International Conference on “Orientalism Revisited: Beyond the Politics of East and West”

May 10, 2015

Latest Orientalism Poster

Date: May 23 – 24, 2015

Venue: University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Level 2, Chulan Tower, No. 3 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur


“Orientalism” is a term that has been widely used by scholars to refer to the Western ways of observation that imagines, exaggerates and distorts differences of the East. It acts as a double-edged sword for both the West and the so-called East, and bears a negative connotation in Eastern societies, which led to the emergence of “Occidentalism,” or the excessively critical approach to seeing the West. Moving beyond familiar contraposition of West/East, good/evil and rational/irrational, this conference attempts to study the pre-defined boundaries in order to reassess them for creating a discursive space beyond the politics of the West and East.

The goal of this conference is to provide a forum in which not only old issues can be discussed but also fresh developments and new theoretical and methodological approaches could be dissected and explored. While questioning cross-cultural assumptions, this conference goes beyond the bounds of a Saidian critique of Orientalism which perceives Orientalism itself and the pursuit of Oriental Studies in Western universities to be an extension of a colonial will to dominate. This conference will not belabor the West’s will to dominate over the East, but rather discuss different approaches to the interpretation of Orientalism and the alternatives to Orientalist discourses that have emerged since the critique of Orientalism. In this way, the conference strives to establish a true dialogue and mutual understanding between the East and West as a prerequisite to mutual acceptance.



May 23 (Saturday)

1000 – 1015AM Welcoming Speech by Prof Sean Matthews
1015 – 1045AM

Session I

“Orientalism Still Around?” Disengagement and Ambivalence on Orientalism in Malay Intellectual Discourse
Azhar Ibrahim, Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore, Singapore

1045 – 1130AM Q&A
1130 – 1200 Noon

Session II

The Ummatic Approach To Communication: A Cross-Cultural Encounter Between The West And The Rest.
Andi Faisal Bakti, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta

1200 – 1230 Noon Q&A
1230 – 230PM Lunch
230 – 300PM

Session III

From Orientalism to Islamophobia: Contemporary Issues and Challenges
Dr. Leon Moosavi, University of Liverpool, UK

300 – 330PM Q&A
330 – 400PM

Session IV

The Said and Unsaid: The Grammar of Visual Imperialism
Noraini Md Yusof and Esmaeil Zeiny, National University of Malaysia, Bangi

400-500PM Q&A
500PM Tea


May 24 (Sunday)

1000 – 1015AM Opening speech by Prof Syed Farid Alatas
1015– 1045AM

Session V

Reverse Orientalism: National Poet of Albania Naim Frasheri (1846-1900)
Ali Akbar Ziaei, Ferdowsi Institute, Kuala Lumpur

1045 – 1115AM

Session VI

The Stages and Process of Orientalism in History
Dr Mohammad Hasan Zamani, Vice-Chancellor for International Affairs at Qom Seminary

1115 – 1145AM

Session VII

Beyond Orientalism & Occidentalism: Metaphysics of Nothingness
Fauzi Naeim Mohamed, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

1145 – 1230 Noon Q&A
1230 – 230PM Lunch
230 – 300PM Session VIII

Alternative Re-appropriation of Malcolm X
Field Strategies as Novel Modes of Decentering Eurocentric Social Theory
Seyed Javad Miri, Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran


300 – 330PM Q&A
330 – 400PM

Session IX

Conceptual Imperialism and Academic Dependency: Can We stop Talking about Them?
Syed Farid Alatas, National University of Singapore, Singapore

400 – 500PM Q&A
500PM Tea


Organized by:

  • Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), University of Nottingham Malaysia
  • Campus (UNMC), University of Malaya (UM), National University of Singapore (NUS),
  • Ferdowsi Research and Culture Institute, Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture
  • In cooperation with Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS, UKM)