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Radical Hospitality: American Policy, Media, and Immigration re-imagines the ethical relationship of host societies towards newcomers by applying the concept of hospitality to two specific realms that impact the lives of immigrants in the United States: policy and media. The book calls attention to the moral responsibility of the host in welcoming a stranger. It sets the stage for the analysis with a historical background of the first host-guest diads of American hospitality, arguing that the early history of American hospitality was marked by the degeneration of the host-guest relationship into one of host-hostage, normalizing a racial discrimination that continues to plague immigration hospitality to this day. Author Nour Halabi presents a historical policy and media discourse analysis of immigration regulation and media coverage during three periods of US history: the 1880s and the Chinese Exclusion Act, the 1920s and the National Origins Act and the 2000s and the Muslim travel ban. In so doing, it demonstrates how U.S. immigration hospitality, from its peaks in the post-Independence period to its nadir in the Muslim travel ban, has fallen short of true hospitality in spite of the nation’s oft-touted identity as a “nation of immigrants.” At the same time, the book calls attention to how a discourse of hospitality, although fraught, may allow a radical reimagining of belonging and authority that unsettles settler-colonial assumptions of belonging and welcome a restorative outlook to immigration policy and its media coverage in society.
About the Author
NOUR HALABI is an assistant professor at the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds in the UK.
"Nour Halabi masterfully tracks the representation of immigrants in American media and how it shapes popular perceptions about immigrants and policies on immigration. She brings attention to the silenced histories of immigration in the US context and invites us to make the connections between these silences and the current reality of these marginalized groups."
— Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed
"The media plays a key role in shaping immigration discourse in the United States. Nour Halabi’s excellent book, Radical Hospitality, sheds light on how contradictory ideas of hospitality and xenophobia can both exist through her analysis of immigration regulation and media coverage during key historical periods of U.S. history from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Muslim travel ban."
— Nancy Yuen