Published: 2024-05-24 at 10:58

Assoc. Prof. Atalay Gündüz from our Erasmus+ partner higher education institution Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey held a guest lecture within the English for Journalists course taught by Adrian Jadranko Beljo, entitled “Political Dynamics of Transfer: Said’s Islamist Orientalism (1982)”.

Few works in the humanities have wielded the influence of Edward Said’s (1935–2003) Orientalism: Western perceptions of the East (1978) within the academic landscape. The first Turkish translation of Orientalism was published in 1982 by Pinar, an Islamist publishing house devoid of scholarly pedigree. While Said attributes his motivation for writing the book to his sense of alienation as a Palestinian exile in America and the lack of recognition he experienced as an Arab, his methodology and critical approach bear the hallmarks of an academic field.

Said’s work is a deconstruction of the academic field of oriental studies. According to Bourdieu, the field of origin alone cannot fully determine the meaning and function of foreign works; the receiving field is equally crucial. The significance and impact of the work in its original field are often unclear, and the process of transfer unfolds through different mechanisms. This transfer process involves multiple variables, including the selection of a title for publication, choice of translator, labeling and classification, selection of publication series, and the translator’s influence. Within this framework, the lecture aims to uncover ideological, cultural, and historical factors that contributed to the impact of Said’s Orientalism on Turkish political, intellectual, and academic fields.


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