Fall Programme 2019

Public seminar

Oct 21, at 12-13 Seminar room, Finngatan 16

Varuzhan Geghamyan from Yerevan State University:

 "Personality cults in Modern Turkey: narratives, discourses and authoritarian politics" 

Personality cults are a constituent part of Turkey’s political history. From Atatürk to Erdoğan most Turkish leaders attempted to construct their cults based on charismatic leadership. In this presentation we look at the history of personality cults from the perspective of the “communication of power” during the authoritarian modernization to understand the reasons of the emergence of this phenomenon and its place in Turkish political culture.

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Conversation series

How can we understand today’s global collective body of anxiety? The fear of the other? War and hostility? Such topics will be explored in five separate conversations with prominent and innovative scholars, formed as dialogues where the audience is invited to actively participate. The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is holding a conversation series on passion in relation to contemporary global politics, with a focus on the Middle East, North Africa and citizens in the Diaspora.

The series will focus on affective politics. Rather than taking macro-level politics and changes of the geo-political map as our point of departure, the conversations aim at exploring political processes, values and relations from the vantage point of passion.

How do politics of passion contribute to strife and conflict? To ethnic and sectarian categorizations? To loyalties and alliances? What is the emotive component of critique, protest and mobilization, challenging authoritarian regimes and power relations? How is passion interrelated with politics of displacement? With senses of uncertainty, experiences of persecution, the loss of a national home? And how may affect simultaneously work toward strengthening people’s sense of belonging and public intimacy?

In order to reflect on such questions, and with the hope of generating new ones, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University is bringing together five prominent international scholars for conversations with Associate Professor Maria Frederika Malmström


September, 30, 2019: Arjun Appadurai
Arjun Appadurai is the Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. He serves as Honorary Professor in the Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Tata Chair Professor at The Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai and as a Senior Research Partner at the Max-Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Gottingen. He was previously Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives at The New School in New York City, where he also held a Distinguished Professorship as the John Dewey Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences.

October, 16, 2019: Farha Ghannam
Farha Ghannam is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and the author of Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo.

October, 31, 2019: Charles Hirshkind
His research interests concern religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the Middle East, North America, and Europe. He give particular attention to diverse configurations of the human sensorium, and the histories, ethics, and politics they make possible. Taking contemporary developments within the traditions of Islam as primary focus, he has explored how various religious practices and institutions have been revised and renewed both by modern norms of social and political life, and by the styles of consumption and culture linked to global mass media practices.

November, 7, 2019: Stefania Pandolfo
Stefania Pandolfo studies theories and forms of subjectivity, and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world, investigating narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and postcolonialism, madness and mental illness.

December, 12, 2019: Jessica Winegar
Jessica Winegar is a sociocultural anthropologist whose work investigates how people articulate understandings of history and political-economic change through cultural production and consumption, in particular through competing notions of culture and culturedness.  She is primarily concerned with the multiple ways that culture projects create social hierarchies and modern subjects while frequently hiding the mechanisms of these processes, thereby contributing to their durability.