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Glossary of Orientalisms


Note:  in the text of each entry, users will find terms for Orientalisms sometimes highlighted in bold and sometimes highlighted in italics.  Bold Orientalisms (e.g. Aboriginal Orientalism) refer to main entries in this glossary.  Italicized Orientalisms (e.g. Afro Orientalism) do not have their own entry but are referred to in an another entry, which is indicated by a "See" entry (e.g. Afro Orientalism. See Black Orientalism).



Late Capitalistic Orientalism. See Capitalistic Orientalism.


Late Orientalism

Scholars use this somewhat frequently used term usually in one of two ways: first, they use it denote a period coming at the end of the era of classical Orientalism, that is the era identified by Edward W. Said (Orientalism, 1978) as embodying the fullest expressions of Orientalist ideologies. Scholars variously date this period of “late Orientalism” anywhere from the late 19th century to the post-World War II era with scholars studying the arts more generally considering the later 19th century into the early 20th century to be the period of “late Orientalism”. A small group of scholars particularly associate the period of “late Orientalism” with Ali Behdad’s (1994) notion of belated Orientalism as a distinguishing characteristic of late Orientalism.  Second, other scholars, fewer in number, identify the period of “late Orientalism” with what is frequently termed either modern Orientalism or postmodern Orientalism[revised, 12/21]

See also: Aesthetic Orientalism, Ambivalent Orientalism, Belated Orientalism, Contemporary Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Modern Orientalism, Modernist Orientalism, New Orientalism, Postmodern Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Related to Classical Orientalism: Lou Charnon-Deutsch, Hold That Hat (Pennsylvania State U., 2008); Mike Diboll, “’A Disciple has Crossed Over by Water’: an Analysis of Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet in its Egyptian Historical and Intellectual Contexts” (Ph.D. diss., Leicester, 2000); Athanasia Glycofrydi-Leontsini, “Orientalism in Modern Greek Art.” Phainomena 23 (2014); Zachary Lockman, Contending Visions of the Middle East, 2d ed. (Cambridge, 2010); Pasquale L. Scandizzo & Joan E. Price, Louis Comfort Tiffany (Lang, 1996); Maria G. Stasolia, “The Damascus Citadel: Historical Puzzles and Modern Interpretations,’” n.d. At (, accessed 8/18; Stelios Lekakis, "Distancing and Rapproching: Local Communities and Monuments in the Aegean Sea—a Case Study from the Island of Naxos." Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 15 (2013); Filipa L. Vicente, "India in Florence: Angelo de Gubernatis and the Shaping of Italian Orientalism (1860-1900)." Journal of Modern Italian Studies 26 (2021). Related to Belated Orientalism: Ali Behdad, Belated Travelers (Duke U., 1994); Theodore Riccardi, Jr., Book Review. “Monk, Householder, and Tantric Priest. By David N. Gellner.” Himalayan Research Bulletin 16 (1996); Cinzia Sartini-Blum, “Incorporating the Exotic From Futurist Excess to Postmodern Impasse.” In A Place in the Sun (U.of Califorina, 2003); Slobodan Sucur, “Theory, Period Styles, and Comparative Literature as Discipline,” 2000. At CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture (, accessed 15 August 2018. Related to Contemporary Orientalism: Nazir A. Can, “The Translation of the East in Mozambican Literature.” Anurai de Filologica Literatures Contemporànies 10 (2020); Robbie B. H. Goh, "Supernatural Interactions, Eastern Ghosts, and Postmodern Narrative: Angela Carter's" Fireworks"." ARIEL 30 (1999); Andrew Hammond, “Making Revolution Islamic Again: Protest and Rebellion from '79 Iran to the Arab Spring,” 2017. At global policy (, accessed 8/18; Nigel Lendon, “A Tournament of Shadows: Alighiero Boetti, the Myth of Influence, and a Contemporary Orientalism,” 2011-2012. At emaj: online journal of art (, accessed 4/18; Sunaina Maira, “Indo-Chic: Late Capitalist Orientalism and Imperial Culture.” In Alien Encounters (Duke U., 2007).

 Latent Orientalism

This term is one of the most frequently used concepts in the study of Orientalism.  It originated with Edward W. Said (1978) who pairs it with manifest Orientalism, which term he uses to describe all of the manifold overt expressions of Orientalist stereotypes and prejudices.  Said argues that below those manifestations there is a deeper level, latent Orientalism, which he describes as “an almost unconscious (and certainly an untouchable) positivity” (p. 206).  It is a stable, durable, and coherent whole that is highly resistant to change and is responsible for the underlying consistency he finds in the writings and artistic expressions of Western Orientalists from at least the 19th century onward.  In their literature and art, these Orientalists imagine and construct an Orient that is essentially exotic, backward, degenerate, passive, weak, static, and lacks integrity.  Western Orientalist academic and literary communities, generation after generation, have replicated this vision of the Orient giving them an “enunciative capacity” to declare what they imagine to be the essential Orient.  Latent Orientalism has, thus, preserved an impressively powerful and consistent understanding of the nature of the (Oriental) Other.  Some scholars argue that Said derived his idea of latent and manifest Orientalisms from Sigmund Freud’s (1856-1939) understanding of the latent and manifest content of dreams, although Said himself mentions Freud only in passing.

Since Said, numerous scholars have elaborated on his distinction between latent and manifest Orientalisms, variously describing “latent Orientalism” as being, among other things, ahistorical, static (i.e. unchanging, fixed), and secretive perceptions, beliefs, doctrines, repressed desires, or fantasies, which are variously described as being a set of imaginative assumptions, a mindset, a collective unconsciousness, a set of latent assumptions, a set of implicit attitudes, a set of essential paradigms, permanent perceptions of the essence of the Orient, and unconscious biases.  These scholars argue that latent Orientalism provides Orientalists with a certainty in the correctness of their fantasies about the East.  They locate latent Orientalism, again variously, as being found: in the mind including the unconscious sphere of the Western mind; in culture including at the core of Western culture; in human subjectivity; in the subconscious; in a repository of images, desire, and fantasies that is a site of dreams, images, fantasies, and myths; and, in a doctrinal sphere.  Some scholars associate latent Orientalism with ideologies, stereotypes, and prejudices.  In general, then, latent Orientalism is seen to be lodged somewhere deep within human perceptions of the Orient where it goes largely unnoticed and unacknowledged.  It is prior to and the wellspring of all of the manifestations of Orientalism that are collectively a documentable, observable element of human reality.  This sense of latency, of hiddenness is what gives latent Orientalism its powerful and persistent hold on Orientalist thinking and behavior, especially since the late 18th century. 

All of this is to say that scholars of Orientalism take the concept of latent Orientalism seriously and seldom challenge its fundamental correctness.  The weight they give this term can be seen in the impressive family of related terms they use to emphasize the sense of inherent hiddenness of latent Orientalisms.  This family of terms includes those found in the entries for hidden Orientalism, implicit Orientalism, and unconscious Orientalism.  Quasi-Orientalism might also be considered a diluted expression of latent Orientalism found especially at the boundaries of ideological Orientalism.  In sum, perhaps nowhere is Edward Said’s profound influence on the study of Orientalism more clearly seen than the way in which this notion, paired with that of "manifest Orientalism," largely dominates the scholarly understanding of Orientalism.  [revised 4/21]

See also: Contemporary Orientalism, Creeping Orientalism, Haunted Orientalism, Hidden Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Implicit Orientalism, Mainstream Orientalism, Male Orientalism, Manifest Orientalism, Mythic Orientalism, Orientalist Common Sense, Orientalist Imagination, Orientalist Theory, Overt Orientalism, Popular Orientalism, Quasi-Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism, Structural Orientalism, Theoretical Orientalism, Unconscious Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Derek Bryce & Elizabeth Carnegie, "Orientalism Redeployed: Art as Self-representation and Self-critique." In Conference on the Inclusive Museum (2014); Vivek Chibber, “The Dual Legacy of Orientalism.” In Edward Said (Cambridge, 2018);  Nicole Goulet, "Postcolonialism and the Study of Religion: Dissecting Orientalism, Nationalism, and Gender Using Postcolonial Theory." Religion Compass 5 (2011); Stephan R. Hauser, “Orientalism,” 2009. At (, accessed 3/21; Ronald L. Iverson, “Latent Orientalism Part I: The Etiology of an Ideology,”1995. At The Best of Habibi (, accessed 3/21; Jukka Jouhki, "Orientalism and India." J@rgonia 4, 8 (2006); Cho Yoon Kyung, “Domesticating the Eternal Queen: Cleopatra’s Metamorphoses and the Discourse of Orientalism.” Feminist Studies in English Literature 20 (2012);  Ronald A. Lukens-Bull, “Between Text and Practice: Considerations in the Anthropological Study of Islam.” Marburg Journal of Religion 4 (1999); Seyyed M. Marandi & Hossein Pirnajmuddin, "'Imaginative Geography': Orientalist Discourse in Paradise Lost." Pazhuhesh-e Zabanha-ye Khareji 56, Special Issue (2010); John McLeod, Beginning Postcolonialism (Manchester U., 2000);  Ahmad T. F. B. S. Mohamed, et. al. “Making of a Native Orientalist: Latent Orientalism in Confessions of an Old Boy: The Dato’ Hamid Adventures.” The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies 16 (2010);  Neha Nagar, “Reading Orientalism: A Postcolonial Perspective.” Galaxy: International Multidisciplinary Research Journal 2 (2013); Carolyn Noury, “‘Bold Words Vouched with a Deed so Bold’: Latent Orientalism and Narrative in John Milton’s Paradise Lost,” 2018. At  Montclair State University Digital Commons (, accessed 3/21; Min Pun, “The East-West Dichotomy: From Orientalism to Postcoloniality.” IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science 24 (2019); Edward W. Said, Orientalism (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978); Edward Said & S. Jhally, Edward Said on Orientalism (Media Education Foundation, 1998); Lindy Stiebel, Imagining Africa: Landscape in H. Rider Haggard's African Romances (Greenwood, 2001); Hande Tekdemir, “Critical Approaches to Edward Said’s Orientalism." Uludağ University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Journal of Social Sciences 18 (2017); Fehmi Turgut, “Orientalism and Unfavourable Positioning in Shakespeare’s ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’.” Narrative and Language Studies 2 (2014); Daniel M. Varisco, Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid (U. of Washington, 2007); Meyda Yeğenoğlu, Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism (Cambridge, 1998).  See Also: Herbert R. Swanson, "Almost Unconscious: Towards a History of Said’s Notion of Latent Orientalism," 18 July 2021.  On this website.

Late Victorian Orientalism. See Victorian Orientalism.


Lay Orientalism. See Amateur Orientalism.

Learned Orientalism

This term was used in the 19th century especially with reference to a controversy concerning British government sponsored education in India that began with India's first governor general, Warren Hastings (1732-1818). Beginning with Hasting's tenure in the late 18th century and for several decades after, the British funded an educational system that promoted "learned Orientalism," which was understood to be indigenous Indian systems of knowledge and instruction taught by Muslim and Hindu educators. Those systems soon came under fire from evangelical Christian critics who considered learned Orientalism to be based on false systems of knowledge that were a serious obstacle to the missionary enterprise in India. They specifically criticized the notion of learned Orientalism as being pantheistic, materialistic, and promoting "sensualism," as well as claiming that it benefited only a small elite. A few modern scholars have continued to use this term with reference to that 19th century controversy. It is only rarely used otherwise to describe historical indigenous "Oriental" systems of knowledge and instruction more generally. Those systems of learning can be classified as historical forms of academic Orientalism, also known as scholarly Orientalism [3/18]

See also: Academic Orientalism, Christian Orientalism, Constructive Orientalism, Evangelical Orientalism, Orientalist Epistemology, Protestant Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: 19th Century Usage: Alexander DuffIndia and Its Evangelization: A Lecture (Reed & Pardon, [1851]); “Education in India,” American Penny Magazine and Family Newspaper 2, 47 (23 December 1846); [Arthur T.Pierson], “The Twofold Relation of the World Kingdoms to the Kingdom of God—II.” Missionary Review of the World NS 9 (1896); Lynn Zastoupil & Martin Moir, “Introduction.” In The Great Indian Education Debate: Documents Relating to the Orientalist-Anglicist Controversy, 1781-1843 (Curzon, 19990).  Modern Usage: Christopher A. BaylyEmpire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870 (Cambridge, 1996); Léon Buskens & Baudouin Dupret, “The Invention of Islamic Law: A History of Western Studies of Islamic Normativity and Their Spread in the Orient.” In After Orientalism: Critical Perspectives on Western Agency and Eastern Re-appropriations (Brill, 2015); Roland LardinoisScholars and Prophets: Sociology of India from France in the 19th-20th Centuries (Taylor and Francis, 2017).

Legal Orientalism

Scholars, drawing on the work of Edward W. Said, usually use this term to describe the ways in which legal systems are imagined and constructed as having essential, unchanging natures and particularly used to compare the supposedly a-moral, unjust, and backward legal systems of Asia to the rational, just, and progressive systems of the West.  Legal Orientalists will often assert that Western nations are essentially lawful and "Oriental" nations essentially lawless, which historically provided one more justification for European colonialism. Nations such as the United States have also called upon legal Orientalist prejudices to justify laws restricting Asian minorities.  Teemu Ruskola's book, Legal Orientalism (2013), has received widespread attention and is frequently cited by other scholars. Finally, as often is the case with Orientalisms of various kinds, Asian scholars, jurists, and others have often acquired Orientalist habits of mind and used them to frame the legal systems, including reforms, of their own nations. [revised 9/17]

See also: Ideological Orientalism, Indigenous Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism, Self-Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Eve Darian-Smith, Laws and Societies in Global Context: Contemporary Approaches (Cambridge, 2013); Turan KayaoğluLegal Imperialism: Sovereignty and Extraterritoriality in Japan, the Ottoman Empire, and China (Cambridge, 2010); Jedidiah J. Kroncke, “Substantive Irrationalities and Irrational Substantivities: The Flexible Orientalism of Islamic Law.” Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law 39 (2005); Chloe Lichtenstein, “Book Review Series: ‘Legal Orientalism’ by Teemu Ruskola,” 2017. At Meridian 180 (, accessed 9/17; Teemu Ruskola, "Legal Orientalism." Michigan Law Review 101 (2002); Teemu RuskolaLegal Orientalism: China, the United States, and Modern Law (Harvard, 2013).

Levantine Orientalism

Scholars use this term usually in at least one of three ways.  First, a very few use it in passing to refer to Levantinism, a form of cosmopolitan Orientalism identified with Jacqueline Kahanoff (1917-1979), an Egyptian-born Israeli writer and thinker who advocated a form of hybrid Orientalism that imagined a cosmopolitan fusion of Levantine cultures and societies.  Second, in art, scholars use this term very occasionally to refer to the 19th century Romantic school of Orientalist art more generally known as "Orientalism". This is a usage that carries over from the 19th and earlier 20th centuries themselves when some scholars used this term to refer to the "exotic" art forms of the eastern Mediterranean.  Third, this term is very occasionally used more broadly and pejoratively to describe those who imagine and construct "the Levant" in the sense of ideological Orientalism [5/17]

See also: Aesthetic Orientalism, Cosmopolitan Orientalism, Hybrid Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Middle East Orientalism, Romantic Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Gil Z.Hochberg, In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination (Princeton, 2007); John L. Myers, “Notes on the History of the Kabyle Pottery.” Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 32 (1902); David OhanaIsrael and Its Mediterranean Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); “Orientalist Painting (c. 1800-1890),” n.d. At Art Encyclopedia (, accessed 5/17; Mimi Beth ShellerConsuming the Caribbean: From Arawaks to Zombies (Routledge, 2008).

Levantinism. See Levantine Orientalism.

Liberal Orientalism

Scholars who use this term and the terms Orientalist liberal(ism) and progressive Orientalism as a rule assume (following Edward W. Said) that Orientalism is a Western-born ideology, which stereotypes Asians as having essential, changeless identities that are inferior to the West.  Given that understanding, they use these terms to describe the ways in which Western liberalism can be covertly but powerfully Orientalist.  By “liberal,” scholars usually mean a basic set of Western values that emphasize personal liberty, individualism, fairness, and a social, political, and economic unity within which individuals are “free”.  They often describe liberal or progressive Orientalisms as being misguided, tricky, moralistic, contradictory, hypocritical, controlling; and they identify two basic varieties: first, there are those liberal Orientalisms that embrace (romanticize) all things or, at least, some things Asian as being essentially good and often better than the West.  Any differences between East and West are considered superficial and, therefore, should not be criticized but accepted.  Many liberal Orientalists apply this viewpoint only to some aspects of Asian culture and identity so that their overall attitude is still one of ambivalence.  For example, White liberal Orientalists see Asian Americans as being at once different (i.e. exotic) and yet praiseworthy for their hard work and ability to assimilate themselves to majority values and behavioral standards.  Second, other liberal Orientalists accept the notion that Asian cultures are inferior but believe that they are not essentially so.  They, that is, can be reformed—e.g. transformed into Western-style egalitarian, individualist societies. It should be noted that some scholars view at least some expressions of liberal Orientalism in a positive light as being genuine attempts to represent Asians in a more open and affirming manner that is not inherently manipulative and can be something of an antidote to Saidian Orientalism.


Scholars particularly identify liberal Orientalisms with such agencies as Western-based international human rights and feminist rights groups, liberal Western politicians and policies, and the liberal media.  Historians of the earlier 19th century debates in colonial India over the best ways to introduce Western learning describe one of the two factions involved as being the Orientalist liberals (or progressives) who wanted to use indigenous languages and learning as vehicles for Westernizing Indian education (see Constructive Orientalism).  Finally, one of the most frequent online uses of the term “liberal Orientalism” relates to the 2011 controversy surrounding a hoax blog (A Gay Girl in Damascus) purporting to be that of a Westernized Syrian lesbian woman.  In an “apology” for the hoax, the perpetrator claimed that Western media and online responses to it confirmed for him the power of “new forms of liberal Orientalism,” which claim elicited many responses. [revised 7/19]

See also: Constructive Orientalism, French Orientalism, Gendered Orientalism, Green Orientalism, Governmental Orientalism, Hidden Orientalism, Humanistic Orientalism (second meaning), Ideological Orientalism, Implicit Orientalism, Missionary Orientalism, Neo-Liberal Orientalism, New Orientalism, Paradoxical Orientalism, Paternalistic Orientalism, Positive Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism, Soft Orientalism, Sympathetic Orientalism, Utilitarian Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Liberal Orientalism: Fouad Ajami, “A Cold-Blooded Foreign Policy,” 2009. At The Wall Street Journal (, accessed 7/19; Leslie Bash, “Intercultural Education and the Global-Local Context: Critiquing the Culturalist Narrative.” Issues in Educational Research 22 (2012); Khaled A. Beydoun, “Why Can't Muslims Talk about the Muslim Ban on US TV?,” 2017. At Al Jazeera (, accessed 7/19; Hamish Ford, “Driving into the Void: Kiarostami’s ‘Taste of Cherry’.” Journal of Humanistics & Social Sciences 1 (2012); Priyamvada Gopal, “Renegade Prophets and Native Acolytes: Liberalism and Imperialism Today.” In The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies (Oxford, 2013); David H. Kim, “Shame and Self-Revision in Asian American Assimilation.” In Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race (State U. of New York, 2014); Steven Salaita, “Concocting Terrorism off the Reservation: Liberal Orientalism in Sherman Alexie’s Post-9/11 Fiction.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 22 (2010).  Orientalist Liberal(ism): Savaş Ş. Barkçin
, “Three Faces of the Legitimacy Crisis of Liberal Democracy: Identity, Rationality and Universality (Ph.D. diss., Bilkent, 2001); Jeffrey Cox, “George Alfred Lefroy, 1854-1919: A Bishop in Search of a Church.” In After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain (Routledge, 1994); Seán P. Eudaily, The Present Politics of the Past: Indigenous Legal Activism and Resistance to (Neo)Liberal Governmentality (Routledge, 2004); Kim, op.cit.; Avril A. Powell, Scottish Orientalists and India: The Muir Brothers, Religion, Education and Empire (Boydell & Brewer, 2010).  Progressive Orientalism: Andrew C. Long, Reading Arabia: British Orientalism in the Age of Mass Publication, 1880-1930 (Sydney U., 2014); Beatrice Teissier, “Intellectual Exchanges and Scottish Authors Abroad: Asia.” In Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, v. 2, Enlightenment and Expansion 1707-1800 (Edinburgh U., 2012).

Library Orientalism. See Amateur Orientalism.

Liminal Orientalism

Christoph K. Neumann coined this otherwise rarely used term to describe the marginal ("liminal") position of an obscure German scholar, Franz Babinger, in the field of Turkish studies. Neumann describes Babinger as residing at the boundaries of Oriental studies because he worked in what was an obscure branch of the field, did not adhere to all of its principles, and had an irascible temperament that isolated him from other scholars.

Sources & Examples: Christoph K. Neumann, “A Liminal Orientalism: Turkish Studies by Franz Babinger.” European Journal of Turkish Studies 24 (2017).

Limited Orientalism

Kristin L. Hoganson coined this rarely used term to describe a late 19th-early 20th centuries fashion trend by which American women wore clothing that in minor ("limited") ways exhibited "Oriental" themes or influences.

See also: Cultural Orientalism, Fashion Orientalism.

Sources & ExamplesStéphanie Coo, “Clothing and the Colonial Culture of Appearances in Nineteenth Century Spanish Philippines (1820-1896)” (Thesis, U. of Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2014); Kristin L. HogansonConsumers' Imperium: The Global Production of American Domesticity, 1865-1920 (North Carolina, 2007).

Linguistic Orientalism

Scholars use this term and the term Orientalist linguistics to describe the ways in which Western Orientalists use language and the study of Asian languages to imagine and construct  (stereotype) “Orientals” as having essential, changeless natures that are usually seen to be inferior to the West.  Drawing on Edward W. Said (1978), those who accept his views argue that Western Orientalists have long used language and the study of language to define Asian peoples and their cultures with what might be called “linguistic strategies” that weaponize the study of linguistics.  They use language and linguistics, that is, to define who (Oriental) Others are and what is wrong with how they speak in order to intentionally demonize indigenous languages and seek to replace them with the languages of the historical colonizers. Linguistic Orientalisms are thus yet another way by which the West has named and represented Orientals, denigrated their cultures, imagined them as being “exotic,” and sought to use Western learning and power to undermine them.  Language, at times, has been closely linked to race, with lingusitic Orientalists arguing that the supposedly inferior languages of Oriental races both contribute to their backwardness and demonstrate their inferiority.  European colonial policies, such as British policies in India, have thus at various times actively sought to empower the colonizer’s language and suppress the use of indigenous languages in education, business, government, and even in daily life.  Scholars, furthermore, charge linguistic Orientalists with inventing false methods for analyzing Asian languages, such as making up definitions, etymologies, and associations for given words.  The West, they argue, expresses its linguistic Orientalism in popular culture as well in such things as calling the Japanese, “Japanee,” or by mimicking and mocking the Chinese for their Pidgin English.  Scholars identify Orientalist linguistics with philology, which they take to be the older name  for (or predecessor of) the academic field of linguistics.  They note that the origins of linguistic-philological Orientalism can be found ancient and medieval times, while it actually began to take shape in the 18th century and achieved its fullest expression in the later 19th century.  Linguistic Orientalism can also be found in commerce, such as in advertising, in tourism, and in branding, including the names given to Asian cuisine restaurants (e.g. “Golden Tiger” or “En Thai Sing”).  Asians not only use Orientalist linguistic strategies themselves, but some (if not many) Asians accept the premise that their languages are inferior to English or French or German.  Finally, it must be noted that a number of Arab linguists strongly disagree with the application of Said’s arguments to the field of linguistics, seeing them as an unhelpful Western ideological intrusion.  They point out that the science of philology-linguistics has produced a great deal of important knowledge about Asian languages, especially Arabic, which has been very useful to the modern study of those languages. [revised 7/19]

See also: Academic Orientalism, Commercial Orientalism Cultural Orientalism, Educational Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Learned Orientalism, Orientalese, Orientalist Tourism, Philological Orientalism, Popular Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism, Scientific Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Genna Burrows, “The Politics of Arabic Script” (Ph.D. diss., Australian National U., 2016); ); Kingsley Bolton & Christopher Hutton, “Orientalism, Linguistics and Postcolonial Studies.” Interventions 2 (2000); Laz Carter, "Marketing Anime to a Global Audience: A Paratextual Analysis of Promotional Materials from Spirited Away." East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 4 (2018); Isabel DiVanna, Reconstructing the Middle Ages: Gaston Paris and the Development of Nineteenth-century Medievalism (Cambridge Scholars, 2008); C. Bradford Ellison, “Imagining the Poor: The Discourse that Direction Western Intervention in Africa and its Impact on the Condition of American Poverty” (Honors thesis, Duke, 2016); Revathi Krishnaswamy, “Nineteenth-century Language Ideology: A Postcolonial Perspective.” Interventions 7 (2005); John Mugane, “Necrolinguistics: Linguistic Death-in-Life” Du Bois Review, 2 (2005); James Persichetti, “A Sociolinguistic Inquiry Into Shakespeare's Othello” (Honors thesis, Regis, 2015); Edward W. SaidOrientalism (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978); Allon J. Uhlmann, “The Failures of Translation across Incommensurable Knowledge Systems: A Case Study of Arabic Grammar Instruction.” In Strings of Connectedness (Australian National U., 2015); Abderrahim Youssi, “Is There an Orientalist Linguistics?” In Approaches to Arabic Dialectics (Brill, 2004).

Literary Orientalism

Scholars use this term and the term Orientalist Literature (first meaning) to describe a Western literary genre that draws on sources, plots, stories, ideas, and images thought to originate in “the exotic East,” usually defined as including Asia, Northern Africa, and especially the Arab/Muslim Middle East. This literature first emerged in Medieval Europe and reached its apex in the 19th century. It purports to represent the East to Western audiences by imagining and constructing “Orientals” as having an essential, unchanging, and usually inferior nature. In its hey-day, it was deeply influenced by European Romanticism. Orientalist literature is thus a broad and complex genre that includes works from Asian literature and "pseudo-Oriental" works supposed to be Asian but actually written by European authors, as well as Western produced travelogues, poetry, romances, fictional tales, and epics. Scholars do not usually use these terms to refer to modern literary genre such as, for example, pulp Orientalism. Since roughly the mid-1990s this genre has received increased attention as scholars chew on Edward W. Said’s critique of it as exemplifying deeply held Western prejudices about Orientals, which was an enabler of European colonialism and domination of Asia. While Said’s approach has been widely accepted as accurately portraying one face of Western Orientalist literature, other scholars argue that he focuses too narrowly on French and British literary figures and even there largely overlooks writers who treat the Orient in positive, respectful ways. Those writers include Romantic writers who frequently imagined the Orient to have an essentially exotic but exciting, colorful, even inspiring and mystical nature that Europeans can learn from. Scholars frequently point to Lord Byron (1788-1824) as a key example of this more positive form of literary Orientalism. Critics of Said also point out that while Orientalist women authors do reflect more widely held stereotypes they also often portray Asians in a more positive light, especially Asian women including particularly Arab/Muslim women. Still other scholars argue that the literary Orientalists of other nations in Europe, such as Germany, Ireland, Portugal, and Scandinavia, also treat the Orient in ways that differ significantly from Said’s portrayal. Finally, although scholars use this term and the term “Orientalist literature” (first meaning) in much the same way, they show some tendency to use the latter term to emphasize the ideological nature of the Western Orientalist literature.  [revised 1/19]

See also: Artificial Orientalism, Anglo-French Orientalism, Belated Orientalism, Byronic Orientalism, Chinoiserie, Comic Orientalism, Creeping Orientalism, Decadent Orientalism, Desert Orientalism, Egyptomania, Enlightenment Orientalism, Exotic Orientalism, False Orientalism, Genuine Orientalism, Gothic Orientalism, Haunted Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Male Orientalism, Neo-Victorian Orientalism, Oriental Enthusiasm, Oriental Fiction, Oriental Literature, Orientalism Proper, Orientalist Exotica, Orientalist Exoticism, Orientalist Fiction, Orientalist Imagination, Orientalist Satire, Philological Orientalism, Poetic Orientalism, Postmodern Orientalism, Romantic Orientalism, Saidian Orientalism, Subversive Orientalism, Textual Orientalism, Victorian Orientalism, Victorientalism.

Sources & Examples: Saad A. Al-Bazei, “Literary Orientalism in Nineteenth-Century Angl-American Literature: Its Formation and Continuity” (Ph.D. diss., Purdue, 1983); Steven R. CarterJames Jones: An American Literary Orientalist Master (Illinois, Press, 1998); Abdulla Al-Dabbagh, Literary Orientalism, Postcolonialism, and Universalism (Peter Lang, 2010); Sara Dickinson, “Russia's First ‘Orient’: Characterizing the Crimea in 1787.” Kritika NS 3 (2002); Emily A. HaddadOrientalist Poetics: The Islamic Middle East in Nineteenth-Century English and French Poetry (Ashgate, 2002); Alyssa House-Thomas, "The Wondrous Orientalism of Lord Dunsany: Traditional and Non-traditional Orientalist Narratives in The Book of Wonder and Tales of Wonder," Mythlore 31 (2012); Abdur Raheem Kidwai, “’Samples of the Finest Orientalism’: A Study of the Orient in Lord Byron’s ‘Turkish Tales’” (Ph.D. diss., Leicester, 1993); Joseph LennonOrientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History (Syracuse, 2004); Reina LewisGendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity and Representation (Routledge, 1996); Fahd Al-Olaqi, “English Literary Portrait of the Arabs.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies 2 (2012); Elisabeth OxfeldtNordic Orientalism: Paris and the Cosmopolitan Imagination 1800-1900 (Museum Tusculanum, 2005); Pedro S. Pereira, “’An East, East of the East’
: Eça de Queirós’ A Relíquia, Álvaro de Campos’ ‘Opiary’ and the Postimperial Scope of Portuguese Literary Orientalism,” 2013. At APSA (, accessed 7/16; Zhaoming QianOrientalism and Modernism: The Legacy of China in Pound and Williams (Duke, 1995); Edward W. SaidOrientalism (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978); Shahzad A. Siddiquee, “The Oriental Content and Context in Byron’s Don Juan” (Ph.D. Diss., Aligarh Muslim U., 2008); Fehmida Sultana, “Romantic Orientalism and Islam: Southey, Shelley, Moore, and Byron” (Ph.D. dissertation, Tufts, 1989) Adrienne Ward, “Eastern Others on Western Pages: Eighteenth-Century Literary Orientalism.” Literature Compass 1 (2004); Mari YoshiharaEmbracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism (Oxford, 2003).

Local Orientalism

Scholars use this fairly often used term usually in one of three ways all of which describe the ways in which (Oriental) Others are imagined and constructed to be essentially different from one's Self. First, scholars use this term to describe the ways in which a dominant national culture or regional culture stereotype a minority group. In most cases, the "local" Other is imagined and constructed as being essentially and irredeemably inferior. Second, scholars also use this term to describe the ways in which particular localities use supposedly "Oriental" styles of architecture and decorations to create an Oriental ethos. Chinatowns in Western cities are examples. In this same way, scholars also use this term to describe the ways in which people living in particular localities in Western nations appropriate Oriental styles of such things as dress or entertainment, which distinguish them from neighboring cities or regions so that these "Orientalisms" become truly local.  Third, scholars also use this term to describe the work of Asian artists who draw on local Asian cultural styles, which are termed, "Orientalisms". In all of these usages, scholars most frequently use the notion of local Orientalism in reference to British Colonial Palestine, Israel, and the Ottoman Empire to describe the ways in which the governments of those states have imagined and constructed various minority groups, or in the case of the Ottoman Empire also its general population, as being backward and in need of civilizing. Much less frequently, some scholars use the term localized Orientalism in the same ways as described above, the only difference being that they tend to use it more broadly to refer to local Orientalisms in various Asian nations outside of the Middle East, such as especially China and India.  [revised 3/18]

See also: Aesthetic Orientalism, Architectural Orientalism,Exotic Orientalism, Frontier Orientalism, Geographical Orientalism, Internal Orientalism, Ideological Orientalism, Kemalist, Micro-Orientalism, Orientalist Exotica, Orientalist Exoticism, Popular Orientalism, Regional Orientlaism, Self-Orientalism.

Sources & Examples: Louise Archer & Becky FrancisUnderstanding Minority Ethnic Achievement: Race, Gender, Class and 'Success' (Routledge, 2007); Yiu-Wai ChuLost in Transition: Hong Kong Culture in the Age of China (State U. of New York, 2013); Barış Erdoğan, “Reproduction of Post-Colonial Mental Codes in Modern Turkey.” İstanbul Gelişim Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi 2 (2015); Ana FrankFeminism and Islam: Turkish Women between the Orient and the West (Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies, 2014); Todd Kontje, “Germany’s Local Orientalisms.” In Deploying Orientalism in Culture and History: From Germany to Central and Eastern Europe (Camden House, 2013); Mimi L. LipisSymbolic Houses in Judaism: How Objects and Metaphors Construct Hybrid Places of Belonging (Ashgate, 2011); Harry NorrisIslam in the Baltic: Europe’s Early Muslim Community (I. B. Tauris, 2009); Orit RozinA Home for All Jews: Citizenship, Rights, and National Identity in the New Israeli State (Brandeis, 2016); Ronit Seter, “Paul Ben-Haim,” 2006. At Jewish Music Research Centre (, accessed 3/18; Konstantinos Tsitseliskis, “European Islamsand Muslim Europes: Some Thoughts about Studying Europe’s Contemporary Islam.” In Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, v. 5 (Brill, 2013).

Localized Orientalism. See Local Orientalism.

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