Jadaliyya speaks with ‘Between the Middle East and the Americas’ editors Evelyn Asultany and Ella Shohat

by Phillip Witteveen on July 18, 2013

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The Arab Studies Institute’s magazine Jadaliyya recently interviewed Evelyn Asultany and Ella Shohat on their new book Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora. The book, they explain, was a natural distillation of their travels and experiences in the Arab diaspora in the United States, Cuba, Columbia and Brazil.

“The Middle Eastern diaspora in the United States is often compared to Europe, while the linked analogies to the rest of the Americas are overlooked. The Arab/Latino interface examined in this book was inspired by similar convergences in our own lives,” Asultany and Shohat said

While area studies has traditionally organized the study of a people by political borders, this perspective allows Asultany and Shohat’s collection of essays to leak outside the paradigm and “proposes a shift from area studies to both Inter-Area Studies and Transnational and Diasporic Studies,” the volume editors said. “Transcending a nation-state approach, the book aims to begin a transnational conversation about the production of discourses of Middle Eastern identities across time and space.”

You can read the full article here.

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