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American Studies in the Middle East

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Authors
Myers, Robert
Issue Date
2011
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.34 No.2, pp. 113-143
Keywords
American StudiesMiddle EastLebanonJordanEgyptBahrainIranAlgeriaArab springPalestineEgyptian revolutionPrince AlwaleedAmerican exceptionalismCASARAmy KaplanUssama MakdisiPatrick McGreevySeyed Mohammad Marandi
Abstract
This article is a survey of the current state of American Studies in the so-called MENA, i.e. Middle East North Africa, region. Information is drawn from the websites of various universities and departments, published articles on American in this part of the world and the personal experience of the author as the director of a center for American Studies at the American University of Beirut. After tracing some of the reasons why American Studies has recently become a more significant discipline in the region-especially a general push towards the internationalization of the discipline, the failure of the Oslo peace process, the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, increasing American political and military involvement in the Middle East and the so-called “Arab spring”-the study attempts to trace some of the most significant historical trends in American Studies in the Middle East and North Africa. Beginning with the example of American Studies in Algeria in the 1970s, the study lays out some of the important motifs necessary to understand the development of the discipline, such as decolonization of the countries of the region formerly under the control of European powers, the Cold War, the creation of the state of Israel and the increase in American cultural influence due to the dissemination of Hollywood movies and the global marketing of products ostensibly related to an American lifestyle. The remainder of the study is devoted to a survey of the current and recent state of American Studies at universities in Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, occupied Palestine, Iran and Lebanon. The study compares and contrasts the general approach of the discipline at various institutions in these countries, examines their ties to local governments and to the U.S. government, offers a sense of the quantity and kinds of courses they offer, identifies faculty members and speakers who have worked with these programs, looks at the other activities they undertake (such as lectures, film series, conferences, fact-finding trips, etc.), and offers some quantitative data about the numbers of students in such courses, the kinds of degrees offered and the numbers who have graduated with degrees in American Studies. The study concludes with some observations about current trends in American Studies in the region and some evaluations about which approaches at the various institutions surveyed have, in the author’s estimation, been most successful.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88682
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 34 Number 1/2 (2011)
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