“Ethnic” Food and the Cultural Legacies of Orientalism

Links to this week's readings can be found at: https://linktr.ee/1882WeeklyReadings This week, we're looking at the messy intersections of food and culture with hopes of untangling the ways in which Orientalist tropes often reappear in disguise as multiculturalism. Can food truly act as a space for unproblematic cultural exchange? How can we create a vision of multiculturalism that centers not only the food itself but the people who make it?  Readings: Anthony Bourdain (articles linked above) — In an era in which the hunger for “culturally authentic”…

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07.30: Orientalism, Part II — “Scientific Orientalism”

Notes and questions for Part I of Said's Orientalism can be found here. You can register for our upcoming Book Chats at: https://linktr.ee/1882foundation In Part II of Orientalism, Said continues with his description of the historical underpinnings of Orientalist thinking, shifting his attention to the modern foundations of Orientalism in 18th-century Europe. As Europe / the West progressed technologically, Said explains that Orientalists began viewing Asia as a place which could regenerate Europe spiritually. Orientalism in the 1800s thus introduced a new philosophical development: the Orient as…

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July 23 Weekly Book Chat Update: Notes / Readings on Returning Home

Following last week's discussion of Orientalism, we're shifting our focus to the idea of homeland — as culture, as concept, as a real or imagined place. In an era where xenophobia and racism reign and mass consumption has reduced “culture” to a corporate buzzword, the question we want to focus on this week is: what does a meaningful connection to homeland look like?  “Here on the earth where bones are buried, the question remains: if the birds of history alight by a ritual of body…

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July 16 Weekly Book Chat Update: Notes on “Orientalism”, Chapter I

Our first book for our Weekly Book Chats is Orientalism, by Edward Said. You can find the registration link for the Book Chats here: https://linktr.ee/1882Foundation under "Weekly Book Chat Registration"   Why we chose this book:  Said’s Orientalism paved the way for modern studies of colonialism. Using the term “Orientalism” to refer to depictions and fabrications of the “East” by Western colonial powers such as the late British empire, Said outlined a theory of cultural imperialism, arguing that Western depictions of “Eastern” culture were driven by a false…

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1882 At: The Premiere of “Be Water,” A Documentary About Bruce Lee

“Be Water,” a documentary that chronicles the personal and professional life of Bruce Lee, premiered on Sunday, June 7th. ESPN aired it for “30 for 30,” its 30th anniversary celebration highlighting notable sports happenings covered by the network. The documentary’s symbolic title takes its name from a line of Lee’s poetry: “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water… Be water, my friend.” Water’s fluid state enables it to penetrate barriers and take many shapes. Emulating water, Lee navigated a path into the film…

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Literature Corner Blog: A Little Life

I first picked up A Little Life almost two years ago. The novel follows a group of four men in who originally meet in college into their middle-aged years, and their personal journeys in their respective fields to eventual success. Their friendship is affected greatly by the main character, Jude, who suffers from increasingly severe physical disabilities and has an extremely traumatic past that is slowly revealed to the readers throughout the piece. A Little Life is immensely powerful, and is one of the best novels I have…

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