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Flashcards in Postcolonialism Deck (23)
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What does the term 'Orientalism' concern itself with?

Coined by Said, it explores how the West has perceived and produced an idea of the East, particularly the Islamic world. It allowed Europeans to distinctly separate themselves from the East, justifying the actions of colonists to suppress other races.


To Said, how did Europeans view the East? (Looking through the lens of Orientalism)

The East was seen as despotic, clannish, and seductive and mystical. These images were perpetrated through the arts (literature and paintings)


Why was the East seen to be 'stuck in time'?

The image put out by art always produced the same images of the East, giving the illusion that it did not develop like the West did and was therefore subordinate.


When does Said that the 'Oriental' emerged?

In the Imperial age, came with conquest


To Balfour (a colonial official) what indicated the superiority of Europeans above the East?

Their ability to self-govern. The East saw a succession of despotism. Balfour believed that Western intervention was tiresome, but a duty he felt bound to abide.


By which means did Europeans feel they should control the East?

Dominating their land, control rigidly internal affairs, 'blood and treasure' put at the disposal of one or another Western power


What sort of characteristics did Orientals hold?

Europeans thought they were incapable of rational or logical thinking, incompetent, inveterate liars. They were the antithesis to the values that Europeans held.


In what way can Said's argument be thought to be Foucauldian?

It's notion of the relationship between knowledge and power. To Europeans the notion of the Orient created the Orient, the oriental, and his world, making every one of the Orient a subject. Said uses the example of Napoleon's conquest of Egypt in 1798- commanded a scientific survey of Egypt. The volumes produced showed the power and prestige of a European country that could do to the Egyptians what they could not do to the French. Knowledge requires power and so there is no comparable survey against the French


What is meant by 'strategic silences'?

These gave the impression that Britain had been an isolated island nation, that was recently disturbed by a new population of non-white migrants when of course this was not the case.


How was the British state able to justify their exclusionary policies against Black brits?

Much like seen with the idea of Orientalism, there was a clear distinction created between Black Brits and White Brits.


The 60s and 70s saw the introduction of official policies of racial disenfranchisement, what were these?

The shortage of economic resources for working-class black communities, perpetration of negative black worker stereotypes
Commonwealth Immigrants act of 1962.


What does Black Power studies aim to look at?

It tries to track disparate ideological, rhetorical, and organisational valences. Understanding how 1st and 2nd generation migrant populations appropriated Blackness as a political category and engendered a local politics of race that linked their intentions to make a place for themselves within British society.


What has the work of Stuart Hall aimed to expose?

It looks at the moral panic created around fears of young black men in Britain in the 1970s as these men had been made the scapegoats for all social ills of a country riven by class divisions and strikes.


Postcolonial thinkers have made a number of critiques against the modern historical practice. What is their main criticism?

Historical practice is far too Eurocentric, this has led to certain widely understood definitions e.g. modernity, that is now judged by European values and notions of development and progress. Counter to this, this may be 'simply how history happened'.


What argument does David Landes make to explain Eurocentrism?

For the last two thousand years, the West has been the prime mover of development and modernity, but this does beg the question as to why Europe forged ahead and generated the dynamics of change seeing as Asia, Africa, and Europe were all on roughly equal footing in the 15th Century.


How does Pomeranz explain Europe's rapid departure towards development?

Coal and colonies. These powered the industrial revolution, and released pressure on land, which had been the greatest constraint on further expansion. Britain had coal deposits that were geographically close to economically developed regions where they were required, and relatively easy and cheap to access with the technologies of the time.


What does Pomeranz suggest that trade with the New World created?

A new kind of periphery which enabled Europe to exchange an ever-growing volume of manufactured exports for an ever-growing volume of land-intensive products.


What is one of the main problems associated with Eurocentrism?

It accords history privileged categories of analysis that arose in the course of history, in an effort to understand it, that are usually not suitable to understand the non-Western world.


What does Seth mean when he says that postcolonial theory is reflexive?

The works of this nature are as much interested in the categories through which explanations and narratives are crafted, as they are in the production of explanations and narratives themselves. Provoking the idea that the analytical framework in which history is analysed may not even be valid to a non-Western concept, as even ideas of land, labour and capital, state, individual, and civil society may not transcend the European history from which they originate.


What is Postcolonialism?

Studying the condition of states and societies after decolonisation or the cultural legacy of economic/social exploitation of peoples who have experienced colonisation.


Who was one of Edward Said's main influences?

Frantz Fanon


What is Occidentalism?

The authors use the word Occidentalism to describe the phenomenon: "The dehumanising picture of the west painted by its enemies is what we have called occidentalism." They argue that occidentalism is the antithesis of orientalism, which "made non-western people seem less than fully adult human beings"


What sort of things, in Occidentalism, do they believe Westerners hold?

Rootless and shallow cultures. Materialist consumers.