Séminaire du 25 mai 2018

Jumana BAYEH, Search's fellow 2018 interviendra lors du séminaire du 25 mai à 10h30 en salle 4202.

Abstract :

Precarious Borders: The Nation-State and Arab Diaspora Literature 2016 marked the centenary of the nation-state in the Arab Middle East, but it was hardly a cause for celebration. Rather, the nation-state system initiated with the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement was a century later plagued by the failures of the Arab Spring, the challenges presented by ISIS’s breach of the frontier between Syria and Iraq, and is being consistently compromised by the Middle East migration crisis. The reverberations of these turbulent events have been felt worldwide with an unprecedented number of displaced people crossing national borders seeking refuge. In various European and Western states anxieties over border security’s capacity to withstand the influx of refugees have peaked, as well as concerns related to the threat that these refugees supposedly pose to the preservation of a nation’s distinct cultural identity. This paper, which forms the basis of a larger postdoctoral research project, will examine how these entangled issues are mediated by Arab diaspora authors in the English-speaking world. It will engage with debates from the field of Middle East politics to highlight how the literary text is invested in these debates but also extends them from a unique cultural perspective. Drawing on writings across the twentieth century, as well as recent archival research in the US and Australia, this paper will trace the key themes that have preoccupied Arab migrant writers in relation to borders and shed light on why this corpus is central to rethinking the meaning of the nation-state in an era of unprecedented instability.