In this collection, Arab and Arab American feminists enlist their intimate experiences to challenge simplistic and long-held assumptions about gender, sexuality, and commitments to feminism and justice-centered struggles. Contributors hail from multiple geographical sites, spiritualities, occupations, sexualities, class backgrounds, and generations. Poets, creative writers, artists, scholars, and activists employ a mix of genres to express feminist issues and highlight how Arab and Arab American feminist perspectives simultaneously inhabit multiple, overlapping, and intersecting spaces: within families and communities; in anticolonial and antiracist struggles; in debates over spirituality and the divine; within radical, feminist, and queer spaces; in academia and on the street; and between each other.
Contributors explore themes as diverse as the intersections between gender, sexuality, Orientalism, racism, Islamophobia, and Zionism, and the restoration of Arab Jews to Arab American histories. This book asks how members of diasporic communities navigate their sense of belonging when the country in which they live wages wars in the lands of their ancestors. Arab and Arab American Feminisms opens up new possibilities for placing grounded Arab and Arab American feminist perspectives at the center of gender studies, Middle East studies, American studies, and ethnic studies.
“Animated by a radical passion for justice broad enough to bring Palestine into the same frame as transgender issues, environmental sustainability, and immigration rights, this volume with challenge any single-axis approach to contemporary activism.”
– Angela Y. Davis, author of Women, Culture and Politics
“Incisive feminist analyses on Arab and Muslim Americans. Empirically rich, creative research. Searing critiques of illusions and raw realities of race, gender, sexuality, and nation in ‘post-racial America.’”
– Suad Joseph, editor of Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East
“This groundbreaking book offers an extraordinarily rich collection of powerful voices, which speak in an abundance of diverse genres and perspectives. While each contribution is eye-opening alone, the volume as a whole is a collective achievement to celebrate. Arab and Arab American Feminisms will creatively and rigorously make readers rethink the meaning of every work in the title.”
– Amy Kaplan, author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture
“A passionate, deeply moving, illuminating text that needs to be on everyone’s bookshelf—especially those of us concerned with racial, sexual, and gender justice in a post 9/11 world.”
– Chandra Talpade Mohanty, author of Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
“This is the collection I had been waiting for; a living validation that women of color feminism is a liberation theory and freedom practice distinct from liberal Western notions of women’s identity and rights. As envisioned in This Bridge Called My Back thirty years ago, Arab and Arab American Feminisms travels across national boundaries and through the complex terrain of culture, religion, geography, and embodied desire to “illuminate the structural forces that influence (Arab and Arab American women) lives.” All necessary liberatory tools are employed here, but what is most notable is the plain courage of the voices. As citizens of the Arab diaspora, the writers in this book confront the unyielding countenance of Post-9/11 American patriotism, maintaining a fierce loyalty to their home-cultures. In the same vein, the sovereignty of Palestine is upheld as the uncompromised site (and symbol) of political equity and peace for all Arab peoples. What would a women of color feminism look like chiseled from the sculpting hands of Arab and Arab American women? It is this book, cut out from the stone of imperialist and civil wars, rape, dislocation, patriarchal religious fundamentalisms and American terrorism, but transformed into a collection of writings that, plain and simple, gives one faith, again, in the promise of political movement.”
– Cherríe Moraga, co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Reviews of Arab and Arab American Feminisms
- Laila Farah, “Arab and Arab American Feminisms,” Mashriq and Mahjar, Vol. 1, 2013, 124-126: AAF_Mashriq Mahjar Review 2013.
- “New Texts Out Now: Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, Arab and Arab American Feminism,” Jadaliyya, June 26, 2013: AAF_Jadaliyya Interview 2013.
- Waleed Mahdi, “Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging,” Arab Studies Quarterly, Winter 2012, Vol. 34, Issue 1, 58-60: AAF_Arab Studies Quarterly Review 2012.
- Marilyn Brady, “Arab and Arab American Feminisms,” Me, You, and Books, April 24, 2012: AAF_Marilyn Brady Review 2012.
- Triana Kazaleh Sirdenis, “Arab and Arab American Feminist Narratives,” Against the Current, 157, March/April 2012, 30: AAF_Against the Current Review 2012.
- Yasmin Nair, “Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging,” Make/Shift Magazine, Issue 11, Spring/Summer 2012, 56-57: AAF_Makeshift Magazine Review 2012.
- Amanda Quraishi, “Review: Arab and Arab American Feminisms, Tikkun Daily, April 14, 2011: AAF_Tikkun Review 2011.
- Theri Pickens, “Take Lessons: An Intellectual Master Class,” Al Jadid, Vol. 17, No. 64, 2011: AAF_Al Jadid Review 2011.
- Blogger Melissa, “Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging,” The Feminist Texican, July 14, 2011: AAF_FeministTexican Review 2011.
- Mejdulene Shomali, “Review of Arab and Arab American Feminisms, Social Justice, Vol. 37, Iss. 4, Winter 2011/2012: AAF_Social Justice 2011-2012.