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“Europe Does Not Know Anything about the Orient”: A Proto-Saidian Discourse

Thursday Lecture Series, Ambivalence

dateMarch 5, 2020 timeThursday, 12:15pm EST location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Ardeta Gjikola
  • Audience open exclusively to Columbia faculty, students, and invited guests
  • All others interested in attending, please email SOF/Heyman at [email protected].
Sepia tone photo of baby in a dress beside armchair

Reacting to the misconceptions, distortions, and factual errors in European representations of the “Orient,” a passionate Ottoman discourse emerged in the 1870s and continued with fervor into the 1930s. Well-acquainted with the European political and cultural scene and charged with their own ideological agendas, the Ottoman and early Turkish Republican intellectuals turned and twisted the familiar debates around in an attempt to deconstruct the tired clichés. Listening to their voices forty years after the publication of Orientalism helps to re-contextualize and complicate Edward Said’s important arguments from an unlikely perspective. My presentation will unpack several themes that dominated this response.

Guest lecturer: Zeynep Çelik, NJIT
Distinguished Professor, Hillier College of Arch & Design
Adjunct Professor of History, Columbia University