Edward Said

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Born in Jerusalem in 1935, Edward Said moved, with his family, to the the United States in 1951 as a teenager after being expelled from his high school in Britain. At the time of his death in 2003, Said was a literary professor at Columbia University, the most outspoken American advocate of the Palestinian cause, and was "widely regarded as the outstanding representative of the post-structuralist left in America" ([GUARDIAN http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2003/sep/26/guardianobituaries.highereducation]). His most significant contribution to the field of Cultural Studies was his book entitled [Orientalism http://www.english.emory.edu/Bahri/Orientalism.html].

Though Said is one of the foremost famous scholars on Orientalism, I found the following commentary on scholars who came before Said quite interesting: "Edward Said was not the first to discuss Western images of the non-West or to introduce the notion of Orientalism. Over a decade before the publication of Orientalism, the Syrian scholar Abdul Lafit Tibawi had covered similar ground in his monograph, English Speaking Orientalists (1965). In Europe and Islam (1977), the Tunisian historian and philosopher Hichem Djait presented arguments about European representation of Islam remarkably similar to those of Said. And the Malaysian sociologist Syed Hussain Alatas in his seminal work, The Myth of the Lazy Native (1977) outlined how the colonial powers constructed the image of the Malays, Filipinos and Javanese from the 16th to the 20th centuries and how these representations shaped the ideology of colonial capitalism." (Sardar and Van Loon, 1997).