Our Own Orient: Mecca, California, and Dates 26 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Eleanor Daly Finnegan, Harvard University Comment: Laura Barraclough, Yale University
Residents changed the name of Walters, California to Mecca in 1904. They were trying to use the exoticism of the Middle East to sell dates. This paper will focus on Mecca, California and the Indio Date Festival, looking at the complicated ways in which Orientalism has changed in the United States, its relationship to consumerism, and the economic connections made to the Middle East.
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