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Al-ihbat al-masihi: Christian populism and dreams of lost sovereignty in contemporary Lebanon

When May 10, 2018
from 05:15 PM to 06:45 PM
Where Rooms 8 & 9
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01223 765038
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Middle Eastern Studies Seminar given by Dr Andrew Arsan, Senior Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Since the 1990s, commentators on Lebanon have focused on the disillusion and decline of the country's Christian communities. In this paper, I re-examine the politics of Christian populism, and the ways in which the tropes of lost demographic and political superiority and growing insecurity have underwritten Christian partisanship.

Andrew Arsan is a historian of the Arabic-speaking Eastern Mediterranean, particularly interested in the cultural, social, political and intellectual histories of the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Levant; in diaspora and the trans-regional circulation of people; in French and British imperialism in the Mediterranean and beyond; and in histories of political thought and intellectual life in the world beyond Europe. He has recently completed a study of Lebanon in the years since 2005. Entitled Lebanon: A Country in Fragments, this will be published by Hurst & Company in the summer of 2018. This is an account not just of Lebanon’s high politics, with its endless rows, walk-outs, machinations and foreign alliances, but also of the politics of everyday life: all the stresses and strains the country’s inhabitants face, from electricity black-outs and uncollected rubbish to stagnating wages and property bubbles.

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Cambridge has a long and distinctive tradition in the study of the Middle East and Asia. This Faculty prides itself on exploring these fields through the local languages and encourages students to learn through real world engagement. If you are interested in these world regions and want to discover their languages, cultures, histories, religions, and politics, then this is the home for you. 

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