From the Editors:
Fall 2020 (Vol. XXXVIII No. 2)
[Return to issue information.[28.2: Fall 2020]
This issue offers historical, conceptual, and comparative insights on how techniques of inclusion and exclusion shape possibilities for belonging, col- lective life, political solidarity, and social contestation. Rim Naguib examines the deportation of socialists, communists, and syndicalists from interwar Egypt. British authorities legitimized the deportation of leftist resident foreigners or “local subjects of foreign extraction.” Naguib argues these ideological-ethnic deportations were central to the colonial rule of differ- ence and its legacies for the postcolonial Egyptian state. Rana AlMutawa’s urban ethnography of Emiratis in Dubai explores how “glitzy” places such as shopping malls and newly-built developments become sites of belonging. Challenging scholarly portrayals of Dubai’s “glitzy” development projects as alienating, inauthentic, or touristic, AlMutawa reveals how her interlocutors experience these spaces in personal and intimate ways while negotiating, upholding, and challenging social norms. Yusri Khaizran analyzes Israeli school curricula as a particular site for the production of a Druze identity and political sensibility severed and distinct from their Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic milieus. Tracing curricular and institutional developments in the education sector since the establishment of the State of Israel, he reveals critical junctures in the transmuting of Druze doctrinal particularism into a segregated sectarian identity, as part of a governance repertoire to exercise control over Palestinian-Arab society as a whole. Sima Shakhsari reads Fatima Mernissi’s 1994 Dreams of Trespass to reconsider queer kinship through temporal bonds and alliances. Shakhsari builds on this reading to challenge the politics of miseration in refugee discourse as well as the epistemological assumptions in gender studies and queer studies curricula that render Mernissi’s Dreams of Trespass—and much else from Middle East studies—an impossibility as a teachable text. The issue features a robust reviews section that engages recent major works in the multidisciplinary study of the Middle East. In usual fashion, it brings together a diversity of early career and senior scholars, both as authors and reviewers.
This issue marks the beginning of our co-editorship of Arab Studies Journal (ASJ). As two historians who take delight in troubling ruptures and easy periodization, we must begin by acknowledging that this issue is truly the product of the diligent work of ASJ’s former editor, Sherene Seikaly. She assembled these articles, with all that entails in terms of initial intake, peer review, and her own substantive and stylistic feedback to authors. More importantly, Sherene assembled us: the entire editorial team. She mentored us as editors, empowered us as team members, and bequeathed us internal structures that allowed us as co-editors to focus on the substance of the texts as we worked with authors to finalize their articles and the ASJ team to prepare this issue for layout and publication. During her thirteen years at the helm, Sherene elevated the status of ASJ as a leading academic publica- tion and challenged herself and the team to transition into producing two issues per year. She imparted to us an ethics of care, a praxis of solidarity, and a diligence that we will strive to carry forward. We can only hope to live up to her model and legacy of generous, incisive, tireless labor and leadership. That task is facilitated by the collective volunteer labor of the entire ASJ editorial team, whose enthusiasm, commitment, and rigor make each issue possible.