Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism

Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics, and Activism

by Nadine Naber


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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, 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. As this struggle continues, these young adults reject Orientalist thought, producing counter-narratives that open up new possibilities for transcending the limitations of Orientalist, imperialist, and conventional nationalist articulations of self, possibilities that ground concepts of religion, family, gender, and sexuality in some of the most urgent issues of our times: immigration politics, racial justice struggles, and U.S. militarism and war.

For more, check out the author-run Facebook page for Arab America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814758878
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 08/17/2012
Series: Nation of Nations , #13
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 834,802
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Nadine Naber is Associate Professor in the Gender and Women's Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is co-editor of Race and Arab Americans (2007) and Arab and Arab American Feminisms (2011).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Articulating Arabness 1

1 From Model Minority to Problem Minority 25

2 The Politics of Cultural Authenticity 63

3 Muslim First, Arab Second 111

4 Dirty Laundry 159

5 Diasporic Fermnist Anti-Imperialism 203

Conclusion: Toward a Diasporic Feminist Critique 247

Notes 255

Bibliography 273

Index 293

About the Author 310

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From the Publisher

Arab America is a vital intervention in the growing field of Arab-American studies. At once an historical overview and an ethnographic study, it portrays a complex picture of activism as it negotiates Arabness in America. Organized around the tensions entailed in living on the hyphen of ‘Arab-American’ identity, the text insightfully highlights the dilemmas of a diaspora in an empire deeply embedded in the Middle East. Naber perceptively engages the feminist call for intersectionality in ways that are productive, dynamic and fresh.”-Ella Shohat,author of Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices

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