Cours-conférence "Arab Theory, Islam and Europeanist History of Philosophy"

Le 22/03/2021

by Jens Hanssen, University of Toronto, MSH guest professor

My lecture is part of my ongoing research on Arabic-German intellectual entanglement in the 20th century. It is about two philosophers - one German, one Lebanese - who were inspired by the Iranian communist party’s commemoration of Ibn Sina’s 1,000th (hijri) year of his death in 1952. I explore what the materialist perspectives of Ernst Bloch and Husayn Muruwwah can offer us in today's resurgence of foundationalist, nativist and identitarian conceptions of history. What accounts for continued European philosophical blindness to the Mediterranean cross-fertilization of Aristotelianism since late Antiquity; and what were modern Arab intellectuals’ stakes in combining continental and Arabic-Islamic philosophies?

Jens Hanssen is an Associate Professor of Middle East History. He received his D.Phil in Modern History from Oxford University in 2001 and joined the University of Toronto the following year. His dissertation has been published by Clarendon Press as Fin de Siècle Beirut in 2005. He recently co-edited two volumes with Max Weiss: Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age and Arabic Thought Against the Authoritarian Age. He has also just published, with Hicham Safieddine, an English translation of a key Nahda text, Butrus al-Bustani’s Nafir Suriyya. His writings have appeared in The New Cambridge History of Islam, The Routledge Reader of Fin de Siècle History, Critical Inquiry, the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and www.hannaharendt.net - Zeitschrift für Politisches Denken. His current research interests include the intersections between urban culture and intellectual production in 19th- and 20th-century Arab history, the global fin de siècle, and German-Jewish echoes in modern Arab thought.

Select Publications: and Amal Ghazal (eds.), Ghazal, Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Middle Eastern and North African History (Oxford, 2020). and Hicham Safieddine, A Clarion for Syria: A Patriot’s Call Against the Civil War of 1860 (Berkeley, 2019). “Crisis and Critique: The Transformation of the Arab Radical Tradition, 1960s-1980s,” The Arab Lefts: Histories and Legacies, 1950s to 1970s, ed. L. Guirguis (Edinburgh, 2020). with Hicham Safieddine, “Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar and Radical Press Culture: Toward an Intellectual History of the Contemporary Arab Left,” Arab Studies Journal 24 (Spring 2016), 192-227. “Kafka and Arabs,” Critical Inquiry 39 (2012), 167-97. “Malhamé – Malfamé: Levantine Elites and Trans-imperial Networks in the Late Ottoman Empire,” International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 43:1 (2011), 25-48.

Monday 22th March 2021, 5pm - 7pm

Join the Zoom meeting: here
ID: 468 948 4611
Secret Code: 4S9nXE

Contact: omam@ulb.ac.be