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Transnational American Studies @ American University of Beirut 1/6-9

December 20, 2013

In Fall 2013 the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University Beirut celebrates its tenth anniversary and initiates its new MA program in Transnational American Studies.  Moreover, Fall 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Edward Said, whose scholarly legacy and vision for American Studies in the Arab world inspires CASAR’s mission.  To honor Said’s legacy and to mark CASAR’s history and future, the fifth CASAR international conference will be organized around the theme “Transnational American Studies.”

We aim to consider transnational American Studies as a theory and method in motion.  Among the questions we seek to address are: How does the discipline of American Studies work as a “traveling theory” to cite Edward Said?  What are the possibilities for American Studies beyond the borders of the U.S. nation-state?  How might we map race, sexuality, and religion as densely overlapping transnational categories?  How do the cultural and political contexts in the MENA help us remap the field of transnational American Studies?

We invite disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and un-disciplined papers that address any aspect of transnational American Studies.  Although CASAR focuses primarily on the transnational relations between the U.S. and the MENA region, we also invite papers that address transnational American studies in other geographies, such as hemispheric borders in the Americas, provided these papers speak to broad methodological and theoretical questions within transnational scholarship.

In addition to hosting a wide range of scholarship in transnational American Studies, we hope to attract focused work in the following areas:

  •  Edward Said’s scholarly legacy, especially as it relates to transnational American Studies.
  • Scholarship that places the study of religion – broadly conceived – in a transnational American Studies frame.
  • Scholarship in transnational gender and sexuality studies.

Jan 6-9
American University of Beirut
More Info


The Sabotage of Production: A Lecture by Evan Calder Williams @ Bark Room 12/4

December 2, 2013

The history of sabotage is the history of its hypothetical non-existence, of recurrent attempts to deny that it does or should happen. Barring scattered supporters, using elements of a machine, system, organism, code, network, or city against its designed function has for centuries been as maligned as actually practiced. It is called “undisciplined,” “unmediated,” “individualist,” “pointless,” “invisible,” and “sneaky,” a diversion of the correct uses of discontent. It is neither “sustainable” nor up for vote.  In other words, sabotage has been accused of being what it actually is: a form of social war opposed not just to a global order of reproduction, circulation, and management but also to the most basic structures of representational politics that order strongly encourages us to adopt.

These lectures sketch a new history and theory of sabotage, one attentive to just how alien the act of turning means against their ends is to inherited ideas of political engagement. Sabotage remains an unwelcome tool and an unknowable enemy, because it implies and extends a different and ultimately inhuman kind of familiarity. It is one that learns how to listen to cues given by the circuits, patterns, and mechanisms themselves, how to access the embedded knowledge and hostility of all those materials waiting to help ruin the brutal perpetuity of work, gender, empire, and time.

Joining Elizabeth Gurley Flynn with Romano Alquati, this lecture tracks back through the history of sabotage, develops the concept of “invisible organization,” and considers ruined silk, factory management, death vs. sleep, subterranean trains, napping, meticulousness, and capitals fixed, circulating, and flammable.

Wednesday, Dec 4
5:30-8 pm
Bark Room
2 West 13th Street
New York, NY
More info


Opening Reception: Yto Barrada & DJ /rupture @ Walker Art Center 11/21

November 15, 2013

Yto Barrada sm

In conjunction with the exhibition An Album: Cinematheque Tangier, join artist Yto Barrada and special guest DJ/rupture, referred to as “a thoughtful pipeline for music from countless distant and obscure outposts” (New York Times), for an evening filled with the music and movies of North Africa. Free admission with cash bar.

Thursday, Nov 21
6-9 pm
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN
More info
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Spook Magazine Issue 3 Launch Party @ MoCADA 11/16

November 13, 2013

Celebrate the launch of Spook’s third issue with a panel discussion and reception in the MoCADA gallery! Founder Jason Parham and contributors Morgan Parker, Josie Duffy, Matthew J. McKnight, Cedar Pasori, Sonia Lousie Davis, Andre D. Wagner and Kajahl Benes will discuss the issue’s theme, HOME, and its connection to the politics of place and belonging in Six Draughtsmen.

Saturday, Nov 16
6-8 pm
MoCADA Gallery
80 Hanson Pl.
Brooklyn, NY
RSVP on Facebook