Custom-building the fictions of the nation: Arab Argentine rewritings of the gaucho

Christina Civantos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article addresses the discursive relationship and intersecting construction of identities between Arabs and Argentines by examining how Arab immigrants in Argentina make use of the invocations and representations of the gaucho and the Arab, produced by canonical Euro-Argentine writers at the turn of the last century. Whereas Sarmiento and Lugones, prominent Argentine intellectuals, pair the figures of the Arab and the gaucho to further their exclusivist nationalist projects, the Arab Argentines Hallar and Yaser make use of these correlations between Arabs and gauchos to write alternative histories that create a deep connection between Arab immigrants and Argentina. These writers turn the gesture of rejection of ethnic immigrants - that is, the elevation of the gaucho to national hero - into an entry point for Arab immigrants into Argentine subjecthood. Moreover, even the Arab Argentine writers’ narratives participate in orientalism, leading to a reevaluation of theorizations of both orientalism and counterrepresentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-87
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2001


  • Arab immigration
  • Argentina
  • counterrepresentation
  • ethnicity
  • gaucho
  • nationalism
  • orientalism
  • race
  • subjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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