The CLCS Global Arab and Arab American forum is interested in works of the Arab diaspora, including the cultural production of Arab American and global Arab writers. The category “Global Arab” allows for a broad conceptualization of diasporic and multilingual work situated within the various national, ethnic, religious, and cultural contexts of the Arab world and the Middle East. The designation “Arab American” is linked to the category “Global Arab” yet deserves special attention as a distinct subfield within American literature that engages with the discourses of race and ethnicity in the United States as well as with the history of Arab and Middle Eastern migrations to the Americas.

Candidate Statement – Exec Committee, Global Arab and Arab American Forum

3 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Ghenwa Hayek 7 years, 10 months ago
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    Karim Mattar



    I’m Karim Mattar, and am writing in support of my nomination for the Global Arab and Arab American Executive Committee for the 2016-2021 term.  I am an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  I received my DPhil in English from the University of Oxford (2013), after earning degrees at UCL (BA, 2003), Warwick (MA, 2004), Sussex (MA, 2005), and Virginia (MA, 2009).  My research and teaching interests include Middle Eastern literatures in English, Palestinian literature and culture, the global novel, postcolonial studies, world literature, critical theory (esp. Marxism), and modernism.  My work charts a post-Saidian world literary landscape where the political, religious, and gender ideologies that undergird conflict between occidental and oriental cultures both determine literary circulation, and are mediated through form.  My articles have appeared in Interventions, the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Translation and Literature, English Language Notes, and elsewhere.  My special issues of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing on “The Global Checkpoint” (JPW 50.1; co-edited with David Fieni) and English Language Notes on “Cartographies of Dissent” (ELN 52.2) both came out in 2014.  In 2012, I co-convened with Anna Ball and Mohamed-Salah Omri the first ever “Oxford Palestine Film Season”, which featured a range of Palestinian filmmakers and scholars (  I am currently at work on a book manuscript entitled “The Middle Eastern Novel in English: Literary Transnationalism after Orientalism”, as well as, with Anna Ball, a co-edited volume on “The Postcolonial Middle East”.


    I would be delighted and honoured to serve on the GAAM Executive Committee.  Were I elected, I would deploy my considerable professional investment in all issues pertaining to global Arab literary and cultural production to support the activities of Forum and its members, both at the MLA and beyond.


    Thank you for your consideration,



    Keith Feldman

    Greetings. My name is Keith P. Feldman. I am terribly honored to have been nominated to the GAAS Executive Committee, 2016-2020. I am currently an advanced assistant professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies, and a core faculty member in the Center for Middle East Studies at UC Berkeley. My scholarship and teaching focus on the cultural entanglements of the U.S., Southwest and Central Asia, and North Africa. I am also keenly interested in theorizing about comparison, relation, translation, diaspora, and transnationalism in the context of empire and settler colonialism. My first book, A Shadow Over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America, was published in 2015. Here I situate Arab and Arab American knowledge production in the post-World War II racial formation in the U.S., registering the sedimentation of Palestine in the post-1967 struggles over hegemony in the U.S. I have also published scholarly essays on legal debates about Arabs, whiteness, and the body (MELUS, 2006); the poetic geographies of Suheir Hammad and Etel Adnan (Arab Women’s Lives, 2007); Black Power’s Palestine (CR, 2008); the contours of an Afro-Arab diaspora (ALIF, 2011); the settler colonial visuality of the drone wars in Central Asia (Comparative American Studies, 2011); Hammad’s relational poetics (Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism, 2014); the colonial ambiguities of post-9/11 humanitarian visuality (Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, 2015). My forthcoming work extends these questions into the twenty-first century and increasingly attends to questions of visuality and countervisuality, as well as theorizing the incommensurabilities of blackness in relation. You can find more details about my research and teaching on my UC Berkeley webpage.

    I have served the profession in a number of ways pertinent to the GAAS executive committee. Along with organizing multiple panels at MLA, ASA, Critical Ethnic Studies, and AAR over the last twelve years, I recently served as a member of the MLA’s Committee on the Literature of People of Color in the U.S. and Canada and as an organizer in the ASA’s Critical Prison Studies caucus. As we look towards the next few years of MLA programming, ideas I have for potential panels include the following: the contingent interfacing of race, religion, and war in the Arab World and its diasporas; the poetics of social movement and survivance; Arab American studies in the U.S. university; Arab/American literatures, indigeneity, diaspora; hemispheric approaches to Arab and Arab American Studies; the trans-Mediterranean in the longue duree; refugeehood, sovereignty, and the violence of law; Palestine as locus, locale, and limit; Gulf neoliberalism and the peripheral literatures of racial capitalism.

    Thanks for your consideration!


    Carol DeBoer-Langworthy

    Pardon my barging in on this discussion, but I wish to announce the following Call for Papers for a special section in the forthcoming annual publication, Lifewriting Annual: Autobiographical and Biographical Studies. Please email me,, with any questions. Thanks ~


    Call for Papers

    Volume 5 Special Section: Lifewriting and Islam

    Lifewriting Annual:Biographical and Autobiographical Studies

    Essays and reviews on the full range of lifewriting

    Lifewriting Annual is a forum for the discussion of all aspects of lifewriting—theoretical,

    critical, and scholarly. We hope that its broad scope fosters lively discussion about the ways that various forms of lifewriting inform each other. We seek critical and scholarly essays and reviews on biography, autobiography, memoir, journals, diaries, and letters for this annual publication in book form. We are particularly interested in articles describing and assessing scholarly resources for biographical writing, i.e., collections of manuscripts and letters. Creative pieces combining a lifewriting genre with another genre are welcome for the Crossings section.

    For Volume 5, Lifewriting Annual plans a special section dedicated to lifewriting as it intersects with Islam across time and the world. We invite submissions that engage with representations of Islam and Islamic culture in/through biography, autobiography, essays, memoirs, journals, diaries, and letters for this annual publication in book form. Deadline for initial copy is 30 November 2015. Submissions should follow Chicago Manual of Style 16th ed. (author/date format). Essays no longer than 15,000 words; book reviews, 1,000-1,500 words. Use Word format with endnotes and send as email attachment to Email inquiries welcome.

    For more information, consult the website:

    Carol DeBoer-Langworthy, Editor, Department of English, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 USA.



    Ghenwa Hayek

    Hello everyone,

    I am writing in support of my nomination to the Global Arab and Arab American Executive Committee. I am Assistant Professor of Modern Arabic Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. My research focuses on the entangled relationships between literary and cultural production, space and place, and identity formation from the nineteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on Lebanon and its diasporas.

    In my first book, Beirut, Imagining the City: Space and Place in Lebanese Literature (IB Tauris, 2014), I develop an interdisciplinary engagement grounded in the fields of literary and cultural studies, critical geography, and studies of nationalism and identity to trace modes of imagining the city of Beirut in Lebanese fiction. In addition, my work has appeared in the Journal of Arabic Literature and in Middle Eastern Literatures, as well as in the volume Diasporas, Cultures of Mobilities, ‘Race’ (2015).

    My forthcoming book project explores transnational imaginings of the Lebanese diaspora and the particular racial, sexual, and national anxieties that emigration elicits in Lebanese literary culture. A recently-published piece from that larger project, “‘Carrying Africa’, Becoming Lebanese: Diasporic Middleness in Lebanese Fiction”, was awarded the Khayrallah Prize in Middle East Diaspora Studies in 2015.

    In my academic and professional work, I am committed to interrogating and problematizing disciplinary boundaries; I hope to be able to bring that to the Global Arab and Arab American forum, and aim to support its members’ efforts to bring their work into wider communication with the MLA community and the broader academic community.

    Thank you for reading!


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