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Reinscribing Orientalism: Gendering Modernity in Colonial Malaya

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The conceptual framework of Said's Orientalism has been extensively applied in colonial discourse analysis to reveal the binary oppositions which structure the life world of the colonizer. Said's work, however, is perhaps most suggestive in its illumination of subject formation in colonial modernity in its broadest sense. This paper reads three colonial literary texts by Joseph Conrad, Hugh Clifford and Lim Boon Keng to show how a gendered modern subjectivity created in Orientalist discourse might be refurbished by the colonized, and form the basis for a proto-nationalist subjectivity through the application of the powerful and yet compromised discursive strategy of "auto-Orientalism."

Affiliations: 1: University Scholars Program National University of Singapore


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