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Hosam Aboul-Ela

Loving the Lens: ‘American Sniper’ as Movie and Event

[Still image from

American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. USA, 2014. There is a lull at the moment in the clamor around Clint Eastwood's controversial film American Sniper, as award season ends and the movie's powerful box office stamina pushes the DVD release into the summer. This moment perhaps offers an opportunity to consider what—if anything—might or should be said about it as a piece of cinema. Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper in the title role, has to have been the most written ...

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Ben Affleck's "Argo": A Movie about a Movie

[Detail of Argo film poster. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Argo. Directed by Ben Affleck. USA, 2012. 1. Suspense and Espionage for a New Era As the awarding of the Oscars draws near, one is reminded of what is not being said. The kerfuffle around Zero Dark Thirty's representations of torture has been interesting, but no less than the docile reception among reviewers and awards voters regarding the far more competitive of the film's set in West Asia, Ben Affleck's Argo. At one level, Affleck has created a rousing espionage ...

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An Elegy Out of Stories

[Photo: Brown University]

When my close friend of nearly two decades, the celebrated New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid, died suddenly last week of an asthma attack while crossing the border from Syria into Turkey, the plethora of tributes to him over the course of the next day helped me overcome the shock. Still, as someone who knew Anthony well and shared so many things in common, I could not help but think of what was left out of the portraits drawn by his colleagues in the media ...

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Hosam Aboul-Ela


Hosam Aboul-Ela is an Associate Professor in the University of Houston’s Department of English. He is the translator of three Arabic novels, including Sonallah Ibrahim's Stealth. He is the author of numerous critical articles in the areas of literature of the Americas, Latin American cultural studies, and Arab cultural studies and of Other South: Faulkner, Coloniality, and the Mariátegui Tradition (Pittsburgh, 2007), and co-editor with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak of the Palgrave/Macmillan series, "Theory in the World."