Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture presents
Rethinking the History of State Building in Lebanon
A lecture by Ziad Abu-Rish
Date: Wednesday 21 September 2016
Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture (ground level)
15 Umar Bin Al Khattab Street
[Off of Rainbow St., in front of Books@Cafe and next to the Royal Film Commission)
Lecture Abstract: “Wayn al-Dawleh?” is a common refrain to anyone familiar with the contemporary public debates in Lebanon. The phrase has its corollary in academic literature. On the one hand, much of the historical research on Lebanon has very little to say about state building, let alone social mobilizations calling on the state. On the other hand, Lebanon as a case-study is almost completely absent in the scholarship on comparative state formation in the Middle East. This lecture will draw on original archival and oral history research to challenge such conventional framings of the history of Lebanon. It will highlight the centrality of state institutions and mobilizations to shape those institutions in the history of Lebanon. In doing so, it offers new insights into the history of state formation, economic development, and social mobilization in Lebanon.
Bio: Ziad Abu-Rish is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Ohio University, where his teaching centers on the political, social, and cultural history of the modern Middle East. Abu-Rish’s research interests focus on state formation, economic development, and social mobilization in the mid-twentieth- century Levant. He earned his PhD from the Department of History at the University of California Los Angeles. Abu-Rish serves on the editorial teams of the Arab Studies Journal and Jadaliyya Ezine. His publications include the co-edited volumes, The Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012) and Critical Voices On and From the Middle East (Tadween Publishing, 2015), and a chapter entitled “Protests, Regime Stability, and State Formation in Jordan” (in Oxford University Press’s 2014 Beyond the Arab Spring: The Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East). He is currently completing a book project entitled “Making the Economy, Producing the State: Conflict and Institution Building in Lebanon, 1943-1955."
This event is free of charge and open to the public.