Professor Salama on Arabic and the Monopoly of Theory

Friday, April 24, 2015
Photo of Mohammad Salama

STANFORD ARCADE -- Arabic Associate Professor Mohammad Salama writes an opinion piece about a recent article on the future of comparative literature, “Arabic: Acceptance and Anxiety.”

“The article strikes a chord with many Arabists in the field who, like Key himself, seek to balance the demands of their specific academic goals and their contributions to the overall improvement of the humanities, especially the capacity to expand and connect its theories to a time of terror,” Salama writes. “ ... What Key points to, and what is known to every comparatist in North America, is the chronic drift of theory toward Europe, resulting in a single-minded dimensionality, one that while having a compassionate eye toward its Other, is still incapable of de-totalizing our intellectual production and immunizing the discipline against surrendering once again to the good old gravitational pull of Eurocentrism.”