Hello Everyone: This is just a formal announcement that I have added two formal affiliates to this blog for your perusal:
Both of these blogs are solidly run, recommendable, and a pleasure to follow.
This is long overdue, as I had previously said some time ago I would add affiliates to this blog. However, for the last two weeks I have been A.) driving across the country and B.) moving to an entirely new city and beginning my graduate program. Unfortunately, this moderator only managed to set up wifi at home as of yesterday. My deepest apologies, as I have been less than prompt because of other pressing priorities.
For anyone curious to check the affiliates page, it’s also found here.
Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era by Julia Phillips Cohen
Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel
A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire by M. Sükrü Hanioglu
The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922 (New Approaches to European History) by Donald Quataert
scspeak said: What are some thoughts about West Asia? Though contemporarily recognized as the Middle East, I’ve had some discourse amongst people within U.S. Pan Asian communities and/or those with cultural ties in that particular region that went back & forth of whether there could be a claim of Asian identity (I’m still just scratching the surface of this). I’m wondering what are other people’s thoughts? Taking into account of our relation to the term "orientalism" with our histories in being racialized.
My answer will cover the individual answer and the broader academic answer:
First: That as a personal individual, I do not (and can not) have an opinion about the Asian Identity in the U.S. or otherwise. This is because I myself am not Asian in any framework, and as a scholar, I’d rather not define who can and cannot subscribe to an identity that isn’t my own. Aside from telling you that if you’re not Asian, don’t say you are, I can’t really claim anything.
Second: My own approach is therefore, covered in the FAQs:
#FAQ #3: So Who is Asian, then?
Whoever identifies as such. This is not really the purpose of this blog. You will find posts about people who are not considered Asian here, as long as the events transpire in Asia.
Third: The definition game of “so where/what is Asia?” is also played out and explained in the FAQs:
[…] For more on defining Asia, please read Columbia’s What is Asia?. Asia is NOT a separate continent. Asia is part of the Eurasian Continental plate, and all “divides” are purely constructed.
So on a scholarly level, when you come down to it, you’re playing the “what do words and labels mean?” game. Asia is a social, political, cultural, and geographic construct. Really, I encourage people to read the link I have there, it covers the basic questions at play.
Really, all of AFE is easy to access and read through: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/geography/
There are large discourses on how Asia has been defined, when it was defined, and by whom.
You’ll also find that Orientalism refers to North Africa, the Middle East (and sometimes) the rest of Asia — usually East Asia. This can be confusing — Orientalism had predominately referred to the Islamic world, not a general Asian one.
The text for those wanting to dive right into the theory of this concept, is, of course, Edward Said’s Orientalism. A quick google will pull it up.
Now for many, it seems that Orientalism generally might be applied to all of Asia, not just the Islamic dominated parts. After all — chinoiserie and japonisme are material styles of mimicking Asian cultures within “western” culture, not terms which can explain the fetishization or stereotyping of humans by race, ethnicity, etc. The word has adapted - much more recently.
This is a complex sort of issue, and while I’m sure this doesn’t seem helpful, isn’t really one that should be answered by me as yes or no, or even with my own “feeling” on the matter. It’s more of a localized, intra-community issue regarding the US that can really only be answered by individuals of middle eastern descent about how they feel they should ID.