[ilds] On Miracle Ground XIX: Crete

Anna Lillios anna at ucf.edu
Thu Oct 29 12:58:00 PDT 2015

Hi Jamie,

     Please post the attached information about the conference in Crete and a reading list.

     Hope all's well with you,

Dr. Anna Lillios
Professor of English
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 161346
Orlando, FL  32816-1346

Phone:    (407) 823-5596 (English Department)
FAX:      (407) 823-3300
Email:     Anna at ucf.edu

Editor, Deus Loci: The Lawrence Durrell Journal
Editor, The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Journal of Florida
Editor, The Zora Neale Hurston Electronic Archive
Executive Director, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society

From: ILDS [ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] on behalf of James Gifford [james.d.gifford at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2015 3:03 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] Retirement Age during the British Raj

Hello all,

I have several students from Bangladesh as well as Syria, Libya, the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and so forth -- they have their eyes
open to the larger complexities of the interests of varying state
actors, which is partly why they study where they do.  They see that
everyone has an angle even if the scope is wildly inequitable.  There's
no corner shop near me anymore, but lots of people hold plenty of
contradictory opinions for plenty of reasons just as they hold to plenty
of forms of different faiths (or not).

There's very little in Durrell about left/right: surprisingly little
given his time and milieu, and what there is is often ironical or
sarcastic.  In any case, to be concerned with the legacies of
imperialism, especially in the 1950s during the rapid decolonization of
Africa and the heat of the Cold War, is hardly surprising -- for Said to
shift attention away from the Marxist paradigm of (largely
Africa-centred) decolonization literatures of those 50s & 60s to a
Foucauldian attention to institutions in the late 1970s and the Middle
East is also hardly surprising.  But it reminds us that Orientalism was
a scholarly discipline in academic institutions that disciplined a body
of knowledge as a "way of knowing" and that Said's leverage grew out
from an existing set  of often race-based decolonization movements that
were used to thinking in terms of class rather than through
institutions.  That "way of knowing" has largely gone underground now
into area studies or the retitling of departments, but it's operation
continues apace.  The commonplace today of regarding universities as a
factory producing trained labour reflects the same kind of processes as
the service of the university to national(ist) culture, though maybe now
to global capital as well.  Let's not grow too starry-eyed over the free
exchange of ideas such that we overlook the /production/ of knowledge...
  As Said's critique takes on the aura of having accomplished its goals
with the dissipation of schools of Orientialist Studies, we have to stay
attentive to the persistence of service by their successor departments
to the same and new interests.

Said was one-eyed in the sense of being polemical, but it was a polemic
very much needed in 1978.  To ask the same book to sort out our changed
situations in 2015 isn't likely to work out well, although there's much
to be said of reading it in tandem with his later /Culture and
Imperialism/.  I critique Said often for the specific things I work on,
but he's one of the defining critical voices of the latter part of the
20th century.

I still think the signal word in "Bitter Lemons," to me at least as a
reader, is "unsaid" and how it catches to the other negation, "unshed."

All best,
ILDS mailing list
ILDS at lists.uvic.ca
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