Printed Matter(s): Critical Histories of Maghrebi Cultural Journals

Printed Matter(s): Critical Histories of Maghrebi Cultural Journals

Al-Fikr (June 1956). Cover design by Hatem El Mekki

A lecture by Hoda El Shakry (Pennsylvania State University) moderated by Lia Brozgal (UCLA)

Monday, March 4, 2019
2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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This talk explores twentieth-century Arabophone, Francophone, and bilingual cultural journals from the Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). It theorizes the cultural journal as a collective mode of knowledge production that centers on the serialized and shared dissemination of information. Bridging the humanities and social sciences, Maghrebi cultural journals published poetry, short stories, and novels, in addition to covering literary criticism, aesthetic theory, art, and politics. Their transnational financing, publication, circulation, and readership expose supranational networks spanning North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Europe; not to mention internationalist alliances with colonized and stateless populations. These rhizomatic flows of cultural capital signal subversive geopolitical exchanges operating outside the dominant logics of colonial mediation. Disrupting the binary language of center and periphery, the archive of Maghrebi cultural journals transforms the conceptual and historical frameworks through which cultural modernity is theorized.

Hoda El Shakry is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. After completing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UCLA, she was a Faculty Fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Her research interests lie in contemporary literature, criticism, and visual culture from North Africa, with an emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Hoda El Shakry’s work has been published or is forthcoming in GLQ; Journal of Arabic Literature; Contemporary French and Francophone Studies; ALIF: A Journal of Comparative Poetics; Expressions Maghrébines; and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies; as well as in the Routledge volume: Arabic Literature in the Classroom: Teaching Methods, Theories, Themes, and Texts. Her first book, The Literary Qurʾan: Narrative Ethics in the Maghreb is forthcoming from Fordham University Press (2019) and was awarded the 2018 Helen Tartar Book Subvention Award of the American Comparative Literature Association. Her second book is a comparative study of twentieth-century Maghrebi cultural journals. Hoda El Shakry serves on the MLA’s Forum on Arabic Literature and Culture and is Delegate Assembly representative for the Global Arab and Arab American Forum. She is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Modern Literature.

Lia Brozgal earned a B.A. in French from Chatham College and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures. Before joining the faculty at UCLA, she was an appointed lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. Her research and teaching encompass a variety of topics in Francophone North African literature, culture and history, as well as contemporary France. She is the author of Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory (U Nebraska Press, 2013); co-editor of Being Contemporary: French Literature, Culture and Politics Today (Liverpool UP, 2015); co-editor of Ninette of Sin Street (the first English translation of the Tunisian novella Ninette de la rue du Péché by Vitalis Danon); and author of essays on North African literature and cinema, beur cultural productions, chronicles of the Holocaust in North Africa, and Judeo-Maghrebi literature and film. Professor Brozgal is anticipating the completion of a monograph devoted to the literary and visual representations of the October 17, 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris.

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, French and Francophone Studies