EDWARD SAID's Orientalism (1979) is a remarkable turning point in the genealogy of this term. Before the publication of his book, Orientalism generally referred either to an artistic genre or to the scholarly discipline, which concerns itself with the study of the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Orient. Said pointed out two other definitions: a style of thought that establishes epistemological and ontological distinctions between the Occident and the Orient and a corporate institution that defines, authorizes views about, and rules over the Orient.

Redefining Orientalism, Edward Said revolutionized the understanding of how the West looked at the East.


Said did not dispute the existence of idiosyncratic differences between the geopolitical categories. Instead, he criticized the way in which the differences are hierar-chically organized ...

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