[C5032] Unraveling the Middle East III: The End...?

Created by Wilson Chacko Jacob
Monday, 11/20/17 8:00am


At the 2015 MESA meeting, we began a thematic conversation titled "Unraveling the Middle East: Global History, Global South, and Futures Past." The discussions tended to focus on the historical and contemporary imaginings of a Middle East whose map and boundaries were and are inherently unstable. Contrary to the suggestion in the general abstract that the unraveling is a result of processes involving non-state actors, the point was made that what we are seeing today is largely due to the attempt by states to maintain borders that are meaningless, and to contain populations that are dynamic in their movements within and beyond those boundaries. Continuing the conversation at the 2016 meeting ("Unraveling the Middle East II: The State of Flow, Fixity, & Global Futures"), participants delved deeper into the paradox of state formation and reproduction, which simultaneously posits a world divided into bounded units and opens the door to various kinds of willed and unwilled crossings. What emerged from the discussions among the contributors and between contributors and the audience was a more nuanced formulation of overlapping spatial relations, wherein the legibility of boundaries at any one time between and among the local, the national, the regional, and the global was said to be contingent on a politics of knowledge with a distinct colonial genealogy. One of the contributors made the astute observation that that genealogy takes on new genetic coding, so to speak, in the global digital age and may potentially recast spatial scales and the significance of "region." In the final round of the thematic conversation, we take up relevant issues that have still to be discussed as well as themes that have emerged in previous sessions but have received less attention. These include but are not restricted to the circulation and nature of the commodity form in late capitalism, knowledge forms and digital publics, labor migrations, and governmentality within/across borders. Finally future collaborations might be explored in this final session of this series of conversations.


Anthro; Geog; Hist; Law; Lit; Pol Science; Socio



Mohammed A. Bamyeh

(University of Pittsburgh)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Wilson Chacko Jacob

(Concordia University, Montreal)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer;

Will Hanley

(Florida State University)
I am Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Florida State University. I studied at the Universities of Saskatchewan, Toronto, and Oxford before taking my doctorate in history at Princeton (2007). I am completing work on a book about the emergence...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Samera Esmeir

(UC Berkeley)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Fahad A. Bishara

(University of Virginia)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Andrew Arsan

(University of Cambridge)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;