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Morocco in Brazilian Culture

Lecture Tangier Global Forum Lecture Series

Waïl S. Hassan

Waïl S. Hassan

If Orientalism is a discourse of Western mastery over the "Orient," as Edward Said argued, what happens when it "travels" to another part of the Global South? What are, for example, the contours of Brazilian Orientalism? If not driven by imperial interests, what are its ideological investments? This lecture tries to answer those questions by focusing on the representation of Morocco and Islam in the highly popular television series O Clone, which began to air on Brazilian television three weeks after the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. The contradictory representation of Morocco as familiar and exotic, at once proximate and alien, tells us something about the paradoxes of Brazilian national identity itself and reveals the tertiary structure of Brazilian Orientalism, in which the East/West divide of Euro-American Orientalism is triangulated in its “southern” variety.


Waïl S. Hassan is Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. A specialist in modern Arabic literature and intellectual history, he is the author of Tayeb Salih: Ideology and the Craft of Fiction (Syracuse, 2003) and Immigrant Narratives: Orientalism and Cultural Translation in Arab American and Arab British Literature (Oxford, 2011). He has co-edited Approaches to Teaching the Works of Naguib Mahfouz (MLA, 2012) and translated Abdelfattah Kilito’s Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language from Arabic into English (Syracuse, 2008) and Alberto Mussa’s Lughz al-qāf from Portuguese into Arabic (Egypt’s National Center for Translation, 2015). His most recent publication is the edited volume, The Oxford Handbook of the Arab Novelistic Traditions (2017), and he is currently writing a book on Arab-Brazilian literature. Hassan is the Vice-President of the American Comparative Literature Association for 2018-2019, to become President in 2019-2020.


Tangier Campus Auditorium
Avenue Abi Chouaib Doukkali
90100 Tangier
Morocco in Brazilian Culture Poster
2:00 PM US EST
Tangier Campus Auditorium

Tangier Campus

Free and open to the public