This session will examine the workings of power on multiple levels. One main level is the question of violence in postcolonial societies, and the historical discourses that have been internalized in colonial contexts by both the colonizer and the colonized. Another level that the speakers will consider is the very process of knowledge production by academics, and the ways this knowledge is used, or misused, by agents of power.
Mahmood Mamdani Beyond Nuremberg: The Historical Significance of the Post-Apartheid Transition in South Africa
Rana Barakat (live from Ramallah): A Colonial History? The Lost Narrative of Liberation in Palestinian Historical Discourse
Asef Bayat Our Knowledge, Their Power
Samia Mehrez On Walls, Revolutions, and Universities: In Dialog with Edward Said
Asef Bayat is the Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies and teaches Sociology at the University of Illinois. The Iranian-American scholar has written extensively on non-movements, politic and everyday life, Islam and the modern world. Among his most notable publications is "Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East" (2nd edition, 2013).
Rana Barakat is an assistant professor of history and contemporary Arab studies at Birzeit University in Palestine and an adviser for the Palestinian Policy Network Al Shabaka. Her research interests include the social history of Jerusalem, colonialism, and revolutionary social movements.
Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University and director of the Markerere Institute for Social research (MISR), Kampala. His work explores the intersection between politics and culture, the modern state and the colonial subject, and the theory, history and practice of human rights.
Samia Mehrez is a professor of Arabic Literature and director of the Center for Translation Studies at the American University in Cairo. She is the editor of "Translating Egypt’s Revolution: the Language of Tahrir" (2012).
Adania Shibli is a writer and scholar who is living and working between Berlin and Jerusalem. She has twice been awarded with the Qattan Young Writer's Award-Palestine, in 2001 and 2003. Her scholarly work engages with visual culture and the history of vision especially in Arabic Culture; her writing-span reaches from fiction to narrative essays with critical inputs on political and social realities.