Civilizational Thinking Lecture and Seminar

McJihad: Islam in the U.S. Global Order
Tuesday, February 18
4 PM, Oakes Mural Room

Development Realism and the Problem of Feminism
Wednesday, February 19
12 PM, Oakes Mural Room
(Cultural Studies colloquium series)

Para-sites of Capitalism: Can the Mosquito Speak?
Wednesday, February 19
4 PM, Oakes Mural Room

The reading for this seminar is chapter 1 of Mitchell’s new book Rule of
. Copies are available in advance from the Center for Cultural
Studies; contact

TIMOTHY MITCHELL is Professor of Politics at New York University and Director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies. He is a political theorist who writes about modern regimes of power and knowledge through studies of colonialism, the political economy of development, agrarian politics, and the discourse of twentieth-century economics. He is the author of Colonising Egypt (California, 1991) and the editor of Questions of Modernity (Minnesota, 2000). His most recent book, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity, was published by the University of California Press in November 2002. Through a series of interrelated essays, the book examines whether one can account for the power of global capitalism without attributing to capital a logic and coherence it may not have, and whether one can understand the powers of techno-science without reproducing its own understanding of the world. The book also argues that “the economy” emerged as a distinct object of knowledge and practice only in the twentieth century. Mitchell has published articles in the American Political Science ReviewComparative Studies in Society and HistoryCultural Studies, Theory and Society, the Review of African Political Economy, the International Journal of Middle Eastern StudiesSocial Text, and other publications. His books and articles have been translated into more than ten languages, including Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Turkish, Japanese, and Chinese.

LILA ABU-LUGHOD is Professor of Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Columbia University. Her early work was on emotion, poetry, and gender ideology in a Bedouin community in Egypt. As an anthropologist of the Middle East, she began to think about ethnographic writing itself, contributing to the critique of the concept of culture. Interests in gender in the Arab world and in postcolonial theory led to work on the history and contemporary politics of Middle Eastern feminisms. Her books include Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (California, 1993), which won the Victor Turner Prize of the American Anthropological Association. She is editor of Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East (Princeton, 1998) and co-editor of Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain (California, 2002). In the book manuscript she has just finished, The Melodrama of Nationhood: Cultural Politics and Egyptian Television, she explores issues of national pedagogy, class politics, religious identity, and modern subjectivities through analysis of the production and consumption, by socially marginal women, of popular Egyptian television soap operas. This project has led her to reflect on theoretical and methodological questions in the anthropology of media, especially in the context of the cultural production of nations. Her colloquium talk is drawn from The Melodrama of Nationhood.

Sponsored by the Civilizational Thinking Research Cluster, with funding from the Ford Foundation.