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

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compiled by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, TIRN on APRIL 29, 2014:  

The following are the intros to Joseph Richard Preville’s seven latest “By the Book” Q & As; published from January 2014  through April 2014 on ISLAMiCommentary. Happy Reading! 

Column » ‘By the Book’ with Joseph Preville

bookcover.religionoutloudQ & A With Isaac Weiner on “Religion Out Loud: Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism” (NYU Press, 2014)

The free exercise of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But, what happens when religion becomes noisy or offensive to the ear? What happens when religion sounds “out of place”? Isaac Weiner explores these issues in his splendid new book, Religion Out Loud: Religious Sound, Public Space, and American Pluralism (NYU Press, 2014). Weiner’s objective is to analyze “the politics of religious pluralism in the United States by attending to disputes about religious sound in the public realm.” He states that his book “listens to Americans complain about religion as noise.”

Isaac Weiner is Assistant Professor of Religion and Culture in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University. He was educated at Yale University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Religion Out Loud is Weiner’s first book. His scholarly work has appeared in Anthropological Quarterly, Religion Compass and Material Religion.

In Religion Out Loud, Weiner takes a detailed look at three major disputes regarding religious sound and noise: 1) Harrison v. St. Mark’s Church, Philadelphia (1877), involving the ringing of church bells at a Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2) Saia v. New York (1948) on the use of loudspeakers by Jehovah’s Witnesses to broadcast religious lectures in Lockport, New York, and 3) the petition of al-Islah Islamic Center to the city council of Hamtramck, Michigan (2004) for permission to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. Weiner states that these three case studies “make evident how central sound has been to the ongoing project of demarcating religion’s proper place in American society.”

Isaac Weiner discusses his new book in this exclusive interview. READ INTERVIEW Continue reading

via UC BERKELEY on APRIL 3, 2014: 

2014 Theme: Latent and Manifest Islamophobia: Multimodal Engagements with the Production of Knowledge (WATCH LIVE HERE; APRIL 18 session begins at  9am PACIFIC TIME)

 

Join us free of charge for the Fifth Annual International Islamophobia Conference April 17-19, 2014 on the legendary Berkeley campus, the location with a reputation for activism and for challenging ideas and authority. The focus of the conference will be Islamophobia: a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure which rationalizes the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise). The concept of Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended. Continue reading

Omid Safi

by OMID SAFI for JADALIYYA on JANUARY 31, 2014: 

I have been asked to share my impressions about the state of Islamic studies in the North American academy. Given that the pioneers of this field include many of my mentors, and many of my own peers have struggled for years to help advance the field to its current state, my observations will not be dispassionate. And since I have been fortunate to have a front-row seat along the development of the field over the last twenty years, I hope I’ll be able to do justice to the current state of the field.

I became a graduate student in the field of Islamic studies in the early 1990s. In those days, almost all of us were “converts”: no one went to undergraduate studies planning to become a professor of Islamic studies. For many, particularly Muslims of transnational background, the usual academic caste options were the familiar: doctor, lawyer, engineer, maybe the always dubious “business.” Almost all of us who entered the field did so by following the siren call of one mentor or another: Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Hamid Algar, Roy Mottahedeh, Bruce Lawrence, Vincent Cornell, Carl Ernst, Michael Sells, Annemarie Schimmel, and a few others. Continue reading

via AMERICAN UNIVERSITY BEIRUT’S CENTER FOR AMERICAN STUDIES AND RESEARCH on NOVEMBER 12, 2013:

Tonight the American University Beirut’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research is holding a book launch on their campus in Beirut, Lebanon for Najla Said and her new book “Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab American Family.” Here is a description of the book.

The daughter of a prominent Palestinian father and a sophisticated Lebanese mother, Najla Said grew up in New York City, confused and conflicted about her cultural identity. Said knew that her parents identified deeply with their homelands, but growing up in a Manhattan world that was defined largely by class and ethnicity, she felt unsure about who she was supposed to be, and was often in denial of the differences she sensed between her family and those around her. The fact that her father was the famous intellectual and outspoken Palestinian advocate Edward Said only made things more complicated. Continue reading