Accepted Paper:

The Middle East in Sweden  
Annika Rabo (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

Research in cultural and religious studies as well as the social sciences, with a focus on migrants with 'roots' in the Middle East, has proliferated in Sweden. Although much of this leans on postcolonial theory, neo-Orientalist images are produced within a very Swedish national context.

Paper long abstract:

Anthropology on, and in, the Middle East has never been particularly strong in Sweden. But in the last decades, due to a large migrant population with roots in the Middle East, research in cultural and religious studies as well as the social sciences, with a focus on the 'Middle Easterners within' has proliferated. In this paper I will delineate the variety of research conducted and describe some of the topical foci. I will argue that although post-colonial theory is lauded and bowed to, this research produces what I will call neo-Orientalist images of the Middle East 'out there' as well as the 'Middle Easterners within'. Although transnational perspectives have had a deep impact on the social and cultural sciences, little of this is reflected in research on the 'Middle Easterners within'. Instead this research is typically conducted within a very Swedish national context.

Panel W088
One hundred years of European anthropology in and on the Middle East: 1900-2000