Intellectuals as Subjects of Action in the Age of New Humanism
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This chapter primarily examines Said’s formulations on the role and responsibilities of intellectuals mainly against the backdrop of his Representations and Humanism. Examining the politics of worldliness, the chapter proceeds to analyze the notions of nationalism and humanism in Said’s works and connects them to his notions on intellectuals. In an age that announces the “death of the subject” and “the end of history,” Said attempts to recapture a space for the intellectual to represent humanity, truth, and history. Privileging “criticism” always before “solidarity,” Said in a self-reflexive mode demonstrates the constitution of his intellectual subjectivity and specifically elaborates the new role of intellectuals as human subjects of action. The chapter concludes by arguing that Said’s retrieval of New Humanism ultimately reproduces this new human subject of action in the form of a representative intellectual.
KeywordsPolitical Commitment Critical Consciousness Universal Principle Intellectual Work Public Memory
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