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Confessions of a Dangerous (Arab) Mind: Orientalism and Confession Beyond Said and Foucault

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by Andrea Teti
ECIA Senior Fellow
In Ziad Elmarsafy, Anna Bernard and David Attwell (Eds.), "Debating Orientalism", London: Palgrave-Macmillan

To many, Edward Said’s seminal 1978 work Orientalism is an enduring touchstone, a founding text of the field of postcolonial studies and a book that continues to influence debates in literary and cultural studies, Middle Eastern Studies, anthropology, art history, history and politics. To others, however, Orientalism has serious failings, not least in blaming the wrong people – namely, Orientalists – for the crimes of European imperialism. Debating Orientalism addresses the book’s contemporary relevance without lionizing or demonizing its author. Bridging the gap between intellectual history and political engagement, the twelve contributors to this volume, among them Andrea Teti, interrogate Orientalism’s legacy with a view to moving the debate about this text beyond the manichean limitations within which it has all too often been imprisoned. Debating Orientalism seeks to consider Orientalism’s implications with a little less feeling, though no less commitment to understanding the value and political effects of engaged scholarship.

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