Discussion Papers

No.634 Imperialism, Islam, and the Transformation of Self——The Pilgrimage of Nacir ed-Dine Dinet(1861–1929)——


March 2017


Orientalist travel writing has often been understood as a literate form of imperial domination in which Western travelers reproduced a stereotyping narrative of non-Westerners to reinforce the dichotomist worldview between Westerners and non-Westerners. To reconsider this view, this paper discusses the Muslim pilgrimage account written by converted French orientalist painter, Nacir ed-Dine, born Étienne Dinet (1861–1929). This paper argues that Dinet saw that the difference which separates Europeans and Muslims was surmountable. This worldview allowed Dinet to have hope for self-transformation, which would ultimately blur the cultural borders between the dominators and the dominated as defined in the colonial context.

Keywords: Orientalism, French Colonialism, Travel Account, Muslim Pilgrimage

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