Orientalisms in Comparison

In Cooperation with the Institute for Social Anthropology of the ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

 

The Orient is one of Europe's deepest und most recurring images of "the Other" (Edward Said). The research project Orientalism in Comparison emphasizes the inherent complexity and diversity of Orientalism. In Central Europe diverse forms of dealing with "the other" have emerged throughout history, paving the way for pluralized identities of nations, regions and cultural groupings. The presence of several "orients within" and the relative closeness of the orient outside generated an ambiguity: necessitating clear demarcations but also providing an impulse to accumulate knowledge of the "the other", either to secure peaceful co-existence, and/or as an opportunity for "civilizing" missions. These ambivalences are the starting point for our comparative analyses.