International bilingual summer school, Mohammed V University in Rabat, 1–3 November 2018

Emotions that Matter: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Feeling, Affect, and Body in Arabic Literature, Arts, and Culture

What role do emotions and affects play in literature and culture? How has the “emotional/affective turn” changed our understanding of literature, culture and society? How do the related theories and methods cast new light on the themes covered by old genres such as elegy, satire and love poetry? And which social practices and historical discourses gain (new) relevance as a result?

Group picture 2018
Group picture 2018

The research projects of the PhD students and postdocs illustrated impressively the versatility and relevance of approaches to emotion, affect, and body in various research fields, from emotional communities in the Abbasid court society and affective trance in Algerian Sufi rituals to modern kitchen affects in North Africa and concepts of emotion in classical Sufi philosophy. In plenary sessions, the participants of the summer school discussed concepts of body and soma, based on excerpts from the book-length study “الجسد والصورة ‏والمقدس في الإسلام” (“The Body, the Image, and the Sacred in Islam”, 1999) by Farid Zahi, as well as approaches to affects and migration, taking Gretchen Head’s article “‘The Sea Spits Out Corpses’: Peripherality, Genre, and Affect in the Cosmopolitan Mediterranean” (2015) as a starting point.

Working group 2018 A
Working group 2018 A

The program was complemented by two guest lectures by scholars from the host university: The eminent Moroccan scholar and author Abdelfattah Kilito gave a keynote lecture titled “شعرية الخطأ” (“The Poetics of Error”). An interdisciplinary approach was added by Abdelhay Moudden (Political Science Department) who presented a lecture based on research conducted together with Taieb Belghazi (Cultural Studies Department) titled “تصوير الماضي ‏الأليم: المصالحة السينمائية” (“Visualizing the Painful Past: Reel Conciliation”).

Working group 2018 B-1
Working group 2018 B-1

The summer school brought together fourteen junior and seven senior scholars from Algeria, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. Randa Aboubakr (Cairo University), Lale Behzadi (University of Bamberg), Julia Bray (University of Oxford) and Fatiha Taïb (Mohammed V University in Rabat) acted as mentors to the junior scholars.

Working group 2018 B-2
Working group 2018 B-2

As part of the research projects of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) the summer school was generously funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

Program (PDF).

Detailed reports: