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Shakespeare’s Orientalism Revisited

A Postcolonial Study of the Appropriation of Arabic/Islamic Allusions and Matters in the Bard’s Oeuvre

Mahmoud F. Al-Shetawi

perspective in an attempt to comment on its Oriental matters. A large corpus of criticism dealing with aspects of Elizabethan Orientalism has been produced in the context of the tension between the Ottomans and the West, Islamophobia and the bitter memories of

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“[W]hat Beauty in Oriental Art Means”

Asian Arts, Soft Diplomacy, and New Zealand Cultural Nationalism—The Loan Exhibition of Oriental Art, Christchurch, 1935

James Beattie and Louise Stevenson

's 4 April 1935 issue, which announced the formation of a committee to arrange for “an exhibition of Ancient and Oriental art to be held in the Art Gallery … to help the funds of the Young Women's Christian Association” ( Anon. 1935j: 2 ). Amid a sea of

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The Adventures of Miss Ross

Interventions into, and the Tenacity of, Romantic Travel Writing in Southwest Persia

Barbara Cooke

This article concerns the written life of Dr Elizabeth Ness Macbean Ross (1878–1915). Ross's posthumously published memoir about this time, A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiari Land (1921), challenges the masculine, monomythic stance of her travel-writing forebears Sir Henry Layard and Sir Richard Burton and anticipates contemporary texts in which the encounter between “traveling“ self and “native” other destabilizes, rather than reaffirms, the traveler's sense of identity and authority. The article also briefly examines a set of stories the Times ran on Dr Ross, which attempted to appropriate her for a dominant narrative of the Middle East reliant on a languid orientalism, on the one hand, and tales of derring-do, on the other; a narrative which persists to the present day, and which the forgotten A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiari Land works hard to resist.

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De-Orientalizing the Western Gaze on Eastern Europe

The First Soviet Occupation in Lithuanian History Textbooks

Barbara Christophe

which roles exactly were played by whom. Perhaps it is time, given these findings, to finally discard our orientalizing view of Eastern Europe, for too long imagined as the “backward” other of the West in a perpetual game of “catch up,” and to rediscover

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Peter Salinger

The growth of the Hebraica/Judaica collections, which form part of the Ancient Near East Semitics and Judaica Section, reflect to a large extent the policies and resources of the library over the years, with the addition of some significant donations. The establishment of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1917 came as a response to the long-felt need for a separate institution, as a constituent college of the University of London, for the study of the languages and cultures of Asia and Africa, in view of Britain’s worldwide interests. The nucleus of the Hebrew collection of the library was formed by transfers from University College, London. For a number of years, however, growth was slow, as the library’s budget and staff complement was very small, particularly until after the Second World War.

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Oriental Interests, Interesting Orients

Class, Authority, and the Reception of Knowledge in Victorian Women's Travel Writing

Muireann O'Cinneide

This essay considers epistemological vocabularies in aristocratic women’s travel writing of the Victorian period, examining the ways in which travelogues use ideas of ‘interest’ to stage the processing and dissemination of knowledge about, and personal experience of, ‘the Orient’ over the course of the nineteenth century. Each of the three travellers who are the main focus of my essay develops her own distinctive model of engagement with the regions in which she journeys: models which nevertheless all turn upon particular invocations of concepts of ‘interest’. I will first discuss what aspects of knowledge these writers are interested in and how they represent their own interest in the East, then analyse the ways through which the publication of their writings appeals to the interests of their British readership, before asking how the travellers’ best interests are furthered or hindered by the modes of epistemological authority they formulate. Ultimately, I argue that these inflections of interest reflect both the British upper class’s increasing emphasis on elite societal and cultural responsibility and, more generally, changing Victorian models of epistemological engagement with the Orient.

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Writing the End

Wilfred Thesiger, Freya Stark and the 'Arabist tradition'

Ben Cocking

Freya Stark's The Southern Gates of Arabia (1936) and Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands (1959) are commonly viewed as representing the last of the 'Arabist tradition'. Consequently, The Southern Gates of Arabia and Arabian Sands provide an opportunity to examine the Arabist tradition at a genealogical point of transition. Taking as its starting point the representational strategies deployed in each book, this paper will examine the extent to which these strategies are characteristic of Arabist travel writing and consider how Stark and Thesiger might be located in the context of the tradition's demise.

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Anupama Arora

This article examines the travel narratives of three Indian visitors to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Occupying a precarious space between spectacle and spectator at the World's Fair, these visitors returned the ethnographic gaze and instead offered cultural self-representation that co-existed with and contested the prevalent perceptions of India (and other non-Western peoples). In the process, their narratives both questioned the civilized/primitive dichotomy as well as disrupted the grand official narrative of Anglo-Saxon supremacy and progress celebrated at the exposition.

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Facing East, Facing West

Mark Twain's Following the Equator and Pandita Ramabai's The Peoples of the United States

Brian Yothers

Mark Twain's Following the Equator (1897), a narrative of a journey to the South Pacific, Australia, South Asia, and South Africa, has occupied a small but significant space in the consideration of Twain's wider career as both a travel writer and social critic. Twain's work has not, however, been considered in conjunction with the works of later nineteenth-century South Asian travelers in North America. The present article puts Twain's discussion of India and Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) in dialogue with Indian scholar and women's rights activist Pandita Ramabai's 1889 travelogue The Peoples of the United States.

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“Those Eyes Kohl Blackened Enflame”

Re-reading the Feminine in Gertrude Bell's Early Travel Writing

Emma Short

In May 1892, Gertrude Bell embarked on her first major non-European voyage to Persia, a journey that not only inspired her first published piece of travel writing, Persian Pictures (1894) and her translation of a selection of poems by the medieval Sufi poet, Hafiz (1897), but which also informed Bell's lesser-known, fictional writing. This article reads Bell's Persian Pictures alongside her unpublished short story, “The Talisman, or, the Wiles of Women” (c. 1892–1893) in order to consider the ways in which the feminine functions in her representations of the areas to which she traveled. Through this comparative reading, this article demonstrates how—through her use of the feminine—Bell subverts the “constitutive tropes of Orientalist discourse” of the East as sexualized, seductive, and dangerous (Yegğenogğlu 1998: 73), and instead positions it as an active and informed agent that knowingly challenges and resists Western colonial attempts at penetration and/or domination.