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Arabs and Muslims in the Media:Race and Representation after 9/11 & Arab America:Gender, Culture Politics, and Activism

Thursday, February 7, 2013
12:00 AM
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library 913 S. University, Ann Arbor

U-M faculty Nadine Naber and Evelyn Alsultany discuss the goal of their respective books and the methodology used, pointing to the different approaches and questions asked in Arab American Studies. Each will read a brief segment from their book, with audience conversation following.

Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11: After 9/11, there was an increase in both the incidence of hate crimes and government policies that targeted Arabs and Muslims and the proliferation of sympathetic portrayals of Arabs and Muslims in the U.S. media. Arabs and Muslims in the Media examines this paradox and investigates the increase of sympathetic images of “the enemy” during the War on Terror. Evelyn Alsultany explains that a new standard in racial and cultural representations emerged out of the multicultural movement of the 1990s that involves balancing a negative representation with a positive one, what she refers to as “simplified complex representations.”

Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism: Arab Americans are one of the most misunderstood segments of the U.S. population, especially after the events of 9/11. In Arab America, Nadine Naber tells the stories of second generation Arab American young adults living in the San Francisco Bay Area, most of whom are political activists engaged in two culturalist movements that draw on the conditions of diaspora, a Muslim global justice and a Leftist Arab movement. Writing from a transnational feminist perspective, Nadine Naber reveals the complex and at times contradictory cultural and political processes through which Arabness is forged in the contemporary United States, and explores the apparently intra-communal cultural concepts of religion, family, gender, and sexuality as the battleground on which Arab American young adults and the looming world of America all wrangle.

Nadine Naber and Evelyn Alsultany