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Best of Edward Said 3-Pack

Program #SAIE012-SAIE023-SAIE024.

3 CDs 

First program - Culture & Imperialism

Imperial power is constructed on a bedrock not only of force but of culture as well. Culture provides the crucial underpinning, justification and validation of empire. Its crudest manifestation is perhaps Kipling's "White man's burden." A more refined version is the French "mission civilisatrice," civilizing mission. Imperialism is often thought of as a European phenomenon of the past. In fact it continues today in different shapes and forms. Colonial attitudes are masked in new rhetoric. The U.S. carries out its imperial policies behind the facade of democracy and freedom. Culture and politics produce a system of control that transcends military power to include a hierarchy of representations and images that dominate the imaginations of both the oppressor and the oppressed.

Second program - Unresolved Geographies, Embattled Landscapes

The standard imperial strategies of "divide and rule" and "partition and quit" have had disastrous consequences in Ireland, Palestine and India. The ravages of identity politics and skewed nationalist impulses have further contributed to turmoil and war. Independence for many post-colonial states has meant little more than replacing a foreign system of oppression with a local one. What are the ways to create new forms of affiliation and communal existence in order to overcome difference and resolve conflicts?

Third program - Out of Place

A fatal medical diagnosis prompted Edward Said to leave a record of his youth in Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt. "The start of chemotherapy had been a point of no return," he says, "but a memoir would be the opposite - a going back, an effort to rescue from oblivion a time and place that had all but disappeared." But his book Out of Place set off a controversy. His very origins were challenged by Commentary and then picked up by others. Said says the attack "is to smear Palestinian claims to dispossession and the right of return."


Edward Said

Edward Said, internationally renowned Columbia University professor, practically invented the field of post-colonial studies. His great work, Orientalism has been translated into many languages and is widely used in colleges and universities. The New York Times called him, "one of the most influential literary and cultural critics in the world." As one of the few advocates for Palestinian rights in the U.S., he was the target of vilification, death threats and vandalism. The Economist said he "repudiated terrorism in all its forms and was a passionate, eloquent and persistent advocate for justice for the dispossessed Palestinians." He was a trenchant critic not just of Israeli policies, but also of Arafat, the corrupt coterie around him and the despotic Arab regimes. He felt strongly that intellectuals had a special responsibility to speak out against injustice, challenge power, confront hegemonic thinking and provide alternatives. His friend Noam Chomsky said of him, “Said was one of the most remarkable and influential intellectuals of the last half century. Much of his immense effort and talent was dedicated to overcoming the insularity, prejudice, self-righteousness, apologetics that are among the pathologies of power and defending the rights of the victims.” His memoir Out of Place won the New Yorker Book of the Year Award. He published two books of interviews with David Barsamian, The Pen & the Sword and Culture & ImperialismEdward Said died in New York on September 25, 2003.

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