Cultural History and/as Intellectual History in Baʿthist Syria

Feb 23, 2021 03:00 PM PT

The historiography of modern Syria has been dominated by the work of political, economic, and social historians. While scholarly interest in the cultural and intellectual fields has increased over the past decade or so, this work tends to focus on the post-2000 period, with the lion’s share of attention being placed on cultural production and intellectual engagements from the Syrian uprising in 2011 and after. In this talk I would like to do two things: first, to present examples from my own research on the relationship between aesthetics and politics in the making of contemporary Syria, stretching back into the Hafiz al-Asad period, which will enable a discussion of the state of Syrian studies today; and second, to reflect on the relationship between cultural history and intellectual history in general, both through and beyond the case of Baʿthist Syria.

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