A New Course from FASS: HIST 517 - Introduction to Orientalism



The intellectual parentage of Ottoman historical studies in the modern sense goes back to the 18th and 19th century  traditions of both Oriental Studies and Turcology. The FASS History Program is now initiating two new, foundation-laying courses in both fields. This Fall, Prof. Ferenc Peter Csirkes, who has joined FASS and History, will be offering HIST 517: Introduction to Orientalism and Oriental Studies. It should help fill a crucial gap in the formation of graduate students not just in History, but in the Humanities and Social Sciences in general. It will also count as part of the Core Electives II (Sources and Methods Courses) sub-group of the History MA and PhD curricula.  


The catalogue description notes in part: The ascendancy and self-globalization of the West went hand in hand with its exploration of “the Rest” not only in geographical, political and military terms but also in the form of opening up a new Oriental Studies world of knowledge. Over centuries, European scholars proceeded to penetrate non-European societies and cultures from their languages, literature and belief systems to their history proper. They produced a wealth of publications, including major dictionaries, encyclopedias, translations, anthologies and commentaries, that are to this day the indispensable reference materials and tools of trade of all scholars of the Middle East, of Islam, or of the Ottoman Empire. At the same time they constructed a vision, a gaze, an ideology of Eurocentrism and Orientalism.