On Orientalist Genealogies: The Split Arab / Jew Figure Revisited

29 Mar 2018


Join us for a public lecture featuring Ella Shohat, Professor of Cultural Studies at New York University. This lecture traces the genealogy of the gradual splitting of a once-linked Oriental figure into two: “Arab” and “Jew,” and its ramifications for contemporary postcolonial tensions. Examining the shifting Orientalist imaginary in the wake of the Enlightenment and the imperial project, the lecture traces present-day assumptions about a longstanding Arab / Jewish divide -- and the ambiguous position of the Arab-Jew within it -- back to crucial shifts in 19th century representation. Ruptures were forming in the colony with regard to the conceptualization of the Oriental indigene—Muslim and Jew—prior to the epic-scale ruptures with the emergence of Zionism, the partition of Palestine and, consequently, the dislocation of Jews from Arab/Muslim geography. Using examples from the field of visual culture, the lecture will provide a historical lens that helps illuminate alternative framing of current debates on this issue.

Event Date: 
Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Sponsored By: 
The Islamicate Studies Working Group at the University of Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning 501, University of Pittsburgh