The Oriental rebel in Western History

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Edward Said’s Orientalism through deconstructing colonial discourses of
power-knowledge, postulates that colonization for the colonized has a particular ontological finality, reification. I contend here that the process of subjection has a far more profound effect than merely reifying the colonized, to borrow from Anouar Abdel-Malek, as customary, passive, non-participating and non-autonomous. Rather, Western imperial narratives and what Said calls its “evaluative judgments” and “program of actions” also come to interpellate the reified subject’s cosmovision, agency and its forms of resistance. Focusing on the Middle East, this study is a genealogy that exposes how techniques and technologies of imperial power have symbolically and materially produced the Oriental rebel in Western history. Through re-reading institutionalized knowledges and resurrecting a counter-history, this paper reveals a hidden and buried discursive formation, one which I call counter-revolutionary discourse. I argue that this system of thought is built through dispersed and heterogeneous but power-laden statements from Aymeric and Comte de Volney to Napoleon Bonaparte, Ernest Renan, Gustave Lebon, and Thomas Friedman.
LanguageEnglish
Pages244-263
Number of pages20
JournalArab Studies Quarterly
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Rebel
Oriental
History
Thought
Genealogy
Ernest Renan
Orientalism
Finality
Colonization
Napoleon Bonaparte
Middle East
Ontological
Edward Said
Rereading
Imperial Power
Discursive Formation
Reification
Discourse
Subjection
Revolution

Keywords

  • Capitalism
  • Imperialism
  • Class analysis
  • Foucault, Michel
  • Edward Said
  • 1926-1984
  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • Revolution

Cite this

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title = "The Oriental rebel in Western History",
abstract = "Edward Said’s Orientalism through deconstructing colonial discourses of power-knowledge, postulates that colonization for the colonized has a particular ontological finality, reification. I contend here that the process of subjection has a far more profound effect than merely reifying the colonized, to borrow from Anouar Abdel-Malek, as customary, passive, non-participating and non-autonomous. Rather, Western imperial narratives and what Said calls its “evaluative judgments” and “program of actions” also come to interpellate the reified subject’s cosmovision, agency and its forms of resistance. Focusing on the Middle East, this study is a genealogy that exposes how techniques and technologies of imperial power have symbolically and materially produced the Oriental rebel in Western history. Through re-reading institutionalized knowledges and resurrecting a counter-history, this paper reveals a hidden and buried discursive formation, one which I call counter-revolutionary discourse. I argue that this system of thought is built through dispersed and heterogeneous but power-laden statements from Aymeric and Comte de Volney to Napoleon Bonaparte, Ernest Renan, Gustave Lebon, and Thomas Friedman.",
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The Oriental rebel in Western History. / Azeez, Govand Khalid.

In: Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2015, p. 244-263.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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