[P4918] Intersectional Approaches to Critiquing Orientalism

Created by Anna Cruz
Sunday, 11/19/17 1:00pm


This panel is an attempt to formulate and apply various intersectional approaches to the field of Middle Eastern Studies vis-à-vis analyses of visual, literary, and material culture across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. The theory of intersectionality, while extant for before the term was introduced by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989, is rooted in Black feminism and Critical Race Theory to address the marginalization of Black women within feminist and antiracist theory and politics. Per Crenshaw, these very modes of marginalization that operated within institutionalized discourses led to discourses of resistance that could continue to perpetuate and legitimize the very marginalization of women of color. In addressing notions of agency, resistance, and subjectivity as they extend to Middle Eastern Studies, the papers in this panel bring together Arab(ic) art, literature, and historiography alongside topics such as Latin American ethnographic work, afrofuturism, Critical Race Theory, and neo-Orientalism to consider the global dimensions of colonialism, history, and power.

Colonialism, as described by Frantz Fanon, “is not satisfied with snaring the people in its net or of draining the colonized brain of any form or substance. With a kind of perverted logic, it turns its attention to the past of the colonized people and distorts it, disfigures it, and destroys it.” In questioning the dominant logics of both colonialism and Orientalism, the papers in this panel seek to participate in a politics of coalition to contest these systems of domination as they exist in other disciplines such as Black Studies, Latin American Studies, and Art History, among others. Thus, by moving away from a comparative framework to one that focuses upon relationality, we can think beyond the dyadic discourses found within colonialism and Orientalism to approaches that address racialized, gendered, and/or capitalist colonialism(s) and Orientalism(s).


Art/Art Hist; Lit



Douja Mamelouk

(Le Moyne College)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Anna Cruz

(Tufts University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Yasmine El Gheur

(The City College of New York, CUNY)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;