Stathis Gourgouris

Nov 8, 2022

On Edward Said's "Orientalism"

A Discussion with Stathis Gourgouris

New Books Network 2022

Beginning in the 17th century, European countries began colonizing countries east of Europe. They imposed their own ideas over local cultures and extracted free labor and resources. One way that European colonizers justified this exploitation was through an academic discipline called Orientalism. In 1978, Edward Said, a professor of literature at Columbia University, published a book of the same name, Orientalism. In his critique, he challenged Europeans’ construction of the so-called “East,” laid bare the biases of Orientalist study, and transformed the course of humanities scholarship. Stathis Gourgouris is a professor of classics, English, and comparative literature at Columbia University. He is the author of books such as Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece and Does Literature Think?: Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era. See more information on our website,

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