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Arab Studies Journal Announces Spring 2017 Issue: Editor's Note and Table of Contents

Arab Studies Journal
Volume XXV, no. 1 (Spring 2017)


Since the November 2016 elections, the dying gasps of US exceptionalism has meant the intensification of attacks on the lives and movement of people from the Arab world. The travel ban constitutes a US policy to sanction the very people that previous administrations as well as the current one have bombed. As borders close, the number of refugees fleeing the horrors of war in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq increases. In this tautology, the new US administration has resoundingly adopted policies of blaming the victims of decades of US war and hegemony. Within this constellation, the production of knowledge as well as higher education more broadly are more crucial than ever. In an era when the status of the fact has eroded at rapid speed, scholars and educators are on the frontlines of guarding the need for empirically grounded and theoretically sound research and scholarship. It is in this spirit that we offer our most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal.

Ghenwa Hayek sheds new light on the notion of the “ordinary” and provides an innovative view on contemporary Beirut by tracing a young generation of novelists. Geoffrey P. Levin traces the trajectory of the Organization of Arab Students in the United States as it shifted from mainstream Arab nationalism supportive of US-Arab ties to anti-imperial radicalism. We are also honored to include a special section on the state in Lebanon. The past few years have featured renewed elite and popular mobilizations around particular state institutions and services: waste management, municipal elections, taxes, and more. The existence, nature, and role of al-dawla (the state) has been a persistent feature of public discourses about contemporary politics in Lebanon. In this special section, we feature a number of historical, contemporary, and theoretical considerations of the Lebanese state. Jamil Mouawad and Hannes Baumann, this special section’s co-editors, introduce the articles by considering the need for and stakes of taking more seriously this ephemeral and nebulous network of institutions and individuals. The section features three articles, each making a unique and productive intervention into the broader scholarship on Lebanon as well as that of the state. Complementing the special section is a critical assortment of book reviews of recent works on Lebanese history, contemporary politics, and their implications for the state in Lebanon.



Making Ordinary: Recuperating the Everyday in Post-2005 Beirut Novels
Ghenwa Hayek

Arab Students, American Jewish Insecurities, and the End of Pro-Arab Politics in Mainstream America, 1952-1973
Geoffrey P. Levin


Section Introduction: In Search of the Lebanese State
Jamil Mouawad and Hannes Baumann

Wayn al-Dawla?: Locating the Lebanese State in Social Theory
Jamil Mouawad and Hannes Baumann

The Gemmayzeh Incident of 1949: Conflict over Physical and Symbolic Space in Beirut
Dylan Baun

On Deference and Benevolence: The Politics of Parking in Beirut
Samar Kanafani


The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840–1920 by Carol Hakim
Reviewed by Joan Chaker

Interlopers of Empire: The Lebanese Diaspora in Colonial French West Africa by Andrew Arsan
Reviewed by Reem Bailony

Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon by Melani Cammett
Reviewed by Paul Kingston

The Shi‘ites of Lebanon: Modernism, Communism, and Hizbullah’s Islamists by Rula Jurdi Abisaab and Malek Abisaab
Reviewed by Linda Sayed

The Politics of Sectarianism in Postwar Lebanon by Bassel F. Salloukh, Rabie Barakat, Jinan S. Al-Habbal, Lara W. Khattab, and Shoghig Mikaelian
Reviewed by Maya Mikdashi

Spheres of Intervention: US Foreign Policy and the Collapse of Lebanon, 1967–1976 by James R. Stocker
Reviewed by Jeffrey G. Karam

Yusif Beidas: Imbaraturiyyat Intra wa-Hitan al-Mal fi Lubnan [Yusif Beidas: The Intra Empire and Money Sharks in Lebanon] by Kamal Dib
Reviewed by Hicham Safieddine


Making History in Iran:Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture by Farzin Vejdani
Reviewed by Rustin Zarkar

Iranian Film and Persian Fiction by M. R. Ghanoonparvar
Reviewed by Samad Alavi

In the Shadow of World Literature: Sites of Reading in Colonial Egypt by Michael Allan
Reviewed by Elizabeth M. Holt


Between the World and Algeria: International Histories of the Algerian War of Independence by Arthur Asseraf

  • Decolonizing Christianity: Religion and the End of Empire in France and Algeria, by Darcie Fontaine

  • The Battle of Algeria: Sovereignty, Health Care, and Humanitarianism, by Jennifer Johnson

  • Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order, by Jeffrey James Byrne

About the Interviews Page

Jadaliyya’s Interview Page is a hub for all interviews published on Jadaliyya, including those in print, audio, and video formats. It features three categories of interviews: interviews conducted for Jadaliyya publication; interviews featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editors; interviews published elsewhere but considered important enough to be republished on Jadaliyya.