Book Reading/Signing: The Uncultured Wars - Arabs, Muslims and the Poverty of Liberal Thought-New Essays by Steven Salaita

Wed, February 25, 2009 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Co-sponsored by AMEJA - Arab and Middle Eastern Journalist Association (

Free and Open to the Public

In much of the past decade, many thoughtful people turned to liberal-left commentators such as Michael Moore, Barbara Ehrenreich, Michael Lerner, and Katerina venden Heuvel, to offer a rational corrective to the often false claims and brutish polices of the Bush administration. Yet, as Steven Salaita argues, many of America’s liberal voices have fallen far short of enlightenment vis à vis Arabs, Muslims and American imperialism. The Uncultured Wars is a powerful indictment of dominant American liberal-left discourse. Through twelve stylish essays Steven Salaita returns again and again to his core themes of anti-Arab racism and Islamophobia and the inadequacy of critical thought amongst the 'chattering classes', showing how racism continues to exist in the places where we would least expect it.

By looking at topics as diverse as 'Is Jackass Justifiable?', 'Open Mindedness on Independence Day' and 'Ambition, Terrorism and Empathy', Salaita explores why Arabs are marginalized, and who seeks to benefit from this. He goes on to make the case that Arabs and Muslims urgently need to be included in the conversations that people have about American geopolitics.

About the Author:

Steven Salaita is assistant professor of English at Virginia Tech. He is the author of four books: Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where It Comes from and What It Means for Politics Today; The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan; Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics; and The Uncultured Wars: Arabs, Muslims, and the Poverty of Liberal Thought, which he will discuss at Alwan.


Funny, sarcastic, witty, provocative, engaging and challenging, this book is sure to leave a significant mark on how we think about and enact progressive politics' - Evelyn Alsultany, University of Michigan

'The Uncultured Wars is a searing intervention by a political thinker who incisively critiques US liberalism, anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, and the brutal excesses of empire. Salaita's eloquent, honest and witty analysis challenges contemporary thinking about race, religion, feminism, indigeneity, the 'war on terror' and the Middle East. This is a book that anyone interested in cultural politics must read.' - Sunaina Maira, University of California: Davis

'You hold in your hands the work of a genuine intellectual, someone who privileges humanity over capital. Refusing to engage simplistic binaries, Salaita has provided a nuanced and much needed perspective that helps to historicize, anchor and elucidate the place of Arabs and Muslims in the larger central questions of race. The Uncultured Wars is illuminating, forthright and stripped to bare honesty.' - Matthew Shenoda, author of Somewhere Else and Seasons of Lotus, Seasons of Bone.

Last updated: 2009-02-23 11:15:17

Steven Salata
Steven Salata

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