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.
Islam Dayeh in conversation with Carlo Ginzburg. In this Philological Conversation, Carlo Ginzburg reflects on the place of philology in his work and explores the connections between philology, microhistory, and casuistry. We talk about the people who inspired his early thinking, including his father Leone Ginzburg, his mother Natalia, and his grandfather, moving on to Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, and Sebastiano Timpanaro.
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.
By Mehdi Khorrami and Amir Moosavi. Can a text, in its broadest sense, transcend its primary sensory medium and trigger multisensory reactions? Can a painting activate the sense of taste, in addition to sight? Is it possible to see, taste or touch a piece of music while listening to it?
I’ll start by stating that not all comics at the core of my scholarship were created in the digital age. Yet, artists working today are very active in the blogosphere. The online dissemination of comics – and, in particular, those that critique authoritarian regimes or bear witness to shared and/or individual experiences of political trauma – keeps pace with the general dissemination of information on the internet.
Gods and Outcasts: Ambivalent Attitudes towards Health Workers in India during the Coronavirus Pandemic
By Gautam Liu. The COVID-19 pandemic in India generated a strange phenomenon in how health workers were perceived. On the one hand officials were not tired in proclaiming doctors and nurses as gods, on the other hand health workers were ostracized by large parts of the general population.
Teaching between Spoon-Feeding and Dialogue: My Experience in Institutions of Higher Education and in Interactive Theater
By Marie Elias (French Literature / Theater Studies, University of Damascus / Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, Damascus, Syria / Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon). Teaching is a difficult, exhausting profession, but an exciting one, and, if handled satisfactorily, it allows for enriching forms of knowledge and social interchange.
ماري إلياس (الأدب الفرنسي / الدراسات المسرحية، جامعة دمشق / المعهد العالي للفنون المسرحية بدمشق، سوريا / جامعة القديس يوسف ببيروت، لبنان). التعليم مهنة شاقّة ومتعبة ولكنّها شيّقة وتسمح بتواصل معرفي واجتماعي غني لو تمّ التعامل معه بشكل مُرض. أظنّ أنّ كلّ شخص درّس كان له رأيه ونظرته الخاصّين في هذه المهمّة. ما أريد طرحه هنا هو موقفي الشخصي من التعليم بناءً على تجربتي الخاصّة.
In this conversation Michael Allan and Gauri Viswanathan discuss connections among philology, literary history, and religion, drawing from writers such as Edward Said, B.R. Ambedkar, Zora Neale Hurston, Louis Massignon, and Kumud Pawde.
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?