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Our Civilizing MissionThe Lessons of Colonial Education$
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Nicholas Harrison

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941763

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941763.001.0001

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Lessons from Said

Lessons from Said

Chapter:
(p.14) (p.15) Chapter One Lessons from Said
Source:
Our Civilizing Mission
Author(s):

Nicholas Harrison

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781786941763.003.0002

One purpose of this chapter is to place the book’s core Algerian material in a wider intellectual context, inviting readers to pursue comparisons with their own experiences of teaching/criticism, or with other histories. It extends the Introduction’s discussion of Edward Said, treating his work as paradigmatic in its equivocal relationship to literary education and humanities education more widely, a mixture of enduring commitment and deep scepticism. Gauri Viswanathan’s Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India is treated briefly as another example. The chapter explores critically Said’s promotion of the work of the ‘intellectual’ as a possible path to political legitimacy for the literature professor, then examines Orientalism’s hesitations over literary aesthetics and his uncertainties over how to place literature politically and historically. [125]

Keywords:   Edward Said, Orientalism, intellectuals, literary education, literary aesthetics

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