Download Rethinking Orientalism: women, travel and the Ottoman harem by Reina Lewis PDF

By Reina Lewis

The oppressed but hugely sexualized lady of the Muslim harem is arguably the pivotal determine of Western orientalism. but, as Reina Lewis demonstrates, whereas orientalist pondering has lately been challenged, Western understandings of center jap tradition stay restricted. This ebook offers replacement dialogues among Ottoman and Western girls. Lewis examines, from the placement of cultural conception, the broadcast autobiographical bills approximately segregated lifetime of self-identified "Oriental" ladies Demetra Vaka Brown, Halide Edib, Zeyneb Hanum, Melek Hanum and style Ellison. Bringing her topics vividly to existence, Lewis makes use of those texts to problem the Western orientalist stereotypes that experience develop into normal inside postcolonial concept.

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Extra resources for Rethinking Orientalism: women, travel and the Ottoman harem

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Vaka 1914: 193–4) When the consul was recalled, Vaka Brown stayed in New York. Here she found herself a foreigner, unable to speak English and with little opportunity to make use of her French. Eventually she obtained work offering French tuition in a private girls’ school and began some small-scale writing for the leading Greeklanguage newspaper Atlantis (see Kopan 1987), deriving the greatest pleasure from answering the problem-page letters sent in by poor, barely literate, Greek immigrants.

Like many Turks, the sisters were familiar with Loti’s books and ‘knew them almost by heart’, regarding him as ‘a friend of the Turks [and of] our civilisation’ (Melek Hanoum 1926: 132). Indeed, Zeyneb Hanım had already written to him in France in 1902 to thank him for Aziyadé. Dissatisfied with their lives, the two sisters were convinced that if only European intellectual opinion could be harnessed to what they saw as the desperate plight of the educated Turkish woman, then change might be brought about.

And 28 R E TH I NK I N G O RIENTA L ISM if they despised us because they had conquered us we despised them because they were ignorant and Asiatics’ (Athene 1947, 8:3, p. 87), elsewhere she is clear that her father spoke Turkish and her brother also was for some time friends with a Turkish boy. The complications of the Greek Ottoman situation are most often expressed by Vaka Brown through the eyes of her childish self, caught between the injunctions of her fiercely patriotic uncle who recounted first hand the Greek Revolt of 1821 and her darling Djimlah who did not seem quite to encapsulate the evils of ‘the hateful Asiatic yoke’ (Athene 1951, 12:2, p.

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