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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Lessons from Said

Lessons from Said

(p.14) (p.15) Chapter One Lessons from Said
Our Civilizing Mission

Nicholas Harrison

Liverpool University Press

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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