[P6080] Orientalist Networks and Their Afterlives

Created by Anna Ziajka Stanton
Thursday, 10/15/20 01:30 pm


The proposed panel brings together scholars working across comparative literary contexts to explore the following questions: How has Orientalism facilitated or restricted certain modes of transmission, translation, or exchange since its historical beginnings in Europe? What is gained by considering Orientalism as a network, economy, or ecosystem, in addition to thinking of it as a structure for the production and dissemination of knowledge, as Edward Said defined it? How can Orientalism's legacies be rethought by examining a wider archive of textual, visual, or linguistic objects than those traditionally associated with Orientalist scholarship and writing? The proposed panel will include five papers that explore these questions through innovative and topical approaches to examining understudied archival materials, inter-imperial networks, and the politics and histories of translation. The papers will range in historical coverage, moving from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the present day.

[1] The panel's opening paper raises vital conceptual questions through close readings of Butrus al-Bustani, Marx, and Locke. It explores how Orientalism advances a particular sense of the world--a sense opened up through the figure of the property-owning, literate, and temporally coherent subject.
[2] A second paper draws evidence from inter-imperial print networks central to the foundations of Orientalism and Islamic studies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It considers how relational notions of 'ajami (or non-Arab) "racial" difference presented translational challenges for foundational Orientalist figures with implications for Orientalism's legacies within the fields of world literature and comparative, postcolonial studies.
[3] The third paper explores agonistic elements, productive tensions, and underexamined conjunctions within Edward Said's work on Orientalist philology and humanist philology. On these grounds, it reassesses the possibility of a radical, critical practice conceived through Said's legacy as a dislocation of authority, a vocation that compels critics to engage with an open-ended historical examination of the political present.
[4] The fourth paper examines implicit modes of Orientalist thought that shape the translation of Arabic literature into English in the contemporary U.S. Arguing against facile celebrations of a so-called boom in Arabic-to-English literary translations in the new millennium, it identifies an ethical problematic in the familiar reception of such texts among U.S. anglophone audiences.
[5] A final paper proposes a materialist critique of Orientalist infrastructure in Morocco, considering its relationship to forms of writing, mobility, and sovereignty that both enable and disable contemporary communication networks.





Jeffrey Sacks

(UC Riverside)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Veli N. Yashin

(University of Southern California)
Veli N. Yashin is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He holds a PhD in Arabic and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and he is the winner of the 2013 Horst Frenz Prize of the American...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

David Fieni

(SUNY Oneonta)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Anna Ziajka Stanton

(The Pennsylvania State University)
I am a scholar of Arabic literature and culture, world literature, and translation theory, as well as an active translator of Arabic texts in multiple genres. My current book project examines the ethics of literariness in English translations of Arabic...
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Annette Lienau

(Harvard University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;