Arab American Studies Association

Call for Papers for a special issue of Amerasia

Arab/Americas: Locations and Iterations

In her introduction to her path-breaking book, Bint Arab, Evelyn Shakir notes that most of the Arab immigrants and children of immigrants of her generation from the 1910s and 1920s called themselves “Syrian,” then repackaged themselves as “Lebanese” in the 1940s, only to recast themselves in the 1960s as “Arabs.” This special issue of Amerasia aims to explore the multiplicity of ways that the category “Arab American” is conceptualized, voiced, elided, or ignored. Specifically, it encourages attention to the multiplicity of ways that Arabness is expressed, mobilized, and disavowed in different Asian American and American contexts, whether political, social, artistic, or legal, and we wish to consider ways in which “Arabness” is configured at different times and in different places across the Americas, including how “Arabness” is configured in relation to “Asianness” in the Americas.

From early twentieth century assertions of the whiteness of Syrians in the United States and Latin America to the most recent racialization and conflation of Arabs and Muslims in the United States, Arabness is at times vilified, at times ignored, but also, and sometimes simultaneously, envisioned in heterogeneous and creative ways. Whether in the locally-inflected Midwest of Mohja Kahf’s work, the Québécois of Abla Farhoud’s plays, or the Brazilian framework of Alberto Mussa’s novels, Arabness is variously articulated and located, sometimes in a mythical or mystical past, sometimes within geographical or cultural boundaries, and at times imbricated in highly localized spaces such as the Brooklyn of Suheir Hammad’s poems. Identifications with Arabness have also aligned with Asian American organizing in interesting and under-theorized ways, most notably around issues of exclusion, internment, and citizenship.

This special issue of Amerasia asks: How have Arab Americans articulated their own visions of America/Amreeka, of Arab locales, and of themselves in relation to others?  How are the dominant images of Arabness subverted and redirected during moments of heightened Islamophobia and global Orientalism, and how do these strategies draw on, ignore, or reconfigure previous iterations of Arabness in relation to others, particularly Asians, in America? What new insights can be revealed by placing Arab American Studies in relation to Asian American Studies?

We encourage submissions that explore these questions from historical, sociological, literary and interdisciplinary perspectives. We are particularly interested in new approaches to archival material informed by transnational, race, religion, queer, and feminist studies, as well as critical insights into creative expressions, whether in cinema, literature, or art.


Submission Guidelines and Review Process:

The guest editors, in consultation with the Amerasia Journal editors and peer reviewers, make the decisions on which submissions will be included in the special issue. The process is as follows:

  • Initial review of submitted papers by guest editors and Amerasia Journal editorial staff
  • Papers approved by editors will undergo blind peer review
  • Revision of accepted peer‐reviewed papers and final submission.
  • Publication of papers in April, 2018

All correspondences should refer to “Amerasia Journal Arab/Americas Issue” in the subject line. Please send inquiries and manuscripts to Dr. Sarah  Gualtieri (, Dr. Pauline Homsi Vinson ( and Dr. Arnold Pan, Associate Editor (

Action Alert: MENA Census Category

The OMB has published a Federal Register Notice calling for public comments on the proposal to add a MENA category. The deadline for public comments is April 30th, 2017After of decades of work, this is an exciting breakthrough! 
We are providing sample language here: MENA Action Alert 4.12.17. Please read through it, draft your comment, and sent it to

AMEWS Book Award Now Accepting Nominations!

AMEWS is now taking nominations for it’s annual AMEWS Book Award. Information on the award can be found on their website here:

AANM Travel Grant Application Open

The Arab American National Museum’s summer research travel grant is accepting applications. Deadline: April 14

All information about the grant and application process can be found here:

TODAY: Waypoints and Watersheds at UM-Dearborn Social Sciences Building room 1500 SSB

Waypoints and Watersheds begins at 5pm today! Join us on UM-Dearborn’s campus in the Social Sciences Building, room 1500 SSB. The full schedule can be found here.




Join us for Waypoints and Watersheds THIS WEEKEND

Waypoints and Watersheds starts on Friday, and we would love for you to join us! The schedule is here, and registration is here.



AASA is helping to challenge the latest Muslim ban

We are joining the ACRL and the ACLU of Michigan’s lawsuit. Read more here.

Members affected by the executive order should contact the board here.

AASA is joining the ACLU of Michigan in challenging Trump’s newest Muslim ban

The Arab American Studies Association has signed on as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan and the Arab-American Civil Rights League.

The ban limits our ability to function as an organization in a variety of ways. We will be unable to mentor new scholars from affected countries, or to recruit them into our academic programs. Scholars from the affected countries will be unable to attend our conferences, and we would be unable to consider holding an academic conference outside the US, as members without citizenship or permanent residency would be unable to attend. Further, members who are not US citizens or permanent residents cannot conduct transnational research, which is an integral part of our field. Beyond issues of scholarship, though, as researchers who understand that transnational ties are important to the immigrant experience, we recognize that this ban has the potential to negatively impact those personal relationships.

We are especially interested in hearing from members who are nationals of the six banned countries or who have been affected tangentially by the ban. Please contact us at

You can read more about the lawsuit here.


Join us for Waypoints and Watersheds!

AASA’s conference will be held March 24-26 in Dearborn, MI. Please join us for this triennial convening of Arab American scholars as we share the latest scholarship in the field and hear from a roundtable of Arab American activists. Most meals are included, and Saturday night will feature DJ Salar Ansari. Check out the schedule here, and register here.


Deadline Extended for AASA Travel Stipends

The deadline for  Arab American Studies Association Travel Stipends has been extended to Monday, February 21, 2017.

Travel stipends of up to $250 will be awarded to qualified candidates to participate in the 2017 AASA conference in Dearborn, “Waypoints and Watersheds: Arab American Activism and Memories, A Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 War.” The funds may be used to cover travel, lodging, and other related expenses.

For more information: 2017-aasa-travel-stipend