This collection of eleven essays re-evaluates Edward Said's definition of `orientalism' widely misconstrued as being merely postcolonial and contestable. The volume emphasizes the need to move beyond the prejudice and stereotyping tied to the context of colonial exploitation. It challenges the assumption that oriental studies only served to segregate cultures and undermine the oriental peoples' capacity for self-formation.
This book shows how cultures can generate studies of themselves on their own and that the impetus for such work was clearly noticeable at least in Indian cultural scholarship during the colonial period. The contributors bring to light the orientals' ordering of themselves and expose the fallacy that western imperialist discourse defined and described us. In the process, they draw upon Said`s distinction between `oriental studies' and `orientalism'.