Definitions for orientalismˌɔr iˈɛn tlˌɪz əm, ˌoʊr-
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Orientalism, Oriental Studies(noun)
the scholarly knowledge of Asian cultures and languages and people
the quality or customs or mannerisms characteristic of Asian civilizations
"orientalisms can be found in Mozart's operas"
In the figurative arts, the tendency to represent eastern subjects, to assume stylistical characteristics original of the East.
Orientalism is a term used by art historians and literary and cultural studies scholars for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Middle Eastern, and East Asian cultures by American and European writers, designers and artists. In particular, Orientalist painting, depicting more specifically "the Middle East", was one of the many specialisms of 19th century Academic art, and the literatures of European countries took a similar interest in Oriental themes. Since the publication of Edward Said's Orientalism in 1978, much academic discourse has begun to use the term "Orientalism" to refer to a general patronizing Western attitude towards Middle Eastern, Asian and North African societies. In Said's analysis, the West essentializes these societies as static and undeveloped—thereby fabricating a view of Oriental culture that can be studied, depicted, and reproduced. Implicit in this fabrication, writes Said, is the idea that Western society is developed, rational, flexible, and superior.
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