JANET ABU-LUGHOD LIBRARY SEMINAR:
Discussion and Closing Celebration
In March 2016, Studio-X Amman, in partnership with Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture, has launched the first iteration of the Janet Abu-Lughod Library seminar. This series of discussions was led by Zachary Sheldon, a doctoral student in Socio-cultural and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Chicago, and Fulbright Research Fellow in Amman. On June 22nd, you are invited to join us for discussions and a celebration where ideas and explorations that came up during the seminar will be shared in public, and where participants will discuss how the readings have influenced their own personal work and their understandings of the city.
We will start at 6:00PM with opening remarks by Nora Akawi and an overview of the seminar syllabus and discussions by Zachary Sheldon. Once iftar is served, seminar participants Myriam Ababsa, Hamza Abu Hamdia, and Zenobia Azeem will share their work and how it relates to issues raised by the readings.
This program is possible thanks to the generous donation of the Janet Abu-Lughod Library, presented to Columbia GSAPP and the Columbia Global Centers | Amman by Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Lila Abu-Lughod and her family.
Seminar Abstract by Zachary Sheldon:
If we wish to understand the city, where do we begin? From the very start, we are confounded with the variety of histories, scales, populations and environments that converge to give urban spaces their distinctive character. Among scholars of cities, the sociologist Janet L. Abu-Lughod stands apart by offering us a breadth of vision that embraces the topic in its fullness and complexity. Through a lifetime of work that illumined villages and world systems, ancient histories and modernization processes, Chicago and Cairo, Abu-Lughod’s insights transformed the fields of urban sociology, Middle Eastern studies and world history. Now, for the first time, we can join Janet Abu-Lughod on this remarkable intellectual journey through exploring her personal library. This collection of works, many bearing her own marginalia, reflects the full variety of her interests and the extent of her influence. Over the course of six seminars, participants read works from the collection that describe the city at scales ranging from the global flow of labor and capital to the movement of the individual body in space. They have also applied these concepts to cases drawn from American and Middle Eastern contexts, to ask how cities do, and do not, vary across space, time and cultures.
Myriam Ababsa, Hamza AbuHamdia, Ali Attari, Zenobia Azeem, Rana Beiruti, Victoria Dabdoub, Sally Ejeilat, Ayane Ezaki, Allison Hartnett, and Falestin Naili.