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Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics by S. Salaita

By S. Salaita

Utilizing a mixture of literary and social research, this ebook examines a huge diversity of recent Arab American literary fiction and illustrates how a number of socio-political phenomena have affected the improvement of the Arab American novel. Salaita argues that during the U.S. quite a few fictions approximately Arabs and Islam stream often in either well known and educational cultures. He endeavors in flip to spotlight the variations inscribed within the Arab American group that render it extra complicated than as a rule is said in public dialogue, an exercise undertaken via critique of a cross-section of recent Arab American novelists, together with Etel Adnan, Rabih Alameddine, Joseph Geha, and Laila Halaby. Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics is the 1st unique e-book of Arab American literary feedback and gives reflections at the viability of constructing an Arab American Studies. 

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Extra info for Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics

Sample text

There remain questions about whether Arab Americans are best viewed as so-called White ethnics, of the same order as Italians and Greeks, or as proper minorities like Africans, South Asians, and Hispanics. I would argue that to search out inclusions in this sort of taxonomy reinforces ambiguity because the taxonomy has largely been inhospitable and contrived ever since its origin in the juridical imagination of pre-Revolution settlers. The system by which human subjects are assigned placement in racialized hierarchies relies at least partly on the reduction of diverse communities to their imagined or invented essences.

41 Based on this tradition, then, it is not only possible to incorporate political concerns effectively into critiques of literary, cultural, and national traditions; it has, in fact, already been done effectively, just not in the places where Wallen looks (and rightly criticizes), which, with the possible exception of Edward Said’s work, share an association with the institutions long targeted by ethnic critics. Like Wallen, the best of these ethnic critics—Deloria, Alkalimat, Christian, Vizenor, Womack, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Catherine John, Lisa Suhair Majaj, Taiaiake Alfred, Anouar Majid—reject relativism both morally and theoretically.

Though Sollors’s and Hochbruck’s arguments are impeccable logically, they are nevertheless practicable only if we assume that equality has been achieved transethnically in the United States (and in particular in American universities). A scholarly position, in other words, is of limited value when it is isolated within its own logical inhibitions. I would argue that we can still focus on group-by-group approaches without concurrently searching for “groupness”; we can instead search out historical discreteness, which is a different phenomenon altogether.

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