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October 2021 Monthly Digest

Lumbering State, Restless Society: Egypt in the Modern Era

Nathan J. Brown, Shimaa Hatab, and Amr Adly

Lumbering State, Restless Society offers a comprehensive and compelling understanding of modern Egypt. Nathan J. Brown, Shimaa Hatab, and Amr Adly guide readers through crucial developments in Egyptian politics, society, and economics from the middle of the twentieth century through the present. Integrating diverse perspectives and areas of expertise, including the tools of comparative politics, the book provides an accessible and clear introduction to the Egypt of today alongside an innovative and rigorous analysis of the country’s history and governance.

Brown, Hatab, and Adly highlight ways in which Egypt resembles other societies around the world, drawing from and contributing to broader debates in political science. They trace the emergence of a powerful and intrusive state alongside a society that is increasingly politicized, and they emphasize how the rulers and regimes who have built and steered the state apparatus have also had to retreat and recalibrate. The authors also examine why authoritarianism, corporatism, and socialism have decayed without resulting in a liberal democratic order, and they show why Egyptian politics should not be understood in terms of a single dominant force but rather an interplay among many actors. At once current, insightful, and engaging, Lumbering State, Restless Society delivers a powerful and distinctive account of modern Egypt in the modern world.


The Arab Spring Abroad: Diaspora Activism against Authoritarian Regimes

Dana M. Moss

The Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 sent shockwaves across the globe, mobilizing diaspora communities to organize forcefully against authoritarian regimes. Despite the important role that diasporas can play in influencing affairs in their countries of origin, little is known about when diaspora actors mobilize, how they intervene, or what makes them effective. This book addresses these questions, drawing on over 230 original interviews, fieldwork, and comparative analysis. Examining Libyan, Syrian, and Yemeni mobilization from the US and Great Britain before and during the revolutions, Dana M. Moss presents a new framework for understanding the transnational dynamics of contention and the social forces that either enable or suppress transnational activism.


Screen Shots: State Violence on Camera in Israel and Palestine

Rebecca L. Stein

In the last two decades, amid the global spread of smartphones, state killings of civilians have increasingly been captured on the cameras of both bystanders and police. Screen Shots studies this phenomenon from the vantage point of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Here, cameras have proliferated as political tools in the hands of a broad range of actors and institutions, including Palestinian activists, Israeli soldiers, Jewish settlers, and human rights workers. All trained their lens on Israeli state violence, propelled by a shared dream: that advances in digital photography—closer, sharper, faster—would advance their respective political agendas. Most would be let down.

Drawing on ethnographic work, Rebecca L. Stein chronicles Palestinian video-activists seeking justice, Israeli soldiers laboring to perfect the military's image, and Zionist conspiracy theorists accusing Palestinians of "playing dead." Writing against techno-optimism, Stein investigates what camera dreams and disillusionment across these political divides reveal about the Israeli and Palestinian colonial present, and the shifting terms of power and struggle in the smartphone age.


Egypt’s Football Revolution: Emotion, Masculinity, and Uneasy Politics

By Carl Rommel

Both a symbol of the Mubarak government’s power and a component in its construction of national identity, football served as fertile ground for Egyptians to confront the regime’s overthrow during the 2011 revolution. With the help of the state, appreciation for football in Egypt peaked in the late 2000s. Yet after Mubarak fell, fans questioned their previous support, calling for a reformed football for a new, postrevolutionary nation.

In Egypt’s Football Revolution, Carl Rommel examines the politics of football as a space for ordinary Egyptians and state forces to negotiate a masculine Egyptian chauvinism. Basing his discussion on several years of fieldwork with fans, players, journalists, and coaches, he investigates the increasing attention paid to football during the Mubarak era; its demise with the 2011 uprisings and 2012 Port Said massacre, which left seventy-two fans dead; and its recent rehabilitation. Cairo’s highly organized and dedicated Ultras fans became a key revolutionary force through their antiregime activism, challenging earlier styles of fandom and making visible entrenched ties between sport and politics. As the appeal of football burst, alternative conceptions of masculinity, emotion, and politics came to the fore to demand or prevent revolution and reform.



Scholarships/Fellowships

New Paradigms Factory | Cycle 5 

Gendered Resistance: Ethical Practices in Oral Narratives

Writing fellowships for scholars and activists in the Arab region

Deadline extended until December 15, 2021!

Call for Applications: New Paradigms Factory | Cycle 5

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) is pleased to launch the fifth cycle of its New Paradigms Factory program (NPF) on the theme of “Gendered Resistance: Ethical Practices in Oral Narratives", a writing fellowship for scholars and activists in the Arab region.


Research Grants Program (RGP) | Cycle 9 (2022-2024)

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) is pleased to announce the ninth cycle of its Research Grants Program on the theme of "Health and Livelihoods in the Arab Region: Wellbeing, Vulnerability and Conflict"

Application Deadline: November 23, 2021

Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR - Occupied Pleasures series, Gaza

Articles & Journals

Education and alienation: The case of displaced Syrians and refugees

Basileus Zeno

Before the Syrian uprising (2011) and the subsequent war, Syria's literacy rates were among the highest in the Middle East and North Africa region. However, after a decade-long humanitarian crisis and devastating war, all aspects of life, including education, have been fundamentally transformed. Building on ethnographic fieldwork (2014–2019) that includes 76 interviews with Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in the United States and six remote interviews with displaced families inside Syria, this contribution examines the impact of the Syrian conflict on education by showing the challenges that contribute to the alienation of displaced Syrian children and youth inside Syria as well as in the United States. Inside Syria, I discuss the institutionalization of violence and the construction of internal “othering” through the implementation of different and competing educational curriculums that invest in identity politics. Outside Syria, I examine how educational gaps affected asylum seekers and refugees in the United States. I show the ways in which the lack of systematic and sustainable support to address linguistic, cultural, and financial challenges that displaced Syrians face sustained this gap. I conclude by proposing policy recommendations that address these challenges which I argue are key determinants to any future efforts of peace-building and reconciliation in Syria.


Nathan J. Brown, Shimaa Hatab, and Amr Adly, Lumbering State, Restless Society: Egypt in the Modern Era

Interview with the Authors on their book Lumbering State, Restless Society: Egypt in the Modern Era.

Lectures/Webinars

Palestine is Throwing a Party and the Whole World is Invited

Thursday 11 November 2021 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Presented by the London School of Economics

In 2008, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad invited international investors to the first-ever Palestine Investment Conference, which was designed to jump-start the process of integrating Palestine into the global economy. As Fayyad described the conference, Palestine is “throwing a party, and the whole world is invited.”

Join us for a discussion of the book, in which Kareem Rabie examines how the conference and Fayyad's rhetoric represented a wider shift in economic and political practice in ways that oriented state-scale Palestinian politics toward neoliberal globalization rather than a diplomatic two-state solution. Rabie demonstrates that private firms, international aid organizations, and the Palestinian government in the West Bank focused on large-scale private housing development in an effort toward state-scale economic stability and market building. This approach reflected the belief that a thriving private economy would lead to a free and functioning Palestinian state. Yet, as Rabie contends, these investment-based policies have maintained the status quo of occupation and Palestine's subordinate and suspended political and economic relationship with Israel.

Speakers & Chair:

Kareem Rabie is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Gökçe Günel is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rice University.

Lucy Garbett is a research student at LSE.

Deen Sharp is LSE Fellow in Human Geography at LSE.

Sara Salem is Assistant Professor of Sociology at LSE.


Ten Years On: Displacement, Disruption and Scholarly Production in the Aftermath of Uprisings

November 3, 3:30 pm EDT

Ten years on from the uprisings in the Arab world—and with similar anniversaries in Iran and Turkey just past or upcoming—the specific effects of the displacements triggered in the aftermath of these events remain understudied. For example, in much of the region counter-revolutionary forces have targeted universities and scholars, clamping down on academic freedoms, criminalizing forms of research and study, and even reframing whole disciplines around national security priorities. Among the many impacts of authoritarian retrenchment has been a significant brain drain from parts of the region. How have these post-uprising displacements affected cultural production and knowledge production within and about the region? This panel will explore the disruptions to research and the circulation of ideas in and about the region as well as some of the generative possibilities and new networks that have been produced as a consequence of the many different forms of displacement that have affected scholars, students, activists, intellectuals and artists in the aftermath of uprisings.

Job Openings

Join the Arab council for Social Sciences’ Team

Join the ACSS Team!​​

Deadline for Applications: Friday, November 26, 2021

Are you interested in a career in the fields of social science and humanities?

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS) is now recruiting at all levels for Program Assistants, Coordinators, Officers and Managers.


Boston University, Center for Antiracist Research

Deadline: 2021/11/01 11:59 PM

The College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University invites applications for an Associate Director of Policy at the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research (“CAR”)to begin July 2022, pending budgetary approval. We seek a senior scholar (Associate or Full professor) with a strong publication record on topics related to antiracist practice and policy. The successful applicant will also serve as a tenured faculty member of an appropriate department, including Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science or Sociology and will be expected to engage in research, teaching, and mentoring commensurate with such an appointment.

James Madison University, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Black Politics - Department of Political Science

Deadline: Open Until Filled

The Political Science Department at James Madison University is seeking a tenure-track faculty member specializing in Black Politics at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning August 2022. A doctoral degree in political science or other relevant field is required by the starting date for appointment as Assistant Professor; ABD candidates are encouraged to apply. We welcome applications from scholars of any subfield of political science or related discipline whose work addresses any substantive area of Black Politics within or outside the United States. We are open to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. The successful applicant will teach courses on Black Politics and other courses reflective of their expertise and departmental teaching needs. We encourage applications from candidates who can offer classes that might cross-list with JMU’s existing programs in African, African American, and Diaspora Studies (AAAD),  Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies (LAXC), and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS).

Podcasts

BBC News World Service presents Africa Today

A military coup in Sudan: Coup leaders dissolve the Sovereign Council and impose a state of emergency.

There's been a coup in Sudan. Army General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. has dissolved the sovereign council. A state of emergency has been imposed, but thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the takeover. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hamdok has been detained, his whereabouts are unknown. Other ministers are also in custody.


UPCOMING EVENTS

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