- Course Number: ENGL 236
- Advisory Enrollment Information:
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- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 236
- Quarter: Fall 2021
As his most recent biographer, Timothy Brennan, writes, “[i]t has . . . become easy to turn Said into a series of placards without depth or nuance” even though he “is now considered one of the most transformative thinkers of the last half century” (Preface to Places of Mind). Said was at the forefront of the turn to cultural, linguistic, and political theory in literary studies; he is considered one of the founders of postcolonial criticism; he was a deeply committed humanist intellectual; and he was actively involved in anti-colonial movements, particularly the Palestinian struggle. Despite the depth and range of Said’s career, however, most attention has been confined to his iconic work Orientalism, with interpretations often extending no further than the introduction. In this course, we will read as much as we can of Said’s oeuvre to get a more capacious and complex understanding of his multiple interventions. Works we will cover, in whole or in part, include Beginnings: Intention and Method (1975); the trilogy Orientalism (1978), The Question of Palestine (1979), and Covering Islam (1981); The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); Culture and Imperialism (1993); Out of Place: A Memoir (1999); Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (2000); and On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain (2006). We will pace our reading according to the group’s interests, with flexibility in the assignments to support individual research programs.