2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Orientalism in North Africa: A Case Study of Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup
Callyn N. Burgess
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup (2002) centers on a white South African woman, Julie Summers, who marries a Moroccan Islamic man, Abdu. During the novel, Julie and lives as an outsider in and is shunned by members of Abdu's life, society, and faith. Julie's experiences with Abdu in Morocco display many ideas of Orientalism, which Edward Said explains as the view of the "orient" (the Near East) in the eyes of the "occident" (Europeans and Americans). Her experiences also place her in the role of the outsider or the "other," a societal station foreign to many Europeans, which allows her a greater opportunity to understand Abdu's opinions. After her marriage, Julie attempts assimilation into Moroccan and Islamic cultures and displays the differences in her understanding of her own culture as opposed to other cultures, even Near Eastern cultures with which Europe has strong ties and in which Europe has deep roots.

Keywords: Nadine Gordimer, Orientalism, The Pickup, Edward Said


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 110-4
Location: VH 1320
Time: 8:45

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