Rethinking the Nahda
Workshop University of Oslo on June 15, 2017
Seminar room 2, Sophus Bugge Building,
The prevalent historical narrative (Hourani, Antonius, Sharabi, etc.) attributes the emergence of Arab intellectual modernity or nahda in the nineteenth century to major political, economic, and technological transformations offset by direct colonial interventions that ranged from military prowess to the softer forms of cultural domination. Periodizing these transformations through the concept of the nahda has produced particular organizing principles that operate at both the historical and epistemic levels. As a discrete epoch, the nahda has thus come to represent through its synchronicities with global culture in the nineteenth century a rupture with localized traditions of discourse and knowledge production, language and historical development.
This nahda narrative is being increasingly interrogated both for its epistemological and historical closure (Al-Musawi, Selim, Sheehi, Allan, El-Ariss, etc.), identifying in the process multiple terrains of continuity. In this light, this workshop invites contributions that question the concepts, genres, and discursive tools that enabled the emergence of the nahda narrative as epistemological and historical rupture amounting to the advent of Arab modernity.
Participants are encouraged to rethink the nahda linguistically, philosophically, and comparatively, identifying and reflecting on connections, slippages, and performances that problematize the prevalent historical narrative of rupture.
Panel on the Nahda
In conjunction with the workshop we will also host a panel specifically dedicated to the Nahda during our three-day conference "Synchronizing the World". The panel will be in Sophus Bugges house, Blindern, on June 13.
Book launch with Stephen Sheehi and Tarek El-ariss
We will also host a book launch at Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo in the evening of June 13, Tarek el-Ariss will present his forthcoming book The Arab Renaissance: A Bilingual Anthology of the Nahda, together with contributer Stephen Sheehi, as well as Rana Hisham Issa and Michael Allan.
Please see the conference program for more information on the schedule on the panel and the book launch.