Orientalism as a concept was first applied to Western colonial views of the East. Subsequently, different types of orientalism were discovered but the premise was that these took their lead from Western-style orientalism, applying it in different circumstances. This book, on the other hand, argues that the diffusion of interpretations and techniques in orientalism was not uni-directional, and that the different orientologies – Western, Soviet and oriental orientologies – were interlocked, in such a way that a change in any one of them affected the others; that the different orientologies did not develop in isolation from each other; and that, importantly, those being orientalised were active, not passive, players in shaping how the views of themselves were developed.

chapter 1|15 pages


Interlocking Orientologies in the Cold War era

chapter 2|31 pages

Orientologies compared

US and Soviet imaginaries of the modern Middle East

chapter 3|37 pages

From tents to citadels

Oriental archaeology and textual studies in Soviet Kazakhstan

chapter 4|36 pages


Madrasa graduates at the Soviet Institute of Oriental Studies

chapter 5|33 pages

Because of our commercial intercourse and … bringing about a better understanding between the two peoples”

A history of Japanese studies in the United States *

chapter 6|17 pages

Competing national Orientalisms

The cases of Belgrade and Sarajevo

chapter 7|41 pages

Propaganda for the East, scholarship for the West

Soviet strategies at the 1960 International Congress of Orientalists in Moscow

chapter 8|22 pages

Encouraging resistance

Paul Henze, the Bennigsen school, and the crisis of détente