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BOOK TALK | The Untold Event



An investigative journey into Arab children's literature, exploring the manners through which Arab grownups' exported/translated their own tragic sense of collective 'defeats' into a literary form directed to the Arab children as a reading public.


Esmail Nashif is associate professor of anthropology at the Sociology and Anthropology program. He is also an art critic and curator and has published several collections of short stories. He has initiated different cultural projects and institutions that cater for art and literature in the Palestinian context, in order to build institutional infrastructures for advancing knowledge production, art, and literature.  

His main research fields are materiality, language, ideology, plasticity, and aesthetics. He addresses the theoretical discourses on these fields and their history. In order to examine the manners of operation of these fields, he looks at colonial contexts, especially the Arab-Islamic and the Palestinian ones. 

Of his important publications is Palestinian Political Prisoners: Identity and community (Routledge, 2008). As part of his ongoing research on the possibility of knowledge production via the particularity of the Palestinian tragic history, he has published Gradus for Opening the Episteme (Al Farabi, 2014, 2th ed.). His comprehensive book on contemporary Palestinian culture came out in 2012:  The Architecture of Loss: The question of contemporary Palestinian culture (Al Farabi). In this book, he addresses the major transformation of Palestinian culture in the last two decades. He has published several studies on the plastic art field in Palestine. The latest book on this subject is On Palestinian Abstraction: Zohdy Qadry and the geometric melody of Late Modernism (Raya Publication, 2014). In this book, he tries to trace the major constitutive intersections in the history of the Palestinian abstract art since the mid-19th century up to date. 

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He wrote his dissertation on Max Weber's theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff (1922-2006), the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time. Professor Dabashi has taught and delivered lectures in many North American, European, Arab, and Iranian universities.