MESA Book Awards

Nomi Stone

University of Texas, Dallas

2023 Albert Hourani Book Award Honorable Mention

Nomi Stone

Nomi Stone

Pinelandia: An Anthropology and Field Poetics of War and Empire

University of California Press 

Nomi Stone’s Pinelandia: An Anthropology and Field Poetics of War and Empire is a poetic ethnography in which Middle East villages appear as figments of the cultural imagination of the U.S. military during the Global War on Terror. Its fieldwork was conducted not in Iraq but, surprisingly, in forests of North Carolina, where the army set up simulacra of Iraq. This was a strange, neo-Orientalist theater, where American soldiers and Iraqi interpreters engaged in consequential pre-deployment exercises that remained, until this publication, virtually unknown. Bold, original, and evocative, Pinelandia makes a tremendous contribution to our understanding of power dynamics behind the othering of Arabs and Muslims in the aftermath of 9/11.

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