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Ammiel Alcalay’s groundbreaking work, After Jews and Arabs, published in 1993, redrew the geographic, political, cultural, and emotional map of relations between Jews and Arabs in the Levantine/Mediterranean world over a thousand-year period. Based on over a decade of research and fieldwork in many disciplines—including history and historiography; anthropology, ethnography, and ethnomusicology; political economy and geography; linguistics; philosophy; and the history of science and technology—the book presented a radically different perspective than that presented by received opinion.

Given the radical and iconoclastic nature of Alcalay’s perspective, After Jews and Arabs met great resistance in attempts to publish it. Though completed and already circulating in 1989, it didn’t appear until 1993. In addition, when the book was published, there wasn’t enough space to include its original bibliography, a foundational part of the project.

This spring, A Bibliography for “After Jews and Arabs” will appear with Punctum Books (download the open access free online version here), presenting the original and unchanged bibliography as a glimpse into the historical record of a unique scholarly, political, poetic, and cultural journey, along with three accompanying texts. JMRN is delighted to mark the publication of A Bibliography for “After Jews and Arabs” and reflect on the legacy of After Jews and Arabs, nearly 30 years later, with a conversation between Ammiel Alcalay and Gil Anidjar.

This event is organized by Theat The University of Michigan, and is co-sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY and MEMEAC by (MEMEAC) Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) at The Graduate Center, CUNY.


Poet, novelist, translator, critic, and scholar Ammiel Alcalay teaches at Queens College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. His books include After Jews and Arabs, Memories of Our Future, Islanders, neither wit nor gold: from then, from the warring factions, and a little history. Forthcoming books include the co-edited A Dove in Flight: Poems by Faraj Bayrakdar, with Shareah Taleghani and the New York Translation Collective, a poem sequence, Ghost Talk, and A Bibliography for After Jews & Arabs. He was given a 2017 American Book Award from The Before Columbus Foundation for his work as founder and General Editor of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative (lostandfoundbooks.org).

Gil Anidjar teaches in the Department of Religion and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. He is the author, among other books, of The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (Stanford 2003) and Semites: Race, Religion, Literature (Stanford 2008).