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Orientalism

Until the late 1970s, Orientalism was taken to refer to a cultural or intellectual interest in the East. Orientalist scholars achieved expertise in the culture, literature, and arts of the region, and cultural fashions of Orientalist design came and went in Europe. However, in his pathbreaking 1978 book, Edward Said argues, following Michel Foucault, that Orientalism is not an innocent form of knowledge of a certain part of the world; rather, it is a form of power/knowledge that divides the world into two spheres—a binary imaginary geography of inside and outside, Occident and Orient. This means that the concept of difference between East and West is a geopolitical division written throughout the texts of Western culture, whether travel writing, political texts, paintings, or academic discussions. ...

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