Janet Abu-Lughod Library Seminar: Session 1/7

Tue, Mar 15, 2016    6pm

The World in the City and the City in the World Janet Abu-Lughod Library Seminar #1 March 15 to May 26, 2016, Amman

The World in the City and the City in the World: Reading Janet Abu-Lughod’s Library with Zachary Sheldon, Doctoral Candidate in Socio-Cultural & Linguistic Anthropology, University of Chicago

Session 1: The City in the World.
Abu-Lughod, Janet L. 2004 “Continuing American Provincialism and the Rest of the World” in The Modern World-System in the Longue Durée. Wallerstein, Immaneul, ed. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers. pp. 199-208

Abu-Lughod, Janet L. 1991 “Going Beyond Global Babble” in Culture, Globalization and the World System. London: Macmillan. pp. 131-137

Wallerstein, Immanuel 2014 “A Scholar Open to the World”, published by Jadaliyya online magazine at http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/16267/a-scholar-open-to-the-world

Wallerstein, Immanuel 1974 “Introduction: On the Study of Social Change” in The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century Orlando: Academic Press. pp. 2-11 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 seven seminars, we will 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. We will also apply 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.

The seminars will be convened by Zachary Sheldon, a PhD candidate in socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Chicago. His dissertation project addresses the ways in which people negotiate their collective pasts and futures through encounters in urban space, focusing on the case of young Iraqi migrants in Amman. He is also the Senior Editorial Assistant at HAU, Journal of Ethnographic Theory, an open-access publishing initiative in anthropology. e course is intended for those hoping to develop new perspectives on life in urban spaces.

The course will be held at Sijal Institute, housed in a residential building from the early 1900s in the heart of Jabal Amman, with a terraced garden overlooking Jabal Ashrafieh. Most conducive for lively and engaged discussion as well as focused study, the venue is also the site for Sijal Institute’s vibrant lecture series. For more information about Sijal Institute’s ongoing events program, visit Sijal.org.

This program is brought to you by Studio-X Amman and Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture. It is possible thanks to the generous donation of the Janet Abu-Lughod Library, presented to Columbia GSAPP and the Columbia Global Centers | Amman by Columbia University Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Lila Abu-Lughod and her family.

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