[Milton-L] Special Commemorative Section on Edward Said (1935-2003) - now available at UTQ Online

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Mon Feb 10 10:38:19 EST 2014

Now available online.


Special Commemorative Section on Edward Said (1935-2003) 


University of Toronto Quarterly - Volume 83, Number 1, Winter 2014 


This issue contains: 


Editor's Introduction to the Special Commemorative Section on Edward Said

Victor Li           


The American Comparative Literature Association's Annual Conference, which
met in Toronto in 2013 , featured a plenary panel commemorating the tenth
anniversary of Edward Said's death. The organizers of the plenary
panel-professors and students in the Centre for Comparative Literature at
the University of Toronto-wanted to honour Said's intellectual and political
legacy and celebrate his continuing influence in literary and cultural
studies. The distinguished members of the panel who spoke on that occasion
were Professors Gauri Viswanathan, Ella Shohat, and Linda Hutcheon. The
University of Toronto Quarterly is proud to publish the revised versions of
their eloquent talks delivered at that commemorative plenary. . (excerpt
from Introduction by Victor Li) DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.1

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Legacies: Intention and Method

Gauri Viswanathan     


My essay begins with a probing of the continuities between Beginnings and
Orientalism in an effort to understand, simultaneously, Said's location of
the intellectual and artistic legacies of Orientalism and the legacies of
his own intellectual work. Legacies are related to beginnings in an obvious
way: if beginnings signal the moment of production - the inauguration of a
period, an episteme, or a discipline - legacies prolong that moment into the
indefinite future. A field takes shape through the generative energy that
propels the forward movement of ideas. Yet Said, always conscious of
disciplinary knowledge systems that induced guild thinking, did not see
himself as leaving legacies or founding schools of thought. If he had a
method at all, it was one that refused methods, inducing dissent and
skepticism in place of affirmations. He was far less interested in fields of
study that critiqued Orientalism as a symptom of Western pathology than in
those that analyzed the Gramscian "inventory of traces" left by Orientalism
on works of the imagination. Said's aesthetic pleasure intensified his
resistance to systematized thinking, and it gave rise to his use of words
like "hedonism" and "secularism" to describe a form of oppositional thinking
that had creative sources. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.3

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In Memory of Edward Said - The Bulletproof Intellectual

Ella Shohat      


This plenary presentation eulogizes Edward Said and speaks to his courage,
passion, and scholarship, while simultaneously acknowledging his discomfort
with the problematic category of "great men." Shohat traces Said's early
scholarship, the vitriolic backlash against his words, and the way his work
consolidated what would, a decade later, become the fields of postcolonial
studies and cultural studies. Shohat's presentation then delves into the
circulation and reception of his critique of Orientalism as an example of
"traveling theory." In Middle East studies, Said has been criticized as a
deficient political scientist or historian or anthropologist, with critics
ignoring the central concern of his work: the problem of representation and
the necessity of a political critique that is also a cultural critique. In
postcolonial studies in Israel, a certain post-Zionist discourse privileged
Homi Bhabha's theories of hybridity, which were translated into Hebrew, over
Said's not-yet-translated and allegedly binaristic notions of coloniality.
In the final moments of the presentation, Shohat reflects on her friendship
with Edward Said, remembering his courage in the face of consistent attacks
and his willingness to inhabit the ever-uncomfortable space of the worldly
yet "out-of-place" intellectual.DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.12

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Edward Said on Music: Always Comparative, Always Contrapuntal

Linda Hutcheon           


Just as the range of Edward Said's literary, political, and theoretical
writings was expanded through references to music, so too his reviews of
performances and his essays on music were deeply influenced by his passion
for both literature and politics. Ever the comparatist, he sought parallels
and analogies between the arts but also between art and life. Indeed, it was
his love for the music of Bach and the playing of Glenn Gould that inspired
his theory of "contrapuntal" analysis as a way to move beyond insularity and
provincialism in criticism. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.21



Postcard Poem, Ekphrastic Delusion: On Margaret Atwood's Poem "Postcard"

Shahar Bram  


In her poem "Postcard," Margaret Atwood chooses postcards and tourism as an
entry point to examine relationships, the loss of a loved one, and the
fading of memory. The poem exploits the unique format of the postcard and
sophisticatedly uses the delusion typical of the ekphrastic tradition, which
constructs an object that lacks ontological reality but is impressively
present in the imagination of the reader. The poem, we find, grew because of
the impossibility of restoring the face of the beloved figure; it is a poem
about failure, about the limitations of the verbal medium when confronting
the collapse of visual memory. Is the mechanism of personal relationships
equivalent to the industry of tourism? In what way does the mental
picturesque reproductions of the beloved we store in our memory resemble
commercial postcards? DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.28

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The Scourge of Plagiary: Perversions of Imitation in the English Renaissance

Trevor Cook    


When satirists first used the Latin legal term plagiary (literally
"kidnapper") as a metaphor for literary misappropriation in English at the
turn of the seventeenth century, their mistaken belief that it derived from
the word for whip (plaga) fit well with their humanist education: students
were beaten for their failures to imitate successfully in the same way that
kidnappers had presumably been punished in ancient Rome; they were whipped.
This folk etymology helps explain why the earliest recorded accusations of
plagiarism in English take place in satires associated with the scourge; it
also illustrates how definitions and accusations of plagiarism were
themselves often plagiarized. England's satirists publicly whipped each
other for their own private failures of imitation as they had learned to do
in the early modern grammar school in ways that resonate with how plagiarism
is identified and punished today. DOI: 10.3138/utq.83.1.39




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