heterogeneity within the orientalist discourse: representation of the orient in womens travelogues and mens paintings

پایان نامه

from 1950s onward, new theories and critical approaches burgeoned across humanities. these theories were context-oriented; as a result, the analysis of discursive practices gained significance. thus, social, political, historical and cultural discourses that have been hitherto marginalized and considered inferior to literary texts, were introduced as important texts to be analyzed by critics. one of the marginalized texts that have recently become the focus of critics is travelogue. travel writing, being a popular genre, has seldom been taken seriously as a literary genre and has often been read in the margins of canonical literature. after the burgeoning of context oriented theories, travel books turned into important sources that helped the critics to study popular culture, sociology, ethnography, social history, and other areas of humanities. if travel writing as a genre has been marginalized, travelogues written by western women have been doubly marginalized because in patriarchal societies, women’s literature has rarely been put on the same level as men’s literature. woman travel writers are most of the time concerned about gender. in fact, there are differences between travelogues authored by men and those authored by women. western women who had an unsure position in the discourse of colonialism reveal tensions in their writings that can seldom be found in men’s travelogues. these tensions can be traced in the images that woman travelers offer of the east. the clash between the discourse of colonialism and the discourse of femininity during the nineteenth century gave rise to tensions that we will analyze to show how they shaped british women’s identity and influenced their social position. in this research, verbal and visual texts will be contextualized in a web of discursive practices. orientalist tropes are not limited to verbal texts. they can be found in nineteenth century european paintings too. the texts of the travelogues will be analyzed according to bhabha’s theory of ambivalence and the paintings will be analyzed according to kress and van leeuwen’s theory of visual semiotics. said’s polarized view reiterates the colonial logic and reproduces the binary oppositions that underlay the imperial project. bhabha’s theory of hybridity is aimed at ridding the critical discourse from polarizations. bhabha tries to move beyond the manichean allegory and the rhetoric of blame by paying attention to the luminal spaces where neither the one nor the other rules. never denying the unequal power relations between west and east, bhabha prefers to shed light on the doubt, anxiety and ambivalence within the contact zone where the interaction between west and east fissure the colonial authority from within and produces a new identity. such an outlook reveals to us the cracks within the imperial power structures and the processes of getting round the ideological regulations through the interaction with the other.

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