1) Emily S. Apter, in her article “Saidian Humanism”, states that “humanism was integral to his (Said’s) vision of cultural coexistence without coercion…” (In “The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature, Princeton University Press, 2006) Besides it was argued that “Said has changed how the US media and American intellectuals must think about and represent Palestinians, Islam and the Middle East. Most important, this change arises not as a result of political action, but out of a potent humanism.” Apter further remarks that, “in Orientalism, humanism was rarely directly indicted but as the ballast of philological Euro-nationalism, and as the purveyor of Orientalist tropes and archetypes, its complicity with Orientalism became evident.” (p. 66).
In what further ways can one define Said’s “Orientalism” as a humanist work? Or is it a humanist work? I’m puzzled since Said acknowledges the impact of an “anti-humanist Foucault” on his critique of orientalism. What might be the ways in which Said’s “Orientalism” distinguishes itself from anti-humanist Foucauldian framework and becomes a work of humanism?
2) I would like to draw attention to the period of early turkish republic in the light of what Chatterjee suggests regarding anticolonial nationalisms. Chatterjee distinguishes the material doman from the spiritual doman at which anticolonial nationalisms declare sovereignity. In this respect, she illustrates the ways in which that spiritual domain proceeds by means of language, school and family. I suggest that the will to preserve the “spiritual” as opposed to the “material” which is domanited by the Western or the colonizer is a familiar phenomenon in Turkish politics and academia from 19th century Ottoman thinker Ahmet Mithat and 20th century sociologist Ziya Gökalp to prime minister Erdoğan who said that “Batı’nın ilmini değil, ahlaksızlığını aldık” (http://www.radikal.com.tr/haber.php?haberno=245471). Erdoğan’s words reveal that the “spiritual” domain in Chatterjee’s understanding was contaminated by the Western mode of amorality. What I wonder is, has there ever been a “spiritual” domain that the early republican Turkish state clinged on in course of propogating the nationalist cause? I would like to remind you that Chatterjee defines “the spiritual” as “‘an inner’ domain bearing the “essential” marks of cultural identity.” (p.6) And please take Auerbach’s commentary on the nationalist policies of the early turkish republic while thinking on this:
“rejection of all existing Mohammedan cultural heritage, the establishment of a fantastic relation to a primal Turkish identity, technological modernization in the European sense, in order to triumph against a hated yet admired Europe with its own weapons: hence the preference for European-educated emigrants as teachers, from whom one can learn without the threat of foreign propaganda. Result: nationalism in the extreme accompanied by the simultaneous destruction of the historical national character.” (Emily Apter, “Global Translatio: The ‘Invention’ of Comparative Literature, Istanbul, 1933” (41-64) in The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature, Princeton: Princeton U. P., 2006. P.50)