Critical Approaches to Middle East Studies: Subjects, Culture, Political Formations

Membership, contacts, brief description

Critical Approaches to Middle East Studies: Subjects, Culture, Political Formations

This working group will investigate the creation of ethical subjects, political formations, digital culture, and cultural production in dialogue with ongoing debates in contemporary Islam. The twentieth and twenty-first century have seen the constant remaking of Middle Eastern states, a process that is always also predicated upon cultural transformation and new conceptualizations of ideal subjects. Today, some 40 years since the 1970s-era “Islamic Revival” and five years beyond the Arab Uprisings, is an ideal moment to observe how Islamic counterpublics have formed and reformed in a spectrum of relationships to changing states, institutions, and communicative media, both within nation-states and in diaspora. We are interested in tracing how “Islamic values” have been (re)conceptualized and deployed in cultural production of all kinds, and how discourses of ethical subjecthood and citizenship have emerged as both preconditions and effects of political-cultural projects of social transformation.

Farzaneh Hemmasi, Faculty of Music
Sara Saljoughi, UTSC English
Jairan Gahan, Ph.D. cand, Study of Religion
Alia O’Brien, Ph.D. cand., Faculty of Music

Faculty at University of Toronto
Suzanne Akbari, FAS English and Medieval Studies
Laura Bisaillon, UTSC Health Studies
Anver Emon, Faculty of Law
Jens Hanssen, FAS Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Kajri Jain, UTM Visual Studies
Nasim Niknafs, Faculty of Music
James Reilly, FAS Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani, UTM Historical Studies
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, UTM Historical Studies

Graduate Students at University of Toronto
Khalidah Ali, Study of Religion
Joud Alkorni, Study of Religion
Lina Al-Sharmy, Art History
Susan Benson-Sokmen, History
Dina Fergani, Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Nefise Kahraman, Comparative Literature
Marjan Moosavi, Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies
Hadi Milanyoo, Music
Hamid Salehyar, Music
Youcef Soufi, Study of Religion
Bahar Tajrobehkar, Faculty of Physical Education

Graduate Students outside University of Toronto
Ahsan Moghul, York University and Ryerson University Joint Program in Communications & Culture