Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge

Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge

by Wael Hallaq

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Since Edward Said’s foundational work, Orientalism has been singled out for critique as the quintessential example of Western intellectuals’ collaboration with oppression. Controversies over the imbrications of knowledge and power and the complicity of Orientalism in the larger project of colonialism have been waged among generations of scholars. But has Orientalism come to stand in for all of the sins of European modernity, at the cost of neglecting the complicity of the rest of the academic disciplines?

In this landmark theoretical investigation, Wael B. Hallaq reevaluates and deepens the critique of Orientalism in order to deploy it for rethinking the foundations of the modern project. Refusing to isolate or scapegoat Orientalism, Restating Orientalism extends the critique to other fields, from law, philosophy, and scientific inquiry to core ideas of academic thought such as sovereignty and the self. Hallaq traces their involvement in colonialism, mass annihilation, and systematic destruction of the natural world, interrogating and historicizing the set of causes that permitted modernity to wed knowledge to power. Restating Orientalism offers a bold rethinking of the theory of the author, the concept of sovereignty, and the place of the secular Western self in the modern project, reopening the problem of power and knowledge to an ethical critique and ultimately theorizing an exit from modernity’s predicaments. A remarkably ambitious attempt to overturn the foundations of a wide range of academic disciplines while also drawing on the best they have to offer, Restating Orientalism exposes the depth of academia’s lethal complicity in modern forms of capitalism, colonialism, and hegemonic power.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231547383
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 16 MB
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About the Author

Wael B. Hallaq is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches and writes about Islamic law, ethics, and intellectual history. His books, translated into a number of languages, include Shariʿa: Theory, Practice, Transformations (2009) and The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament (2013), which won Columbia University Press’s Distinguished Book Award.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Putting Orientalism in Its Place
2. Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Sovereignty
3. The Subversive Author
4. Epistemic Sovereignty and Structural Genocide
5. Refashioning Orientalism, Refashioning the Subject

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