|Saturday, October 06|
|New Directions in Middle East Intellectual History
October 46, 2012 2012 marks the passage of fifty years since Albert Hourani first published his transformative intellectual history of the modern Middle East, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939. During these intervening years, the study of the modern Middle East has grown by leaps and bounds, in many ways thanks to the scholarly interventions and personal efforts of Hourani himself, a Lebanese-British historian at Oxford who passed away in 1993. This international and inter-generational workshop is an opportunity to accomplish three fundamental imperatives for the field. First, the workshop will allow for a collective reflection on Hourani and his work by those who learned directly from him or have been inspired by his life, work and scholarly approach. Scholars continue to engage with the concepts and impact of the liberal age and the nahda (Arabic renaissance) for understanding the modern and contemporary Middle East and Islamic world. This workshop will assess both how far the field has come and stake out potential directions for further research. At the same time, and this is our second aim, the workshop will be among the first opportunities for a focused appraisal of cutting-edge research on and potential avenues for future inquiry into the matter of what might be called the intellectual, social, cultural, and political history of the post-liberal age, that is, from 1939-the present. Finally, in light of the dramatic upheaval currently sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa, now is a particularly opportune time to reconsider those themes, individuals, and political and social movements that were at the heart of Houranis foundational study. This reconsideration will shed light on core ideas and issues within our fields broader research agenda and are at the heart of ongoing political but also intellectual and cultural struggles across the Middle East and beyond.
219 Aaron Burr Hall 09:00 am
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