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TALK | Popular Politics and the Making of Post-Colonial Lebanon, 1943-1955
TALK | Popular Politics and the Making of Post-Colonial Lebanon, 1943-1955
WhenThursday, Nov 2, 2017, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesAcademics, Lectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of History; Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization; Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Near & Middle Eastern Studies; Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities; and Middle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. 

Speaker: Ziad Abu-Rish, Assistant Professor of History, Ohio University

This lecture draws on Ziad Abu-Rish’s book project on the political economy of state formation in early independence Lebanon. It highlights the various forms that popular politics took in the period between 1943 and 1955, the first twelve years of independence. These include political parties, labor unions, student groups, and other formal and informal formations. This includes a particular emphasis on how such mobilizations intersected with the twin processes of state building and economic development. The lecture draws on a wide range of Arabic, English, and French-language primary sources. The argument challenges two tendencies in the scholarship on Lebanon: First, the dismissal of popular politics as irrelevant, manipulated by elites, or driven by sectarian logics. Second, the analytic separation between the institution-building inherent in processes of state building and the mobilizations of popular sectors of society. Abu-Rish offers new insights into the nature of politics, state building, and economic development in Lebanon during a relatively under-studied period.

Ziad Abu-Rish is Assistant Professor of History at Ohio University, where his teaching centers on the political, social, and cultural history of the modern Middle East. Abu-Rish has published articles on state formation, economic development, and social mobilization in the mid-twentieth-century Levant. He earned his PhD in History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. He serves on the editorial teams of the Arab Studies Journal and the e-zine Jadaliyya.

Abu-Rish also appears on “Making Your Public Scholarship Career Scholarship,” a roundtable of the Simpson Center’s project New Scholarly Practices, Broader Career Paths in Near & Middle Eastern Studies, at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, November 3, in Communications 226.…
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