asca-fgw on Tue, 6 Apr 2010 13:26:28 +0200 (CEST)

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A Symposium jointly organised by the Theatre Studies and Musicology Departments, University of Amsterdam
22 April 2010, University Theatre

To mark his 75th birth anniversary, and to ask how different scholars, practitioners, curators and activists respond to the legacy of Edward Said, this symposium seeks to provide a forum for critical dialogue, debate and reflection on various themes that run through his work. These range from the critique of Empire and the questioning of the canonical to the state of the exile and the politics of memory, from irony in literary history to polyphony and counterpoint as tropes of thinking inspired from music.

Said's writings today form a part of the curriculum of several humanities and social science programmes. How do we assess its relevance, and to what extent has Said's thought become an example of his own "travelling theory", in which ideas travel to other times and situations and possibly lose their original force?

His outspoken participation in public debates continues to be of inspiration to human rights and global justice activists as well as journalists. How do we understand the vocation of the intellectual and the interlocutor today? How does location or privilege inform our choice of subjects of engagement?

Said's wide-ranging interests and affinities in the arts are exemplary to artists committed to a sense of public citizenship. How do artists today relate or respond to the canonical, to the idea of masterpieces, which played a contradictory but important role in Said's own writings?

The symposium would like to bring together critical perspectives on Said emerging from academics, activism and art and in doing so, interrogate the possibilities of connecting these three areas in our own practices.

The symposium is free and open to all.
Kindly register before 16 April 2010 by sending an email to

Further information: Sruti Bala (

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