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Extended Deadline of September 30
Guest Editors: Dr. Sarah Gualtieri (USC) and Dr. Pauline Homsi Vinson (Diablo Valley College)
Publication Date: Spring 2018
Paper submissions (6,000 – 7,000 words, inclusive of endnotes) now due September 30, 2017
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.
PLEASE SUBMIT PAPERS BY September 30, 2017
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
Dr. Jack Shaheen Established an Entire Field of Study
July 11, 2017
My personal experience with Dr. Shaheen is a testament to his generosity and kindness as a scholar and mentor as well as his accomplishments and legacy for the field of Arab American Media Studies.
This narrative itself emerges from a moment during one of two interviews I was fortunate enough to conduct with Dr. Shaheen, once via Skype at an Arab American Civil Rights conference in Dearborn, Michigan, organized by the National Network of Arab American Communities in 2015, and once at the University of Michigan in 2016.
Towards the end of the 2015 interview, I asked him if there was something he wanted to discuss that we hadn’t covered. He smiled and said: “Tell them how we met.” So, let me tell you how we met and how he became such an important figure for me and for the field. My connection with Dr. Shaheen began when I applied in 2003 for the Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship Award, which I learned about from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The scholarship supports Arab American students working in media or communication.
At the time, I was a graduate student, having started a Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1999 with the goal of studying the field of Arab and Muslim American Studies and putting these groups in conversation with U.S. race and ethnic studies, an unusual undertaking at the time given the common assumption that Arabs and Muslims were to be studied outside of the U.S. context.
After 9/11, my research began to focus on the politics of media representations. Doing my research, I discovered that while little had been written on representations of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media, two ground-breaking books — both by Dr. Shaheen — had laid what would become the foundation for the field of Arab American Media Studies. In The TV Arab, published in 1984, Dr. Shaheen examined police dramas, sit-coms, and documentaries — more than 100 different popular entertainment programs, on network, independent and public channels in the mid-1970s. He revealed four basic myths about Arabs: they were stereotyped as being fabulously wealthy, barbaric and uncultured, sex maniacs with a penchant for white slavery, and reveling in acts of terrorism. In Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People, published in 2001, Dr. Shaheen documented in alphabetical order virtually every Hollywood film that has depicted or referenced Arabs — almost 1,000 films between 1896 and 2001. Yes, he had watched every single one of them — I asked him once. He showed that according to Hollywood, Arab men were “brute murderers, sleazy rapists, religious fanatics, oil-rich dimwits, and abusers of women.” The Arab man on screen usually had a black beard, wore a headdress and dark sunglasses, and had a limousine, harem girls, oil wells or camels in the background. Alternately, he brandished an automatic weapon, prayed to Allah and then committed an act of senseless terrorism. Arab women were usually harem girls, belly dancers, oppressed, veiled women, and, occasionally, terrorists. Out of these 1,000 films, he characterized approximately 50 as evenhanded and only 12 as containing positive representations of Arabs. In this encyclopedic work, he revealed Hollywood’s systematic, pervasive, and unapologetic degradation and dehumanization of an entire people. Reel Bad Arabs, the book, became a documentary film in 2006. It’s a fantastic educational tool that I use in the classroom every year.
I did not get that scholarship, but received a handwritten note in the mail from Dr. Shaheen — yes, a handwritten note. He explained that I deserved the scholarship but did not receive it because I was not majoring in mass communications or media studies and therefore was not eligible for the award. In this kind note, an early sign of his generosity, he also wrote, “If in any way I can assist with the dissertation, please call on me,” and gave me his phone number.
Shortly thereafter, Dr. Shaheen traveled to San Francisco, where we met for the first time; we remained in regular contact ever since. He became a mentor, advising me on research, sending relevant opportunities my way, and always reminding me to enjoy life. Over the years, it became apparent that he loved meeting students and discussing with them all the latest films and TV shows that depicted Arabs and Muslims. He also loved mentoring young people in the field and helping them network.
I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Shaheen on a project. From 2007-2010, I worked with him when he served as a consultant on the Reclaiming Identity: Dismantling Arab Stereotypes online exhibit at the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, for which I served as the guest curator. His expertise in the area was invaluable to the exhibit, and it was a privilege to work with him.
In 2012, nine years after our first communication, Dr. Shaheen recognized me for my work in the field through the Jack G. and Bernice Shaheen Achievement Award, presented at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee annual convention. This moment brought me full circle to that first moment of communication between us. It is an understatement to say that that Dr. Shaheen’s work has been foundational and inspirational to my own and that he is an icon in the field. He provided the foundation for everyone who works on media representations of Arabs and Muslims. It is not possible to write or teach about representations of Arabs or Muslims in the U.S. without his meticulously documented research.
Over the last four decades, Shaheen has created an archive of materials that is housed at the New York University library. The Jack G. Shaheen Archive contains nearly 3,000 moving images, including motion pictures, cartoons, newsreels, and televisions programs, as well as editorial cartoons, advertisements, books, magazines, comic books, toys, and games featuring anti-Arab and anti-Muslim depictions, an incredible resource for researchers. The archive also includes notes on films for which he served as a consultant (e.g. Three Kings, Syriana) and legal cases for which he served as an expert witness. It also contains letters he wrote to television and film producers to make them aware of the stereotypes they were perpetuating, along with some of the responses he received. When I visited this archive, I was overwhelmed by this evidence of his energy and advocacy. In the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, he was a lone force directly taking on the news media for perpetuating stereotypes, and seeking to raise awareness, one letter at a time, and then, one op-ed at a time. In 2008, he published his book, Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11, in which he examined more than 100 movies released after 9/11. He noted that while about a third of these films contain more positive representations of Arabs, many films also rehash the same old stereotypes.
Dr. Shaheen’s legacy of raising awareness of damaging stereotypes is awe inspiring. He traveled the world lecturing, writing articles and op-eds, including more than 300 essays featured in outlets such as Newsweek and The Washington Post as well as in college textbooks. He gave more than 1,000 lectures in nearly all the 50 states and on three continents. He appeared on national network programs such as CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN, Good Morning America, 48 Hours, and The Today Show. He received numerous awards throughout his life. I had the good fortune of being present when he was recognized as Arab American of the Year by the community nonprofit organization, ACCESS in 2015. When Dr. Shaheen was to come to the University of Michigan in April 2016, I called him ahead of time to prepare for the interview, but he said that he did not want to know the questions in advance. When I said, “I am thinking that I will ask you about …,” he quickly cut me off with an emphatic “No! Don’t tell me!” He wanted to be in the moment, unrehearsed, and kept on his toes.
Students and colleagues loved meeting him and were struck by his dedication to challenging stereotypes and his incredible warmth and generosity — not to mention his promptness with a good joke. I will remember him for his unyielding dedication and tireless advocacy for Arab and Muslim civil rights — just two weeks ago, he was considering doing a podcast series. I will remember him for his kindness and sound advice. I will remember him for the incredible legacy he has left behind in his books, film, archive, publications, and lectures. I will remember him for his message that stereotypes dehumanize people, that it is important not to remain silent, and that it is possible to create a more just world.
Evelyn Alsultany is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor in the Department of American Culture and Director of Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11 (2012). She is guest curator of the Arab American National Museum’s online exhibit, Reclaiming Identity: Dismantling Arab Stereotypes. More recently, she collaborated with colleagues at other universities to create the #IslamophobiaIsRacism Online Syllabus to support others in teaching and learning about Islamophobia. In 2012, she was honored with a Jack G. and Bernice Shaheen Achievement Award.
Originally posted at Arab Stereotypes.
I write to invite your submission to the American Sociological Association’s 112th Annual Meeting in Montreal, Quebec on August 12-15, 2017.
I will serve as chair for the Regular Session on “Arabs and Arab Americans.” This session appears on the program at the ASA Annual Meeting only every other year. Please take advantage of this opportunity by submitting your work to this session, and please encourage others to do so as well.
Submissions for the 2017 program must be made via the online system which opened on November 1, 2016. The deadline is Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 3:00pm Eastern Time. Please find details on submission requirements and the online submission system at http://www.asanet.org/annual-meeting-2017/2017-call-papers-policies/.
This is an unusually important year for the Arabs and Arab Americans session. The theme for the conference, “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe,” fits all too well with renewed concerns for Arab and Arab American communities. The recent successes for anti-immigrant and Islamophobic policies in the United States, Canada, and various European countries have occurred amidst the continuing fallout of wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Arab world. Despite these pressing political concerns, this session must also explore all of the dynamic issues of importance to these communities including culture, economics, health, and more.
The session will aim to reflect the theme of the conference as a whole, but papers may address any issue relevant to the study of Arabs and Arab Americans.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about your submission at email@example.com. The ASA requires a 15-35 page draft paper by January 11, but please keep in mind that draft / working papers need not be final on that date.
General information about the 2017 ASA Annual Meeting can be found at http://www.asanet.org/annual-meeting/2017-annual-meeting/. The theme is reprinted below.
Theme: “Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe”
Rising inequality has brought the unequal distribution of material resources to the center of political debates in the United States and Europe. Social scientists routinely mobilize their deep knowledge of the structures of economic inequality to inform decision-making and conversations in the public sphere. Yet our understanding of the cultural dimensions of inequality lags far behind, despite the omnipresence and the urgency of cultural polarizations as manifested in anti-immigration rhetoric, international refugee crises, domestic racial confrontation, and increased class segregation. The 112thAnnual Meeting of the American Sociological Association will make its central goal the improvement of our understanding of the nexus of culture, inequalities, and group boundaries in order to promote greater social inclusion and resilience, collective well-being, and solidarity in the United States and globally.
The Khayrallah Center is undertaking a collaborative digital humanities project that aims to narrate the history of Middle East migration through data collection, mapping, and visualization. If you are interested in contributing, please see the CFP here. The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 12, 2017.
PARC NEH/FPIRI Research Fellowship
PARC is pleased to announce its fifth National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship Program at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI) competition for post-doctoral scholars conducting field-based research in Palestine in the humanities or research with a humanistic approach. The program is open to U.S. citizen scholars and scholars who have been resident in the U.S. for the last three years. (U.S. citizens do not have to be living in the U.S. to be eligible.) Applications are due January 16, 2017. For more details about the NEH/FPIRI Program, please see our website: http://parc-us-pal.org.
PARC U.S. Research Fellowship
PARC is pleased to announce its 18th annual U.S. fellowship competition for doctoral and post-doctoral field-based research on Palestine to take place in Palestine, Jordan or Lebanon. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. All fields of study will be considered. Applications are due January 9, 2017. For more details about the U.S. Fellowship Program, please see our website: http://parc-us-pal.org.
PARC Faculty Development Seminar
PARC is pleased to announce its eighth annual Faculty Development Seminar (FDS). This 12-day travel seminar is for U.S. faculty members with a demonstrated interest in, but little travel experience to, Palestine. The seminar is open to professors from all fields of study. Professors from Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges are especially encouraged to apply. Applications are due January 12, 2017. For more details about the FDS, please see our website: http://parc-us-pal.org.
The Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada invites applications for a joint-appointed, tenure track assistant professor position in Feminist, Gender and/or Sexuality Studies with an emphasis on Social Justice. The successful candidate will hold a joint appointed position in the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies as well as either the Department of Sociology or the Department of Political Science, according to their profile. Candidates must demonstrate outstanding research potential and publication records, a record of graduate training in the disciplines of Sociology or Political Science and Women’s/Gender Studies, substantial and relevant teaching experience or potential, and a strong commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry and the support of diverse intellectual communities. We seek candidates who value diversity and whose research, teaching and service bear this out.
The hiring committee welcomes applications from qualified candidates working in critical approaches to intersectionality and social justice. We particularly welcome candidates whose work addresses any of the following areas: indigenous studies, postcolonial studies, race and/or ethnicity, disability, trans* studies, sexuality and queer research, social inequalities or social movements.
In addition to developing courses in their areas of expertise, the successful candidate will teach a variety of core courses in IGSF’s teaching program including introductory courses such as GSFS 200 Feminist and Social Justice Studies or GSFS 250 Sexual and Gender Diversity Studies, and in the sociology or political science departments at both the graduate and undergraduate level; supervise students and contribute to the intellectual life of the university.
Applicants must have a PhD in hand at the time of appointment. The appointment begins 1 August 2017. Inquiries about this position can be sent to IGSFhire@mcgill.ca to the attention of Alanna Thain, Director, IGSF, McGill University
Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, evidence of teaching experience and effectiveness (for example: summaries of teaching evaluations, sample course syllabi, courses as instructor or teaching assistant, etc.; three pages max) and a writing sample (20-30 pages). The committee will begin reviewing applications on 10 December, 2016; applications received after that date may not receive full consideration. All materials, including referees’ letters of recommendation, must be submitted electronically to https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/8366.
Knowledge of French would be an asset for this position.
McGill University is committed to diversity and equity in employment. It welcomes applications from: women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
For further information:
The Center for Engaged Scholarship is an organization that was created by social scientists who want the United States to be a more democratic, more egalitarian, and more environmentally sustainable society. The center is offering dissertation fellowships of $25,000 to support graduate students whose research advances progressive values. The center is accepting applications from Ph.D students in the social sciences who have already completed all departmental and institutional requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including approval of the dissertation proposal. The only requirement not completed must be the writing and where required, the defense, of the dissertation.
The following areas of study apply: anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, social psychology, sociology. Work inspired by these disciplines carried out in interdisciplinary programs such as ethnic studies, women’s studies, or American studies is also accepted.
This fellowship opportunity is open to undocumented students. The Center for Engaged Scholarship fellowships are open to all Ph.D students who meet the fellowship qualifications, as long as they are enrolled in a U.S. Ph.D program. This includes foreign nationals and undocumented individuals.
The deadline to apply is December 15, 2016
For more information and to apply, please visit their official website: Center for Engaged Scholarship
Please join us on Thursday, November 17th, 2017 for our annual Members Meeting at 6:30 followed by a special reception to honor Elaine Hagopian at 7:30 PM.
Salon C, Copley Marriot.
- Members meeting: 6:30 PM
- Reception: 7:30 PM
See you there!
New Book Wins AWP Grace Paley Award for Fiction; New from UMass Press
The 2014 winner of the Grace Paley Award is A Curious Land, by Susan Muaddi Darraj. This short story collection about the inhabitants of a Palestinian West Bank village, Tel al-Hilou, spans generations and continents to explore ideas of memory, belonging, connection, and, ultimately, the deepest and richest meaning of home. A Curious Land gives voice to the experiences of Palestinians in the last century.
BookList called it “A superb collection and a perfect selection for public libraries.”
Randa Jarrar described it as “A gorgeous book encompassing a century’s worth of Palestinian and Palestinian-American stories. Chatty, generous, and often hilarious, this book is full of characters you won’t want to leave behind.”
Available for order at http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/curious-land
Susan Muaddi Darraj
The Arab American Youth Study
- Are you or your parents from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt or Palestine?
- Are you between the ages of 18 – 25?
- Do you read/write/speak English?
If so, you may be eligible to take part in a voluntary research study exploring the meanings of the Arab identity, communication with parents, and relationships!
You can either take part of filling a survey ($20 gift card) or take part of focus groups discussions ($45 gift card).
For more information or to enroll in the study, please contact Dr. Sarah Abboud: 215-746-8817 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your participation is greatly needed and appreciated!