Edward Wadie Said (/sɑːˈiːd/; Arabic: إدوارد وديع سعيد [wædiːʕ sæʕiːd], Idwārd Wadīʿ Saʿīd; 1 November 1935 – 24 September 2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies. A Palestinian American born in Mandatory Palestine, he was a citizen of the United States by way of his father, a U.S. Army veteran.
Educated in the Western canon, at British and American schools, Said applied his education and bi-cultural perspective to illuminating the gaps of cultural and political understanding between the Western world and the Eastern world, especially about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in the Middle East; his principal influences were Antonio Gramsci, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Michel Foucault, and Theodor Adorno.
As a cultural critic, Said is known for the book Orientalism (1978), a critique of the cultural representations that are the bases of Orientalism—how the Western world perceives the Orient. Said's model of textual analysis transformed the academic discourse of researchers in literary theory, literary criticism, and Middle-Eastern studies—how academics examine, describe, and define the cultures being studied. As a foundational text, Orientalism was controversial among scholars of Oriental Studies, philosophy, and literature.
As a public intellectual, Said was a controversial member of the Palestinian National Council, because he publicly criticized Israel and the Arab countries, especially the political and cultural policies of Muslim régimes who acted against the national interests of their peoples. Said advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state to ensure equal political and human rights for the Palestinians in Israel, including the right of return to the homeland. He defined his oppositional relation with the status quo as the remit of the public intellectual who has "to sift, to judge, to criticize, to choose, so that choice and agency return to the individual" man and woman.
In 1999, with his friend Daniel Barenboim, Said co-founded the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville, which comprises young Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab musicians. Besides being an academic, Said was also an accomplished pianist, and, with Barenboim, co-authored the book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), a compilation of their conversations about music. Said died of leukemia on 24 September 2003.
Said (left) with Barenboim in Seville, 2002
Edward Wadie Said
1 November 1935
|Died||24 September 2003 (aged 67)|
New York City, United States
|Spouse(s)||Mariam C. Said|
|Occidentalism, Orientalism, the Other|
Edward Wadie Said was born on 1 November 1935, to Hilda Said and Wadie Said, a businessman in Jerusalem, then part of British-governed Mandatory Palestine (1920–48). Wadie Said was a Palestinian man who soldiered in the U.S. Army component of the American Expeditionary Forces (1917–19), commanded by General John J. Pershing, in the First World War (1914–18). Afterwards, that war-time military service earned American citizenship to Said père and his family. Edward's mother, Hilda Said was born Lebanese and raised in Nazareth, Ottoman Empire.
In 1919, in partnership with a cousin, Wadie Said established a stationery business in Cairo. Like her husband, Hilda Said was an Arab Christian, and, although the Said family practiced the Jerusalemite variety of Greek Orthodox Christianity, Edward was agnostic. Moreover, his sister Rosemarie Saïd Zahlan (1937–2006) also pursued an academic career.
Said lived his boyhood between the worlds of Cairo and Jerusalem; in 1947, he attended St. George's School, Jerusalem, a British school of stern Anglican Christian cast. About being there, Said said:
With an unexceptionally Arab family name like "Saïd", connected to an improbably British first name (my mother much admired Edward VIII the Prince of Wales in 1935, the year of my birth) I was an uncomfortably anomalous student all through my early years: a Palestinian going to school in Egypt, with an English first name, an American passport, and no certain identity, at all. To make matters worse, Arabic, my native language, and English, my school language, were inextricably mixed: I have never known which was my first language, and have felt fully at home in neither, although I dream in both. Every time I speak an English sentence, I find myself echoing it in Arabic, and vice versa.— Between Worlds, Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (2002) pp. 556–57
By the late 1940s, Edward's schooling included the Egyptian branch of Victoria College, Alexandria (VC), where classmates included (King) Hussein of Jordan, and the Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, and Saudi Arabian boys whose academic careers would progress to their becoming ministers, prime ministers, and leading businessmen in their respective countries.
In that colonial time and place, the function of a British colonial school, such as VC, was to educate selections of young men from the Arab and Levantine ruling classes, to become the Anglicized post-colonial administrators who would rule their countries, upon British decolonization. About Victoria College, Edward said:
The moment one became a student at Victoria College, one was given the student handbook, a series of regulations governing every aspect of school life—the kind of uniform we were to wear, what equipment was needed for sports, the dates of school holidays, bus schedules, and so on. But the school's first rule, emblazoned on the opening page of the handbook, read: "English is the language of the school; students caught speaking any other language will be punished." Yet, there were no native speakers of English among the students. Whereas the masters were all British, we were a motley crew of Arabs of various kinds, Armenians, Greeks, Italians, Jews, and Turks, each of whom had a native language that the school had explicitly outlawed. Yet all, or nearly all, of us spoke Arabic—many spoke Arabic and French—and so we were able to take refuge in a common language, in defiance of what we perceived as an unjust colonial structure.— Between Worlds, Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (2002) pp. 556–57.
In 1951, Victoria College expelled Edward, who had proved a troublesome boy, despite being a student of great intelligence and much academic achievement; he then attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, Massachusetts, a socially élite, college-prep boarding-school where he lived a difficult year of social alienation. Nonetheless, the student Edward excelled, and achieved the rank of either first (valedictorian) or second (salutatorian) in a class of one hundred sixty students.
In retrospect, being sent far from the Middle East (Egypt) he viewed as a parental decision much influenced by "the prospects of deracinated people, like us the Palestinians, being so uncertain that it would be best to send me as far away as possible." The realities of peripatetic life—of interwoven cultures, of feeling out of place, and of homesickness—so affected the schoolboy Edward that themes of dissonance feature in the work and worldview of the academic Said. At school's end, he had become Edward W. Said—a polyglot intellectual (fluent in English, French, and Arabic) who had earned a Bachelor of Arts (1957) degree at Princeton University, and Master of Arts (1960) and Doctor of Philosophy (1964) degrees in English Literature from Harvard University.
In 1963, Said joined Columbia University, as a member of the English and Comparative Literature faculties, where he taught and worked until 2003. In 1974, he was Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard; during the 1975–76 period, he was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science, at Stanford University. In 1977, he became the Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and subsequently was the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities; and in 1979 was Visiting Professor of Humanities at Johns Hopkins University.
Said also worked as a visiting professor at Yale University, and lectured at other universities. Said lectured at more than 200 universities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. In 1992, Said was promoted to "Professor", the highest-rank academic job at Columbia University. Editorially, Prof. Edward Said served as president of the Modern Language Association; as editor of the Arab Studies Quarterly in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; was on the executive board of International PEN; and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, the Council of Foreign Relations the American Philosophical Society. In 1993, Said presented the BBC's annual Reith Lectures, a six-lecture series titled Representation of the Intellectual, wherein he examined the role of the public intellectual in contemporary society, which the BBC published in 2011.
Said's first published book, Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966), was an expansion of the doctoral dissertation he presented to earn the PhD degree. Moreover, in Edward Saïd: Criticism and Society (2010), Abdirahman Hussein said that Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness (1899) was "foundational to Said's entire career and project". Afterwards, Said redacted ideas gleaned from the works of the 17th-century philosopher Giambattista Vico, and other intellectuals, in the book Beginnings: Intention and Method (1974), about the theoretical bases of literary criticism. Said's later works include The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983), Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature: Yeats and Decolonization (1988), Culture and Imperialism (1993), Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures (1994), Humanism and Democratic Criticism (2004), and On Late Style (2006).
Said became an established cultural critic with the book Orientalism (1978) a critique (description and analyses) of Orientalism as the source of the false cultural representations with which the Western world perceives the Middle East—the narratives of how The West sees The East. The thesis of Orientalism proposes the existence of a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo–Islamic peoples and their culture", which originates from Western culture's long tradition of false, romanticized images of Asia, in general, and the Middle East, in particular. That such cultural representations have served, and continue to serve, as implicit justifications for the colonial and imperial ambitions of the European powers and of the U.S. Likewise, Said denounced the political and the cultural malpractices of the régimes of the ruling Arab élites who have internalized the false and romanticized representations of Arabic culture that were created by Anglo–American Orientalists.
So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Moslems and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab–Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have, instead, is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world, presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.— "Islam through Western Eyes" (1980) The Nation.
Orientalism proposed that much Western study of Islamic civilization was political intellectualism, meant for the self-affirmation of European identity, rather than objective academic study; thus, the academic field of Oriental studies functioned as a practical method of cultural discrimination and imperialist domination—that is to say, the Western Orientalist knows more about the Orient than do the Orientals.
That the cultural representations of the Eastern world that Orientalism purveys are intellectually suspect, and cannot be accepted as faithful, true, and accurate representations of the peoples and things of the Orient; that the history of European colonial rule and political domination of Asian civilizations, distorts the writing of even the most knowledgeable, well-meaning, and culturally sympathetic Orientalist.
I doubt if it is controversial, for example, to say that an Englishman in India, or Egypt, in the later nineteenth century, took an interest in those countries, which was never far from their status, in his mind, as British colonies. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and yet that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism.— Introduction, Orientalism, p. 11.
That since Antiquity, Western Art has misrepresented the Orient with stereotypes; in the tragedy The Persians (472 BCE), by Aeschylus, the Greek protagonist falls, because he misperceived the true nature of The Orient. That the European political domination of Asia has biased even the most outwardly objective Western texts about The Orient, to a degree unrecognized by the Western scholars who appropriated for themselves the production of cultural knowledge—the academic work of studying, exploring, and interpreting the languages, histories, and peoples of Asia; therefore, Orientalist scholarship implies that the colonial subaltern (the colonised people) were incapable of thinking, acting, or speaking for themselves, thus are incapable of writing their own national histories. In such imperial circumstances, the Orientalist scholars of the West wrote the history of the Orient—and so constructed the modern, cultural identities of Asia—from the perspective that the West is the cultural standard to emulate, the norm from which the "exotic and inscrutable" Orientals deviate.
The thesis of Orientalism concluded that the West's knowledge of the Orient depicts the cultures of the Eastern world as an irrational, weak, and feminized non–European Other, which is the opposite of the West's representations of Western cultures as a rational, strong, and masculine polity. That such an artificial binary-relation originates from the European psychological need to create a "difference" of inequality, between the West and the East, which inequality originates from the immutable cultural essences innate to the peoples of the Oriental world.
Orientalism provoked much professional and personal criticism for Said among academics. Traditional Orientalists, such as Albert Hourani, Robert Graham Irwin, Nikki Keddie, Bernard Lewis, and Kanan Makiya, suffered negative consequences, because Orientalism affected public perception of their intellectual integrity and the quality of their Orientalist scholarship. The historian Keddie said that Said's critical work about the field of Orientalism had caused, in their academic disciplines:
Some unfortunate consequences ... I think that there has been a tendency in the Middle East [studies] field to adopt the word Orientalism as a generalized swear-word, essentially referring to people who take the "wrong" position on the Arab–Israeli dispute, or to people who are judged "too conservative." It has nothing to do with whether they are good or not good in their disciplines. So, Orientalism, for many people, is a word that substitutes for thought, and enables people to dismiss certain scholars and their works. I think that is too bad. It may not have been what Edward Saïd meant, at all, but the term has become a kind of slogan.— Approaches to the History of the Middle East (1994), pp. 144–45.
In Orientalism, Said described Bernard Lewis, the Anglo–American Orientalist, as "a perfect exemplification [of an] Establishment Orientalist [whose work] purports to be objective, liberal scholarship, but is, in reality, very close to being propaganda against his subject material."
Lewis responded with a harsh critique of Orientalism accusing Said of politicizing the scientific study of the Middle East (and Arabic studies in particular); neglecting to critique the scholarly findings of the Orientalists; and giving "free rein" to his biases.
Said retorted that in The Muslim Discovery of Europe (1982), Lewis responded to his thesis with the claim that the Western quest for knowledge about other societies was unique in its display of disinterested curiosity, which Muslims did not reciprocate towards Europe. Lewis was saying that "knowledge about Europe [was] the only acceptable criterion for true knowledge." The appearance of academic impartiality was part of Lewis's role as an academic authority for zealous "anti–Islamic, anti–Arab, Zionist, and Cold War crusades." Moreover, in the Afterword to the 1995 edition of the book, Said replied to Lewis's criticisms of the first edition of Orientalism (1978).
In the academy, Orientalism became a foundational text of the field of Post-colonial studies, for what the British intellectual Terry Eagleton said is the book's "central truth ... that demeaning images of the East, and imperialist incursions into its terrain, have historically gone hand in hand."
Said's friends and foes acknowledged the transformative influence of Orientalism upon scholarship in the humanities; critics said that the thesis is an intellectually limiting influence upon scholars, whilst supporters said that the thesis is intellectually liberating. The fields of post-colonial and cultural studies attempt to explain the "post-colonial world, its peoples, and their discontents", for which the techniques of investigation and efficacy in Orientalism, proved especially applicable in Middle Eastern studies.
As such, the investigation and analysis Said applied in Orientalism proved especially practical in literary criticism and cultural studies, such as the post-colonial histories of India by Gyan Prakash, Nicholas Dirks and Ronald Inden, modern Cambodia by Simon Springer, and the literary theories of Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Hamid Dabashi (Iran: A People Interrupted, 2007).
In Eastern Europe, Milica Bakić–Hayden developed the concept of Nesting Orientalisms (1992), derived from the ideas of the historian Larry Wolff (Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment, 1994) and Said's ideas in Orientalism (1978). The Bulgarian historian Maria Todorova (Imagining the Balkans, 1997) presented the ethnologic concept of Nesting Balkanisms (Ethnologia Balkanica, 1997), which is derived from Milica Bakić–Hayden's concept of Nesting Orientalisms.
In The Impact of "Biblical Orientalism" in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (2014), the historian Lorenzo Kamel, presented the concept of "Biblical Orientalism" with an historical analysis of the simplifications of the complex, local Palestinian reality, which occurred from the 1830s until the early 20th century. Kamel said that the selective usage and simplification of religion, in approaching the place known as "The Holy Land", created a view that, as a place, the Holy Land has no human history other than as the place where Bible stories occurred, rather than as Palestine, a country inhabited by many peoples.
The post-colonial discourse presented in Orientalism, also influenced post-colonial theology and post-colonial biblical criticism, by which method the analytical reader approaches a scripture from the perspective of a colonial reader. See: The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-colonialism in Palestine–Israel (2007). Another book in this area is Postcolonial Theory (1998), by Leela Gandhi, explains Post-colonialism to how it can be applied to the wider philosophical and intellectual context of history.
In 1967, consequent to the Six-Day War (5–10 June 1967) the academic Edward Said became a public intellectual when he acted politically to counter the stereotyped misrepresentations (factual, historical, cultural) with which the U.S. news media explained the Arab–Israeli wars; reportage divorced from the historical realities of the Middle East, in general, and Palestine and Israel, in particular. To address, explain, and correct such Orientalism, Said published "The Arab Portrayed" (1968), a descriptive essay about images of "the Arab" that are meant to evade specific discussion of the historical and cultural realities of the peoples (Jews, Christians, Muslims) who are the Middle East, featured in journalism (print, photograph, television) and some types of scholarship (specialist journals).
In the essay "Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims" (1979), Said argued in favour of the political legitimacy and philosophic authenticity of the Zionist claims and right to a Jewish homeland; and for the inherent right of national self-determination of the Palestinian people. Said's books about Israel and Palestine include The Question of Palestine (1979), The Politics of Dispossession (1994), and The End of the Peace Process (2000).
From 1977 until 1991, Said was an independent member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). In 1988, he was a proponent of the two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (1948), and voted for the establishment of the State of Palestine at a meeting of the PNC in Algiers. In 1993, Said quit his membership to the Palestinian National Council, to protest the internal politics that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords (Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 1993), which he thought had unacceptable terms, and because the terms had been rejected by the Madrid Conference of 1991.
Said disliked the Oslo Accords for not producing an independent State of Palestine, and because they were politically inferior to a plan that Yasir Arafat had rejected—a plan Said had presented to Arafat on behalf of the U.S. government in the late 1970s. Especially troublesome to Said was his belief that Yasir Arafat had betrayed the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their houses and properties in the Green Line territories of pre-1967 Israel, and that Arafat ignored the growing political threat of the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories that had been established since the conquest of Palestine in 1967.
In 1995, in response to Said's political criticisms, the Palestinian Authority (PA) banned the sale of Said's books; however, the PA lifted the book-ban when Said publicly praised Yasir Arafat for rejecting Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offers at the Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David (2000) in the U.S.
In the mid-1990s, Said wrote the Foreword to the history book Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years (1994), by Israel Shahak, about Jewish fundamentalism, which presents the cultural proposition that Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians is rooted in a Judaic requirement (of permission) for Jews to commit crimes, including murder, against Gentiles (non-Jews). In his Foreword, Said said that Jewish History, Jewish Religion is "nothing less than a concise history of classic and modern Judaism, insofar as these are relevant to the understanding of modern Israel"; and praised the historian Shahak for describing contemporary Israel as a nation subsumed in a "Judeo–Nazi" cultural ambiance that allowed the dehumanization of the Palestinian Other:
In all my works, I remained fundamentally critical of a gloating and uncritical nationalism. . . . My view of Palestine . . . remains the same today: I expressed all sorts of reservations about the insouciant nativism, and militant militarism of the nationalist consensus; I suggested, instead, a critical look at the Arab environment, Palestinian history, and the Israeli realities, with the explicit conclusion that only a negotiated settlement, between the two communities of suffering, Arab and Jewish, would provide respite from the unending war.— "Orientalism: an Afterword" (Raritan, Winter 1995)
In 1998, Said made In Search of Palestine (1998), a BBC documentary film about Palestine past and present. In the company of his son, Wadie, Said revisited the places of his boyhood, and confronted injustices meted out to ordinary Palestinians in the contemporary West Bank. Despite the social and cultural prestige usual to BBC cinema products in the U.S., the documentary was never broadcast by any American television company. In 1999, the American monthly Commentary cited ledgers kept at the Land Registry Office in Jerusalem during the Mandatory period as background for his boyhood recollections.
On 3 July 2000, whilst touring the Middle East with his son, Wadie, Edward Said was photographed throwing a stone across the Blue Line Lebanese–Israel border, which image elicited much political criticism about his action demonstrating an inherent, personal sympathy with terrorism; and, in Commentary magazine, the journalist Edward Alexander labelled Said as "The Professor of Terror", for aggression against Israel. Said explained the stone-throwing as a two-fold action, personal and political; a man-to-man contest-of-skill, between a father and his son, and an Arab Man's gesture of joy at the end of the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (1985–2000): "It was a pebble; there was nobody there. The guardhouse was at least half a mile away."
Despite having denied that he aimed the stone at an Israeli guardhouse, the Beirut newspaper As-Safir (The Ambassador) reported that a Lebanese local resident reported that Prof. Said was at less than ten metres (ca. 30 ft.) distance from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers manning the two-storey guardhouse, when Said aimed and threw the stone over the border fence; the stone's projectile path was thwarted when it struck the barbed wire atop the border fence. Nonetheless, in the U.S., despite a political fracas by right-wing students at Columbia University and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith International (Sons of the Covenant), the university provost published a five-page letter defending Prof. Said's action as an academic's freedom of expression: To my knowledge, the stone was directed at no-one; no law was broken; no indictment was made; no criminal or civil action has been taken against Professor Saïd."
Nevertheless, Said endured political repercussions, such as the cancellation of an invitation to give a lecture to the Freud Society, in Austria, in February 2001. The President of the Freud Society justified withdrawing the invitation by explaining to Said that "the political situation in the Middle East, and its consequences" had rendered an accusation of anti-Semitism a very serious matter, and that any such accusation "has become more dangerous" in the politics of Austria; thus, the Freud Society cancelled their invitation to Said in order to "avoid an internal clash" of opinions, about him, that might ideologically divide the Freud Society. In Culture and Resistance: Conversations with Edward Saïd (2003), Said likened his political situation to the situation that Noam Chomsky has perdured as a public intellectual:
"It's very similar to his. He's a well-known, great linguist. He's been celebrated and honored for that, but he's also vilified as an anti–Semite and as a Hitler worshiper. ... For anyone to deny the horrendous experience of anti–Semitism and the Holocaust is unacceptable. We don't want anybody's history of suffering to go unrecorded and unacknowledged. On the other hand, there's a great difference, between acknowledging Jewish oppression and using that as a cover for the oppression of another people."
In the revised edition of Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World (1997), Said criticized the Orientalist bias of the Western news media's reportage about the Middle East and Islam, especially the tendency to editorialize "speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airliners, and poison water supplies." He criticized the American military involvement in the Kosovo War (1998–99) as an imperial action; and described the Iraq Liberation Act (1998), promulgated during the Clinton Administration, as the political license that predisposed the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003, which was authorised with the Iraq Resolution (2 October 2002); and the continual support of Israel by successive U.S. presidential governments, as actions meant to perpetuate regional political instability in the Middle East.
In the event, despite being sick with leukemia, as a public intellectual, Said continued criticising the U.S. Invasion of Iraq in mid-2003; and, in the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly newspaper, in the article "Resources of Hope" (2 April 2003), Said said that the U.S. war against Iraq was a politically ill-conceived military enterprise:
My strong opinion, though I don't have any proof, in the classical sense of the word, is that they want to change the entire Middle East, and the Arab world, perhaps terminate some countries, destroy the so-called terrorist groups they dislike, and install régimes friendly to the United States. I think this is a dream that has very little basis in reality. The knowledge they have of the Middle East, to judge from the people who advise them, is, to say the least, out of date and widely speculative. . . .
I don't think the planning for the post–Saddam, post-war period in Iraq is very sophisticated, and there's very little of it. U.S. Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith testified in Congress, about a month ago, and seemed to have no figures, and no ideas [about] what structures they were going to deploy; they had no idea about the use of [the Iraqi] institutions that exist, although they want to de–Ba'thise the higher echelons, and keep the rest.
The same is true about their views of the [Iraqi] army. They certainly have no use for the Iraqi opposition that they've been spending many millions of dollars on; and, to the best of my ability to judge, they are going to improvise; of course, the model is Afghanistan. I think they hope that the U.N. will come in and do something, but, given the recent French and Russian positions, I doubt that that will happen with such simplicity.
In 2003, Haidar Abdel-Shafi, Ibrahim Dakak, Mustafa Barghouti, and Said established Al-Mubadara (The Palestinian National Initiative), headed by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a third-party reformist, democratic party meant to be an alternative to the usual two-party politics of Palestine. As a political party, the ideology of Al-Mubadara is specifically an alternative to the extremist politics of the social-democratic Fatah and the Islamist Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement). Said's founding of the group, as well as his other international political activities concerning Palestine, were noticed by the U.S. government; in 2006, the anthropologist David Price obtained 147 pages of the 283-page political dossier that the FBI had compiled on Said, begun in 1971, four years into his career as a public intellectual active in U.S. politics.
Besides having been a public intellectual, Edward Said was an accomplished pianist, worked as the music critic for The Nation magazine, and wrote four books about music: Musical Elaborations (1991); Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society (2002), with Daniel Barenboim as co-author; On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (2006); and Music at the Limits (2007) in which final tome he spoke of finding musical reflections of his literary and historical ideas in bold compositions and strong performances.
Elsewhere in the musical world, the composer Mohammed Fairouz acknowledged the deep influence of Edward Said upon his works; compositionally, Fairouz's First Symphony thematically alludes to the essay "Homage to a Belly-Dancer" (1990), about Tahia Carioca, the Egyptian terpsichorean, actress, and political militant; and a piano sonata titled Reflections on Exile (1984), which thematically refers to the emotions inherent to being an exile.
In 1999, Edward W. Said and Daniel Barenboim co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which is composed of young Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab musicians. They also established The Barenboim–Said Foundation in Seville, to develop education-through-music projects. Besides managing the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Barenboim–Said Foundation assists with the administration of the Academy of Orchestral Studies, the Musical Education in Palestine Project, and the Early Childhood Musical Education Project, in Seville.
Besides honors, memberships, and postings to prestigious organizations worldwide, Edward Said was awarded some twenty honorary university degrees in the course of his professional life as an academic, critic, and Man of Letters. Among the honors bestowed to him was the Bowdoin Prize by Harvard University. He twice received the Lionel Trilling Book Award; the first occasion was the inaugural bestowing of said literary award in 1976, for Beginnings: Intention and Method (1974). He also received the Wellek Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, and was awarded the inaugural Spinoza Lens Prize. In 2001, Said was awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2002, he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord. He was the first U.S. citizen to receive the Sultan Owais Prize (for Cultural & Scientific Achievements, 1996–1997). The autobiography Out of Place (1999) was bestowed three awards, the 1999 New Yorker Book Award for Non-Fiction; the 2000 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction; and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award in Literature.
On 24 September 2003, after enduring a twelve-year sickness with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Edward W. Said died, at 67 years of age, in New York City. He was survived by his wife, Mariam C. Said, his son, Wadie Said, and his daughter, Najla Said. The eulogists included Alexander Cockburn ("A Mighty and Passionate Heart"); Seamus Deane ("A Late Style of Humanism"); Christopher Hitchens ("A Valediction for Edward Said"); Tony Judt ("The Rootless Cosmopolitan"); Michael Wood ("On Edward Said"); and Tariq Ali ("Remembering Edward Said, 1935–2003"). In November 2004, in Palestine, Birzeit University renamed their music school the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.
The tributes to Edward Said include books and schools; such as Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward W. Said (2008) features essays by Akeel Bilgrami, Rashid Khalidi, and Elias Khoury; Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism (2010), by Harold Aram Veeser, a critical biography; and Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representations (2010), essays by Joseph Massad, Ilan Pappé, Ella Shohat, Ghada Karmi, Noam Chomsky, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Daniel Barenboim; and the Barenboim–Said Academy (Berlin) was established in 2012.
Edward W. Saïd (1935–2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the twentieth century.
Edward W. Saïd (1935–2003) is best known as the author of the influential and widely-read Orientalism (1978) ... His forceful defense of secular humanism and of the public role of the intellectual, as much as his trenchant critiques of Orientalism, and his unwavering advocacy of the Palestinian cause, made Saïd one of the most internationally influential cultural commentators writing out of the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Edward Saïd's influential Orientalism (1979) effectively created a discursive field in cultural studies, stimulating fresh critical analysis of Western academic work on "The Orient". Although the book, itself, has been criticized from many angles, it is still considered to be the seminal work to the field.
In its current usage, Orient is a key term of cultural critique that derives from Edward W. Saïd's influential book Orientalism.
[Edward Wadie] Saïd was of Christian background, a confirmed agnostic, perhaps even an atheist, yet he had a rage for justice and a moral sensibility lacking in most [religious] believers. Saïd retained his own ethical compass without God, and persevered in an exile, once forced, from Cairo, and now chosen, affected by neither malice nor fear.
A hundred and fifty years on, Edward Saïd, an agnostic of Palestinian origins, who strove to correct false Western impressions of 'Orientalism', would declare Newman's university discourses both true and 'incomparably eloquent'. . . .
Milica Baki–Hayden built on Wolff's work, incorporating the ideas of Edward Saïd's "Orientalism"
The idea of "nesting orientalisms", in Baki–Hayden 1995, and the related concept of "nesting balkanisms", in Todorova 1997. ...
Edward W. Said (1935–2003) was one of the most influential intellectuals in the twentieth century.
"Amy Foster" is a short story by Joseph Conrad written in 1901, first published in the Illustrated London News (December 1901), and collected in Typhoon and Other Stories (1903).Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis, FBA (31 May 1916 – 19 May 2018) was a British American historian specializing in oriental studies. He was also known as a public intellectual and political commentator. Lewis was the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis' expertise was in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. He was also noted in academic circles for his works on the history of the Ottoman Empire.Lewis served as a soldier in the British Army in the Royal Armoured Corps and Intelligence Corps during the Second World War before being seconded to the Foreign Office. After the war, he returned to the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and was appointed to the new chair in Near and Middle Eastern History.
In 2007 and 1999, respectively, Lewis was called "the West's leading interpreter of the Middle East" and "the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East". His advice was frequently sought by neoconservative policymakers, including the Bush administration. However, his support of the Iraq War and neoconservative ideals have since come under scrutiny.Lewis was also notable for his public debates with Edward Said, who accused Lewis and other orientalists of misrepresenting Islam and serving the purposes of imperialist domination, to which Lewis responded by defending Orientalism as a facet of humanism and accusing Said of politicizing the subject. Lewis argued that the deaths of the Armenian Genocide resulted from a struggle between two nationalistic movements and that there is no proof of intent by the Ottoman government to exterminate the Armenian nation. These views prompted a number of scholars to accuse Lewis of genocide denial and resulted in a successful civil lawsuit against him in a French court.Blaming the Victims
Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question, is a collection of essays, co-edited by Palestinian scholar and advocate Edward Said and journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, published by Verso Books in 1988. It contains essays by Said and Hitchens as well as other prominent advocates and activists including Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Noam Chomsky, Norman G. Finkelstein, Rashid Khalidi.Cultural imperialism
Cultural imperialism comprises the cultural aspects of imperialism. “Imperialism” here refers to the creation and maintenance of unequal relationships between civilizations, favoring a more powerful civilization. Thus, cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting and imposing a culture, usually that of a politically powerful nation, over a less powerful society; in other words, the cultural hegemony of industrialized or economically influential countries which determine general cultural values and standardize civilizations throughout the world. The term is employed especially in the fields of history, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory. It is usually used in a pejorative sense, often in conjunction with calls to reject such influence. Cultural imperialism can take various forms, such as an attitude, a formal policy, or military action, insofar as it reinforces cultural hegemony.Culture and Imperialism
Culture and Imperialism is a 1993 collection of essays by Edward Said, in which the author attempts to trace the connection between imperialism and culture in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. It followed his highly influential Orientalism, published in 1978.
Said conceived of Culture and Imperialism as an attempt to "expand the argument" of Orientalism "to describe a more general pattern of relationships between the modern metropolitan west and its overseas territories."D. D. Guttenplan
Don David Guttenplan is the London correspondent for The Nation and author of The Holocaust on Trial, a book about the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt libel case.
In June 2009, Guttenplan completed a biography of I. F. Stone, the American journalist, titled American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone, which was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.Guttenplan is of US Jewish origin. He lives in north London with his wife, Maria Margaronis and three children, Alexander Guttenplan, Zoe, and Theo.
D.D. Guttenplan was educated in the Philadelphia and Memphis public school systems and has a degree in philosophy from Columbia University, a degree in English Literature from Cambridge University, and a doctorate in History from the University of London.Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim, KBE (German: [ˈbaːʁənbɔʏm]; Hebrew: דניאל בארנבוים; born 15 November 1942) is a pianist and conductor who is a citizen of Argentina, Israel, Palestine, and Spain.
The current general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim previously served as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and La Scala in Milan. Barenboim is known for his work with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Seville-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians, and as a resolute critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Barenboim has received many awards and prizes, including seven Grammy awards, an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, France's Légion d'honneur both as a Commander and Grand Officier, and the German Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz and Willy Brandt Award. Together with the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said, he was given Spain's Prince of Asturias Concord Award. Barenboim is a polyglot, fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, English, French, Italian, and German. A self-described Spinozist, he is significantly influenced by Spinoza's life and thought.Edward Said bibliography
Edward Said (1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was an American literary theorist, cultural critic, and political activist of Palestinian descent. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and edited several academic books. A founding figure in postcolonialism, he wrote dozens of books, lectures, and essays. Anthologies of his essays have been published, and several of his interviews and conversations have also been edited into book form.Joan Peters
Joan Peters (née Friedman; April 29, 1936 – January 5, 2015), later Caro, was the author of the best-selling, controversial, 1984 book From Time Immemorial, in which she argued that Palestinians are largely not indigenous to modern Israel and therefore do not have a claim to its territory. The book was criticized by some scholars such as Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Edward Said and Yehoshua Porath, who attacked the book as "ludicrous", "worthless" and a "forgery".Lannan Literary Awards
The Lannan Literary Awards are a series of awards and literary fellowships given out in various fields by the Lannan Foundation. Established in 1989, the awards are meant "to honor both established and emerging writers whose work is of exceptional quality", according to the foundation. The foundation's awards are lucrative relative to most awards in literature: the 2006 awards for poetry, fiction and nonfiction each came with $150,000, making them among the richest literary prizes in the world.
The awards reflect the philosophy governing the Lannan Foundation, a family foundation established by J. Patrick Lannan, Sr. in 1960. It describes itself as "dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity through projects which support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities."Awards have been made to acclaimed and varied literary figures such as David Foster Wallace, William Gaddis, Lydia Davis, William H. Gass, Steve Erickson and W.S. Merwin. The foundation has also recognized people known as much for their public intellectual activities as for their literary talents, such as Barbara Ehrenreich and Edward Said.
The foundation also gives a "Cultural Freedom Prize" for the stated purpose of recognizing "people whose extraordinary and courageous work celebrates the human right to freedom of imagination, inquiry, and expression." Prize winners include Elouise P. Cobell, Robert Fisk, Eduardo Galeano, Claudia Andujar, Mahmoud Darwish, Arundhati Roy, Helen Caldicott and Cornel West.
The foundation does not accept applications for awards or fellowships. Candidates are suggested anonymously "by a network of writers, literary scholars, publishers, and editors," with the foundation's literary committee making the final determination.The foundation also "provides financial assistance to tribes and nonprofits that serve Native American communities..." For instance, it gave more than $7 million in grants to the Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund from 1998 to 2009, to support litigation on behalf of Native Americans with interests in trust lands. This nonprofit was created by Elouise P. Cobell and her legal team to bring claims against the United States for mismanaging lands held in trust for Native Americans. The Cobell v. Salazar case was filed in 1996 and settled in 2009.List of Edward Said memorial lectures
Since Edward Said's death in 2003, several institutions have instituted annual lecture series in his memory, including Columbia University, University of Warwick, Princeton University, University of Adelaide, American University of Cairo, London Review of Books, the Barenboim-Said Akademie and Palestine Center, with such notables speaking as Daniel Barenboim, Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Marina Warner and Cornel West.List of Palestinian Americans
This is a list of notable Palestinian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.
The list is ordered by category of human endeavour. Persons with significant contributions in two fields are listed in each of the pertinent categories, to facilitate easy lookup.
To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Palestinian American or must have references showing they are Palestinian American and are notable.Orientalism (book)
Orientalism is a 1978 book by Edward W. Said, in which the author discusses Orientalism, defined as the West's patronizing representations of "The East"—the societies and peoples who inhabit the places of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. According to Said, orientalism (the Western scholarship about the Eastern World) is inextricably tied to the imperialist societies who produced it, which makes much Orientalist work inherently political and servile to power.According to Said, in the Middle East, the social, economic, and cultural practices of the ruling Arab élites indicate they are imperial satraps who have internalized the romanticized "Arab Culture" created by French, British and, later, American Orientalists; the examples include critical analyses of the colonial literature of Joseph Conrad, which conflates a people, a time, and a place into a narrative of incident and adventure in an exotic land.The critical application of post-structuralism in the scholarship of Orientalism influenced the development of literary theory, cultural criticism, and the field of Middle Eastern studies, especially regarding how academics practice their intellectual enquiry when examining, describing, and explaining the Middle East. The scope of Said's scholarship established Orientalism as a foundation text in the field of post-colonial culture studies, which examines the denotations and connotations of Orientalism, and the history of a country's post-colonial period.As a public intellectual, Edward Said debated Orientalism with historians and scholars of area studies, notably, the historian Bernard Lewis, who described the thesis of Orientalism as "anti-Western". For subsequent editions of Orientalism, Said wrote an "Afterword" (1995) and a "Preface" (2003) addressing criticisms of the content, substance, and style of the work as cultural criticism.Orientalist
Orientalist may refer to:
A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in 'an Orientalist painting' or '-painter')
The Orientalist, a biography of author Lev Nussimbaum by Tom Reiss
Orientalism (book), a book by Edward SaidPluto Press
Pluto Press is a British independent book publisher based in London. It has been "active for 40 years and independent since 1979." Originally, it was the publishing arm of the International Socialists (today known as the Socialist Workers Party), until it changed hands and was replaced by Bookmarks.
Pluto Press states that it publishes "progressive critical thinking across politics and the social sciences, with an emphasis on the fields of Politics, Current Affairs, International Studies. Middle East Studies, Political Theory, Media Studies, Anthropology, Development."It has published works by Karl Marx, Frantz Fanon, Noam Chomsky, bell hooks, Edward Said, Augusto Boal, Vandana Shiva, Susan George, Ilan Pappé, Nick Robins, Graham Turner, Alastair Crooke, Gabriel Kolko, Hamid Dabashi, Tommy McKearney, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Syed Saleem Shahzad, David Cronin, John Holloway, Euclid Tsakalotos and Jonathan Cook.Postcolonialism
Postcolonialism or postcolonial studies is the academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism, focusing on the human consequences of the control and exploitation of colonized people and their lands.
The name postcolonialism is modeled on postmodernism, with which it shares certain concepts and methods, and may be thought of as a reaction to or departure from colonialism in the same way postmodernism is a reaction to modernism. The ambiguous term colonialism may refer either to a system of government or to an ideology or world view underlying that system—in general postcolonialism represents an ideological response to colonialist thought, rather than simply describing a system that comes after colonialism. The term postcolonial studies may be preferred for this reason.
Postcolonialism encompasses a wide variety of approaches, and theoreticians may not always agree on a common set of definitions. On a simple level, it may seek through anthropological study to build a better understanding of colonial life from the point of view of the colonized people, based on the assumption that the colonial rulers are unreliable narrators.
On a deeper level, postcolonialism examines the social and political power relationships that sustain colonialism and neocolonialism, including the social, political and cultural narratives surrounding the colonizer and the colonized. This approach may overlap with contemporary history and critical theory, and may also draw examples from history, political science, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and human geography.
Sub-disciplines of postcolonial studies examine the effects of colonial rule on the practice of feminism, anarchism, literature and Christian thought.Raritan (journal)
Raritan is a literary and intellectual quarterly that publishes poetry, fiction and essays. The journal is based at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The magazine was founded by Richard Poirier in 1981 and is currently edited by Jackson Lears. Lears began to edit it in 2002.Notable writers who have contributed to this journal include Jacob M. Appel, Harold Bloom, David Bromwich, Anne Carson, Robert Coles, William C. Dowling, David Ferry, Harry Frankfurt, George Kateb, Frank Kermode, Joyce Carol Oates, Adam Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Richard Posner, Richard Rorty, Edward Said, Frederick Seidel, Vikram Seth, Daniel Stern, and Michael Wood.Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali (; Punjabi, Urdu: طارق علی; born 21 October 1943) is a British Pakistani writer, journalist, historian, filmmaker, political activist, and public intellectual. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books. He read PPE at Exeter College, Oxford.
He is the author of several books, including Pakistan: Military Rule or People's Power (1970), Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State (1983), Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity (2002), Bush in Babylon (2003), Conversations with Edward Said (2005), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope (2006), A Banker for All Seasons (2007), The Duel (2008), The Obama Syndrome (2010), and The Extreme Centre: A Warning (2015).The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music
The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (Arabic: معهد ادوارد سعيد الوطني للموسيقى Ma`had Edward Sa`īd al-Waṭaniy lil-Musīqā) is a Palestinian music conservatory with branches in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Gaza City. In total, there are more than 1000 students. It was established in 1993 as The National Conservatory of Music, with its first branch in Ramallah, opening in October of that year. In September 2004, as a tribute to the Palestinian scholar and musician Edward Said, an accomplished classical pianist, the name of the conservatory was officially changed to The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.