National Body, National Self: the Mechanics of Modern Selfhood in the Early Twentieth-Century Middle East and North Africa
The purpose of this panel is to investigate the ways in which nationalist political rhetoric - set against the backdrop of a colonial presence - was translated into the lived experience of the individual body. We are interested in exploring the ways in which nationalism became linked to the individual body or mind and, in the event of tension or discomfort in this encounter, how the individual sought to resolve any contradictions. The goal is to work toward a social history of nationalism in the everyday lives of residents of the region.
Here are some of the questions we are interested in:
- How did nationalism and colonialism manifest themselves practically in the daily lives of residents of this region?
- How did nationalism and colonialism map themselves onto people’s bodies?
- What linkages existed between colonial and nationalist attempts to control bodies and shape selves?
- How did residents of the region negotiate the tension of colonial and nationalist claims to authority in the quotidian context?
- How do the mechanics of selfhood in this context compare with the rhetorical aims of colonial and nationalist authorities?
- In what ways might theories of gender enrich our understanding of the subjective experiences of individuals during this period?
- In what ways might theories of psychology enrich our understanding of these dynamics?
If you are interested in treating any of these questions, please email Sam Dolbee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nadim Bawalsa (email@example.com) by 8 February with more information on your proposed topic.