This talk aims to move beyond simplistic and often celebratory accounts of Kurdish women fighters resisting ISIS in Syria and Iraq by exploring underlying ideological and political underpinnings. We illustrate the dialectical relationship between the writings of the political leader (Öcalan), and the resistance to male hegemony within the movement on behalf of Kurdish women activists. We interrogate the long-term prospect of radical gender equality and justice in a context of escalating conflict, militarization and the prevalence of conservative gender norms and relations, particularly pertaining to sexuality.
Join the Center for Palestine Studies for a night of staged readings about Israel-Palestine. Attendance is free. To reserve your seat RSVP at palestine.mei.columbia.edu.
The times in which we live are rife with interventions - humanitarian, financial, and political - into the inner affairs of sovereign states. Deep incisions into the body politic, they injure even as they seek to heal, upturning conventional understandings of the state as an autonomous entity by inserting foreign elements beneath its skin. This paper sketches out a genealogy for these practices, tracing them back to the nineteenth-century Mediterranean and the particular sovereign arrangements born of the Ottoman empire’s unhappy encounter with Britain and France. From the 1830s onwards, it argues, these two states devised novel ways of organising population, territory, and debt and new understandings of sovereignty.
In Tunis, the first collections of antiquities were established in the 18th - 19th centuries. European Consuls, foreign scholars, and international traders acquired most of the archaeological remains then available from the ancient city of Carthage. Whether growing out of their personal taste, commercial considerations, or a desire for cultural distinction, they enriched the collections of major European museums. This collecting practice was not limited to foreigners, but also touched the local ruling class.
In writings about Islam, women and modernity in the Middle East, family and religion are frequently invoked but rarely historicized. Based on a wide range of local sources spanning two centuries (1660-1860), Beshara Doumani argues that there is no such thing as a typical Muslim or Arab family type that is so central to Orientalist, nationalist, and Islamist political imaginations. Rather, one finds dramatic regional differences, even within the same cultural zone, in the ways that family was understood, organized, and reproduced. In his comparative examination of the property devolution strategies and gender regimes in the context of local political economies, Doumani offers a groundbreaking examination of the stories and priorities of ordinary people and how they shaped the making of the modern Middle East.
Arab Patriotism: The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017) challenges the received narrative that Arabism in general and Egyptian territorial nationalism in particular emerged in opposition to the Ottoman and British Empires and primarily from below. The author argues instead that early Arabic nationalist culture was produced in dialogue with the localized Ottoman power by educated Arabs who integrated Muslim and European cultural forms in their search for political inclusion and patronage.
Gil Hochberg will be speaking this Monday October 9th, 6:00-7:30 pm in 754 Schermerhon Ext: "Minor Archives: Memory, Narrative and Counter-Narrative”.
Simone Brioni's paper analyses to what extent Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of the three main features of ‘minor literature’ – namely ‘the deterritorialization of language, the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation’ – are relevant in analyzing literature by authors of Somali origins in Italian.
Because of Deleuze and Guattari’s abstract reference to gender and race issues and their vague concern for the geographical, linguistic and cultural specificities of literatures by minor authors, she will argue that ‘minor literature’ should not be seen as a rigid framework to be applied in interpreting a specific case study, although its theoretical flexibility might be useful when investigating a literature that strongly refuse categorization. In particular, Deleuze and Guattari’s reference to ‘minor’ ‘literature as a literature ‘in becoming’ helps to identify the position of Somali Italian literature in a transnational context, proposing some changes in how 'Italian' literature has been conceptualized so far.
The film Looted and Hidden focuses on a number of groundbreaking institutions that were plundered: The Palestine Research Center, the Palestinian Cinema Institution (PCI) and the Cultural Arts Center (CAS) of the PLO. These bodies were among the first to document Palestinian existence and to preserve, research and chart the visual and written Palestinian history from the late 1960s onward. Looted and Hidden , the first film devoted to the subject, follows pioneering, bold, and idealistic creators and directors and the archives they built, focusing mainly on the cinematic enterprise created by the CAS and PCI. Tracing their pillaging, administration and control by Israel - looting, censorship, denial of access, and erasure - the film raises questions about archival institutions in areas of conflict and points, as in detective work, to the need to dig into the invisible and hidden in order to reveal what has been erased or rewritten.
Welcome back to the new academic year and the MESAAS Departmental Colloquium, which will next take place on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4:10pm in 208 Knox Hall.
In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters.
What can we learn from public debates about Muslim women that hinge on a right—the “right to choose freely”—that has been enshrined in international feminist conventions and that animates the popular American and European imagination about such practices as veiling and arranged marriage? As an anthropologist, Professor Abu-Lughod will look to the everyday lives of young women in one Egyptian village to teach us a different way to think about choice and also to expose the politics of common fantasies about this "right."
An investigative journey into Arab children’s literature, exploring the manners through which Arab ‘grown ups’ exported\translated their own tragic sense of collective ‘defeats’ into a literary form directed to the Arab children as a reading public.