Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Fall 2012, University of California, Berkeley

History 103H.003:
Politics of Memory in the Contemporary Middle East
Thursdays 2-4pm 2303 Dwinelle
Office Hours: TBC 3120 Dwinelle

Instructor: Dr Thomas W. Hill

Course Description The Arab Spring has brought the writing and telling of histories of
postcolonial violence in the Middle East one (arguably the) key means of political contestation
in the region in recent decades ever more center-stage. This course introduces students to the
wide variety of discourses that have emerged in the region under the rubric, often of truth and
reconciliation, in the broad sense of the narration of political violence, and the major issues
arising from it. Key to this have been contests over what kinds of narratives and narrative modes
are taken to be historical, e.g. over oral history, testimony, and literature or film as history. The
region provides especially potent case studies for thinking through the complexity and variety of
memory politics. In particular, the course examines the respective roles played by the state, civil
society, and international idioms (e.g. of liberalism, individualism, human rights, nationalism
and resistance) in suppressing, promoting, and co-opting collective memories of violence,
excavating their roots in colonial and postcolonial history and historiography. Country studies
include Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Israel/Palestine.

Requirements Reading and class participation (20%); short web postings (fortnightly or
weekly depending on class size) of 1-2pp (single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman) in the
form of a critical idea/analytical question concerning the readings, to be posted 24h before each
class, and class presentation (one or two depending on class size) (30% between them); and a 10-
15 page final paper (50%).

Required readings are marked *; the others are optional. Readings are subject to change.

The following books can be purchased or checked out from Library Reserve:

E. Davis, Memories of State. Politics, History & Collective Identity in Modern Iraq (UC Press,
S. Haugbolle, War and Memory in Lebanon (Cambridge UP, 2010)
U. Makdisi & P. Silverstein, eds., Memory & Violence in the Middle East and North Africa
(Indiana UP, 2006)
E. Ozyurek, ed., The Politics of Public Memory in Turkey (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University
Press, 2007)
A.H. Sadi & L. Abu-Lughod, eds., Nakba. Palestine, 1948 & the Claims of Memory (Columbia
UP, 2007)
S. Slyomovics, The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco (U of Philadelphia Press, 2005)
M-R. Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power & the Production of History (Beacon Press, 1995)
I. Zertal, Israels Holocaust & the Politics of Nationhood (Cambridge UP, 2005)

Lectures & Events The Center for Middle Eastern Studies hosts a lecture series every
semester, which attracts some of the best scholars on the Middle East. For information, check
out the CMES web site at: www.ias.berkeley.edu/cmes
Films on the Middle East In addition to the holdings at Moffitt & the Pacific Film Archives,
take advantage of the Arab Film Festival (in San Francisco October 11th-14th ,
arabfilmfestival.org ) and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival ( sfjff.org )
News websites News about the Middle East is reported by the corporate media in the US in
ways that are strikingly different from the coverage in Europe, Asia or the Middle East itself.
Check out the corporate media, such as the New York Times & CNN, but also try to become
familiar with alternative media coverage. In addition, take a look at websites of news
organizations in other country to get a taste of what the rest of the world reads about the Middle
East. The following is but a small sample:

Britain: Guardian ( guardian.co.uk ), BBC ( bbc.co.uk/news )

Egypt: Al-Ahram Weekly ( ahram.org.eg ), Egypt Independent ( egyptindependent.com )
France: Le Monde Diplomatique in English ( mondediplo.com )
Israel: Haaretz ( haaretz.com )
Lebanon: Daily Star ( dailystar.com.lb )

Additional sources:
Jadaliyya ( jadaliyya.com )
MERIP ( merip.org )
The Forward ( forward.com )
Al-Jazeera (aljazeera.com )


Week 1 (August 23rd) Introductions

Week 2 (August 30th) Framing the Politics of Memory, Truth and Reconciliation

* M-R. Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (Beacon Press,
* S. Haugbolle & A. Hastrup, Introduction: Outlines of a New Politics of Memory in the
Middle East in Mediterranean Politics 13:2 (July 2008), 133-49.
* A. L. Smith, Heteroglossia, common sense, & social memory in American
Ethnologist 1:2 (2004), 251-67
* U. Makdisi & P. Silverstein, Introduction: Memory and Violence in the Middle East and
North Africa in U. Makdisi & P. Silverstein, eds., Memory and Violence in the Middle
East and North Africa (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2006), 1-24

R. Saunders & A. Aghaie, Introduction: Memory and Mourning, Comparative Studies of

South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 25:1 (2005), 16-29
J-W. Mller, Introduction: the power of memory, the memory of power and the power
over memory in J-W. Mller, ed., Memory and Power in Post-War Europe. Studies in

the Presence of the Past (Cambridge UP, 2002), 1-35
W. Kannsteiner, Finding Meaning in Memory in History and Theory 41 (May 2002),
T.G. Phelps, Shattered Voices: Language, Violence and the Work of Truth Commissions
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 52-104
R. A. Wilson, The Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa. Legitimizing the
Post-Apartheid State (Cambridge UP, 2001), especially 1-30, 221-230

Weeks 3-4 (September 6th & 13th). Lebanon

* S. Haugbolle, War and Memory in Lebanon (Cambridge UP, 2010)

* A. Peleikis, The Making and Unmaking of Memories: The Case of a Multi-Confessional
Village in Lebanon in Makdisi & Silverstein 2006, 133-48

S. Mejcher, Elias Khoury: the necessity to forget and remember, interview, Banipal 12
(Autumn 2001)
E. Khoury, Yalo (Archipelago Books, 2008)
Films: TBC based on availability

Week 5 (September 20th). Algeria

* J. McDougall, Savage wars? Codes of violence in Algeria, 1830s-1990s in Third

World Quarterly 26:1 (2005), 117-131
* International Crisis Group (ICG), The Civil Concord. A Peace Initiative Wasted, Africa
Report no.31, 9 July 2001 [20 pp.]
* G. Joffe, National Reconciliation and General Amnesty in Algeria in Mediterranean
Politics 13:2 (July 2008), 213-228
* B. Stora, The Algerian War in French Memory: Vengeful Memorys Violence in
Makdisi & Silverstein 2006, 151-173
* J. McDougall, History and the Culture of Nationalism in Algeria (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006), especially 1-19, 217-238

For any French readers: A. Moussaoui, De La Violence en Algrie (Paris: Actes Sud, 2006),
especially 391-437

Week 6 (September 27th). Morocco

*S. Slyomovics, The Performance of Human Rights in Morocco (Philadelphia: University

of Philadelphia Press, 2005)

F. Vairel, Morocco: From Mobilisations to Reconciliation? in Mediterranean Politics

13:2 (July 2008), 229-41
Human Rights Watch (HRW), Moroccos Truth Commission. Honoring Past Victims
During an Uncertain Present, Report 17 (11) E, available at
N. Ghessous, Women and Political Violence During the Years of Lead in Morocco (CCHR
NIPPHR, 2009), available at http://www.ccdh.org.ma/IMG/pdf/GUIDang.pdf

Week 7 (October 4th). Libya

* L. Anderson, Legitimacy, Identity and the Writing of History in Libya, in E. Davis and N.
Gavrielides, eds., Statecraft in the Middle East. Oil, Historical Memory nd Popular Culture
(University Press of Florida, 1991), 71-90
* Claudia Gazzini, Assessing Italys Grande Gesto to Libya, Middle East Report, 16 March
2009. http://www.claudiagazzini.com/website/articoli/MERIP_reparations.pdf [9pp]
* D. Vandewalle, Libya Since Independence (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), 124-31
* Human Rights Watch, Libya : Militias Terrorizing Residents of Loyalist Town, 30
October 2011, available at hrw.org
* Robert F. Worth, In Libya, the Captors Have Become the Captive, New York Times, 9 May

Human Rights Watch, Truth and Justice Cant Wait. Human Rights Developments in Libya
Amid Institutional Obstacles, 12 December 2009, available at hrw.org
Ali Abdullatif Ahmida, The Making of Modern Libya: State Formation, Colonization &
Resistance 1830-1932 (SUNY Press, 2000), extracts

Week 8 (October 11th). Iraq

* E. Davis, Memories of State Politics, History and Collective Identity in Modern Iraq
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005)
* S. Antoon, Monumental Disrespect, Middle East Report 228 (2003), 128-30

J. Ridha, The Trouble With the Tribunal: Saddam Hussein and the Elusiveness of Justice
in Middle East Report 232 (Autumn 2004), 40-43
E Davis, The New Iraq: The Uses of Historical Memory, Journal of Democracy 16:3 (July
2005), 54-67, http://fas-polisci.rutgers.edu/davis/ARTICLES/Historical_Memory-
I. Al-Marashi & A. Keskin, Reconciliation Dilemmas in Post-Baathist Iraq: Truth
Commissions, Media and Ethno-Sectarian Conflicts in Mediterranean Politics 13:2
(July 2008), 243-259
K.W. Segall, Stories and Songs in Iraq and South Africa: From Individual Trauma to
Collective Mourning Performances, Critical Studies of South Asia, Africa and the
Middle East 25:1 (2005)

Weeks 9-10 (October 18th & 25th). Israel/Palestine

* I. Zertal, Israels Holocaust & the Politics of Nationhood (Cambridge UP, 2005)
* S. Robinson, Commemoration Under Fire: Palestinian Responses to the 1956 Kafr
Qasim Massacre in Makdisi & Silverstein 2005, 103-122

* A. Shlaim, The Debate about 1948 in I. Pappe, ed., The Israel/Palestine Question:
Rewriting Histories, 1st ed. (Routledge, 1999), 171-90
* A.H. Sadi, Catastrophe, Memory and Identity: Al-Nakba as a Component of Palestinian
Identity, Israel Studies 7:2 (Summer 2002), 175-198

* L. Abu-Lughod & A.H. Sadi, Introduction. The Claims of Memory in L. Abu-Lughod
& A.H. Sadi, eds., Nakba. Palestine, 1948 and the Claims of Memory (Columbia:
Columbia University Press, 2007), 1-24
* D. Allan, Remembering and Forgetting 1948 in Shatila Camp in L. Abu-Lughod &
A.H. Sadi, eds., Nakba. Palestine, 1948 and the Claims of Memory (Columbia UP,
2007), 253-284
* T. Hill, 1948 After Oslo: Truth and Reconciliation in Palestinian Discourse in
Mediterranean Politics 13:2 (July 2008), 151-70
* R. Khalidi, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation. Elements of a solution to the Palestinian
refugee issue in G. Karmi and E. Cotran, eds., The Palestinian Exodus 1948-1998
(Reading, UK: Ithaca Press, 1998), 221-242
* Benny Morris, Survival of the Fittest, interview with Ari Shavit, Haaretz, 8 January
2004, http://www.logosjournal.com/morris.htm [15pp.]
* G. Piterberg, Can The Subaltern Remember? in Makdisi & Silverstein 2006, 177-197

E. Rogan and A. Shlaim, eds., The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), especially 1-11, 248-61
D.K. Allan, The Role of Oral History in Archiving the Nakba, Al-Majdal 32 (Winter
Films: Waltz With Bashir, dir. A. Folman (2008), The Time That Remains, dir. Elia
Suleiman (2009)

Week 11 (November 1st). Iran

* S. Talebi, Ghosts of Revolution. Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran (Princeton

UP, 2011)

E. Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions (UC Press, 1999), extracts

R. Varzi, Warring Souls: Youth, Media, and Martyrdom in Post-Revolution Iran (Duke
UP, 2006), extracts

Week 12 (November 8th). Turkey

* E. Ozyurek, ed., The Politics of Public Memory in Turkey (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse
University Press, 2007)

Week 13 (November 15th). Syria

* A. George, Syria. Neither Bread Nor Freedom (Zed Books, 2003), 30-62
* S. Haugbolle, Imprisonment, Truth-Telling and Historical Memory in Syria in
Mediterranean Politics 13:2 (July 2008), 261-176
* S. Haugbolle, The Victim's Tale in Syria: Imprisonment, Individualism, and
Liberalism, in L Khalili & J Schwedler (eds) , Policing and Prisons in the Middle East
(Columbia UP, 2010), 223-240.
* L. Wedeen, Acting As If: Symbolic Politics & Social Control in Syria, Comparative
Studies in Society & History 40:3 (1998), 503-523

* L. Wedeen, Ambiguities of Domination. Politics, Rhetoric & Symbols in Contemporary
Syria (U of Chicago Press, 1999), extracts

m. cooke, Dissident Syria : Making Oppositional Arts Official (Duke UP, 2007)
m. cooke. The Cell Story: Syrian Prison Stories after Hafiz Asad in Middle East Critique
20:2 (2011), 169-188

November 22nd: No class: Thanksgiving

Week 14 (November 29th) Conclusions

Final paper presentations; concluding discussion