Unformatted text preview: The Idea of East Asia
The Idea of East Asia
East Asian Civilizations
September 1, 2010 Lecture Outline
I. Western discourse on East Asia Edward Said, Orientalism II. European representations of the Oriental (and Chinese) “other”
III. East Asian notions of the world I. Western discourses
I. Western discourses Asia as an idea
Antiquity of concepts and images
Discourse and power: Edward Said, Orientalism Rudyard Kipling: “East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” Terminology
Terminology “Asia” Assyrian asu (east) Map of Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276194 BCE) “Orient” (east) Latin oriens or orientem rising sun (orig. past participle of oriri (to rise)
“Occident” Latin occidentem (setting, sunset) II. European representations
II. European representations
Exotic images: Saint Isidore of Seville (7th century) – from Persian descriptions of India Prester John
Prester John Marco Polo
Marco Polo Portugese atlas, c. 1538
Portugese atlas, c. 1538 Louis LeComte (early 18th century Jesuit) – Chinese practicing “the purist maxims of morality.” Sir William Osler (18481919) – "The quest for righteousness is Oriental, the quest for knowledge, Occidental." Captain George Lord Anson (18th century) – “In artifice, falsehood, an attachment to all kinds of lucre…” Edward Trelawny (17921881) – "The little, black, greedy twinkling eye of the Chinese…” Alfred Lord Tennyson (19th c.) – Karl Marx (19th c.) – “Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.”
Asiatic mode of production General William Westmoreland (1960s) “The Oriental doesn't put the same high price on life as does the Westerner.” III. East Asian III. East Asian representaitons Chinese oecumene or cultural order “West” as India and Buddhism Letter from the Qianlong Emperor to George III of England (1794) Conclusions
Conclusions Need for sensitivity to the Orientalist discourse.
Avoid Eurocentric framework.
Avoid us/them, West/East dichotomies. Rather, multiple histories, traditions, and values of East Asians, and their interconnections. ...
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- Fall '11
- Buddhism, II. European representations, I. Western discourses