First Response Paper Guidelines

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Author: Asma Afsaruddin

Explain what Edward Said means when he states “Indeed, my real argument is that Orientalism is -- and does not simply represent  – a considerable dimension of modern political intellectual culture [in the West], and as such has less to do with the Orient than it does with “our” world. [P. 12].  Similarly, he states on p. 21, “that what is commonly circulated by it [i.e. Orientalism] is not ‘truth’ but representations.”  In other words, in both instances he is saying that the constructed Orient of the Orientalists (who include scholars, government officials, journalists, etc.) has very little to do with the real “Orient” but more to do with Western perceptions of the Orient and of power structures in the world – in order to maintain European colonial supremacy in an earlier period (and now, he would argue, with maintaining American hegemony in the world). What kind of examples does he provide to back up this statement?  Do your impressions from viewing the film “Battle of Algiers” help to confirm the severe negative effects of European colonial occupation of much of the Middle East that Said refers to, effects which helped created Orientalism?

The essay should also conclude with one paragraph in which you explain whether you agree or not with Said’s overall position and give a couple of reasons for your position.

The essay should not be more than 2 pages long (nothing beyond the second page will be read!), typed and double spaced.   Please include your name and SAVE A COPY OF YOUR PAPER IN YOUR COMPUTER.

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