Dirasat: Human and Social Sciences

From 2000 to 2018

ISSN 1026-3721

Dirasat: Human and Social Sciences is an open access, peer-reviewed and refereed journal published by The University of Jordan. The main objective of the journal is to provide an intellectual platform for all scholars from Jordanian and international universities. Dirast: Human and Social Sciences journal articles are indexed in SCOPUS, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. The journal is developing to become one of the leading journals for humanities and social sciences in the region.

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Orientalist Discourse in John Updike’s The Coup: A Saidian/ Foucauldian Perspective


This paper attempts to examine the Orientalist overtones of John Updike’s novel The Coup (1978) within the framework of Edward Said’s Orientalism (2003) and in light of Michel Foucault’s theory of power and knowledge. The methodology of this research involves a textual analysis of the novel whereby significant passages from The Coup are scrutinized with regard to the following ideas: Orientalism as a political discourse, the East / West dichotomy, the distortion of Islam, free-flowing power and the role of the author. Emphasis is placed on the novel’s Orientalist nuances and its misrepresentation of Islam, as well as the implications of the novel’s Orientalism in embodying the notions of power, truth, hegemony, and the seemingly authoritative stance of the author. Thus, the significance of this research is twofold; at one level it embarks upon a practical application of the theories of Said and Foucault to a literary work. At another level, it offers a new perspective on Updike’s novel, thereby disclosing the underlying anti-Islamic currents rippling throughout The Coup. Such a discursive analysis of the novel ties in formidably with the Islamophobia rampant throughout today’s Western world.


Layla F. Abdeen , Muna M. Abd-Rabbo


Updike, Said, Foucault, Orientalism, The Coup, Discourse.