Curricular Activism and Academic Freedom: Representations of Arabs and Muslims in Print and Internet Media

Author's Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Arab Studies Quarterly

Publication Date

Winter 2008


IN THIS ARTICLE, I WILL ARGUE that movements to restrict
academic freedom- a term I will clarify momentarily- are pernicious
independently of their political affiliations,but most concretely identified and
usefully contested when we investigate their strategic character, both tacit and
explicit.This article will investigate and assess that strategic character.Today a
number of small but persistent interest groups endeavor to reorganize university
structures and to alter universities' relationships with funding sources. These
groups would not be as numerous or effective without their political affiliations,
which influence their strategic choices through a tropological representation of
Arabs and Muslims. Such groups capitalize on particular forms of anti-Arab
racism and Islamophobia, using those sentiments to rationalize and justify the
sort of restrictions they favor. The groups,then,are partly commodities of a
nationalisticdispositionthatexistedbefore9/11 but one that gained widespread validation afterward

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