Orientalism - Edward Said - Postcolonial Studies
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1. Orientalism is a book by Edward W. Said published in _________, in which the author discusses Orientalism, defined as the West's patronizing representations of "The East"—the societies and peoples who inhabit the places of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East.
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2. What is Orientalism?
Write about the concept of 'Orientalism' and not only about the book 'Orientalism'
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3. What is the purpose of Edward Said's project in his ground breaking work 'Orientalism'?
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4. What is main argument in Orientalism?
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5. In his groundbreaking 1978 text Orientalism, the late cultural critic and theorist Edward Saïd argued that . . .
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6. The term 'exotic' is used to describe the 'Orient'. What is the problem with this term?
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Reading painting to understand Said's arguments in Orientalism
As art historian Linda Nochlin argued in her widely read essay, “The Imaginary Orient,” from 1983, the task of critical art history is to assess the power structures behind any work of art or artist. Following Nochlin’s lead, art historians have questioned underlying power dynamics at play in the artistic representations of the "Orient," many of them from the nineteenth century. In doing so, these scholars challenged not only the ways that the “West” represented the “East,” but they also complicate the long held misconception of a unidirectional westward influence. Similarly, these scholars questioned how artists have represented people of the Orient as passive or licentious subjects. (Linda Nochlin, “The Imaginary Orient,” Art in America, vol. IXXI, no. 5 (1983), pp. 118–31.)
7. Identify the painting - 'The Snake Charmer and His Audience', c. 1879, the French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme’s depicts a naked youth holding a serpent as an older man plays the flute—charming both the snake and their audience.
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8. Identify the painting - 'A Visit: Harem Interior, Constantinople', 1860, the French painter Henriette Browne represents women fully clothed in harem scenes.
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9. Identify the painting - Ottoman painter Osman Hamdi Bey depicts Islamic scholarship and learnedness in 'A Young Emir Studying', 1878.
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10. In which of the following painting, painter constructs a scene out of his imagination, but he utilizes a highly refined and naturalistic style to suggest that he himself observed the scene. In doing so, painter suggests such nudity was a regular and public occurrence in the "East." Thus naturalizing nudity, snake-charming etc as regular part of everyday life, which is not the truth of the East.
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11. In contrast to the painting of nude boy with snake-charmers, many artists created works that provide a counter-narrative to the image of the "East" as passive, licentious or decrepit. In the painter represents women fully clothed in harem scenes?
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12. In contrast to the painting of nude boy with snake-charmers, many artists created works that provide a counter-narrative to the image of the "East" as passive, licentious or decrepit. In which of the following paintings painter depicts Islamic scholarship and learnedness of young muslims in the Arabic world?
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13. In Orientalist secular history paintings (narrative moments from history), Western artists portrayed disorderly and often violent battle scenes, creating a conception of an "Orient" that was rooted in incivility. The common figures and locations of Orientalist genre paintings (scenes of everyday life)—including the angry despot, licentious harem, chaotic medina, slave market, or the decadent palace—demonstrate a blend of pseudo-ethnography based on descriptions of first-hand observation and outright invention. These paintings created visions of a decaying mythic "East" inhabited by a controllable people without regard to geographic specificity. Artists operating in this vein include Jean-Léon Gérôme, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and others. In the visual discourses of Orientalism, we must systematically question any claim to objectivity or authenticity. Is it true?
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14. Edward Said writes in the Introduction of 'Orientalism': "I mentioned three aspects of my contemporary reality: I must explain and briefly discuss them now, so that it can be seen how I was led to a particular course of research and writing." Identify three aspects . . .
Read 'Introduction' of Orientalism for the answer
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15. Whose work is referred by Edward Said when he says this in the conclusion of 'Introduction': "The starting-point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is `knowing thyself’ as a product of the historical process to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory.” The only available English translation inexplicably leaves comment at that, whereas is fact the Italian text concludes by adding, “therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory.”
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16. A term coined by Edward Said to describe a way of reading the texts of English literature so as to reveal their deep implications in imperial and the colonial process. Thus a reading of Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park', for instance, can reveal the extent to which the privileged life of the English upper class is established upon the profits made from West-Indian (Caribbean) plantations, and by implication, from the exploitation of the colonized.
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