I begin with what seems to be cliche in academic post- colonialism. In 1978 Edward W. Said published his epochal work Orientalism. Said describes Orientalism as a "style of thought based upon an ontological and epistemological distinction made between "the Orient" and (most of the time) The "Occident". He goes further to explain that Orientalism is the way in which the "Occident" interacts with the "Orient". This sounds very simple but these interactions come to form an expansive nexus of ideas, texts, discourses, policies, subjects, etcetera. It is all of these ways in which the Occident relates itself to the Orient and seeks to have the Orient for itself(and production).
"feel[ing] oneself as a European in command, almost at will, of Oriental history, time, and geography"
"to institute new areas of specialization; to establish new disciplines; to divide, deploy, schematize, tabulate, index, and record everything in sight(and out of sight); to make out of every observable detail a generalization and out of every generalization an immutable law about Oriental nature, temperament, mentality, custom, or type;"
" It is common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle east, as if ancient societies and myriads of people can be shake up like so many peanuts in a jar"