So as some of you who are following me will vaguely know, I started a PhD in September. The working title of my thesis is ‘The Representation of Muslims as Other in Latin Narrative Accounts of the Crusades, c.1095-c.1192’. Here is a short abstract if you are interested, but feel free to skip it to where I get to the point below:
This thesis will examine the representation of Muslims as Other in Latin accounts of the First, Second and Third Crusades. Christian authors used a variety of methods to emphasise the apartness, dangerousness and inherent inimicality of Muslims. They described them as pagans or heretics, attributing beliefs to them that were gross distortions of Islamic practice or outright fabrications; they associated Islam with magic and the devil; they denigrated Muslim sexual morality and they attributed inhuman cruelty to Muslims. This thesis will draw on a wide range of sources to discover exactly how Muslims were represented by contemporary historians who encountered them as a result of the crusades, and how this varied between individual authors. It will also demonstrate how representations of Islam changed over almost a century of contact with Islam in the Holy Land. By tracking key terms and phrases with digital humanities technology, it will also be determined to what extent the image of Muslims in the West was created by applying older classical, Biblical or Patristic models of non-Muslim Others to them.
So, what I need help with is this: As you can see from
the fact that I have a Tumblr account the abstract, I pretty much know what I mean when I say Other in this context. But I am going to need to develop a more solid theoretical basis for this - even if it just means confirming that the definition I am using is a valid one.
Can anyone recommend me some books or articles which were influential in establishing this use of the word ‘other’ - or even just some that use it and define it well? All I have to go on right now is searching Google Scholar for people who’ve cited Edward Said, and a lot of people have cited Edward Said.
Just to be perfectly clear, my working definition of Othering is ‘the perception or representation of one group as fundamentally alien from another’
So can anyone help, or think their followers might have any suggestions of books I should read?