The rise of revolutionary social movements that have spread across Arab societies in recent months has raised questions about the intellectual ground-springs of the ideals that these movements have espoused: often radically democratic, humanist and secular in orientation, culturally innovative and socially egalitarian. In many ways the conception of these ideals must be traced back to the Arab “nahda,” or renaissance — the 19th and early 20th century movement for cultural rebirth in the Arab world, an intellectual, cultural and social movement that sought solutions to the challenges of modernity. The nahda is made up of a diverse range of voices, sometimes cacophonous and other times harmonious, united by key concerns about the need to revitalize Arab cultural life with some reference to its classical heritage, while remaking the prevailing social orders of their societies.
A symposium to be held Friday April 8, 2011 at Tufts University will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to share new perspectives on the nahda. While the nahda has often been studied through a mono-cultural lens, more recent scholarship shows it was a broad, multi-faceted movement, rooted in the Arab humanistic tradition while also linked to other regional and global movements of “renaissance” or “rebirth”. By placing the nahda into a broader comparative framework, we may find new ways to engage with the promise of its ideals, and to better comprehend contemporary currents in the Arab world.
Attendance of the conference is free and open to the public. Refreshments and lunch will be provided for participants and attendees – however, to assist with our preparations, to attend the lunch RSVP to email@example.com
For any questions please contact the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures: Olin Center, 180 Packard Avenue, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 – Tel: 617.627.3442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The symposium is organized by Kamran Rastegar of the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures, Tufts University.
Funding for the symposium is generously provided by: the Tufts Arabic Program, the Tufts International Relations Program, the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University, the Tufts Diversity Fund, the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures, the Charles Smith Endowment Fund, and the Tufts Faculty Research Awards Committee.
Many thanks to Vicky Cirrone, Department Administrator for the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures for her diligent organizational work on planning the symposium.
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