Edward said postcolonialism essay

“Islam” and “the West” are simply inadequate as banners to follow blindly. Some will run behind them, but for future generations to condemn themselves to prolonged war and suffering without so much as a critical pause, without looking at interdependent histories of injustice and oppression, without trying for common emancipation and mutual enlightenment seems far more wilful than necessary. Demonisation of the Other is not a sufficient basis for any kind of decent politics, certainly not now when the roots of terror in injustice can be addressed, and the terrorists isolated, deterred or put out of business. It takes patience and education, but is more worth the investment than still greater levels of large-scale violence and suffering.

Notwithstanding his contempt for Israel, Said criticized Islamic terrorist groups such as  Hamas and Islamic Jihad . As he explained in Power, Politics, and Culture : “First, I am secular; second, I do not trust religious movements; and third, I disagree with these movements’ methods, means, analyses, values, and visions.”

In 2002 Said was a signatory to the “ Statement of Conscience ” crafted by Not In Our Name , a project of C. Clark Kissinger ’s Revolutionary Communist Party . This document condemned not only the Bush administration’s “stark new measures of repression,” but also its “unjust, immoral, illegitimate, [and] openly imperial policy towards the world.”

Apart from his teaching duties, Said was an Advisory Committee member of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee . He also served -- along with Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark , Angela Davis , and Pete Seeger  -- on the Advisory Board of the Middle East Children’s Alliance . And he sat on the Board of Trustees of the Jerusalem-based non-governmental organization MIFTAH , next to such notables as Mustafa Bargouthi, Khalil Jahshan , and  Rashid Khalidi .

Said was also an Advisory Committee member of the “ Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouti & All Prisoners ,” which fought for the release of convicted terrorist and murderer Marwan Barghouti , founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades . Characterizing itself as “part of the wider struggle for Palestinian independence and self-determination,” this Campaign declared that “the plights of Marwan Barghouti and other prisoners cannot be separated from the wider issue of the constant violations of international agreements and of Palestinians’ human rights perpetrated by the Israeli state.” Other Advisory Committe members included  Hanan Ashrawi , Noam Chomsky, and  Nelson Mandela .

Said was a friend of Barack Obama  when the latter was an Illinois state senator. In 1998 Obama attended a speech by Said, in which the scholar called for a nonviolent campaign “against settlements, against Israeli apartheid.” In a well-publicized photo , Obama and Said can be seen talking over dinner at this pro-Arab event.

According to the Los Angeles Times , in the early 1980s Obama had been one of Said's students  in an undergraduate English class at Columbia University .

In addition to Orientalism , Said was also the author of such books as: The Question of Palestine (1980);  Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World (1981); Culture and Imperialism (1993); The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994 (1994); Peace and Its Discontents: Essays on Palestine in the Middle East Peace Process (1996); The End of the Peace Process: Oslo and After (2000); Power, Politics, and Culture (2002); Culture and Resistance (2003); Humanism and Democratic Criticism (2004); and From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap (2004).

Moreover, Said contributed regularly to such publications as Counterpunch , The Nation , and the daily newspapers Al Ahram and al-Hayat .

Said's works and ideas have heavily influenced many Mideast scholars and historians, including Lenni Brenner ,  Hamid Dabashi , John Esposito , Grant Farred , Rashid Khalidi , Tanya Reinhart , and  Andrew Rubin .

Edward Said died of leukemia on September 25, 2003.

Since Mimesis' proposed trajectory is the "representation of reality" in Western literature, Auerbach's displacement to Istanbul -- an "Oriental" area codified and "othered" by the Western canon -- allows him an ironic critical perspective of his book's subject from the periphery (5-6). And yet, in both The World the Text and the Critic and Representations of the Intellectual , Said emphasizes that the position of exile does not render the secular critic wholly independent, autonomous, hermetically-sealed, nor isolated from the workings of the nation-state. "There is a popular but wholly mistaken assumption," Said argues, "that being exiled is to be totally cut off, isolated, hopelessly separated from your place of origin" (Representations 48). By contrast, Said portrays the secular intellectual as a border-crosser who occupies a liminal space that mediates between nations, political organizations, and academic affiliations -- as well as between "culture" and "imperialism"; "text" and "world"; past and present.

Despite his political activities - in the 1980s he would often have to cut classes to appear on television, arguing the Palestinian corner - he was a prolific writer. His other books included two collections of literary essays, Beginnings: Intention and Method and The World, the Text and the Critic ; an elegiac work entitled After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives , and a contemporary reprise of the theme of Orientalism in Covering Islam . The Politics of Dispossession appeared in 1994, as did Representations of the Intellectual . After Peace and Its Discontents (1995), his memoirs, Out of Place (published in 1999, shortly after Weiner's exposure of his background) jettisoned much of the personal mythology he had previously allowed to circulate - without ever acknowledging any discrepancy with his earlier accounts of himself.

Edward said postcolonialism essay

edward said postcolonialism essay

Despite his political activities - in the 1980s he would often have to cut classes to appear on television, arguing the Palestinian corner - he was a prolific writer. His other books included two collections of literary essays, Beginnings: Intention and Method and The World, the Text and the Critic ; an elegiac work entitled After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives , and a contemporary reprise of the theme of Orientalism in Covering Islam . The Politics of Dispossession appeared in 1994, as did Representations of the Intellectual . After Peace and Its Discontents (1995), his memoirs, Out of Place (published in 1999, shortly after Weiner's exposure of his background) jettisoned much of the personal mythology he had previously allowed to circulate - without ever acknowledging any discrepancy with his earlier accounts of himself.

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