What is the relationship between archiving and collective visions for liberation? Where does the practice of archiving fit within contemporary subaltern struggles? This conversation, co-curated between historian Leyla Dakhli, Yasmine Kherfi (LSE Middle East Centre), and Mai Taha (LSE Human Rights), builds on the work of Dakhli, who will join us to reflect on archival projects from the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on those that emerged in the 2000s in Syria, Algeria and Lebanon. By exploring archival traces of imagined futures and the aesthetic forms they assume, Dakhli's work seeks to understand how archiving practices can be understood as gestures of a continued revolt.
Leyla Dakhli is a full-time researcher in Modern History at the French Center for National Research (CNRS), and member of the Center of social history of Contemporary Worlds (CHS). Her work deals with the study of Arab intellectuals and social history of the South Mediterranean region, with a particular focus on the history of women and the question of exiled intellectuals and activists. Her first research focused on the Arab Intellectuals in the Bilad al-Sham (Syria-Lebanon) at the beginning of the 20th Century. She then explored the printed culture of Jerusalem at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, looking also more globally at the question of languages in the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2012, she applies the methodologies of social history and anthropology to explore the uprisings and revolutions in the post-colonial South Mediterranean, and more specifically in Tunisia. She is the Principal Investigator of the ERC-founded program DREAM (Drafting and Enacting the revolution in the Arab Mediterranean - ERC-CO 2017 DREAM). She is a member of the ACSS working Group "Gendering the Archive in the Middle East and North Africa" and the Berlin-based CO2LIBRI working group ("Conceptual Collaboration: Living Borderless Research Interaction" FU-HU-ZMO).
Sara Salem is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, LSE. Her main research interests include political sociology, postcolonial studies, Marxist theory, feminist theory, and global histories of empire and imperialism. Sara is an editor at the journals Sociological Review and Historical Materialism. Sara's work work explores the connections between postcolonial theory and Marxism, with special attention to the context of Egypt and the period of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century. She is particularly interested in questions of traveling theory, postcolonial/anti-colonial nationalism, and the afterlives and entanglements of European empire in the ‘Middle East’. Sara is the author of Anticolonial Afterlives in Egypt: The Politics of Hegemony pubslihed by Cambridge University Press in 2020.
Mai Taha is an Assistant Professor in Human Rights at LSE. Previously she was a Lecturer in Law at Goldsmiths, University of London, and an Assistant Professor in International Human Rights Law and Justice at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Mai has written on international law and empire, human rights, labour movements, class and gender relations, and care work and social reproduction.
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