The Middle East and Brazil

The Middle East and Brazil

Perspectives on the New Global South
Edited by Paul Amar
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/15/2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01227-2
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Connections between Brazil and the Middle East have a long history, but the importance of these interactions has been heightened in recent years by the rise of Brazil as a champion of the global south, mass mobilizations in the Arab world and South America, and the cultural renaissance of Afro-descendant Muslims and Arab ethnic identities in the Americas. This groundbreaking collection traces the links between these two regions, describes the emergence of new South-South solidarities, and offers new methodologies for the study of transnationalism, global culture, and international relations.

Author Bio

Paul Amar is Associate Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism and editor of Global South to the Rescue: Emerging Humanitarian Superpowers and Globalizing Rescue Industries.


“The Middle East and Brazil is a sweeping examination of the long-term links between international relations and the creation of ethnic identities in two hemispheres often presented as having only recent contact. Paul Amar has organized a wonderful volume that examines topics like contemporary policy, historical and current immigration patterns, and literary representations. In doing so, the book dismantles the stereotyped dichotomies that often dominate discussions of these regions. With contributions from scholars of different disciplines and a range of academic communities, The Middle East and Brazil will stimulate wide-ranging debate and will become a reference for future research.”
 — Jeffrey Lesser, Emory University

“In this unique and insightful collection, one which ranges from the 1835 Muslim slave rebellion in Bahia to contemporary Brazil’s myriad political and cultural connections with today’s Middle East, Paul Amar has assembled a probing set of essays us that shows us what critical transnational scholarship ought to look like. More important, though, is the political project at its core. At the heart of The Middle East and Brazil we can feel the subversive pulse of dismantling Eurocentrism beating through the pages of this necessary book.”
 — Moustafa Bayoumi, Brooklyn College, CUNY

“This book is a theoretical and methodological breakthrough. From the contributors’ brilliant analyses of the politics of oil, the movement of people, and political solidarities, to their fresh perspectives on the transregional mass cultures of tourism and Orientalism—all between the Middle East and Brazil—this book provides a new conceptual apparatus for de-centering European colonialism and U.S. imperialism in transnational studies and international relations. While many scholars are writing about transnationalism, no book addresses south-south relations with as much depth and rigor as The Middle East and Brazil. The contributors do not merely compare the Middle East and Brazil, but they bring into focus what is often lost in both area studies and empire studies: new kinds of transregional Global South cultural struggles, migrations, and political realities.”
 — Nadine Suleiman Naber, University of Illinois at Chicago

“Fresh and exciting . . . . Provides a uniquely full and balanced view of the processes bridging the regions under study. The transregional approach is innovative and sheds light on both regions.”
 — Camila Pastor de Maria y Campos, CIDE, Mexico

“[A] pathbreaking journey toward a new scope and scale for transnational scholarship. This fine volume offers a set of groundbreaking analyses of the transregional social processes, geopolitical linkages, and public cultural flows that animate exchanges between two of the most dynamic and rapidly changing areas of the global south. Students of international politics, migration history, race/sex/coloniality, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, American Studies and cultural studies—as well as journalists and public-affairs readers—will be surprised by the degree of intensity and productivity that have woven together Arab and Muslim universes with Brazil for the past two centuries. . . . [L]ays the foundation for a new sub-field of trans-area studies, and creates a new transnational community of conversations and research agendas that will be taught and cited for a generation.”
 — Bassam Haddad, George Mason University

“Truly one-of-a-kind book, this is a must read for students of geopolitics or international affairs, professional or amateur readers of Brazilian studies, and armchair historians alike. The Middle East and Brazil is a crucial study, certain to influence and inform future research on international affairs. ”
 — Brasiliana

“[This book] succeed[s]. . . in casting light on those parts of Brazilian politics and society which relate to the Middle East and which, if not ignored, have been largely overlooked. . . The book's other great strength is in providing an alternative history from below, by highlighting the impact of globalisation on national culture and identity.August 2015”
 — Journal of Latin American Studies

“[A] valuable and timely edited volume that sheds light on the economic, political, literary, social, cultural, religious, and historical connections between Brazil and the Middle East.32.2 Summer 2015”

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Table of Contents

Introduction Paul Amar

Part I. South-South Relations, Security Politics, Diplomatic History
1. The Middle East and Brazil: Transregional Politics in the Dilma Rousseff Era Paul Amar
2. The South America-Arab States Summit: Historical Contexts of South-South Solidarity and Exchange Paulo Daniel Farah
3. Brazil’s Relations with the Middle East in the "Oil Shock" Era: Pragmatism, Universalism, and Developmentalism in the 1970s Carlos Ribeiro Santana
4. Palestine/Israel Controversies in the 1970s and the Birth of Brazilian Transregionalism Monique Sochaczewski
5. Terrorist Frontier Cell or Cosmopolitan Commercial Hub? The Arab and Muslim Presence at the Border of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina Fernando Rabossi

Part II. Race, Nation and Transregional Imaginations
6. Tropical Orientalism: Brazil’s Race Debates and the Sephardi-Moorish Atlantic Ella Shohat and Robert Stam
7. Slave Barracks Aristocrats: Islam and the Orient in the Work of Gilberto Freyre Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
8. Islamic Transnationalism and Anti-Slavery Movements: The Malê Rebellion as Debated by Brazil’s Press, 1835-1838 José T. Cairus
9. Brazil and Its Middle Eastern Populations: A Transnational Intellectual Sphere María del Mar Logroño Narbona
10. The Politics of Anti-Zionism and Racial Democracy in Homeland Tourism John Tofik Karam
11. Rio de Janeiro’s Global Bazaar: Syrian, Lebanese, and Chinese Merchants in the Saara Neiva Vieira da Cunha and Pedro Paulo Thiago de Mello
12. Muslim Identities in Brazil: Engaging Local and Transnational Spheres Paulo Gabriel Hilu da Rocha Pinto

Part III. Literature and Transregional Media Cultures
13. Telenovelas and Muslim Identities in Brazil Silvia M. Montenegro
14. Turco Peddlers, Brazilian Plantationists, and Transnational Arabs: The Genre Triangle of Levantine-Brazilian Literature Silvia C. Ferreira
15. Multiple Homelands: Heritage and Migrancy in Brazilian Mahjari Literature A

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