By S. Salaita
Utilizing a mixture of literary and social research, this ebook examines a huge diversity of contemporary Arab American literary fiction and illustrates how a number of socio-political phenomena have affected the advance of the Arab American novel. Salaita argues that during the USA quite a few fictions approximately Arabs and Islam movement often in either well known and educational cultures. He endeavors in flip to spotlight the variations inscribed within the Arab American group that render it extra advanced than often is stated in public dialogue, an undertaking undertaken via critique of a cross-section of contemporary Arab American novelists, together with Etel Adnan, Rabih Alameddine, Joseph Geha, and Laila Halaby. Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics is the 1st unique ebook of Arab American literary feedback and provides reflections at the viability of constructing an Arab American Studies.
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Additional info for Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics (American Literature Readings in the Twenty-First Century)
An approach centered exclusively on Arabs will likely concentrate on the ethnonationalistic characteristics of its subject matter, in this case communities originating from Arabic-speaking nations. An Arab-centric approach, on the other hand, explores communities originating from Arabicspeaking nations in a foundational capacity; that is, with the recognition that communities partake of complex human interplay always worth serious attention. An Arab-centric approach also assumes that communities originating from Arabic-speaking nations merit placement in academic hierarchies and, more immediately, in discussions about the multicultural demography of North America.
Stubbs’s consignment of Arab Americans to a position in which we symbolize enduring racism is worthwhile on numerous levels. As an intellectual referent, it allows us to situate Arab America in precise historical spaces. As a moral proposition, it demands that we interrogate the commonsensical assumptions that foster racism in the United States. As a legal observation, it urges us to confront the discrimination inherent in the interpretation of existing laws and in the creation of new ones. Yet this position does not constitute a satisfactory representation of Arab America, or even of how anti-Arab racism functions legally and sociopolitically.
I am reminded of an Egyptian friend of mine of dark complexion who in the course of a traffic stop was subjected to an identity screening because the police officer who had pulled him over couldn’t reconcile his appearance with his legal classification as White. The point that arises from this example—beyond the utterly arbitrary nature of legalized racial identities—is something of a warning: no matter where people conceptualize Arab Americans in the tapestry of long-standing ethnic taxonomies, we might avoid pressing for systematic answers when the system itself renders them impossible and explore instead the extent to which Arab American racialization has become a de facto reality in the modern United States.
Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics (American Literature Readings in the Twenty-First Century) by S. Salaita