Morocco Bound: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express - New Americanists (Paperback)
  • Morocco Bound: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express - New Americanists (Paperback)
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Morocco Bound: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express - New Americanists (Paperback)

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Paperback 376 Pages / Published: 28/10/2005
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Until attention shifted to the Middle East in the early 1970s, Americans turned most often toward the Maghreb-Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and the Sahara-for their understanding of "the Arab." In Morocco Bound, Brian T. Edwards examines American representations of the Maghreb during three pivotal decades-from 1942, when the United States entered the North African campaign of World War II, through 1973. He reveals how American film and literary, historical, journalistic, and anthropological accounts of the region imagined the role of the United States in a world it seemed to dominate at the same time that they displaced domestic social concerns-particularly about race relations-onto an "exotic" North Africa.

Edwards reads a broad range of texts to recuperate the disorienting possibilities for rethinking American empire. Examining work by William Burroughs, Jane Bowles, Ernie Pyle, A. J. Liebling, Jane Kramer, Alfred Hitchcock, Clifford Geertz, James Michener, Ornette Coleman, General George S. Patton, and others, he puts American texts in conversation with an archive of Maghrebi responses. Whether considering Warner Brothers' marketing of the movie Casablanca in 1942, journalistic representations of Tangier as a city of excess and queerness, Paul Bowles's collaboration with the Moroccan artist Mohammed Mrabet, the hippie communities in and around Marrakech in the 1960s and early 1970s, or the writings of young American anthropologists working nearby at the same time, Edwards illuminates the circulation of American texts, their relationship to Maghrebi history, and the ways they might be read so as to reimagine the role of American culture in the world.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822336440
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Morocco Bound is a powerful meditation on the question of why the circulation of cultural representations matters.... Given its important critical interventions, Morocco Bound should be a required text for a broad range of readers and scholars in the fields of American studies, postcolonialism, comparative literature, and Middle Eastern Studies." - Ali Behdad, Comparative Literature
"Throughout this book it is clear that Edwards views dialogue as a modest corrective to Orientalist tendencies, often pointing out moments when opportunities for exchange were missed. Edwards's own work is consciously collaborative and dialogic; he acknowledges his debt to Moroccan colleagues. His own experiences in Morocco, the ground on which this book is built, constitutes yet another chapter in the American-Moroccan encounter at an historical moment when the need for dialogue and conversation across the gaping chasm separating the United States and the Arab world is as dire as ever." - Allen Hibbard, Comparative Literature Studies
"Not only does Edwards's book propose a methodology that importantly indicates the material differences between text and context, but it also breaks new scholarly ground in presenting a new area of study for transnational American studies: the orientalist construction of the Maghreb. In doing so, Morocco Bound represents a timely intervention into the epistemological and material violence of the present moment and promises to be a study that will be returned to long after the present conflict (hopefully) has passed." - Christopher Breu, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
"Morocco Bound is an exemplary work of postcolonial American studies scholarship, one acutely sensitive to the importance of the specificities of colonial and imperial relations in the Maghreb. Yet Morocco Bound is no predictable ideological study. Edwards constantly foregrounds the historical complexities of encounter in each text he analyzes while simultaneously presenting nuanced close readings. In the process, he challenges familiar theoretical paradigms and presents us with new possibilities." - Malini Johar Schueller, American Quarterly
"Morocco Bound announces a radical departure from contemporary debates on orientalism through an interesting deployment of the concept of circulation in its study of the U.S. encounter with North Africa and through an astute consideration of the ways that American texts translate the North African Arab and Berber other. With this book, postcolonialism, cultural studies, African studies, and American studies will be refreshed and can begin some of the most exciting debates anew."-Taieb Belghazi, Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco
"By his commitment to working across languages, treating several disciplines and diverse cultural levels (official, mass, avant-garde), and by his disruptive practice of reading Arabic voices together with Anglophones, Brian Edwards has produced an exemplary performance of what American Studies must become in the twenty-first century."-Jonathan Arac, author of The Emergence of American Literary Narrative, 1820-1860
"As literary studies in the United States founder between America globalizing and the globe Americanizing, Brian T. Edwards's brilliant analysis of how America becomes worldly for others is a model for future work. Here language-based close readings bring literary criticism and the study of cultural politics together as the author guides us with a sure hand from cold war ideology, through 'hippie orientalism' and postcoloniality, onto the threshold of the consequences of globalization seen in a new perspective."-Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
"Morocco Bound is a fascinating and insightful account of the multiple ways that Americans engaged Morocco from the 1940s to the 1970s. . . . [A] sophisticated and fascinating work of first-class scholarship that will be of great interest to scholars and students of history, cultural and literary studies, and area studies." -- Melani McAlister * Journal of American History *
"Morocco Bound offers a compelling account both of the Maghreb as an important contact zone in the formation of the United States as a global power and of American orientalism as a formative component in American foreign relations. . . . [T]he power here lies in detailed cultural historiography, and some of the text's most compelling moments reside in the connective tissue of Edwards's historicist argumentation." -- Margaux Cowden * GLQ *
"Morocco Bound is a powerful meditation on the question of why the circulation of cultural representations matters.... Given its important critical interventions, Morocco Bound should be a required text for a broad range of readers and scholars in the fields of American studies, postcolonialism, comparative literature, and Middle Eastern Studies." -- Ali Behdad * Comparative Literature *
"Morocco Bound is an exemplary work of postcolonial American studies scholarship, one acutely sensitive to the importance of the specificities of colonial and imperial relations in the Maghreb. Yet Morocco Bound is no predictable ideological study. Edwards constantly foregrounds the historical complexities of encounter in each text he analyzes while simultaneously presenting nuanced close readings. In the process, he challenges familiar theoretical paradigms and presents us with new possibilities." -- Malini Johar Schueller * American Quarterly *
"Not only does Edwards's book propose a methodology that importantly indicates the material differences between text and context, but it also breaks new scholarly ground in presenting a new area of study for transnational American studies: the orientalist construction of the Maghreb. In doing so, Morocco Bound represents a timely intervention into the epistemological and material violence of the present moment and promises to be a study that will be returned to long after the present conflict (hopefully) has passed." -- Christopher Breu * Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East *
"Throughout this book it is clear that Edwards views dialogue as a modest corrective to Orientalist tendencies, often pointing out moments when opportunities for exchange were missed. Edwards's own work is consciously collaborative and dialogic; he acknowledges his debt to Moroccan colleagues. His own experiences in Morocco, the ground on which this book is built, constitutes yet another chapter in the American-Moroccan encounter at an historical moment when the need for dialogue and conversation across the gaping chasm separating the United States and the Arab world is as dire as ever." -- Allen Hibbard * Comparative Literature Studies *

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