A Civilizing Mission? Music and the Cosmopolitan in Edward Said
Though Edward Said's passionate interest in Western classical music is a well-known aspect of his biography, scholars have largely treated Said's musical writings and activities as peripheral to his intellectual legacy. Through an examination of his extensive writings on music and his intense engagement with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an explicitly political/musical project intended to promote Arab-Israeli collaboration in the context of Western classical performance, this article examines how Said deployed Western classical music as a discursive space on which he could inscribe and celebrate the political and cultural values of his mobile, cosmopolitan upbringing in interwar Cairo. Said's insistence on the universality and political applicability of Western musical forms thus came to represent a mode of relocating a lost form of elite cosmopolitanism as a central aspect of Arab identity and rejecting what he saw as the intolerant, philistine parochialism of the post-war Arab political landscape.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
The content of this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.