Wednesday 17 October, 12:00-2:00 pm
HUB Room 5
George Mason University
If the Arab uprisings initially seemed to herald the end of tyrannies and a move toward liberal democratic governments, their defeat not only marks a reversal but is of a piece with new forms of authoritarianism worldwide. Scholars have begun wondering, with some urgency, why citizens themselves seem so often to be attracted to autocracy.
This talk, based on Lisa Wedeen’s forthcoming book Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (Chicago 2019), is an effort to contribute to this discussion. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and a variety of Syrian artistic practices, Wedeen considers the ideological investments that sustain subjects’ ambivalent attachments to political power and organize the ongoing challenges of living otherwise.