Orientalism

I want you to do some research on the term “orientalism,” first coined by Edward Said. A good place to begin is to watch the following short video that we viewed in class on 2/28:

Professor Alsultany on Exoticism and the Exaggerated Perception of the Middle East (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Professor Alsultany on Exoticism and the Exaggerated Perception of the Middle East

Then to visit the following webpages from the Arab American National Museum’s online exhibit on Orientalism and othering:

http://arabstereotypes.org/why-stereotypes/what-orientalism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://arabstereotypes.org/why-stereotypes/who-else-has-been-other (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://arabstereotypes.org/why-stereotypes/impacts-othering (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.



After reviewing each of these, do some of your own research on the term “orientalism” and what it means through a web search (for example, you can find numerous videos, interviews, or lectures with Edward Said about his work coining the term).

Then, for this short writing, I would like you to do three things:

1) Find a direct quote on orientalism or othering that you think defines it well. You can quote Edward Said or Professor Alsultany or someone else. Be sure to put the quote in quotation marks and clearly give credit to its source. (For example: According to Edward Said, orientalism is “[here place the quote from Said that you have found].”

2) Then, in a couple of sentences, describe orientalism in your own words. To think about this, I suggest looking at the tabs about othering under “Why the Stereotypes” on the online exhibit above.

3) Finally, I want you to try to think of an example of orientalism or othering in the media as you understand it and have described it in 1 and 2 above, and share that example in one or two paragraphs. You can use any kind of media as your example (you can use, for example: a movie, a news clip, a piece of artwork, a video game, or some other kind of media). Briefly describe that example (put a link to it if you are able) and why, specifically, you think it is an example of orientalism and/or othering.

Include your short writing directly in the text box of this assignment. (I encourage you to compose it first in a Word or another word editing software and then copy and paste it into the text box below.)

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