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Language, Politics and Society in the Middle East

Essays in Honour of Yasir Suleiman

Edited by Yonatan Mendel, Abeer AlNajjar

Paperback (Forthcoming)
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Explores the dynamic relationships between language, politics and society in the Middle East

Published in honour of Professor Yasir Suleiman, this collection acknowledges his contribution to the field of language and society in general, and to that of language analysis of socio-political realities in the Middle East in particular. Presenting a range of case studies relating to the role of language in the Middle East, each shows that the study of language unearths deeper processes relating to political affiliations, social behaviour and transnational as well as religious and sectarian identities. It also explores questions related to the power of language as a socio-political instrument, and addresses current issues that facilitate an understanding of the evolving intersections in the areas of language and politics in the modern Middle East. This includes how language forms and is shaped by its social and political surroundings, the language manifestations of social, religious and political identifications, as well as groupings, divisions and polarisations in the encounter between language, conflict and politics in contemporary Middle Eastern communities. Looking at language as a proxy for social and political struggles, the volume gives prominence to the long-lasting legacy and great contribution of Professor Yasir Suleiman to the field.

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List of Figures and Tables
Foreword: About Yasir Suleiman, Carole Hillenbrand
Introduction, Yonatan Mendel & Abeer AlNajjar
Chapter 1: The Hauntology of Language and Identity, John E. Joseph
Chapter 2: Transcultural content and translingual reflection: Rethinking the Arabic language learning experience, Karin Christina Ryding
Chapter 3: Metaphorical recurrence and language symbolism in Arabic meta-language discourse, Chaoqun Lian
Chapter 4: Colloquial Moroccan Arabic: Shifts in usage and attitudes in the era of computer-mediated communication, Eirlys Davies
Chapter 5: ‘Arabic is under threat’: Language anxiety as a discourse on identity and conflict, Ashraf Abdelhay and Sinfree Makoni
Chapter 6: Code choice, place and identity in Egypt: Evidence from two novels, Reem Bassiouney
Chapter 7: Language as Proxy in Egypt’s Identity Politics: Examining the New Wave of Egyptian Nationalism, Mariam Aboelezz
Chapter 8: Rakākah and the Petit Quarrel of 1871: Christian Authors and the Competition over Arabic, Rana Hisham Issa
Chapter 9: Orchestrating Multimodal Protest and Subverting Banal Nationalism in the Linguistic Landscape of the Tunisian Revolution, Sonia Shiri
Chapter 10: The Arab Jews and the Arabic language in Israel: An Ongoing Ambivalence between Positive Nostalgia and Negative Present, Maisalon Dallashi
Chapter 11: War Names in the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Comparative Study, Muhammad Amara
About the Contributors

About the Author

Yonatan Mendel is a Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is author of The Creation of Israeli Arabic: Security and Political Considerations in the Study of Arabic in Jewish-Israeli Schools (2014) and co-author (together with Ronald Ranta) of From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian Culture in the Making of Israeli National Identity (2016).

Abeer AlNajjar is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Middle East Center at London School of Economics, and an Associate Professor of Mass Communications at the American University of Sharjah-UAE. She authored numerous articles and book chapters in political communication, journalism and media studies and a book titled Conflict over Jerusalem: Covering the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in the British Press (2009).

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