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Between the Middle East and the Americas : The Cultural Politics of Diaspora

ISBN: 9780472069446 | 0472069446
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Michigan Pr
Pub. Date: 3/30/2013

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What discourses are produced about the "Middle East" by those from the outside? Between the Middle East and the Americastakes a transnational cultural studies approach to examining the different and contradictory significations of the Middle East in North America, South America, and Europe within a cross-cultural perspective. Coming from different cultural sites in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Denmark, and France, and addressing a wide range of themes, these essays point to an assemblage of meanings that shift depending on the historical moment and geographic/cultural context. They illuminate a contradictory field of meaning, one where Muslims can be figured as terrorists in the dominant discourse of the United States, or as corrupt businessmen in that of Latin America, yet where such dominant discourses can also be challenged, for example, by Arab American hip hop or by Arab Chilean media. Alsultany, Shohat, and their contributors engage the question of "cultural politics" or "the politics of culture" to unravel the ways in which identities become sites of contestation in the context of national narratives and transnational cultural flows. This collection also challenges the area studies model in which each geographical area is examined within the confines of its borders, proposing a shift from area studies to both inter-area studies and transnational studies. Transcending a nation-state approach, the book aims to begin a transnational conversation about the production of discourses of Middle Eastern identities across time and space.


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