Laura Weaver ♦ 2013 Global Scholars Symposium

Title: Said in America: Orientalist Foreign Policy in Asia

Abstract: Orientalism is a Western framing of the East in terms of the Other in an effort to “dominate, restructure, and have authority over the Orient” (Orientalism 3). In his seminal, interdisciplinary work, Orientalism, Edward Said asserts that Orientalism is a lens used to view the East, informing all Occidental actions. But, not only is it informing the actions but also legitimizing them through narrative. This is done through three different yet interdependent distinctions: academic, ontological and epistemological, and political. Laura’s thesis concerns the working of the Orientalist narrative in U.S. foreign policy with the Far East as seen through examples in Korea, Vietnam, and China. Her goal is to demonstrate the usage of Orientalist discourse to rationalize and promote action. Due to Laura’s current research in Hong Kong, she will also discuss the use of Orientalism in the narrative of the Asian experience.

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