Beyond the Label: Arab American Faces, Places, and Traces

A conference organized by the Arab American Studies Association and the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich., in honor of Alixa Naff (1919-2013).

3-7:30 p.m. Fri., April 4, 2014
8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sat., April 5, 2014
8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun., April 6, 2014

About the Conference
The label “Arab American” is imbued with layered meanings within both academic settings and public arenas. Variously embraced, sometimes contested, often redefined, Arab American identity constructions have been influenced by historical factors, discourses of self-identification, and normative processes of data collection. Foremost in promoting understanding of the changing nature of the Arab American label have been influential works by archivists and historians such as Alixa Naff, whose contributions to archiving Arab American history include a collection of oral histories and artifacts that she catalogued and donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Her preeminent publication, Becoming American: The Early Arab-American Experience, remains a pioneering and influential history of Arab Americans.

Panel themes include
Arab American Feminist Studies; Early Visions of Arabs in America; Arabs on Screen and Stage; Arabs as Ethnic Minorities in the United States; Arab American Writers; Religion, Race, and Class; and Transnationalism in Arab American Identity

Keynote Address Suad Joseph, Distinguished Professor, University of California, Davis

View/Download the complete conference program HERE.


A discounted conference rate of $89/night is available at the award-winning Comfort Inn (20061 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48124, adjacent to The Henry Ford) by calling 313.436.9600 and asking for the AANM rate.

Complimentary ground transportation will be provided between the hotel and the Museum.


Conference fee $125/$35 for students*

*Graduate students presenting at the conference may receive a further discounted rate of $25. Contact Matthew Jaber Stiffler at 313.624.0205 or HERE

Student registrations subsidized by a generous donation from Prof. Suad Joseph

The registration fee includes a Friday evening reception, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and the keynote dinner on Saturday evening.

Online registration available HERE

More highlights

  • A presentation about the AANM’s free digital educational resources
  • A special Friday evening cultural event (separate ticket required)
  • Book vendors from NYU and Syracuse Univ. Presses
To become a member of the Arab American Studies Association, please click HERE.

Conference Planning Committee

  • Randa Kayyali, co-chair
  • Matthew Jaber Stiffler, co-chair
  • Pauline Homsi Vinson
  • Lutfi Hussein
  • Rita Stephan
13624 Michigan Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 - Phone (313) 582-AANM (2266) A Project of ACCESS