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SOC 251: Middle Eastern Americans

Instructor: Neda Maghbouleh nmaghbou@smith.edu Smith College Spring 2012 Office Hours: Seelye 104 TTh 3-4 pm and by appointment Present in the United States for centuries, Middle Eastern Americans remain misunderstood and increasingly misrepresented in American social, political, cultural, and intellectual life. This course uses primary and secondary texts, oral history, statistics, art, and critical writing to introduce the past century of immigration from the region and to analyze ever-shifting American laws and policies governing the treatment of Middle Eastern migrs and their homelands. We will explicitly embed the stories of Afghani, Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Americans into historical and contemporary narratives of race, while paying special attention to the cultural and social history of these U.S.-based communities-- who are now well into their second, third, and sometimes fourth generations-- and the diversity of class positions, diasporic identities, ethnicities, and religions they bring to the American setting. To better understand these issues, we will draw from important and related scholarly traditions concerning, and emerging from within, other historically marginalized groups. By challenging existing social theories to account for the lived inequalitiesand the creative alliances and forms of resistanceexperienced by Middle Eastern Americans, we will create a collective, crucial analytic to understand and intervene in some of the most major cultural, social, and geo-political debates of our lifetimes: immigration, military intervention, racial profiling, revisions to the U.S. Census racial/ethnic categories, and Islamophobia, to name a few. Semantic note The use of the category Middle East in this course is in keeping with the Colleges definition: the geographical region broadly conceived stretches from North Africa to southwest and central Asia (Smith College Course Catalogue, p. 327). We will work to understand the history of this term and to discuss and build possible alternatives together. Goals and Objectives Students will be able to critically assess material related to who Middle Easterners are.

Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of major theories in the sociology of race and ethnicity, with key emphasis on their socially constructed origins. Students will be able to demonstrate familiarity with varied constituencies within the Middle Eastern American label. Students will be able to more effectively join debates/express knowledge in written and oral form. Students will be able to extend concepts from this class into coursework in sociology and ethnic studies, and more broadly across the Arts and Sciences. Required Texts (ALL BOOKS are mandatory reading for ALL STUDENTS) 1. Moodle Reader. Required scholarly articles, websites, online video games, documentary and feature films, visual art, and music are posted on the front page of our Moodle. 2. Bayoumi, Moustafa. 2008. How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. New York: Penguin Press. 3. Jarrar, Randa. 2009. A Map of Home: A Novel. New York: Penguin Press. 4. Khakpour, Porochista. 2007. Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel. New York: Grove Press. 5. Malek, Alia. 2011. Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice, San Francisco, CA: McSweeneys and Voice of Witness Books. 6. Sayrafiezadeh, Said. 2009. When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Childhood. New York: The Dial Press. 7. Tehranian, John. 2008. Whitewashed: Americas Invisible Middle Eastern Minority. New York: NYU Press. Graded Work Attendance/Participation (10%): Attendance will be taken throughout the semester and participation noted. Participation may take many formsclass discussion, attendance at office hours, postings on our Moodle forum, etc. Teaching Presentations (30%): In week 2 of class, students will rank-order their top choices among the three novels we will be reading (A Map of Home; Sons and Other Flammable Objects; When Skateboards Will Be Free). The instructor will assign groups of 2-3 and note the texts/pages/dates for which the groups are responsible. The task of each group is then to lead class in a 45-60 minute teaching presentation on their assigned day. A variety of pedagogical strategies may be employed (discussion, lecture, activities, multimedia, etc). Grading will take place via instructor and peer evaluation. Groups are encouraged to make appointments with the instructor for help with their teaching presentations in advance of their dates. In-Class Paper Exam (30%): There will be an in-class paper exam (open book) on March 1. On that day, students will pick between three paper prompts, based on texts from our course, and write a long-form essay. Final Paper (30%): There will be a 3600-4000 word final paper due during finals week (uploaded to Moodle). A separate assignment sheet covering this in detail will be passed out in April. Late Work/Rough Drafts Policy Late work will not be accepted for a full grade under any circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to take off a full grade letter (from A- to B-, for example) for each 24-hour period following a

due date (beginning directly after that days class). Rough drafts will not be read/edited by the instructor, though appointments to discuss paper and presentation topics are warmly welcomed. Research Opportunities Beyond Our Classroom I am involved in several ongoing research projects related to Middle Eastern identities, inequalities, and assimilation defined broadly (across race/ethnicity, sexuality, and disability). I warmly welcome the opportunity to collaborate with interested students and am pleased to meet by appointment and during office hours throughout the semester. We can work together to help develop an independent project, a role within a preexisting project, or collaboration with others on this campus and beyond. Date Day 1 1/26 Topics Finding our Historical Bearings [Come to class with the assigned readings/viewings complete each day] East of where? Understanding and Unpacking What Middle Eastern and Diaspora Mean Reading/Viewing Assignments (R = Moodle Reader, O = Online Resource)

Day 2 1/31

Day 3 2/2 Day 4 2/7 Day 5 2/9 Day 6 2/14

Day 7

Delp, Benjamin. 2008. Ethnographic Intelligence (ETHINT) and Cultural Intelligence (CULINT): Employing under-utilized strategic intelligence gathering disciplines for more effective diplomatic and military planning, IIIA Technical Paper 08-02, Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance, JMU. (R) Hall, Stuart. 2006. Race, the Floating Signifier. (O) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cxBOdBoxpg&feature=related Hammad, Suheir. 2001. First Writing Since (Poem on Crisis of Terror). In Motion, November. (R) Ali, Wajahat. 2010. Sex and the City 2s Stunning Muslim Cliches. Salon.com, May 26. (R) Howell, Sally and Andrew Shryock. 2003. Cracking Down on Diaspora: Arab Detroit and Americas War on Terror, Anthropological Quarterly, 76(3): 443-62. Keddie, Nikki. 1973. Is There a Middle East? International Journal of Middle East Studies, 4(3): 255-271. (R) Malek, Alia. 2011. Nick George. In Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice, San Francisco, CA: McSweeneys and Voice of Witness Books. Paradigms of Tehranian, John. 2009. Introduction: The Price of the Ticket, Constructing Race and Caucasians, Performing Whiteness, and From Friendly Foreigner to Enemy Ethnicity Race, in Whitewashed: Americas Invisible Middle Eastern Minority, New York: NYU Press. Arab Americans Bayoumi, Mustafa. 2008. Rasha and Sami in How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? 1: Social Histories Being Young and Arab in America. New York: Penguin Press. Halaby, Laila. 2011. The Bastard of Salinas, Guernica. (R) http://www.guernicamag.com/fiction/2689/halaby_6_1_11/ Arab Americans Bayoumi, Mustafa. 2008. Yasmin and Omar in How Does It Feel To Be A 2: Cultures of Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. New York: Penguin Press. Resistance Elia, Nada. 2006. Islamophobia and the Privileging of Arab American Women, NWSA Journal 18(3): 155-61. Arab Americans Gualtieri, Sarah. 2008. Strange Fruit? Syrian Immigrants, Extralegal Violence, and Racial 3: Whiteness and Formation in the United States, in Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11, Racialization Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press (R). Naber, Nadine. The Rules of Forced Engagement: Race, Gender, and the Culture of Fear among Arab Immigrants in San Francisco Post 9/11, Cultural Dynamics 18(3): 235-267. (R) A Map of Home GROUP 1 TEACHING PRESENTATION
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2/16 Day 8 2/21 2/23 Day 9 2/28 Day 10 3/1

Jarrar, Randa. 2009. A Map of Home: A Novel. New York: Penguin Press (p. 1-94). A Map of Home Rally Day A Map of Home Afghan Americans

GROUP 2 TEACHING PRESENTATION GROUP 3 TEACHING PRESENTATION IN-CLASS EXAM TODAY

Jarrar, Randa. 2009. A Map of Home: A Novel. New York: Penguin Press (p. 95-147). Class Canceled Jarrar, Randa. 2009. A Map of Home: A Novel. New York: Penguin Press (p. 147-292). Cvetkoich, Ann. Can the Diaspora Speak? Afghan Americans and the 9/11 Oral History Archive, Radical History Review 111: 90-100. (R) Daulatzai, Anila. Acknowledging Afghanistan: Notes and Queries on an Occupation, Cultural Dynamics 18(3): 293-311. (R) Gordon, Larry. 2011. Once a campus outcast, ROTC is booming at universities, Los Angeles Times, June 1. (R) Thobani, Sunera. 2002. War Frenzy. Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism 2(2): 289-297. (R) Deport All Iranians. 1979. (O). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Man_holding _sign_during_Iranian n_hostage _crisis _protest,_1979.jpg. Hakimzadeh, Shirin and David Dixon. 2006. Spotlight on the Iranian Foreign Born, Migration Policy Institute, June. (R) Leininger, Steve. 1981. Selected text and images from The Official Iranian Joke Book, New York: Kensington Publishing Corp. (R) Nasrabadi, Manijeh. 2010. A Far Corner of the Revolution, Callaloo 32(4):11981207. (R) Azzizada, Arash. 2011. Camp Ayandeh #1 and Camp Ayandeh #2. Voice Of America (O) http://vimeo.com/27803225 and http://vimeo.com/27873098 Farnia, Nina. 2011. Laws Inhumanities: Peripheral Racialization and the Early Development of an Iranian Race, CSSAAME 31(2): 455-473. (R) Sharif, Solmaz. 2011. Drone, Witness XXIV(1). (R)

Day 11 Todays Wars 3/6 Day 12 Iranian 3/8 Americans 1

Day 13 Iranian 3/13 Americans 2

Day 14 Sons and Other 3/15 Flammable Objects 1 Day 15 Sons and Other 3/27 Flammable Objects 2 Day 16 Sons and Other 3/29 Flammable Objects 3 Day 17 Sons and Other 4/3 Flammable Objects 4 Day 18 Turks in 4/5 Diaspora

GROUP 4 TEACHING PRESENTATION

Khakpour, Porochista. 2007. Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel. New York: Grove Press, (p. 1-76).

GROUP 5 TEACHING PRESENTATION GROUP 6 TEACHING PRESENTATION GROUP 7 TEACHING PRESENTATION

Khakpour, Porochista. 2007. Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel. New York: Grove Press, (p. 77-212). Khakpour, Porochista. 2007. Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel. New York: Grove Press, (p. 213-290). Khakpour, Porochista. 2007. Sons and Other Flammable Objects: A Novel. New York: Grove Press, (p. 291-396). Jerolmack, Colin. 2007. Animal Practices, Ethnicity, and Community: the Turkish Pigeon Handlers of Berlin, American Sociological Review 72(6): 874-94. (R) Kaya, Ilhan. 2009. Identity Across Generations: A Turkish American Case Study, Middle East Journal, 63(4): 617-632. (R) Turkish American Society of Chicago. 2011. Introductory Movie. (O) http://vimeo.com/23729681
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Day 19 Islamophobia 4/10 before 9/11

Ali-Baba Bound. 1940. (O) http://youtu.be/1E8uYEr4t8o Chan-Malik, Sylvia. 2011. Chadors, Feminists, Terror: The Racial Politics of U.S. Media Representations of the 1979 Iranian Womens Movement, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 637(1): 112-140. (R) Rahmani, Sina. 2007. Wrestling with the Revolution: The Iron Sheik and the American Cultural Response to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Iranian Studies 40(1): 87108. (R) Day 20 Islamophobia Bakalian, Anny and Mehdi Bozorgmehr. 2009. Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents 4/12 Today in Backlash 9/11: Middle Eastern and Muslim Americans Respond. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (R) Dunham, Jeff. 2008. Achmed the Dead Terrorist (O) http://youtu.be/o28GQT7qvAI Malek, Alia. 2011. Gurwinder Singh and Rima Qamri in Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice, San Francisco, CA: McSweeneys and Voice of Witness Books. Sirin, Selcuk and Michelle Fine. 2008. Meet Aisha and Assorted Drawings in Muslim American Youth, New York: NYU Press. (R) Youe Ali, Ali. 2010. 1700% Project: Mistaken for Muslim (O) http://vimeo.com/11380785 Day 21 Islamophobia and Daulatzai, Sohail. 2007. Protect Ya Neck: Muslims and the Carceral Imagination 4/17 Cross-Racial in the Age of Guantanamo, Souls 9(2):132-147. (R) Connections Fiasco, Lupe. 2011. Words I Never Said [watch both] (O) Across Muslim http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22l1sf5JZD0; Communities http://www.bet.com/content/betcom/video/hiphopawards/2011/performances/hhaperf-lupe-s1.html Malek, Alia. 2011. Farid Rodriguez, Shaheena Parveen, and Talat Hamdani, In Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice, San Francisco, CA: McSweeneys and Voice of Witness Books. Day 22 Check it Right, Jobrani, Maz. 2010. Iranican Census 2010 PSA, (O) 4/19 You Aint White http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgoLjFJ0rVg U.S. Census Samhan, Helen Hatab. 1999. Not Quite White: Race Classification and the ArabEthnic and Racial American Experience, in Michael Suleiman (ed.), Arabs in America: Building a Categories New Future, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press. (R) New York Times. 2009. Immigration Explorer [interactive media] (O) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/10/us/20090310-immigrationexplorer.html Gomez-Pena, Guillermo and Ali Dadgar. The Chica-Iranian Project: Orientalism Gone Wrong in Aztlan. [O] http://www.pochanostra.com/chica-iranian/ Day 23 When GROUP 8 TEACHING PRESENTATION 4/24 Skateboards Will Sayrafiezadeh, Said. 2009. When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Be Free 1 Childhood. New York: The Dial Press (p. 1-88). Day 24 When GROUP 9 TEACHING PRESENTATION 4/26 Skateboards Will Sayrafiezadeh, Said. 2009. When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Be Free 2 Childhood. New York: The Dial Press (p. 89-211). Day 25 When GROUP 10 TEACHING PRESENTATION 5/1 Skateboards Will Sayrafiezadeh, Said. 2009. When Skateboards Will Be Free: A Memoir of a Political Be Free 3 Childhood. New York: The Dial Press (p. 211-289).
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