by KRISTIAN PETERSEN for NEW BOOKS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES on JUNE 2, 2016: 

Edward Said’s 1978 book, Orientalism, dramatically shifted how people think about the production of knowledge and representations of the Other. His ideas have been championed and critiqued with dozens of books expanding his work on the construction of the East in western imagination. However, very rarely have we investigated the dual move of representing the Other and self-representation from the other perspective. In his new book, Arab Occidentalism: Images of America in the Middle East (I.B.Tauris, 2015), Eid Mohamed, Assistant Professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, has undertaken this task.

With great success he offers a portrait of the shifting attitudes towards America and American Culture in the Arab imagination in the post 9/11 media landscape. He found that Arab cultural producers have a complicated relationship with America, seeing it as problematic while also often representative of their own values. Mohamed delineates how this debate unfolds in literature, cinema, and news media. In our conversation we explored the dynamics of Occidentalism through Arabic novels about Egyptians living abroad in the United States, news depictions of the 2008 shoe throwing event with President George W. Bush in Iraq, the reactions to the election of Barack Obama, the Egyptian film industry, and contemporary Arab-American literary products.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH MOHAMED

Continue reading

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary on DECEMBER 21, 2015:

Rashid Khalidi talked with Shai Ginsburg about the role of the historian, his take on violence in the Middle East and his new book project on the hundred year war in Palestine — in this an interview recorded in October 2015 during Khalidi’s visit to Duke. Sponsored by the Duke University Middle East Studies Center, Khalidi’s visit also included a public lecture (Watch Here) and a faculty symposium (see Ginsburg’s remarks here) on his work.

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies in the Department of History at Columbia University. Shai Ginsburg is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University and affiliated faculty with the Duke Islamic Studies Center. Continue reading

via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on SEPTEMBER 19, 2014: 

ISLAMOPHOBIA: GENDER, SEXUALITY AND RACISM

Special Issue of the Islamophobia Studies Journal 

Islamophobia Studies Journal

Abstracts due:           October 10, 2014

Full Articles due:       March 2, 2015

This special issue of Islamophobia Studies Journal (ISJ) aims to generate and circulate new knowledge about the relationship between Islamophobia, gender, sexuality and racism.

It has been over a decade since the mediatization of events on 9-11-2001 created new forms and techniques of Islamophobia and brought along intensified scrutiny of politicized forms of Islam. Across the globe we note interactions between context-specific Islamophobia and its powerful transnational flows from elsewhere. We live in a world of increasing inter-connectedness, such that news, policies, images and practices can travel instantaneously between different sites. And in the current deepening economic crisis, we are witnessing an escalation of migration from postcolonial sites including Muslim-majority countries.

In this context gender, sexuality and race are enlisted in a variety of ways to legitimize and bolster Islamophobic discourses and practices. For instance, under the guise of saving women and queers from Arab and Muslim communities, Islamophobic colonial feminism and more recently imperialist concerns about “the status of homosexuality” has been used to legitimize invasions, occupations, war and destruction. Scholars have addressed some highly publicized examples, such as the occupation of Afghanistan that then U.S. President George W. Bush claimed, with the active support of colonial feminists, as a plan to “free” Afghan women from Afghan men. Islamophobia and Orientalism also guided the manipulation and deployment of queer sexualities in Abu Ghraib. While a plethora of examples abound, the analyses are very few. This project will shift that disconnect by providing a means to understand site-specific as well as transnational phenomena. Continue reading

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN, on JANUARY 10, 2012:

Abdul Sattar Jawad Al Mamouri is a visiting Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies at Duke University, who first came to Duke through the Scholars at Risk program.

Jawad departed Iraq in 2005 following several attempts on his life. Before he left, he was Chair of English and Dean of the College of Arts at  Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and edited an Arabic daily and Iraq’s only English language paper The Baghdad Mirror, which was firebombed by insurgents.

Well-known for his Arabic translation of T.S. Eliot’s 1922 modernist poem The Waste Land, Jawad recently completed a book that examines the influence of Eliot’s poetry on the 1950s Arab Free Verse Movement that began in Baghdad and spread across the Arab world. The book, when published, will include a supplemental CD containing Eliot’s reading of The Waste Land and Jawad’s Arabic translation. Continue reading

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, for ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN on DECEMBER 13, 2012:

Layla Quran (pictured) is a sophomore global studies major at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Palestinian-American who moved to the U.S. from Jerusalem when she was four-years-old.

Last Spring she had the opportunity to join the BorderWork(s) Lab at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) at Duke University where she began an ambitious project — researching the root causes of sectarianism in Iraq.

BorderWork(s) is one of three humanities labs currently running at Duke University. The FHI Humanities Laboratories initiative, supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, began with the Haiti lab in 2010-11, and continued with the launch of BorderWork(s) and GreaterThanGames in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Humanities labs at Duke, which are offered as independent studies or tutorials, put into practice participatory and peer-to-peer learning through a vertically integrated group of undergraduates, graduate assistants and faculty members, and facilitate research across departments. Continue reading