Colony, Community, and Commentary
Monday, April 16, 2012, from 12:00-2:00 pm for the final MENA workshop of the semester.
Our colleague Elizabeth Marcus (French and Romance Philology and ICLS) will present her dissertation prospectus titled, "Colony, Community, and Commentary: The Dialogic Construction of la particularité libanaise, 1943-1958”
My dissertation examines the way in which writers in post-independence Lebanon explored and articulated different contemporary meanings of the term `community´, and the way in which we can consider their articulations of this term in respect of contemporary debates in France on the conception and construction of the postwar community from 1943-1958. Through an examination of numerous different sources -political writings, journalism, legal commentaries and fiction -I will examine local intellectual life in Lebanon at a moment of political, cultural and legal change.
My work looks to propose an alternative framework through which we can look at post-independence Lebanon, in order to answer the following questions: after the French helped to conceptualize the legal construction of the Lebanese community subsequent to negotiations regarding the Lebanese constitution of 1926, in what way was the Lebanese `community´ envisioned after Lebanese independence? How did Lebanese intellectuals deal with a moment of rupture and continuity, and did they see it framed -both politically and discursively- in such terms? In what way did these expressions find resonance in discussions of community in France after the war? What were the intersections -if any- between Lebanese and French intellectuals regarding their approaches towards the role of the state, the individual and the community?
Professor Madeleine Dobie will serve as discussant and help begin our conversation about Elizabeth's work. As always, the MENA workshop will be held in 208 Knox Hall. Lunch, courtesy of the Middle East Institute, will be served at 12 and the discussion will begin at 12:30.
If you are planning to attend, please RSVP by Thursday, April 12 so we can order the food accordingly. We will also send all attendees a copy of Elizabeth's prospectus to read in advance. Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in the extremely fruitful discussions at our MENA workshops this semester. We look forward to seeing you all this coming Monday!
Sponsored by the Middle East Institute with the support of MESAAS, the MENA workshop provides a forum for Ph.D. students from any department working in the field of Middle Eastern Studies to present conference papers or dissertation chapters for discussion among a group of faculty and fellow students.
This interdisciplinary workshop is intended for graduate students working on any aspect of Middle Eastern and/or North African studies, to discuss their research and writing, and particularly to serve as a forum for students to present works-in-progress from their dissertations and to receive constructive feedback from students and from faculty. Each session, a group of fellow graduate students, faculty and other workshop participants will discuss a pre-circulated paper offering commentary, discussion and constructive advice for further research and revision. The papers will be distributed one week prior to each session, via the MENA listserv.
The workshop meets approximately twice a month throughout the semester, on Mondays from 12-2:00, in Knox 208. Each session will begin with lunch (courtesy of Columbia's Middle East Institute) from 12-12:30, to be followed by the paper discussion from 12:30-2:00. The conversation will begin with some brief comments by a discussant, before opening up to the entire workshop for discussion.
If you are at all interested in presenting a paper, participating as a discussant or just attending the workshop and joining in the discussion please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about scheduling, presenting, participation or anything else about the workshop, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.