Arabs Studying America

To be precise, it's actually Moroccans studying the Moroccan-American relationship, through history, in the present, and into the future.  That's what the Morocan American Studies Lab is about, part of the Faculty of Letters and Humanities at Hassan II University, Casablanca (Ben M'Sik).


TALIM Moroccan American Studies student group

Students & Faculty of the Moroccan American Studies Lab

Ben M'Sik – a city-within-a-city, part of sprawling Casablanca that started as a shantytown barely 30 years ago – is itself the subject of a program run by the Moroccan American Studies Lab. The Ben M'Sik Community Museum (BMCM), in cooperation with Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, is one of the most practical manifestations of cultural cooperation in the field of Moroccan-American studies, and is a way of the university creating links with its surrounding community.

TALIM has embarked on a program of community theater and storytelling with the Moroccan American Studies Lab, in cooperation with the Stories Exchange Project, part of a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant.  The Ben M'Sik students will work under the supervision of Robbie McCauley, American playwright and performance artist, with the women of TALIM's Arabic literacy program.

The Moroccan American Studies Lab has embarked on an ambitious program, organizing a conference in Marrakesh, December 5-8, on "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Arab Spring and its Implications for American Studies in Arab Universities."  The CFP is here: Download TALIM American Studies Marrakesh CFP.

The conference organizers aremotivated by

the growing conviction on both sides that there is an urgent need today, more than ever before, to know “the other” better and build bonds of trust and channels of cooperation between Americans and Arabs.

The Marrakesh conference comes at a particularly interesting time; post-Arab Spring, there is a growing interest in study of the Maghreb and the rest of the Arab world.  How appropriate then to look at the other side of the coin; Arab universities' programs in American Studies.  As the American Overseas Research Center for Morocco, housed in the first American diplomatic representation in the Arab world, American Studies by Moroccans and other Arab scholars have a natural home in TALIM.

Gerald Loftus

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