CFP: [20th] CFP [20th] Arabs in the New World

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Gabriela McEvoy
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         Turcofobia: a new type of racism in Chilean society

Roberto Sarah, who belongs to the “marginal immigrant” community rewrites
and reinterprets Arabs immigration experience from a literary perspective
and within a historical distance. Through the analysis of Roberto’s Sarah
immigrant novel Los Turcos (1961), this paper will seek to answer the
following questions: In what way does Sarah incorporate Arabs in Chilean
national imaginary? To what extent does turcofobia portray a new type of
racism within Chilean creoles? The global restructure had a great impact
in Latin America by the end of the nineteenth century. According to
Chilean intellectuals, prosperity would be obtained when labor,
commodities, and capital function on a free market. However, apparent
lack of population became an “obstacle” for progress. Chilean
intellectuals seek European immigration as a means not only to populate
the country but also “whitening” Chilean mestizo. Although America as an
imaginary world germinated mainly in Europe it was disseminated among
different parts of the world. Thus, America became a space where “modern
conquistadores” would acquire wealth and then would go back to their
homeland. In such way, both Europeans and non-Europeans immigrated to the
New World trying to fulfill their dreams. While intellectuals admired
European immigrants viewed with dislike Syrian, Jewish or Oriental
immigrants. In his book National and Nationalism, Carol Solberg states
that it was claimed “these groups [referring to non-European immigrants)
had deteriorated biologically to such low levels that they could
contribute nothing to the improvement of the mestizo” (20). A new type of
racism was created in Chilean society. This study addresses our attention
to some of the cultural and structural factors that contributed Arabs’
difficulty on Chilean society incorporation.

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Received on Mon Nov 05 2007 - 23:04:08 EST

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