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American Studies Encounters the Middle East$
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Alex Lubin and Marwan M. Kraidy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628844

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628844.001.0001

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Arab Spring, American Autumn

Arab Spring, American Autumn

(p.159) Arab Spring, American Autumn
American Studies Encounters the Middle East

Brian T. Edwards

University of North Carolina Press

The "Autumn" of America designates a way to understand the period which follows the so-called “American century.” The Autumn of America indicates too that a shift in the meanings of “America” and “American culture” globally is at hand, one which forces us to give a new account for the meanings of “America” (as fragment, as circulating agent of capitalist modernity) in the twenty-first century. The so-called “Arab spring” was productive in changing many mainstream American attitudes toward the Arab world. Still, many of those who championed the Tahrir uprisings, and those in Tunisia and elsewhere, gave too much centrality to the role of American forms (especially social networking media) in their accounts of the “Arab spring.” Putting these two strands together—the revision of the American narrative of the Arab world effected by the Arab Spring and the necessary engagement of the fields of Middle East studies and American studies in its autumn—we craft the relationship between Arab Spring and American Autumn.

Keywords:   American Studies, American century, Arab spring, fragments, circulation

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