Orientalism – A Very Quick Overview.

Orientalism was first theorized by Edward Said in his 1978 work, Orientalism. Said had many definitions for what would be considered Orientalism. Said states, “The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences”. He then continues to discuss that ‘Orients’ are viewed as ‘other’ and were simply created by the Westerner and only viewed in the perspective, imaginative.

Today, Orientalism, in the sense of the research presented in this site, is defined to be: the representation of Asia, especially the Middle East, in a stereotyped way that is regarded as embodying a colonialist attitude.

This representation of Asia and the Middle East is seen throughout Western pop culture and media in which our group will be focusing on. Orientalism is seen in various forms of music, dance, film, and fashion – all of which are prominent in Western culture.

Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Vintage (1979)

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