Waiting for the Barbarians: A Tribute to Edward W. Said

A fascinating collection of writings on the influential literary critic and political campaigner.
Bringing together some of the figures most closely associated with Edward Said and his scholarship, Waiting for the Barbarians looks at Said the public intellectual and literary critic, and his political and intellectual legacy: the future through the lens of his work.
With contributions by Meltem Ahiska, Tuncay Birkan, Timothy Brennan, Harry Harootunian, Rashid Khalidi, Elias Khoury, Saree Makdisi, Mahmood Mamdani, Joseph Massad, Karma Nabulsi, Jacqueline Rose, Raja Shehadeh, Fawwaz Traboulsi, and Gauri Viswanathan


  • “Edward Said’s anger against injustice must become ours, and his pen that challenged the sword must become our weapon in the battle for human values.”
  • “A frequently interesting collection of essays.”


  • Explaining the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Key facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been thrust back into a wider public limelight, due to the news that actress Scarlett Johansson has left her role as an Oxfam ambassador. The split comes after criticism over her decision to promote Sodastream, the drinks company which operates out of a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam opposes all trade with groups based in Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, creating a confict which has caused a serious rift between the humanitarian group and its celebrity supporter.

    "Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," said a statement this week. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

    Vijay Prashad
    has written in the Guardian that Johansson's involvement with Sodastream brings much-needed scrutiny to illegal settlement activity and wider Western support for Israel. Once again we see that his is an issue that is not going to go away any time soon.

    These are Verso's key books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, from explanations to considered outcomes – what others should we include?

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  • Paying tribute to Edward W. Said

    September 25th 2013, marks ten years since the passing of prolific Palestinian scholar, public intellectual, professor and activist Edward W. Said.  Perhaps best known for his groundbreaking 1978 book Orientalism, Said's scholarship and thought was also deeply focused on creating and articulating new modes of approaching and interpreting the question of Palestine.  

    In the wake of Said's death, longtime friend Tariq Ali wrote:

    With his death, the Palestinian nation has lost its most articulate voice in the Northern hemisphere, a world where, by and large, the continuous suffering of the Palestinians is ignored. 

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