The biopolitical governmentality of nation-state projects ranges from managing ethnic and racial difference to instituting processes of modernization, often seen as concomitant with Westernization. The transgressions of everyday life and cultural production that expose the limits of such projects are the concerns of two recent texts that consider the Middle East in relation to the United States from the perspectives of the Iranian diaspora and Turkish public culture and folklore. From the limits of whiteness to the limits of Westernization, Neda Maghbouleh and Perin E. Gürel’s books demonstrate how figures and concepts are constructed and mobilized across time and space and how attention to the local reveals the disconnects and transgressions of governmental, imperial, and nationalist discourses and regimes. Maghbouleh’s multisited analysis exposes the liminality of Iranianness in a North American ethnic and racial schema in which it...

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