Article d’Arno Schmitt paru dans Public Culture, Vol. 15, No 3, Fall 2003, p. 587-591.
Joseph Massad’s article “Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World” (Public Culture 14 [spring 2002]: 361–85) is a strange concoction. Although ostensibly against the Gay International (GI) and its view that always and everywhere there are gays waiting to be freed by U.S. organizations, Massad attacks scholars who oppose this assumption. To justify his attacks he distorts our writings.
In his sharply debated book, (1) Edward Said introduces us to the subject of ‘Orientalism’ through a broadly historical perspective which situates Europe’s interest in the Orient within the context of the general historical expansion of modern bourgeois Europe outside its traditional confines and at the expense of the rest of the world in the form of its subjugation, pillage, and exploitation. In this sense Orientalism may be seen as a complex and growing phenomenon deriving from the overall historical trend of modern European expansion and involving: a whole set of progressively expanding institutions, a created and cumulative body of theory and practice, a suitable ideological superstructure with an apparatus of complicated assumptions, beliefs, images, literary productions, and rationalisations (not to mention the underlying foundation of commercial, economic and strategic vital interests). I shall call this phenomenon Institutional Orientalism.