By Rick Halpern. The first decades of the twentieth century were a remarkable period for heavy industry across much of North America and Europe. Mass production of goods such as rubber and steel – and consumer products like automobiles and radios – reached unprecedented levels.
What is a literary history of the present? There are many ways to imagine such a project and its debt to Foucauldian genealogy, from accounts of how literature writes history to how the notion of literature is a historical aspect of the present. This essay, part of the upcoming workshop, “The Literary 1980s in the MENA: Towards a History of the Present”, asks what trauma has come to name in Arabic literary studies since the 1980s.
By Fatemeh Shams. On 15 August 2021, Kabul fell to the Taliban, after twenty years of US-led military occupation. As the situation escalated over the following days and weeks, harrowing footage of airport stampedes, Taliban violence, protestors, chaos, and panic dominated the news. Four months later, the news cycle may have quietened, but the crisis in Afghanistan intensifies every day.
Just three weeks following my release after 16 years in prison in Syria, I started translating a book into Arabic. The book was “Powers and Prospects: Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order,” by Noam Chomsky. It had taken me some time to realize that the leading linguist and the harsh critic of American imperialism was the same person.
By Hala Auji and Nurçin İleri. Capitalism’s far-reaching social, industrial, and cultural implications on the socio-political aspects of production, labor, and class struggle are well-documented. Scholarship on labor has emphasized the social and economic aspects of the capitalist economy and the history of working classes in a global context.
By Hala Auji and Shana Minkin. After giving a talk on her book during the EUME Berliner Seminar in December 2021, Shana Minkin sat down with Hala Auji to chat about Imperial Bodies: Empire and Death in Alexandria, Egypt, which was published by Stanford University Press in 2019.
By Florian Riedler and Nenad Stefanov. Public discourse and official historiography in Southeast Europe still understand the Ottoman period as ‘backward’. This backwardness is particularly associated with social and cultural immobility. According to this perspective, the Ottoman state dominated the Balkan Peninsula and prevented it from ‘moving forward’ and ‘progressing’ like the rest of Europe.
By Christian Junge. What are the social functions of reading literature? While many studies approach Arabic literature primarily through the lens of authors, the literary field, or sociopolitical discourses, my interdisciplinary postdoctoral research project, “Affective Readings”, shifts the focus to the readers. I ask: What do readers read, and how and why?
By Ayşe Dayı and Hilal Alkan. The edited volume The Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary Turkey: Reproduction, Maternity and Sexuality illustrates and examines the various ways in which neoliberal modes of governing women’s bodies come together with religious, conservative, and authoritarian measures in contemporary Turkey.
Recently, business have been trying hard to refute the role of the manufacturing sector as a main contributor of COVID-19 cases. In this conversation, Aslı Odman, an instructor at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and a founding member and volunteer at Istanbul Health and Safety Labor Watch, discusses the socio-spatial inequalities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in industrial workspaces on both local and global scales.