By Jacob Rama Berman

American Arabesque examines representations of Arabs, Islam and the close to East in nineteenth-century American tradition, arguing that those representations play an important position within the improvement of yank nationwide identification over the century, revealing mostly unexplored exchanges among those cultural traditions that would adjust how we comprehend them this present day.


Moving from the interval of America’s engagement within the Barbary Wars during the Holy Land go back and forth mania within the years of Jacksonian enlargement and into the writings of romantics equivalent to Edgar Allen Poe, the ebook argues that not just have been Arabs and Muslims prominently featured in nineteenth-century literature, yet that the variations writers verified among figures akin to Moors, Bedouins, Turks and Orientals offer facts of the transnational scope of family racial politics. Drawing on either English and Arabic language assets, Berman contends that the fluidity and instability of the time period Arab because it seems in captivity narratives, commute narratives, resourceful literature, and ethnic literature concurrently instantiate and undermine definitions of the yankee kingdom and American citizenship.

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Marine sword entails an act of transvaluation whereby an Arabo-Islamic symbol of slavery, imperialism, and dynastic hegemony becomes a symbolic expression of America’s commitment to freedom and democracy. S. S. Marines, and still provides a quilting point for subsequent narratives of the United States’ extracontinental military interventions in the name of overthrowing tyrants rather than appeasing them. The other narrative, the narrative that suggests the United States’ own history of slavery, hegemony, and imperial aggression, remains as a ghostly complement to the New World symbol that American historiography was to fashion out of Hamet’s Mameluke sword.

Naval squadron deployed to the Mediterranean to free American slaves held captive in Barbary prisons. The letter lists a series of complaints the common sailors had with their treatment and meal allowances. In the letter, Quinn uses the pointed terms of revolutionary rhetoric: Introduction 15 Tyranny is the beginning of all mischief and is generally attended with bad things at the latter end. Any Commodore or captain that had the least feeling or thought would not suffer this hard usage it is almost impossible for us to live.

American Arabesque tracks the exchange between American culture and Arabo-Islamic culture through five figures: the captive, the indigene, the arabesque, the Moor, and the migrant. Each of these figures is an arabesque in the sense that they (a) enact romantic engagements with the Arab world, (b) blend two languages of identity (American and Arab), and (c) create representative patterns of mirroring/doubling. S. national imaginary. A Pattern of Representation Chapter 1 focuses on the figure of the captive and argues for the discursive importance of North African slavery to the articulation of Federalera American national identity.

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