European Others offers an interrogation into the position of racialized communities in the European Union, arguing that the tension between a growing nonwhite, non-Christian population and insistent essentialist definitions of Europeanness produces new forms of identity and activism. Moving beyond disciplinary and national limits, Fatima El-Tayeb explores structures of resistance, tracing a Europeanization from below in which migrant and minority communities challenge the ideology of racelessness that places them firmly outside the community of citizens.
Using a notable variety of sources, from drag performances to feminist Muslim activism and Euro hip-hop, El-Tayeb draws on the largely ignored archive of vernacular culture central to resistance by minority youths to the exclusionary nationalism that casts them as threatening outcasts. At the same time, she reveals the continued effect of Europe’s suppressed colonial history on the representation of Muslim minorities as the illiberal Other of progressive Europe.
Presenting a sharp analysis of the challenges facing a united Europe seen by many as a model for twenty-first-century postnational societies, El-Tayeb combines theoretical influences from both sides of the Atlantic to lay bare how Europeans of color are integral to the continent’s past, present, and, inevitably, its future.
"European Others is a ground-breaking study, a theoretical adventure, and a major contribution to the literature on European racisms, queer diaspora, immigration, queer subcultures, and queer of color critique. No other scholar, to put it plainly, has worked on these materials in this way; no other scholar has managed to launch the critique of European nationalisms from the vantage point of queer of color subcultural groups; and no other scholar has been able to weave together the strands of sexuality, gender, race, and resistance in such a daring and compelling way." -Judith Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure
"Fatima El-Tayeb's bold and graceful new book is an electrifying piece of original scholarship on contemporary `vernacular' cultures of community-building in Europe. The world's leading expert on minoritarian countercultures of art and activism in western Europe today, El-Tayeb sets entirely new standards for intersectional theories of race and sexuality in an age of accelerated transformation. Greater even than the sum of its very incisive parts, El-Tayeb's European Others focuses on the lived experience of marginalized social groups to craft a new critical idiom for conceptualizing Europe, globalization, diaspora, and marginalization itself." -Leslie A. Adelson, Cornell University