The Making of Minorities in the Middle East and North Africa: Objects, Images, Spaces, Part 1

Date: March 5, 2021
Time: 9:00AM (Pacific)


This two-part workshop addresses minorities and minority-formation in the art, architecture, and urbanism of the Middle East and North Africa through time. A major goal is to consider the role of visual, spatial, and material cultures in mediating minor cultural formations—how objects, images, and spaces serve to express minority cultures but also how they produce, or alternatively resist, the processes by which communities become minorities, within and against the majority cultures of the MENA region. Another aim would be to recognize the complex, varied terrain of interactions between minorities and majority cultures: to emphasize instances of transfer, exchange, and participation that challenge the binary of assimilation and opposition. Given the transhistorical scope of the workshop, the definition of what a minority is or was in the MENA cannot be generalized—even though modern categories of religious, ethnic, sexual, or gender minorities readily come to mind. In fact, one objective would be to complicate the concept of “minority,” by foregrounding minority as process, by examining the porous limits between majority and minority, and by incorporating into the historical analysis a critical reflection on what it means to write minority histories.

The second part of the workshop is scheduled to take place on March 12, 2021 at 2 pm PT.

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