In this thorough reconsideration of Edward Said's influential work, Orientalism, Ibn Warraq argues that Said's case against the West is seriously flawed - not only willfully misinterpreting the work of many scholars, but also systematically misrepresenting Western civilization as a whole. Said's main thesis was that the Western image of the East was heavily biased by colonialist attitudes, racism, and more than two centuries of political exploitation. The impact of his ideas has been a pervasive rethinking of Western perceptions of Eastern cultures, plus a tendency to view all scholarship in Oriental Studies as tainted by considerations of power and prejudice. With example after example, Warraq shows that, ever since the Greeks, Western civilization has always had a strand in its very makeup that has accepted non-Westerners with open arms and has ever been open to foreign ideas. The author also criticizes Said for inadequate methodology, incoherent arguments, and a faulty historical understanding. Warraq further looks at the destructive influence of Said's study on the history of Western painting, especially of the 19th century.
Ibn Warraqﾠis a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry specializing in Koranic criticism. In 1996 he published the groundbreaking work, Why I am not a Muslim. He went on to edit a series of anthologies. Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said's Orientalism is his latest book.
$10 for general public, free for Friends of the Center. Please RSVP.
Official Website: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/sf/events/warraq18apr08/
Added by FullCalendar on April 2, 2008