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Orientalism Revisited

Friday, March 31, 2000
Richar Mortensensstuen, the Student Union Building
Organisers: Anne Wedell-Wedellsborg, Mette Jørgensen & Frits Andersen

The seminar takes its point of departure from the discursive formation of orientalism as explored by Edward Said in his book Orientalism from 1978. Said's book greatly influenced the ideas developed by what has come to be known as postcolonial theory; yet, also its interdisciplinary approach and original development of a critical analysis of discourse has inspired and served as a model for a long list of disciplines within the humanities. However, Said's productive challenge to established Western conceptions of the Orient, which is a challenge to the uneven relationship of power and domination between East and West, has also been criticized for its intrinsic tendency to replicate and preserve the oppositional presumptions of orientalism that it itself criticizes. Still, today, at the turn of the millennium and twenty years after its publication, Orientalism remains an important, although disputed, major work within disciplines such as anthropology, comparative literature, history of ideas and art history, and of course within the Oriental languages and philologies. The seminar will thus, on the one hand, focus on Said's book and examine its current relevance of method and theme in the light of contemporary attempts at describing the present-day conflicts of globalization processes. And on the other hand, the seminar will approach the question of orientalism independent of Said's book and explore the rhetoric and discourse of orientalism from the perspective of various cultural analyses. With this double viewpoint, we hope to stimulate the debate between the different disciplines affected by Orientalism.


Friday, March 31, 2000

9:30-10.00 am Official Welcome and Introduction by Anne Wedell-Wedellsborg
& Frits Andersen
10.00-11:00 Paul Armstrong: Being out of Place and the Contradiction of Cultural Difference
11:00-12:00 Victor Li: Disorienting Orientalism: From System to Untidiness
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
1:00-2:00 Brian Moeran: Advertising Japan's Orientalism
2:00-2:30 Coffee break
2:30-3:30 Carsten Thau: Japanese Art,Wiener Werkstätte and Danish Design of the 20th Century


Professor of English and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook. His publications include Conflicting Readings: Variety and Validity in Interpretation (1990), and The Challenge of Bewilderment: Understanding and Representation in James, Conrad, and Ford (1987).

Associate Professor, Department of English, Dalhousie University, Halifax. N.S., Canada. His publications include articles on postcolonial theory and criticism and on globalization and ethnography.

Professor of Japanese Language and Literature, Hongkong University / Copenhagen Business School. His publications include Language and Popular Culture in Japan (1989), and Media and Advertising in Japan (1991).

Professor, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. His publications include Filmen som verdensteater - omkring Peter Greenaway (1995), and Arne Jacobsen (1998).

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Updated 21 November 2000 by smc. Please mail comments to the web editor at Centre for Cultural Research.