John Beverley – A new Orientalism


Event Date: 19 May 2017
Room B04
43 Gordon Sq
Birkbeck School of Arts
Birkbeck University of London
London WC1H 0PD

Birkbeck School of Arts Presents:

Birkbeck Arts Week 2017

Public Talk by John Beverley: A new Orientalism

One of the legacies of postcolonial criticism is the proposition that modern literature itself was complicit in the processes of European colonization of the world, that literature and literary education are a “mask of conquest.” This talk will use that insight to explore the representation of an Islamic or Arab subject in three texts from the first decade of the 21st century. These are Michel Houellebecq’s novel Soumission (Submission), Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow, and Michael Haneke’s film Caché (Hidden). The underlying question here is about the relationship between vernacular literature and modernity, or a claim to modernity. The talk will conclude with some thoughts on the representation of an Islamic Other in the founding text of literary modernity, Cervantes’s Don Quixote.

Introductions by Dr Mari Paz Balibrea (Birkbeck) and Dr John Kraniauskas (Birkbeck):

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