CORPOREALITY IN ARAB PUBLIC CULTURE: THE STATE OF THE FIELD
October 19-21, 2015, NIAS, Wassenaar, Netherlands
At once deeply private and unequivocally public, the human body is central to how we experience the world and grapple with it. Over the last century, many critics and philosophers have devoted themselves to studying and theorizing how our body interacts with the world. Throughout the twentieth century, the body as medium, symbol and battleground was central to feminist, anti-colonial, and other political struggles. More recently, the notion of embodiment has emerged as a central preoccupation in interdisciplinary research on art, culture, politics, and media, intensified by the rise of the digital in neoliberal times.
This NIAS-PARGC workshop, “Corporeality in Arab Public Culture: The State of the Field,” seeks to take stock of research on the cultural, social and political dimensions of the body by focusing on corporeality in Arab public culture, and by doing so, identify key theoretical and methodological insights. Workshop participants, encompassing a wide gamut of disciplinary affiliations and career stages, will explore the body as theme, medium, symbol, sensorium, metaphor and battleground in various sites including novels, social media and public space. To be explored are key articulations between area studies and theory, materiality and representation, gender and social class, structure and event, hopefully leading to some elucidation of tensions between various approaches to studying the body, like transgression, phenomenology, semiotics, biopolitics and queer theory.
Co-sponsored by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences and Humanities (NIAS) and the Project for Advanced Research in Global Communication (PARGC) at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and convened by NIAS Fellow and PARGC Director Marwan M. Kraidy, the workshop will be held October 19-21, 2015, on the NIAS campus in the beautiful North Sea dunes of Wassenaar, in the Netherlands, less than an hour away from Amsterdam.