Forms of Orientalism

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SAMLA, Nov 9-11
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European Orientalism has as its historical and frequently imaginative background tales of travel and exile. This panel aims to examine the shapes that textual engagements with the East take in works of European Orientalism. What do such textual engagements suggest about the capacities of available literary forms and ideologies of difference to represent confrontations with "the other"? How do representations of the "orient" (inclusive of northern Africa, the Near East, South Asia, and East Asia) reflect on the histories and developments of literary modes such as the epic, the lyric, the novel, the oriental tale? How do orientalist texts facilitate or require experimentation with new formal strategies, such as innovations in rhyme, dream narratives, or fragmentation? Of particular interest are papers that address the presence of ostensibly scholarly forms—the footnote, the lexicon—in orientalist literature; papers on theories of the picturesque and sublime, travel narratives, and the linguistic, ethnographic, and cultural projects of orientalists are also invited. Papers with a British and/or French focus from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century are especially welcome. Please submit proposals (250-350 words) to Jeanne Britton ( by June 15.