Political Feuding and Categorization

I first met Dr. Deanna Womack in Canada at a conference in which we both were presenting papers and wish to draw attention to her scholarsgideon-53-years-vol-2hip. Now at Emory University, she has completed important work on the history of North American missionaries in Beirut in the 19th century. She discusses the inter-religious interaction between Christians and Muslims in the Ottoman Syria. Like any set of sociopolitical relations, it’s complicated.

I found her work compelling and timely in light of this year’s election. Let us not oversimplify. Let us not vilify. Let us guard against gross overstatements. Let us be even-handed and generous. Let us resist categorization and confirmation bias. Let us think more critically than to merely represent “‘the other’ [as]  1) a collectivity rather than recognizing individual identities and 2) to presume to speak authoritatively without taking the subjects’ own perspectives into account.”

Dr. Womack’s profile available here.




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