20 September 2022

Doha Institute for Graduate Studies Holds Lecture on "Orientalism and Occidentalism: Five Centuries of History"

  • Qatar

Doha, September 20 (QNA) - The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies today began its new year with a lecture entitled "Orientalism and Occidentalism: Five Centuries of History".
The lecture, delivered by Dr. Henry Laurens, Professor of History of the Contemporary Arab World at the College de France in Paris, was moderated by President of the Institute Dr. Abdulwahab Al Effendi, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, in the presence of members of the academic and administrative bodies, researchers of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, and the Institute's students.
Beginning of the lecture, Dr. Laurens defined Orientalism as the search for knowledge of ancient societies from the civilizations of the Mediterranean, North Africa and the African coast, explaining that this geographical range was a space for communication, and allowed the emergence of ideas, literature and goods as well, adding that until the period of the great European discoveries and the birth of overseas empires in the sixteenth century, Europeans did not know their Muslim neighbors, adding that Muslims had geopolitical knowledge that was derived from the Ottomans, and they also knew Europe from volumes and from Ottoman ambassadors.
Professor of History of the Contemporary Arab World at the College de France pointed out that there was a stage of balance until the eighteenth century, when there were trade and political relations based on parity between Europeans and the ancient empires in China, India, Japan, Iran and the Ottoman Empire, due to the convergence in economic and military weights, then the relationship began to change in the middle of the eighteenth century due to the Industrial Revolution and colonial campaigns that produced a different type of knowledge that highlights European superiority, and created a hegemonic movement that led to the separation of Europe from the world, stressing that European thinkers considered that Europe is the future of humanity.
Laurens said at the end of the lecture that European narratives have changed throughout history with Europe directing special narratives to the East, and this is what attracted the attention of the orientalists with the beginning of the colonial campaigns and pushed them to feel the danger, and then to the resistance movements in their various ways, but one of the paradoxes of orientalism is that it gave Eastern societies tools to withstand Europe and resist it, through the orientalists's study of the ancient civilizations of these peoples, which gives them the keys to their rooted civilization.(QNA)


Culture, Qatar
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