• Making nations, in the Mahjar: Syrian and Lebanese long-distance nationalisms in New York City, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires, 1913-1929

    Stacy Fahrenthold (see profile)
    Global & Transnational Studies, History, Ottoman and Turkish Studies
    Syria, Middle East, Arab countries, Emigration and immigration, Ethnicity, Immigrants--Social conditions, Nationalism--Study and teaching, Migration, Internal--Study and teaching, Imperialism
    Item Type:
    Northeastern University
    immigration, lebanon, borders, partition, Arab Middle East, Diaspora studies, Nationalism studies, Migration studies, Colonialism
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    This dissertation traces the emergence of transnational political institutions among Arabophone Ottoman emigrants living in New York City, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires, and analyzes the development of a long-distance nationalist politics among emigrant activists during and after World War I. Using socially-produced primary materials written and circulated by Syrian and Lebanese emigrants themselves, this research argues that emigrants living abroad played fundamental roles in the nascence of competing Arab, Syrian, and Lebanese nationalist movements. From the Americas, these activists were the first to envision a post-Ottoman political future for the homeland which placed Syria (or Lebanon, established in 1920) within the international community of nation states. The pursuit of nation-building led many of these activists to pursue partnership with the Entente Powers, particularly France and the United States of America. The partnerships formed between Syrian emigrants and the Great Powers influenced the politics of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and helped to usher in the French Mandate declared over Syria and Lebanon in 1920. But as the French instituted an increasingly imperialistic state over the Levant, sizable emigrant communities in the Americas presented a constant source of dissent, agitation against French rule, and support for an increasingly radical nationalist movement. By tracing nationalist politics and activism across transnational space, this study labors towards a needed reframing of modern Syrian and Lebanese history within the social networks and human geographies of individuals, rather than the territorial confines of the nation-state.
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago


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