- See also Wikipedia's article about "Orientalism".
It basically describes the stereotyping of "Eastern" peoples. There are various arguments and interpretations about to what extent and in what circumstances this phenomenon truly takes place, is dangerous, etc. Said's contention is that it both justified and enabled colonialism and latter-day practices that concern the projection of power.
It is a concept that is batted around a lot in humanities classes, especially those in the MEALAC department, but has also been levelled as a charge against various features of campus life, including Cafe East and Cafe Nana.