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Post-9/11 Representations of Arab Men by Arab American Women Writers

Affirmation and Resistance


Marta Bosch-Vilarrubias

Post-9/11 Representations of Arab Men by Arab American Women Writers: Affirmation and Resistance examines the portrayals of Arab masculinities in novels published after September 11, 2001, by women of Arab descent in the United States. The book provides a historical account of the mainstream representations of Arab masculinities in the United States, using them as a contrast to the realities experienced by Arab men in the American diaspora. Considering the construction of male and female Arab American identities, this book illustrates the role of feminism in Arab American literature written by women and its influence on women’s depictions of Arab men. Through an analysis of representative works by Diana Abu-Jaber, Laila Halaby, and Randa Jarrar, among others, this volume demonstrates how Arab American women’s anti-racist and anti-sexist struggles inform their nuanced portrayals of Arab men. This book will be essential for professors and students of ethnic American literatures in general and Arab American studies in particular, as well as for those interested in women’s studies and masculinity studies.
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1. Arab American writers come mainly from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine, with Lebanon being the first country of origin of Arab immigrants to the United States (39% of Arab Americans are of Lebanese descent).

2. Laura Mulvey examined the male gaze over females in her study of cinema in her famous article “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.”

Chapter One: (De)Constructing Arab Masculinities in the United States: The Racialization and Sexualization of Arab Masculinity in America

1. The Arab League was created in 1945 with the aims of strengthening ties between Arab countries, coordinating political, economic, cultural, and social programs, and providing a joint defense. The first seven member states were: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Later on, sixteen other states joined the League: Algeria (1962), Bahrain (1971), Comoros (1993), Djibouti (1977), Kuwait (1961), Lybia (1953), Mauritania (1973), Morocco (1958), Oman (1971), Palestine (1976), Qatar (1971), Somalia (1974), Sudan (1956), Tunisia (1958), and the United Arab Emirates (1971) (). For further information, the legal document of creation of the Arab ← 189 | 190 → League can be found in: “Pact of the League of Arab States, March 22, 1945.” The Avalon Project. Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy. 2008. Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School. 12 August 2012.

2. As an example, Muslim South Asians or followers of the Sikh religion may seem Arab to...

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