5 August 2017- my review of Maria Narbona, Paulo Pinto, and John Karam’s edited collection, Crescent over Another Horizon: Islam in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino USA appears in the current issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History. (full text available here). From the review:
Despite five centuries of Muslim settlement in the Americas, Islam is often depicted as a foreigner’s faith. Challenging the notion that the Latin American and Islamic worlds are discrete and separate cultural spaces, Crescent over Another Horizon tracks Islam’s historical indigenization in Latin America by migrants com- ing from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and the contemporary conversion of Latino/as, Brazilians, and African Americans. Editors Narbona, Pinto, and Karam employ Islam as an analytic that has the power to undo the Cold War–era area studies’ assumption that cultures map neatly into territories. They fashion a fresh scholarly approach for examining the “Latino American architecture of a wider Islamic world,” a world they define by a shared historical experience of colonialism, by the preoccupation of Latin American societies with Islam as the faith of the Other, and by the tension that exists between diverse Muslim communities and their desires for pan-Islamic unity: a Latin American ummah.
The volume can be found on University of Texas Press’s webpage. It’s excellent work and will be invaluable to anyone working in migration history, ethnic studies, or Islam in American contexts.
17 June 2017- my interview with CSPAN3’s American History TV ran today on Syrian migrants in the United States during the First World War. The interview took place at the Organization of American Historians annual meeting in April in a series of tapings to commemorate the centenary of America’s entry into the war.
The full interview can be accessed at this link: https://www.c-span.org/video/?425541-18/syrian-immigrants-world-war
14 June 2017- I’m pleased to announce that this Fall semester, I will begin a new tenure-track appointment in History at California State University, Stanislaus! In addition to teaching in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and migration history I will develop a public history project on modern Assyrian history and Assyrian American studies. The project is funded by the Francis Sarguis Modern Assyrian Heritage fund and I will work with Stan State undergraduates and graduate students to collect, record, preserve, and present local Assyrian American histories focusing on California’s Central Valley. The project will contribute to a growing archive in modern Assyrian heritage curated by Stan State’s Special Collections department. I’m looking forward to getting to know this community and can’t wait to get started!
27 March 2017: a new brief piece of mine on teaching migration and refugee history appears on IEHS ONLINE, the website of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. My Spring 2017 course, Migrants and Refugees in the Middle East, meets Tuesday evenings, and it seems like each week I am revising my course materials to speak to rapidly changing public attitudes and policies towards migrants from the region.
From the piece:
Migrants do not “pour in” to places. Refugees do not arrive in “flows” or “waves.” And migrants are not vectors for a terrorist contagion, their bodies carrying within them the “seeds” of radicalism. Border walls do not stymie migration because walls are not levies and migrants are not water. Migration does not work that way. Now more than ever, it is critical that we talk about migration systems.
The rest can be read here: https://iehs.org/stacy-d-fahrenthold-teaching-migrant-histories-in-shadow-of-trump/
This blog post accompanies another piece (which appears HERE) to offer new readings and learning modules on how to “rethink” migration history through systems-based historiography.
On April 4, Fresno State will host speakers from US CIS, a variety of organizations devoted to resettlement of Syrian refugees, as well as Dr. Keith Watenpaugh, historian of refugees and human rights at UC-Davis. The all-day event features expertise on all sides of the Syrian refugee issue and will hopefully continue campus-community conversations about the dozens of Syrian refugee families resettled in California’s Central Valley. Fresno is a city with a deep and rich history of refugee relocation. Students will learn more about the Syrian conflict, the necessity for refugee resettlement, and new challenges faced by professionals working in this field.
The complete agenda can be viewed at this link: 4 April Symposium for Syrian Refugees
All events are free and open to the public. Please email me at sfahrenthold @ csufresno.edu to coordinate class visits or press interviews. Ahlan wa Sahlan and Thanks!
10 March 2017: I recently did some research consulting with a content provider for AJ+ for the first part of his series on Syrian immigration to Boston. The film short is out now and does an excellent job of capturing some of the earliest moments of the Syrian community’s history in that city.
View “The Lost Syrian Neighborhood in Boston” below. Enjoy!
8 February 2017: Tropics of Meta: Historiography for the Masses has published my brief piece on Donald Trump’s 2017 Executive Order in relationship to the first “Muslim Ban” in American history: Pres. Woodrow Wilson’s Executive Order 2932 (1918).
The piece can be read at this link: https://tropicsofmeta.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/what-we-can-learn-from-americas-other-muslim-ban-back-in-1918/
From the piece:
Trump’s proposal is that we grant his administration a state of exception with regard to Middle Eastern migrants and refugees. With that permission he would suspend a century of legal protections built after Wilson’s 1918 executive order in order to reinstitute legalized discrimination against Muslim immigrants, overtly on the grounds of nationality and covertly through religious identity. Trump couches his request in rhetoric borrowed from the “War on Terror,” language which jumps the shark by implying a connection between terrorism and Middle Eastern migration despite all evidence to the contrary. No, Trump is not the first president to try to ban Muslim immigration, but with luck, lawyers, and migration/refugee advocates aligning against this executive order, Trump will be the first to fail to do so.
The essay is based in part on research done for my first book on World War I in the Syrian diaspora. The 9th District’s decision to not lift the stay on President Trump’s EO mirrors the result of Wilson’s wartime orders, but the White House’s announcement today that it intends to issue a brand new executive order restricting immigration from the Middle East also, sadly, repeats the experience of 1918.