[P4894] Maintaining Body and Mind in Modern Iraq

Created by Alissa Walter
Sunday, 11/19/17 1:00pm


A longstanding concern of Iraq scholars has been to ascertain how successive national governments variously sought to limit or otherwise contest Iraqis' freedoms of movement through such measures as land settlement, public education, and legal violence, among others. The focus on mobility, however, has meant that our knowledge of what discursive and material resources individuals drew on to develop their bodies and minds remains limited and fragmentary. What social, political, and ideological forces informed how Iraqis talked about the mind and body? How did these same forces mediate between citizens and the state? What was their impact on relationships between persons of different genders, across generational divides, and among different regional communities?

The papers of this panel approach these questions using new and overlooked archival material alongside fresh field research, covering the period from the end of the First World War up to the deposition of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Our first paper charts the rise of state-sponsored medicine against venereal disease in the 1920's, while our second examines what physical education can tell us about urban development during the Hashemite period. Picking up in the 1980's, our third paper looks at how communities in southern Iraq internalized, resisted, or transformed the Ba'th Party's Arabization campaigns during the Iraq-Iran war. The fourth paper addresses Iraq's largely ignored membership and participation in the Non-Aligned Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By studying Ba'thist publications, it draws out important linkages between Iraqi foreign policy in the NAM and domestic discourses about development, women's rights, technology, and education. The panel concludes with a paper that looks at the provision of food, health care, and education during the sanctions period in the 1990's. Together, these papers contribute to new historiographical findings and theoretical discussions of body and mind in modern Iraq.







Sara Pursley

(New York University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Discussant;

Alissa Walter

(Georgetown University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Andrew Alger

(Graduate Center - CUNY)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Michael Degerald

(University of Washington)
I am an interdisciplinary scholar who concentrates most heavily in history. I explore questions of identity, discourse, knowledge production, nationalism, and state-society relations in the 20th century Levant. My previous research explored questions...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Wisam Alshaibi

(University of California, Los Angeles)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Sara Farhan

(York University)
Sara is a PhD Candidate at York University's History Department. Her research focuses on Hashemite Iraq. She is interested in higher education, specifically the Royal Medical College of Baghdad. She is an editor for Left History Journal and a graduate...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;