Published on 12/28/2017

From January 8th-11th, the Doha Institute will host a major international conference From Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park: The Arab Spring and the De-Centering of American Studies. Co-organized by Doha Institute and The George Washington University Associate Professor Melani McAlister, the conference will bring together experts on American Studies from the Americas, Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East to consider where and what is America. Deepening critique of the myth of American exceptionalism, conference participants will consider cutting-edge research in this field and situate American events as deeply interconnected with events in the Middle East and world, particularly in relation to the Arab uprisings, the election of Trump, and developments in the global map of power. By considering the US from abroad, the conference aims to turn the field of American Studies on its head, by insisting on an object of study, rather than simply the dominant center of global knowledge production.

Beginning with a keynote, The Omnipresence of America and the Absence of American Studies, by Doha Institute Board of Trustees President Azmi Bishara, the conference will especially highlight themes of migration and its relation to race, class, and gender; the racialization of Islam; internationalized “threat;” transnational identities; cultural texts and their relationship to diverse publics; and the endurance of forms of exploitation in the age of globalization. Presenters include the current and past Presidents of the American Studies Associations, a former ambassador, college dean, and directors of several American Studies Centers throughout Europe and the Middle East. This is the first time an American Studies conference of this caliber has been held in the Gulf, and it is rare event to assemble such a distinguished group of American Studies scholars from around the world.


The public is invited to attend the opening ceremonies from 1-3pm on Monday, January 8th at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Proceedings are slated to be included in an edited volume due out in the subsequent year.

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