At a crucial and timely moment in the history of relations between the West and Islam, Orientalism provides the context and background for understanding where the fault-lines of this fraught relationship lie.
* An important topical reprise of the critical debate about western images and stereotypes of the Arab world and Islam. * Provides essential background to understanding this part of the world and offers a brief history of the debate regarding orientalism, as defined by Said and others. * Summarizes and comments on a number of significant texts and details a number of case studies which have been inspired by the debate. In the 1960s and 1970s a powerful assault was launched on orientalism - the study of the Orient. At the center of this attack was Edward Said, whose devastating critique accused Western orientalists of creating stereotypical images of the East, thereby facilitating imperialism and colonialism and inciting chauvinism and racism. The debate ranged far beyond the traditional limits of 'dry-as-dust' orientalism, involving questions concerning the nature of identity, the nature of imperialism, Islamophobia, myth, Arabism, racialism, intercultural relations and feminism. Charting the history of the vigorous debate about the nature of orientalism, this timely account revisits the arguments and surveys the case studies inspired by that debate. It summarizes and comments on a number of significant texts, details a number of case studies which have been inspired by the debate, and provides a useful chronology.