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Center for Cultural Studies

http://culturalstudies.ucsc.edu/

April 2019

Elizabeth Marcus: “The Arrest of Ziad Doueiri and the Laws of Cultural Critique”

April 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

Elizabeth Marcus is a Mellon Fellow in the Scholars in the Humanities program for 2017-2019. She received her BA from the University of Oxford in Modern History and French, and completed her PhD in French and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 2017. Her research and teaching focus on the francophone and Arab worlds, with a particular interest in knowledge production, cultural imperialism, and the histories of religious and minority groups. In her current book project, Difference and Dissidence: Cultural Politics…

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Vanessa Ogle: “‘Funk Money’: Decolonization and the Expansion of Tax Havens, 1950s-1960”

April 17 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

This talk explores the emergence of modern offshore tax havens as a way to reopen the history of the decades ca. 1920s-1980s. During these decades an archipelago of distinct legal spaces appeared in a world otherwise increasingly dominated by more sizable nation-states. Tax havens were particularly important among these spaces, reaching from the Channel Islands, Monaco, and Luxembourg to the Bahamas, Panama, and Singapore, among many others. The talk asks why tax havens in particular expanded significantly between ca. 1945…

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Ahmed Kanna: “De-Exceptionalizing the Arab Gulf: Bringing back Class Struggle & Social Reproduction”

April 24 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

Discourses of urban knowledge professionals (architects, PR professionals, etc.) on the Arab Gulf city have framed this city as an “laboratory,” a “sci-fi” space, and generally have disconnected the space from its social and historical contexts. In this paper I argue that a Marxist or class struggle perspective can best highlight how such discourses promote imperial and capitalist class power in the Gulf. Through combining this framework with a postcolonial discursive critique and feminist scholarship on social reproduction, a class…

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May 2019

Nidhi Mahajan: “Moorings: Trade Networks and States in the Western Indian Ocean”

May 1 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

Sailing vessels or dhows have long connected different parts of the western Indian Ocean, transporting goods, and people across South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. These dhows now function as an economy of arbitrage, servicing minor ports in times of conflict. This talk focuses on the contemporary dhow trade, centered in port cities such as Dubai and Sharjah that have “free trade” policies. I argue that these notions of free trade are entangled with war, conflict, and broader…

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Banu Bargu: “Catching a Moving Train: Decolonizing Aleatory Materialism”

May 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

This paper analyzes Althusser's proposal for an aleatory materialism through his engagement with historical materialism, and particularly with Marx on "primitive accumulation." It identifies two different legacies of Marx's reflections on the origins of capitalism and discusses how Althusser attempted to rework Marx to reach a non-teleological conception of history. At the same time, taking both thinkers to task on their approach to colonialism, and especially settler colonialism, the paper moves toward decolonizing the aleatory materialist imaginary. Banu Bargu is…

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David Kazanjian: “‘I am he:’ Revising the Theory of Dispossession from Colonial Yucatán”

May 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

In this paper, “‘I am he:' Revising the Theory of Dispossession from Colonial Yucatán,” I examine a legal case involving an enslaved Afro-diasporan named Juan Patricio and a Mayan woman named Fabiana Pech from turn-of-the-eighteenth-century Yucatán. The case challenges a fundamental presupposition of many contemporary theories of dispossession: namely, that the dispossessed had prior possession over that which was stolen from them by their dispossessors. Like a number of other such cases I have been examining from the 17th and 18th…

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Shadi Rohana: “Cervantes and the Arabs: Don Quixote in translation”

May 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

The modern Arab reader cannot be indifferent when reading a novel like Don Quixote. Through its geography, historical context, characters and language, the novel evokes to the modern reader one of the Arabs’ most splendorous historical episodes: Al Andalus. This talk traces the Arab and Andalusian presence in Cervantes’ Don Quixote from 1605, and how this presence was later translated into modern Arabic during the 20th century. The talk will also discuss the reception of Don Quixote in varios Arabic…

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Ashwini Tambe: “Tropical Exceptions: Racial Logics in Twentieth Century Intergovernmental Age of Consent Debates”

May 29 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Humanities 1, Room 210, 1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States

Legal age standards for sexual maturity are challenging enough to devise at the state or national level, but they are especially contentious at the intergovernmental level. Efforts at setting common standards have often been marked by imperial logics on the part of those proposing common standards and misgivings on the part of those most affected. My talk traces how intergovernmental efforts at setting common age standards for sexual consent and marriage occasioned elaborate posturing and coding of racial difference. In…

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