New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States (Hardback)Theri A. Pickens (author)
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In the increasingly multi-racial and multi-ethnic American landscape of the present, understanding and bridging dynamic cross-cultural conversations about social and political concerns becomes a complicated humanistic project. How do everyday embodied experiences transform from being anecdotal to having social and political significance? What can the experience of corporeality offer social and political discourse? And, how does that discourse change when those bodies belong to Arab Americans and African Americans?
Theri A. Pickens discusses a range of literary, cultural, and archival material where narratives emphasize embodied experience to examine how these experiences constitute Arab Americans and African Americans as social and political subjects. Pickens argues that Arab American and African American narratives rely on the body's fragility, rather than its exceptional strength or emotion, to create urgent social and political critiques. The creators of these narratives find potential in mundane experiences such as breathing, touch, illness, pain, and death. Each chapter in this book focuses on one of these everyday embodied experiences and examines how authors mobilize that fragility to create social and political commentary. Pickens discusses how the authors' focus on quotidian experiences complicates their critiques of the nation state, domestic and international politics, exile, cultural mores, and the medical establishment.
New Body Politics participates in a vibrant interdisciplinary conversation about cross-ethnic studies, American literature, and Arab American literature. Using intercultural analysis, Pickens explores issues of the body and representation that will be relevant to fields as varied as Political Science, African American Studies, Arab American Studies, and Disability Studies.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 180
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"Rarely does scholarly work generate in me a feeling of excitement, but that's exactly what New Body Politics has done. Here is a book that redefines the limits and possibilities of comparative analysis and brings into brilliant conversation matters of race, ethnicity, ability, gender, and representation. Even better, it is written with verve and clarity."
-Steven Salaita, Virginia Tech
"A bold new foray into the exploration of corporeality and the sociopolitical through U.S. minority literatures: Theri A. Pickens brings together African American and Arab American cultural and literary expressions in a way that will not soon be forgotten. By putting these two complex traditions into conversation with one another, New Body Politics takes the reader through a dazzling array of topics, from the construction of minority subjecthood and family politics to illness and medical practices. This is a rare and important `first' in American Studies, Disability Studies, African American Studies, and Arab American Studies: a long-awaited yet desperately needed comparative analysis of two groups who are distinct, yet overlap with one another quite poignantly."
-Michelle M. Wright, Northwestern University