In one of his last essays, “The Other America,” which was published in 2003 in the English-language Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram Weekly, Edward Said argues the need for scholarly studies of the United States from outside its geographical borders (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20 March 2003, http://english.ahram.org.eg). Said advocates for the establishment of independent centers for American studies research in the Middle East and North Africa in order to challenge dominant narratives about the United States, which construct an unchallenged “narratheme of America as the honest broker, the impartial adjudicator, the entirely well-intentioned international force for good.” These “narrathemes,” Said posits, delimit the broader cultural space for critique of U.S. empire, which is the space that Hosam Aboul-Ela skillfully opens up for students and scholars of U.S. literature and culture in Domestications: American Empire, Literary Culture, and the Postcolonial Lens.

While Domestications does not directly address “The...

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