Welcome

Welcome to the website for the Minorities in the Modern Middle East Workshop at Portland State University, April 26-27, 2013.

Political, ethnic, and religious divides intersect in the modern Middle East in ways that give form to various articulations of the term “minority.” While some of these minority groups are indigenous to the region with a collective presence that predates the creation of the modern nation-states, others are only now beginning to articulate their minority identities in response to shifting political and social contexts. Since 9/11, and now more intensively amidst the upheavals of the “Arab Spring,” the simplistic political and media discourse that had previously portrayed the Middle East as a homogenous region has given way to an equally problematic discourse that casts the region and its societies as deeply and essentially divided along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines. Meanwhile, new articulations of minority and minoritized identities are forming within different Middle Eastern states, extending and contesting the conceptual boundaries of minority politics.