ES 199 Arabs/Muslims in the U.S.

Spring 2019

This is an introductory class that examines the histories and identities of Muslims living in the United States from historical and contemporary perspectives.  We will begin with examining the narratives of Muslims forcibly removed from Africa during the slavery era. Furthermore, the course will study the migration movements of Muslims starting in the late 19th century up until the present from the Middle East, South Asia, Central and South East Asia, and Africa. As a class, we will analyze their patterns of settlement and the formations of various ethnic and cultural groups overtime. Similarities and differences among these groups i.e. African Americans, Arabs, South Asians, Africans, South East Asians and others will be explored. Throughout the quarter, we will review the history of Western imperialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, decolonization and subsequent emergence of nationalism in these areas, and infiltration of neo-colonialism via global capitalism in shaping the identities of Muslims before and after their migration to the United States. Using a multidisciplinary approach, we will continue our exploration and review a variety of historical, anthropological and immigration policy documents as well as visual materials to examine the impacts of slavery, migration policies, the Cold War, September 11 attacks, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the 2016 presidential election on the lives of Muslims living in the US. Despite the history of discrimination, Muslims living in the US are optimistic and striving to make America a place that stands up to its principles of democracy, freedom, and equality for all.