdel-Malek later studied at the ’Ain Shams University and the Sorbonne. Translator of the Arabian Nights and scores of other Arabic. Author of A Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Successions (1798). Author of Il Califfato die Hisham (1935). Born in London. and educated at the Sorbonne and at an old Catholic seminary near Utrecht. Anquetil-Duperron travelled widely in India (1754–61). Professor of Arabic languages and literatures at the University of Rome. and educated at the French Jesuit College there. where he learnt not only Latin and Greek but also a number of 225 . Colebrooke. Francesco (born 1904) Orientalist. Gabrieli. law and Sanskrit at the College of Fort William. the son of a wealthy banker and director of the East India Company. and privately educated. some Malayalan and some Hindustani. Born and brought up in Cairo. attended the Collège de Noyon and the Collège de Plessis. Antoine (1646–1715) Orientalist and numismatist. and precursor of the rise of Iranian studies in France. Abraham-Hyacinthe (1731–1805) Traveller and orientalist. Published the Zend-Avesta. Also translated ﬁfty-one Upanishads. in 1771. where he learnt Persian. Henry Thomas (1765–1837) Early Sanskrit scholar and professor of Hindi. Colebrooke lived for thirtytwo years in India (1782–1814). Publisher of d’Herbelot’s Bibliothèque orientale. Born in Rollot. where he was appointed to a post at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientiﬁque (Sociology). Cairo. he moved to Paris. languages and culture. After teaching for some years at the Lycée al-Hourriyya. Turkish and Persian works. Diogenes (1963). in three volumes. the son of poor parents. thanks to the patronage of a series of generous benefactors.WHO’S WHO WHO’S WHO Abdel-Malek. Student of Zoroastrianism. Egypt. Galland. Anquetil-Duperron. Born in Paris. starting as a writer with the East India Company and ending with a seat on the council. Galland. Storia della letteratura araba (1952). A Grammar of the Sanskrit Language (1805) and scores of other works on Indian law. the son of a grocer. Bengali. Introductory Remarks to the Hitópodésá (1804). Storia e civiltè musulmana (1947). Anouar (born 1924) Marxist student of Arabic literature and philosophy and author of ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. the lingua franca of the area.
and in Paris. In 1783 he was appointed a judge of the High Court at Calcutta. and A Key to the Chronology of the Hindus (1820). the son of a mathematician. Author of a Bibliothèque orientale. employed in the service of the East India Company in Bengal. Professor of Sanskrit and Hindoo literature at Haileybury. He published an edition of the Hitópadésá in Sanskrit (1811). Sir William (1746–94) Orientalist. on one of which he was charged by the Compagnie des Indes with the task of collecting medals and other rarities for Colbert. he published numerous important articles on Indian history. he was granted the title of antiquaire du roi. the ﬁrst of a number of trips. Oxford. where he learnt Arabic and Persian. including ‘On the Orthography of Asiatick Words’ (1784). Berthélemy d’ (1625–95) Orientalist. including a translation of a Life of Nadir Shah (1770). following the foundation of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Hastings. ou Dictionnaire universel contenant généralement tout ce qui regarde la connaissance des peuples de l’Orient (published posthumously by Galland in 1697). and ﬁrst administraHindu law maladmini- Hamilton. languages and culture. Persian and Turkish. Warren (1732–1818) British Indian administrator governor-general of Bengal. Herbelot. Founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Born in Westminster. and ‘On the Hindus’ 226 . for which he had old books translated. Syriac. before being called to the bar in 1774. On his return. in 1692 Herbelot was appointed Professor of Syriac at the Collège de France. He was impeached in 1788 for oppression. and educated at Harrow and University College. Jones. stration and corruption. and a Dissertation sur la Littérature Orientale (1774). In 1670 he accompanied the French ambassador on a trip to the Levant. There. Italy and India’ (1785). student of Sanskrit and other oriental languages. and in 1709 he was appointed Professor of Arabic at the Collège de France. Chaldean. He reformed the whole system of tion and established regular law courts. Terms of Sanscrit Grammar (18l5). student of Hebrew. Member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. where he was held prisoner following the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens. a Traité sur la Poésie Orientale (1770). Jones published many works concerning the Orient. Studied and taught Sanskrit in London. Arabic. Catalogued Sanskrit manuscripts at the Paris Library. the East India Company college in Hertfordshire. Born in Paris and educated at the university and the Collège de France. Alexander (1762–1824) Orientalist. ‘On the Gods of Greece.ORIENTALISM oriental languages.
227 . and Douglas Robb Foundation lecturer at the University of Auckland. Ockley. Rana (born 1958) Journalist and leading Muslim feminist. Greek and Sanskrit. The Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961). She taught for some years at the American University of Beirut. 1941–45. 1940–41. and educated at the grammar schools of Bath and Hereford. The Assassins (1967). where he was appointed Professor of History of the Near and Middle East in 1949. the son of a ‘gentleman’. Professor of Arabic at Cambridge. Author of a History of the Saracens (1708). and Race and Slavery in the Middle East (1990). 1937). Lewis was also appointed Visiting Professor at the University of California. and at Princeton. Bernard (born 1916) Orientalist. Born in Hereford. in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps. the Sakúntala of Kalidása (1799) and extracts from the ‘Vedas’. Lane. which is said to be the ﬁrst popular account of Arab history and civilization written in English. Born in Damascus. before moving to London. The Jews in Islam (1985). Kabbani studied literature at Georgetown University and Jesus College. Lewis taught Near and Middle Eastern History at the School of Oriental and African Studies. living in Great Ellingham. London. including The Arabs in History (1950). and brought up in New York City and Djakarta. Norfolk.WHO’S WHO (1786). Born in London. 1833–35 and 1842–49. and educated at the University of London (BA. The Middle East and the West (1964). including the Hitópadésá of Pilpay. Lewis. 1982. Author of an Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836) and an Arabic– English Lexicon (1863–92). Cambridge (PhD). Translator of A Thousand and One Nights (1838– 40). and he translated numerous Indian works. where his father was prebendary of Withington Parva. Edward William (1801–76) Arabic scholar. Race and Colour in Islam (1971). and was attached to the Foreign Ofﬁce. mainly Middle Eastern. He has testiﬁed before the US Senate committees on several occasions. Born in Exeter. He served with the British Army. New Zealand. 1939) and the University of Paris (diplome des études sémitiques. PhD. Author of numerous works on oriental history. 1955–56. 1974. Jones was probably the ﬁrst European scholar to recognize the common identity of Latin. The Muslim Discovery of Europe (1982). the son of a businessman. Simon (1678–1720) Orientalist. Author of several works including Letter to Christendom (1989) and Imperial Fictions (1986). Lane lived in Egypt in 1825–28. 1936. Kabbani. Gottesman lecturer at Yeshiva University. where he was appointed Professor of Near Eastern Studies in 1974.
which were designed to secure the conversion of Muslims. and educated in Egypt. Cambridge. he was appointed Hebrew Lecturer. the son of a notary. Author of Specimen historiae Arabum (1649). Abdul-Latif (1910–81) Orientalist. Schlegel. and educated privately. 1964). Covering Islam (1981). Also author of an inﬂuential series of articles 228 . and a period living in Constantinople. including a period spent serving as chaplain to the ‘Turkey Merchants’ of Aleppo. Sacy. the British orientalist. Thame. two years later. Member of the Palestine National Council. It was largely due to Sacy that Paris became a centre of Arabic studies in the early part of the nineteenth century. 1837–40. 1977–91. mainly on European literature and the Palestine question. Said moved to the United States in 1950. Said. Translator of numerous Christian works into Arabic. Pococke spent long periods living in the Near East. Oxford. and educated at the Free School. Oxfordshire. Pococke. where. Born in Paris. Palestine. and professor of Persian at the Collège de France (1806). in Paris. Brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegel. being naturally inclined to the study of oriental languages. Edward (born 1935) Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. 1830–36. Tibawi. Born in Oxford. Born in Jerusalem. First professor of Arabic at Oxford. Author of Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier (1808). the German critic. Author of Orientalism (1978). A Modern History of Syria (1969). Friedrich von (1772–1829) Considered to be one of the ﬁrst German students of Sanskrit. Culture and Imperialism (1993) and many other books and articles. Sacy wrote many inﬂuential works. 1914–21 (1977). New York. including British Interests in Palestine. Edward (1604–91) Orientalist. the son of a fellow of Magdalen College. First professor of Arabic at the Ecole Spéciale des Langues Orientales Vivantes (1795). and Anglo-Arab Relations and the Question of Palestine. which is seen as a foundational work of Arabic studies in England. including a Grammaire Arabe and a Chrestomathie Arabe. Magdalen Hall. The Question of Palestine (1979).ORIENTALISM Ockley was brought up in Norfolk. 1800–1901 (1961). and Corpus Christi College. a knowledge of which he acquired from Alexander Hamilton. Antoine-Isaac Silvestre de (1758–1838) Orientalist. where he attended Princeton and Harvard (PhD. Author of a number of books on Arab history. At the age of ﬁfteen he entered Queens College.
Somerset. Wilkins joined the East India Company as a writer in 1770. Arabic and English Dictionary (1806).WHO’S WHO on English-speaking orientalists. after a period working in educational administration in Palestine. in 1981. South Australia. Bryan S. where he was appointed Professor of Sociology. where he took a PhD in education (1952). from the Mahabharata (1793). following a period teaching at the Universities of Aberdeen and Lancaster. serving in Bengal until 1786. Turner. niece of Robert Bateman Wray. He was killed in a car crash in London in 1981. Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978). In 1778 he established a printing press for the printing of oriental languages in India. student of Sanskrit. Religion and Social Theory: A Materialist Perspective (1983). Wilkins. Co-founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. His numerous works include translations of the Bhagavad Gita (1785). moved to London. the Hitópadésá (1787). Later in life Tibawi became known for his extensive knowledge of Islamic Law and his defence of the Palestine-Arab cause. Author of numerous books including Weber and Islam (1974). Sir Charles (c. Tibawi. the engraver. (born 1945) Leading English sociologist. Born in Birmingham. the son of a waiter and waitress. he held a research fellowship at Harvard. and was appointed to a post at the Institute of Education. Born in Palestine. 229 . Born in Frome. the East India Company college in Hertfordshire. the son of Walter Wilkins and Martha Wray. and educated at a local school and the American University of Beirut. Examiner and visitor of Haileybury. and Capitalism and Class in the Middle East (1984). the Story of Sakúntala. Following his retirement from the Institute. Turner moved to Flinders University. 1749–1836) Orientalist. a Grammar of the Sanskrit Language (1806) and an edition of Richardson’s Persian. and educated at Leeds University.
Extracts from these. Macﬁe. Two of the best accounts of the issues raised by orientalism are John MacKenzie. Orientalism: History. Mani and R. Oriental Enlightenment (1997). Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament (1993).A. can be found in C. Belated Travelers (1994). van der Veer. David Kopf. ‘Orientalism in Crisis’ (1963).L. 230 . Edward Said. Clarke. together with numerous other extracts from signiﬁcant works on orientalism. Economy and Society. Orientalism in Art (1998). L. Richard King. reviews and review articles. A. Behdad. Marx and the End of Orientalism (1978). Theory and the Arts (1995) and J. Imperial Fictions (1988). Tibawi. Edward Said: A Critical Reader (1992). Women’s Orients (1992). mainly concerning south Asia. Also well worth consulting are Rana Kabbani. Orientalism and Religion (1999) and Billie Melman. and Christine Peltre.ORIENTALISM GUIDE TO FURTHER READING Readers interested in looking more deeply into the question of orientalism might start by reading Anour Abdel-Malek. of orientalism in nineteenth-century European painting. is an excellent study of British orientalism in India in the early period. Orientalism (1978) and Bryan S. 2 (1985). British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance (1969). Readers wishing to ﬁnd out more about Said might consult Michael Sprinker. are published in A. Breckenridge and P. Frankenberg. includes a survey of more than sixty reviews of Said’s Orientalism. A number of interesting articles. Turner.J. 14. A. Orientalism: A Reader (2000). ‘English-speaking Orientalists’ (1964 and 1979).L. ‘The Challenge of Orientalism’.
Ahmad. Collins. 231 . Barthold. Paris: Editions Payot. (eds) (1931) The Legacy of Islam. A. CT: Yale University Press. Breckenridge. P. (ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.) BOOKS Adelson. and Loxley. Clarke. and van der Veer. C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nations. Roger (1995) London and the Invention of the Middle East. Barker. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Routledge. Hulme. New Haven. A. Literatures. D.J. P. M. Behdad. Arberry. Cork: Cork University Press. Iverson. Arnold. (1997) Oriental Enlightenment. New edition.BIBLIOGRAPHY BIBLIOGRAPHY (The place of publication is London except where otherwise stated. French translation by Basile Nikitone. 1979. Vasilli Vladimirovitch (1947) La découverte de l’Asie: Histoire de l’orientalisme en Europe et en Russe. Methuen. Arthur John (1943) British Orientalists. Francis.) (1998) The Oxford History of the British Empire. T. Verso. Verso. and Guillaume. J. Aziz al-Azmeh (1993) Islams and Modernities. Canny. (1994) Belated Travelers. Aijaz (1992) In Theory. (eds) (1986) Literature. Arberry. N. Arthur John (1948) The Cambridge School of Arabic. Politics and Theory. (eds) (1993) Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia.A. Classes.
Routledge. Dallmayr. Oxford: Blackwell. (1960) Islam and the West: The Making of an Image. (1962) Historians of the Middle East. R.ORIENTALISM Clifford. (1988) The Predicament of Culture. Routledge.. Rana (1988) Imperial Fictions: Europe’s Myths of Orient. M. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (1996) Gendering Orientalism: Race-Feminity-Representation. Berkeley. Kopf. Ronald (1990) Imagining India.S.F. J. Fred (1996) Beyond Orientalism: Essays in Cross-Cultural Encounter. MA: Harvard University Press. B. Hay. (1990) Gender and Knowledge: Elements of a Postmodern Feminism. New York: Pantheon Books. (1993) Islam and the West. B. (1998) Orientalism Transposed: The Impact of the Colonies on British Culture. Codwell. (1980) Power/Knowledge. and Holt. Hobsbawm. King. Lewis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.K. Terence (eds) (1983) The Invention of Tradition. (eds) (1970) The Cambridge History of Islam.M. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. D. Foucault. Pandora. Daniel. Inden. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 232 . and Lewis. A. P. Lewis. Albany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1773–1835. Oxford: Polity Press. CA: University of California Press. Holt. David (1969) British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance: The Dynamics of Indian Modernization. Kabbani. B. J. Cambridge. NY: State University of New York Press. P. Aldershot: Ashgate. Eric and Ranger. and Macleod.S. Denys (1957) Europe: The Emergence of an Idea. N. Hekman.M. Lambton. S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lewis. Richard (1999) Orientalism and Religion.
J. M. First published in 1966. Sacy. Martino.L. Jane (1990) Seductions. Basingstoke: Macmillan. Silvestre de (1861) Mélanges de littérature orientale. Docrocq. A. Rodinson. (1974) Islam and Capitalism. Ithaca. Miller. John M. Beirut: publisher not known. D. Peltre. Edinburgh: Edinburgh MacKenzie.’A. (1996) The Eastern Question. Allen Lane. Longman.BIBLIOGRAPHY Lowe. Paris: Maisonneuve and Larose. Mill. 1718–1918. A. Pierre (1906) L’Orient dans la littérature francaise aux XVII e et au XVIII e siècle. (1995) Orientalism: History. Reig. Theory and the Arts.L. Moore-Gilbert. M. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Rudi (1968) The Study of Arabic and Islam at German Universities. Paret. Paris: E. Baldwin. Christine (1998) Orientalism in Art. New York: Basic Books. James (1817/1820) The History of British India. B. Macﬁe. Cradock and Joy. (1986) Kipling and Orientalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Macﬁe. Javed (1992) Ungoverned Imaginings: James Mill’s The History of British India and Orientalism. Wiesbaden: Steiner. Daniel (1988) Homo orientaliste. (1983) Orientalists and Koranic Studies. Lisa (1991) Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms. Paris: Hachette. Melman. Orientalism: A Reader. NY: Cornell University Press. Pipes. Virago. (2000) University Press. (1983) In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power. Majeed. 233 . Abbeville Press. al-Saghcr. Billie (1992) Women’s Orients: English Women and the Middle-East. Croom-Helm.H.
B. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cambridge. Chatto and Windus. Paris: Editions Payot. (1932) The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay. and Hartmann. Winter.J. G. Pantheon Books. Oxford: Oxford University Press. New edition. C.ORIENTALISM Said. George Allen and Unwin. Routledge. (1978) Marx and the End of Orientalism. Brill. (1913) The Encyclopaedia of Islam.S. Edward (1999) Out of Place: A Memoir. Paris: ACR Edition International. (1950) La Renaissance orientale. Thornton. Granta. Schaade. (eds) (1979) The Legacy of Islam. (1996) The Killing of History. Postmodernism and Globalism. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Windshuttle. 1979. pp. New York: Free Press. Friedrich (1808) Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. Schlegel. 103–40. B. A. Said. Stevens. Southern.O. 1828–1908. R. Leiden: E. Trevelyan. Richard (1962) Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages. Schacht. Edward (1978) Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. S. Heidelberg: Mohr and Zimmer.S. Turner. 44. European Painters in North Africa and the Near East. 234 . John (1988) The Oriental Obsession. Sweetman. Said. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. R. Anouar (1963) ‘Orientalism in Crisis’. and Bosworth. MA: Harvard University Press. Turner. Mary Anne (1984) The Orientalists: Delacroix to Matisse. (1994) Orientalism. Lynne (1983) The Orientalists: Painters-Travellers. ARTICLES AND PAMPHLETS Abdel-Malek. Schwab. K. Diogenes. Edward (1993) Culture and Imperialism.
(1980) ‘In Defence of Orientalism’. al-Bctar. F.BIBLIOGRAPHY Ahmad. Harold (1945) ‘British Longmans. V. 7. 204–23. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Green & Co. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 135–8. Gemie. Summer. 2. 135–63. Cross-cultural Comparison and the Colonial Organisation of Knowledge’. N. Halliday. IndoAsian Culture. Aijaz (1991) ‘Between Orientalism and Historicism’. pp. History’. M. pp. (1965) ‘Apology for Orientalism’. (1980) ‘Review of Orientalism’. E. Longmans. 1846–52’. 6. The Journal of Algerian Studies. 3. 19. C. in The Boundaries of Nationalist Identity. (1982) ‘From Western Orientalism to Arab Orientalism’. 58–76. 2. Bowen. Green & Co. Berkshire Review. 42. 48–70. Gabrieli. Arthur G. Das. 14. Clifford. 2. Diogenes. J. 20. 21. in Hommage à Jean Hyppolite. 50. Beirut: publisher not known. Commentary. August. 145–63. Genealogy. Diogenes. pp. Studies in History. (1979) Review of Orientalism. F. 1. 128–36. Gynla (1958) ‘Hungarian Orientalists – Past and Present’. new series. pp. 295– 300. (1971) ‘Nietzsche. Foucault. pp. Orientalism and Algeria: 54 Articles from the Revue des Deux Mondes. Contributions to Turkish Studies’. (1942) ‘British Contributions to Persian Studies’. 49. History and Theory. Arberry. Edward (1989) ‘Professor of Terror’. pp. Sharif (1998) ‘France. Gellner. 3. Sociology. pp. pp. (1993) ‘Orientalism and Its Critics’. 49–50. C.F. Spring. pp. Germanus. (1986) ‘Gender Studies. Alexander. 235 . (1965) Letter to the Editor. Cahen. Beckingham.
118–31. O’Hanlon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. John M. New York Review of Books. 17–42. September. R. Journal of Asian Studies.H. (1979) ‘Three Arab Critiques of Orientalism’.). Also published in a revised version in Lewis. A. May. Social Analysis. H. pp. pp. 236 . pp. MacKenzie. Inden. pp. 110–31. The History of the University of Oxford. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Muslim World. Hildreth. 5. D. Little. Lewis. 19 (1995) for comments by Martha L. Hildreth. Nochlin. (1994) ‘Edward Said and the Historians’. Discourse and Tradition in Recent South Asian Historiographies’. Peter (1986) ‘Oriental Studies’. M. 65–73. 187–91. in T. pp. 2. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Bernard (1982) ‘The Question of Orientalism’. Communities of Resistance: Gender. 18. 20. QadAyA ’Arabiyya.ORIENTALISM Hanaﬁ. in ‘A Reply to My Critics’. Art in America. David (1980) ‘Hermeneutics versus History’.P. 25. (1979) ‘The Road to Morocco’. MacKenzie’s “Edward Said and the Historians” ’. 401–48. Modern Asian Studies. pp. 27–30. Contributions to Arabic Studies’. Beirut. Russ Castronovo and Clare Simmons on MacKenzie’s article and also for his reply to those comments. pp. Ashton (ed. (1986) ‘Orientalist Constructions of India’. 69. 8 March. 3. NineteenthCentury Contexts. Bruce Robbins. 19. 39. Bernard (1941) ‘British Longmans. Lewis. vol. Tim Youngs. 2. See Nineteenth-Century Contexts. (1978) ‘Arab National Thought in the Balance’. 3. Hourani. (1995) ‘Lamentations on Reality: A response to John M. 9–25. pp. 495–506. R. (1989) ‘Cultures of Rule. Bernard (1993) Islam and the West. pp. 24 June. Linda (1983) ‘The Imaginary Orient’. Green & Co. Marshall. New York Review of Books. Kopf. 94–114.
pp. Robbins. 12 August. et al. Said. Aruri (ed. Barker. Politics and Theory. The New York Times Book Review. Literature. Sadik Jalal al-’Azm (1981) ‘Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse’. 18 February. pp. Anthropology Today. Methuen. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia. M. pp. 19. 43–69. (1995) ‘The Seduction of the Unexpected: On Imperialism and History’. Times Literary Supplement. Middle East Crucible. Wilmette. 16–19. Sheldon (1993) ‘Deep Orientalism: Notes on Sanskrit and Power beyond the Raj’. The Historical Journal. IL: Medina University Press. in F. 31 October. Islam and the Dogmas of the West’. 383–408. Edward (1986) ‘Orientalism Reconsidered’. 2. 4. 237 . 25. 8. Edward and Lewis. in Carol A. Said. 32. B.BIBLIOGRAPHY O’Hanlon. 75–9. in Naseer H. Edward (1995) ‘East Isn’t East: The Impending End of the Age of Orientalism’. Gyan (1990) ‘Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World: Perspectives from Indian Historiography’. Pollock. New York Times Book Review. Jane (1982) ‘Scottish Orientalism from Robertson to James Mill’. Rendall. 5–26. The New York Review of Books. (1992) ‘After Orientalism: Culture. J. Edward (1975) ‘Shattered Myths’. pp. (eds). PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. 3 February. Comparative Studies in Society and History. Richardson. and Washbrook. D. Prakash. Khamsin. pp. 410–27. Bernard (1982) ‘Orientalism: An Exchange’.). Said. (1979) ‘Review of Orientalism’. Criticism and Politics in the Third World’. 141–67. (1990) ‘Enough Said’. Said. 34. Comparative Studies in Society and History. R. 1. pp. Plumb. pp. Philadelphia. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (eds). Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Said. 1. 6. Edward (1976) ‘Arabs.H.
Islamic Quarterly. 67–80. A. 21. 81–4. 10. 1. Simmons. 56–61. A. Justus Reid (1999) ‘ “My Beautiful Old House” and Other Fabrications by Edward Said’. 8. 1. Race and Class.L. Ernest J. pp. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Islamic Quarterly. Tibawi. 3–54. September. Stuart (1979) ‘Orientalism at the Service of Imperialism’. Tibawi. Princeton. pp.L. NJ: Darwin Press. Muslim World.A. T. 23–31. pp. 25–45 and 73–88. 70. in Interpretations of Islam: Past and Present. A. (1979) ‘Second Critique of the English-speaking Orientalists’. (1981) ‘Orientalism: A Black Perspective’.ORIENTALISM Schaar. Youngs. 23. pp. pp. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Sivan. 2. Emmanuel (1985) ‘Edward Said and his Arab Reviewers’. 238 . pp. (1964) ‘English-speaking Orientalists’. 19. pp. Tibawi. 1– 4. Journal of Palestine Studies. pp. (1980) ‘On the Orientalists Again’. C. Commentary.L. 89–90. 1. 19. Wilson. (1995) ‘Thoughts on “Said and the Historians” ’. Weiner. 59–69. (1995) ‘The Connection between Things’.
. 50. 79. 31. Nadcm. Lord. 184 Castlereagh. Edward. 48. 30. AbrahamHyacinthe. 88 Africa. Father. Thomas. 58 Collège de France. M. 74–9. 12. Governor-General... A. 27 Adelard of Bath. 58 Blunt. 183–5 Al-Saghcr. 128–31 Alexander. J. 46 Compagnie de la Chine. Earl of. 176 239 Brown. 14–19 Ahmad. Ezra of Toledo. 49 D’Herbelot. W. Sadik Jalal. 165 Brown. 45 Compagnie du Levant. 45 Compagnie des Indes orientales. 68. Anouar. 100. 9. 6–7.. 178 Crimean War. 32 Clapham Sect. 103–5 Calcutta School Book Society. 56 Asiatische Magazin. 39 Auerbach. Pierre de. Sandor Korosi. 81. 50–7 Bentinck. 35 Charlevoix. 28 Castellane.J. Claude. 9.. James. 40 Ampère. 51.J. 51. 29 Buckinghamshire... 161 Bombay Literary Society. 87 Arab nationalism. 32. J. 106–7 Arberry. William. 14–19 Asiatic Society of Bengal. 33–4. 60 Cahen. 63 Dalhousie. J. 33. Sir Richard. 29 Aeschylus. 30. 39. 128–30 Al-Azmeh. 77 Bhagavad Gita. 26 Anquetil-Duperron. 184 Anne. 45 Cook. Queen. 46. 45. 160–1 Byron. Thomas. M. 55–6 Bernier. 4. 124 Baptist Mission Society. 29 Bengal. 35 Berque.H. 9. E. 49.S. 69 Csoma. 207–8 Al-Bctar. Thomas. 153–6 Clifford.. 58 Castell.J. 45 Colebrooke. 109.’A. 61. 53–4 Clarke. 195 Algeria. 52. 31. 121–2 Colbert. William. 56 Dallmayr. 55 Buddhism. Henry Thomas. Henrietta. 87 Dadd. 29 Adams. 53 Carey. 109. 201 . 61 Crawfurd. 128 Ameri. Aziz. 46. 123–7 Al-’Asm. 53 Chardin. 179–83 Burton. 96–101 Abraham b. 53 Bedwell. 105–6 Asia. Richard. William. Barthélemy.INDEX INDEX Abdel-Malek. Aijaz.. J. Edmund. Fred.
171–3 India. G. 161 Du Halde. 50 Eastern Crisis. Samuel. Veena. 9. Jacques. 162 Hildreth. 36–7 Foreign Bible Society. 47 Das. 30. 62 Desmaisons. 52–3. Father.. 58 Journal Asiatique.W. E. Eugène. Sir William. 64 Delacroix. 6. 169 Institute de l’Egypte. 184 Ernest.. 40 Gramsci. 53 Fort William. 14–19 Flandin. 88 Hourani. 176–8 Euripedes. 6 Greaves. 37 Derrida. John. 194 Hunt. 32 Du-Nouÿ. 61.. I. 62 Grossier. 51. 54. Gellner.. N. 103–5 Antoine.. 105 Goldziher. 9. 46 Elphinestone. 5 Islam. 9 Fleischer. 65 East India Company. 57 Hayter Commission. 30. 61 Ecole des Langues Orientales Vivantes. 50–8. 109. Thomas. Albert. 6 Déscription de l’Egypte. 63–4 Decamps. 62 Der Islam. 17 Johnson.ORIENTALISM Daniel. 42–4. 177 Encyclopaedia of Islam. Susan.. 32 John. 119. 56 Foucault. Sir H. 63–5 Gibb. Charles. 26–7 Inden. 41 Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft. 30 Homer. 162 Dauzats. 63 Hunt. A. 32 Guillaumet. 138–9. Sharif. 29 Gros. 62 Iranian Revolution. Thomas. 183–5 German Society for the Study of Islam. 79–85. 19 Hekman.F. 179–83 Hitópadéshá. Thomas. Eugène.L. Martha. Michel.. 83 Erpenius. Pope. Christian Snouck. 46. Baron. Antoine-Jean. 53 Halhed. Mountstuart. 176–7 Hanafc. Norman. 38. 31..B. 192 John VIII. H. 64–5 Denon. Gautier. 119–20. Jean-Léon. 22 Jones. Abraham. 34 240 . Ronald. 97–8 Fromentin. G. 64 Flaubert. 128–30 Hastings. Francesco. 39 Erskine. Garnier. 42. Holman. Warren. 69 Eastern Question. Baron. 179–83 Indian Mutiny. 37 Géróme. Alexander. 27 Hurgronje. William. 37 Doughty. 30–1. Gustave. 9. Hasan. 6. 145–7 Gemie. A. 52–3 Hinduism. 5. 27 Théophile.. College of. 34. 42 Danios. 77–8 Hegel. 39 Hyde. 88 Europe. 143 Hindu College. Galland. 63–5 Gabrieli. Le Comte. 63–5 Haileybury College. 58 Hamilton. Alexander Gabriel. 12. Abbé.
7. 134–45 history. 63 Murray. 28 Legacy of Islam. 44 Lavergne. Rudyard. 33. 194–5. 9. 171–4 Miller. John. 176 Majeed. 179 and the arts. de. 201–2 Kipling. 63. 133 Parraud.. 73–101 assessment of. Lord. 25–44 Scottish orientalism. 123–7 Matisse. 162–4 Mill. Linda. 176–7 Napoleon Bonaparte. Abbé. 121 Lane. 162. Simon. Emmanuel. 11. 184 Nietzsche. assault on. T. Karl. Edward W. David. 188 241 . Elie. 44–5 Lewis. B.E. 165–6 Macaulay. 199–200 Orient. Daniel. 52 Moira. 178 Libya. 61 Lee. Bernard. 109. King of France. 3. 179–83. Lisa. 98–9 Nochlin. 186–206 and India. Friedrich. 35. Billie. 184 Lawrence. 60. 167–71 Knolles.INDEX Kabbani. 33 Lowe. 50–8 Ottoman Empire. 19–21 Oriental Translation Fund. Jane.N. 48. 164–5 Leyden.. 66–7 Ockley. M. 31 Orientalism. Gérard de. 64 Kant. 177 King. 17 Martino. 13. Richard. Donald. John. 207 and the question of orientalism. William of. Pierre. Samuel. 28 O’Hanlon.. 55–6 MacKenzie. theory and the arts. 106–8 Louis XIII. 17–18 Martel. 9. Charles. 69 Palestine Liberation Organization. 32 Pipes. 44–9 in crisis. 15 Little.. 3–14 debate concerning. Rosalind. 99 Kedourie. 52 Moore-Gilbert. 175–9 Orientalist–Anglicist controversy. 150–3 Mackintosh. orientalist. 207–17 and colonialism. 35–6 Marx. 65 Lewis. James. 64 Melman. 62 Nerval. 188. 162 Minto. 33 Louis XIV. 40 Müller. deﬁnitions of.. 146 Kennedy. L. Reina. Alexander. 11. Archbishop. Lord. Richard. 102–47 exit from. 50–8 rise of. J. John Frederick. Thomas. 173–4 Malmesbury. 109–19 Lewis. 83 Levant Company. Rana. 161 Lebanon. King of France. 11. 25–6. 100. 29 Kopf. Leopold Carl. Vans. 167–71 Moussine-Pouchkine. 160 Laud. 159–66 Kandinsky.J. 66–72 and the historians. Javid.
4. Marquess. 39–40.. Bruce. ‘Hindoo’. 34 Solinus.H. London. Janos. 96–101 case studies concerning. 105–8 Tour du Pin.. 139–41. 44. 186–96 Salle. Bryan S. Counil of. 32–3 Voltaire. 99 Seminar for Oriental Languages. 189. W. 39 Vambery.ORIENTALISM Plassey. 137–9 Vernet.. J. 90 Said. 26. 63 Wilkins. Berlin. Abraham. 48 Pollock. 54 Suez Canal. 127–32 Société Asiatique. 37 Serampore Mission. 58 Simmons. 47. 37–8 School of Oriental Studies. Leon-Charles. A. 49 Verdi. Ernest J. Friedrich. 35 Washbrook.. Battle of. 132–4 Wilson. 30 World of Islam. 120–1 Pococke. 38. David. 37 Wüst. 148–85 and Orientalism. Colonel. 54 Wilson. 31. John Singer. 30. Thomas. 175–9 Richardson. 32 Zionism. Ernest. 47 Zend Avesta. Charles. Clare A. 47 Sanskrit. 35 Tibawi. David. Michael. 63 Roman Empire. 142–3 Sivan. 195–6 Wellesley. 4. 52 Wheelock. 200–1 analysis of. 50 Plumb. 69 Turner. de la. 75. 63–4 Vienne. 122–3 Robbins. 144 Roberts Roberts. Jane. 46 Tavernier. A. Sheldon. 55 Tunis. 27 Wilkie. Gyan. Edward. 90 Rendall. Horace. 61 Talleyrand. 74. 6–7. 214–16 analysis of.. 6–14. 85–93 Orientalism reconsidered. 57–8 William III. 16–17 Sacy. 89 Sargent. 17 Uri. Richard. 96–101 and end of orientalism. 78–9 Stewart. 61. 54 Urban II. 64 Schlegel. Eusèbe de. 74–85 and responses to critique. 184 Trevelyan.R. Arthur. 115–16 Volney. 34. 28 White Joseph. 145–7 Twining. 42 Soviet Union. Charles. 82. Emmanuel. 109. Armin. Silvestre de. J. 26. 52 Shakúntala.L.. 199–200 Weiner. 96–101 and English-speaking orientalists. 93–5 response to critique. Horace Hayman. 156–9 Prakash. Pope.. Constantine. 197 Renan. David. 188–9 242 . 157–8 Zaccar. 4. 16 Southern. 6–7 analysis of. Edward. 211–12 Schopenhauer.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.