Orientalism

The events of September 11, 2001 have also fundamentally changed public perceptions and the nature of public discourses about the cultural “others,” in particular the Muslim and Middle Eastern populations in Germany and Europe, resulting in a need for new frameworks for how we approach the very concept of Orientalism. To grasp this new understanding this cluster will aim to mediate post-colonial theory with models that take into account the national and cultural history as well as the political situatedness of Germany in Europe. Moreover, for a more nuanced understanding of the specificities and complexities of German Orientalist discourses, it is necessary to use a genuinely interdisciplinary approach that provides historical scope and explores the issue from a number of different perspectives (such as literary and cultural studies,film and media studies, and political science and discourse analysis. Members of the Orientalism Cluster

During the first symposium "East meets West - German Orientalisms" at the University of Victoria (October 2011) scholarsdiscussed the need to revisit assumptions about German Orientalisms. For one, they found necessary to re-assess what used to be largely a philological discourse and understanding of the Orient and to re-position German Orientalisms in the context of current debates in post-colonial theory. Moreover, the events of September 11, 2001, have fundamentally changed public perceptions and the nature of the discourses about the cultural "others" in Germany and Europe, resulting in a need for new frameworks for how we approach the very concept of Orientalism. GermanStudies.ca invited participants of the cluster to summarize their contributions in short video clips.

Elena Pnevmonidou, initiator of the German Orientalisms cluster, explains in the first video contribution the research topics of the cluster "East meets West - German Orientalisms". In her second video clip Elena Pnevmonidou talks about the panels of the research cluster meeting and the importance of Friedrich Hoelderlin's novel "Hyperion" for the discussion about "German Orientalisms". Paul Peters, McGill University, summarizes his talk for te research cluster meeting "East meets West - German Orientalisms" and Bernd Hamacher, University of Hamburg, talks about the future aspects of the research cluster "German Orientalisms". Oliver Schmidtke, University of Victoria, summarizes his talk "The cultural-religious (Muslim) "other" in contemporary Europe. Analyzing public discourse on migrants and minorities in Germany".