Re-Orientalism and South Asian Identity Politics
The Oriental Other Within
Edited by Lisa Lau, Ana Cristina Mendes
Routledge – 2011 – 164 pages
Orientalism refers to the imitation of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West, and was devised in order to have authority over the Orient. The concept of Re-Orientalism maintains the divide between the Orient and the West. However, where Orientalism is based on how the West constructs the East, Re-Orientalism is grounded on how the cultural East comes to terms with an orientalised East.
This book explores various new forms, objects and modes of circulation that sustain this renovated form of Orientalism in South Asian culture. The contributors identify and engage with recent debates about postcolonial South Asian identity politics, discussing a range of different texts and films such as The White Tiger, Bride & Prejudice and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.
Providing new theoretical insights from the areas of literature, film studies and cultural and discourse analysis, this book is an stimulating read for students and scholars interested in South Asian culture, postcolonial studies and identity politics.
"[I]t highlights the agency of the various writers who have aimed to consciously confront—and even parody—the market forces. In addition, it demonstrates the illuminative power that re-Orientalism offers as a framework for cultural analysis. Perhaps it elucidates a number of problems, but it also recognizes a number of previously ignored instances of transnational and intra-national hegemonic production. Moreover, in its elaboration of the problems of postcolonial texts, it suggests novel and concrete plans for someday transcending the past." - Ann Marie L. Davis, Ph.D., Connecticut College; Journal of International and Global Studies Vol. 3, No. 2 Spring 2012
1. Introducing re-Orientalism: A new manifestation of Orientalism Lisa Lau and Ana Cristina Mendes 2. Re-Orientalism in contemporary Indian Writing in English (IWE) Lisa Lau 3. On the entrepreneurial ethos in Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger Sarah Brouillette 4. ‘Tomorrow’s brother’: Contesting Orientalisms in Gopal Baratham’s A Candle or the Sun Sim Wai Chew 5. Pulp frictions Jigna Desai 6. Re-Orientalism is on TV: From Salman Rushdie’s The Aliens Show to The Kumars Ana Cristina Mendes 7. Foreign fantasies and genres in Bride & Prejudice: Jane Austen re-Orientalises British Bollywood Tamara S. Wagner 8. Bollywood meets Issey Miyake: Indo chic versus Asian fusion fashion in contemporary Hindi cinema Mita Banerjee 9. Re-Orientalisms: Meditations on exoticism and transcendence, Otherness and the Self Tabish Khair
Lisa Lau is Head of Human Geography at Keele University, UK. Her research interests include post-colonialism, literary studies, gender studies, and South Asia, encompassing the issues of power, narrative, identity construction, class chasms, social and cultural change.
Ana Cristina Mendes is a researcher at ULICES (University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies) in Portugal. Her research interests span postcolonial cultural production and its intersection with the culture industries.