Thursday, 09 February 2023, 06.00 PM-07.30 PM
This talk addresses Occidentalism, not only as a means of deconstructing Orientalist misconception about the East or even of writing back to the empire, but also within the process of regaining self-assertion or retrieving an autonomous agency that allows for proper and independent construction of eastern Arab identity. No wonder there are multiple threads or undertones within the current of Occidentalism, or rather Occidentalisms. The talk thus addresses the subversive tone in selected Arabic literary/filmic material that, enlightened by the disillusionary moment of Arab Spring, rework the narrative of identity construction, free from any sense of inferiority or impotence that might have been instilled through the common thread of the orientalist discourse. In its quest for conscious self-representation, this native – and indirectly - Occidentalist narrative both displaces and/or decentralizes the largely homogenized West as a mere variable in process of local identity construction and underscores a subversive sense of agency, where the west is at times ignored and at others appropriated, and even at other times misconceived and/or misrepresented.
Dr. Eid Mohamed is an Assistant Professor of American and Cultural Studies at the Department of English Literature and Linguistics at the College of Arts and sciences at Qatar University. Mohamed's work is located at the crossroads of several areas of inquiry in US-Middle East studies, literary, media and cultural studies. His recent publications include a sole-authored book on the role of Egyptian cultural and literary producers in mediating critiques of the US power and how one can historicize the Egyptian responses to power as well as the hopes and despairs of the Obama presidency and the Arab Spring (Arab Occidentalism, I.B. Tauris, 2015; and a new paperback edition in 2017), a co-edited volume about the 2011 Egyptian uprising and its aftermath (Egypt Beyond Tahrir Square, Indiana University Press, 2016), and a co-edited collection titled, “Arab Spring: Modernity, Identity and Change” (Palgrave, 2019). He has published several articles in academic journals including New Media and Society, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Arabic Literature, Journal of Refugee Studies, and Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees.