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Grant number like: FA-56355-12

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Yoav Di-Capua
University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2012 – 8/31/2013

Transnational Arab Thought and the Global Culture of the 1960s

In the late 1940s, as the colonial era in the Middle East drew to a close, a young generation of Arab thinkers sought to invent a new Arab subject: confident, critical, educated, independent, self-sufficient and above all free. This new persona was conceived as the cornerstone of a liberated post-colonial Arab society. But for the project to succeed, it needed to re-invent contemporary Arab thought. Rebelling against the dead-end cultural models of colonial universalism which characterized the established intellectual class of mandarins like Taha Husayn, they tapped into a new global sphere of transnational thought. By excavating multiple intellectual traditions and trajectories that stretch from Paris to Beirut, Baghdad and Peking, and ranging from Heideggerian and Sartreian existentialism to Maoism and guerilla ideology, this study reconstructs the forgotten international milieu of the post-colonial Arab intelligentsia.