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Orientalism: A Reader by Alexander Lyon Macfie
Edward W. Said - 1978
This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.
Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity
Afsaneh Najmabadi - 2005
Peeling away notions of a rigid pre-modern Islamic gender system, Afsaneh Najmabadi provides a compelling demonstration of the centrality of gender and sexuality to the shaping of modern culture and politics in Iran and of how changes in ideas about gender and sexuality affected conceptions of beauty, love, homeland, marriage, education, and citizenship. She concludes with a provocative discussion of Iranian feminism and its role in that country's current culture wars. In addition to providing an important new perspective on Iranian history, Najmabadi skillfully demonstrates how using gender as an analytic category can provide insight into structures of hierarchy and power and thus into the organization of politics and social life.
Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents
Robert Irwin - 2006
But what is Orientalism, and who were the Orientalists, and how did Western scholars of Islamic culture come to be vilified as insidious agents of European imperialism? In Robert Irwin's groundbreaking new history, he answers this question with a detailed and colorful story of the motley crew of intellectuals and eccentrics who brought an understanding of the Islamic world to the West. In a narrative that ranges from an analysis of Ancient Greek perceptions of the Persians to a portrait of the first Western European translators of Arabic to the contemporary Muslim world's perceptions of the Western study of Islam, Irwin affirms the value of the Orientalists' legacy: not only for the contemporary scholars who have disowned it, but also for anyone committed to fostering the cross-cultural understanding which could bridge the real or imagined gulf between Islamic and Western civilization. Dangerous Knowledge is a both riveting and entertaining history, a bold argument, and an urgent redress of our conceptions about Western culture's relationship with its nearest neighbor.
Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction
Robert J.C. Young - 2001
This Very Short Introduction discusses both the history and key debates of postcolonialism, and considers its importance as a means of changing the way we think about the world.Robert J. C. Young examines the key strategies that postcolonial thought has developed to engage with the impact of sometimes centuries of western political and cultural domination. Situating the discussion in a wide cultural and geographical context, he draws on examples such as the status of indigenous peoples, of those dispossessed from their land, Algerian rai music, and global social and ecological movements. In this new edition he also includes updated material on race, slavery, and postcolonial gender politics. Above all, Young argues that postcolonialism offers a political philosophy of activism that contests the current situation of global inequality, which in a new way continues the anti-colonial struggles of the past and enables us to decolonize our own lives in the present.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable
The Location of Culture
Homi K. Bhabha - 1994
In The Location of Culture, he uses concepts such as mimicry, interstice, hybridity, and liminality to argue that cultural production is always most productive where it is most ambivalent. Speaking in a voice that combines intellectual ease with the belief that theory itself can contribute to practical political change, Bhabha has become one of the leading post-colonial theorists of this era.
Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies
Ian Buruma - 2004
But "the West" is the more dangerous mirage of our own time, Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit argue, and the idea of "the West" in the minds of its self-proclaimed enemies remains largely unexamined and woefully misunderstood. Occidentalism is their groundbreaking investigation of the demonizing fantasies and stereotypes about the Western world that fuel such hatred in the hearts of others.We generally understand "radical Islam" as a purely Islamic phenomenon, but Buruma and Margalit show that while the Islamic part of radical Islam certainly is, the radical part owes a primary debt of inheritance to the West. Whatever else they are, al Qaeda and its ilk are revolutionary anti-Western political movements, and Buruma and Margalit show us that the bogeyman of the West who stalks their thinking is the same one who has haunted the thoughts of many other revolutionary groups, going back to the early nineteenth century. In this genealogy of the components of the anti-Western worldview, the same oppositions appear again and again: the heroic revolutionary versus the timid, soft bourgeois; the rootless, deracinated cosmopolitan living in the Western city, cut off from the roots of a spiritually healthy society; the sterile Western mind, all reason and no soul; the machine society, controlled from the center by a cabal of insiders—often Jews—pulling the hidden levers of power versus an organically knit-together one, a society of "blood and soil." The anti-Western virus has found a ready host in the Islamic world for a number of legitimate reasons, they argue, but in no way does that make it an exclusively Islamic matter.A work of extraordinary range and erudition, Occidentalism will permanently enlarge our collective frame of vision
Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
Walter Benjamin - 1955
Illuminations includes Benjamin's views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest personal affinity, his studies on Baudelaire and Proust (both of whom he translated), his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study on "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an illuminating discussion of translation as a literary mode, and his thesis on the philosophy of history. Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and prefaces them with a substantial, admirably informed introduction that presents Benjamin's personality and intellectual development, as well as his work and his life in dark times. Reflections the companion volume to this book, is also available as a Schocken paperback.Unpacking My Library, 1931The Task of the Translator, 1913The Storyteller, 1936Franz Kafka, 1934Some Reflections on Kafka, 1938What Is Epic Theater?, 1939On Some Motifs in Baudelaire, 1939The Image of Proust, 1929The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936Theses on the Philosophy of History, written 1940, pub. 1950
The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years
Bernard Lewis - 1995
Meticulously researched, this enlightening narrative explores the patterns of history that have repeated themselves in the Middle East.From the ancient conflicts to the current geographical and religious disputes between the Arabs and the Israelis, Lewis examines the ability of this region to unite and solve its problems and asks if, in the future, these unresolved conflicts will ultimately lead to the ethnic and cultural factionalism that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.Elegantly written, scholarly yet accessible, The Middle East is the most comprehensive single volume history of the region ever written from the world’s foremost authority on the Middle East.
The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Amitav Ghosh - 2016
How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.
Colonialism / Postcolonialism
Ania Loomba - 1998
Colonialism/Postcolonialism is a comprehensive yet accessible guide to the historical and theoretical dimensions of colonial and postcolonial studies.Ania Loomba deftly introduces and examines:key features of the ideologies and history of colonialismthe relationship of colonial discourse to literaturechallenges to colonialism, including anticolonial discoursesrecent developments in postcolonial theories and historiesissues of sexuality and colonialism, and the intersection of feminist and postcolonial thoughtdebates about globalization and postcolonialismRecommended on courses across the academic disciplines and around the world, Colonialism/Postcolonialism has for some years been accepted as the essential introduction to a vibrant and politically charged area of literary and cultural study.With new coverage of emerging debates around globalization, this second edition will continue to serve as the ideal guide for students new to colonial discourse theory, postcolonial studies or postcolonial theory as well as a reference for advanced students and teachers.
Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism
Ibn Warraq - 2007
Said’s main thesis was that the Western image of the East was heavily biased by colonialist attitudes, racism, and more than two centuries of political exploitation. Although Said’s critique was controversial, the impact of his ideas has been a pervasive rethinking of Western perceptions of Eastern cultures, plus a tendency to view all scholarship in Oriental Studies as tainted by considerations of power and prejudice. In this thorough reconsideration of Said’s famous work, Ibn Warraq argues that Said’s case against the West is seriously flawed. Warraq accuses Said of not only willfully misinterpreting the work of many scholars, but also of systematically misrepresenting Western civilization as a whole. With example after example, he shows that ever since the Greeks Western civilization has always had a strand in its very makeup that has accepted non-Westerners with open arms and has ever been open to foreign ideas. The author also criticizes Said for inadequate methodology, incoherent arguments, and a faulty historical understanding. He points out, not only Said’s tendentious interpretations, but historical howlers that would make a sophomore blush. Warraq further looks at the destructive influence of Said's study on the history of Western painting, especially of the 19th century, and shows how, once again, the epigones of Said have succeeded in relegating thousands of first-class paintings to the lofts and storage rooms of major museums. An extended appendix reconsiders the value of 18th- and 19th-century Orientalist scholars and artists, whose work fell into disrepute as a result of Said’s work.
The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction
Michel Foucault - 1976
Michel Foucault offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.
The End of All Evil
Jeremy Locke - 2006
Evil is found in words such as force, compulsion, tax, violence, theft, censure, and politics. Notice that in such things, there is no joy. None have any value to humanity. This book defines the doctrine of liberty, and teaches you why choices that affect your life can only rightfully be made by you.
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
Benedict Anderson - 1983
In this widely acclaimed work, Benedict Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the 'imagined communities' of nationality.Anderson explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialization of religious faiths, the decline of antique kingship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of vernacular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time. He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was modularly adopted by popular movements in Europe, by the imperialist powers, and by the anti-imperialist resistances in Asia and Africa.This revised edition includes two new chapters, one of which discusses the complex role of the colonialist state's mindset in the develpment of Third World nationalism, while the other analyses the processes by which, all over the world, nations came to imagine themselves as old.