English and Modern Languages
Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Literature, English; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies; Anthropology, Cultural
Bell, Drower, Orientalism, Postcolonialism, Said, Stark, Other
Critical and Cultural Studies | English Language and Literature | Race, Ethnicity and post-Colonial Studies | Reading and Language | Social and Cultural Anthropology
Although postcolonial criticism has run its course for thirty years, a fresh look at Edward Said's Orientalism offers insight into how Orientalism functions in the writings of three British dames. Gertrude Bell in The Desert and the Sown, Freya Stark in The Southern Gates of Arabia, and E.S. Drower in The Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran, however, challenge Said's theory. Their writing raises questions about how gender alters the discourse about the Other, and whether Said essentializes the Occident. Bell, Stark, and Drower serve as case studies in which to analyze the politically and rhetorically complex interactions between the West and the East at the end of the Colonial period. Over time, these women moved from approaching the Other with superior attitudes and a focus on otherness to developing a sympathetic understanding and greater appreciation of the similarities between the West and the East.
Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, English Language and Literature Commons, Race, Ethnicity and post-Colonial Studies Commons, Reading and Language Commons, Social and Cultural Anthropology Commons