Europe seen from North Africa

Europe seen from North Africa

Catalan Atlas, Abraham Cresques (Cropped, Public Domain)

Panel Discussion with Muriam Haleh Davis (UC Santa Cruz), Aitana Guia (CSU Fullerton), Lilith Mahmud (UC Irvine), Thomas Serres (UC Santa Cruz), moderated by Lia Brozgal (UCLA)

Monday, May 20, 2019
4:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

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European integration has been largely analyzed as a Western reaction to World War Two and the Cold War. This panel will discuss how understandings of Europe - as a cultural unit, institutional structure, and historical entity - have been fashioned through its relationship with North Africa. It presents some of the arguments developed in the recently published volume "North Africa and the Making of Europe," in which Muriam Haleh Davis and Thomas Serres call for new approaches to studying the region that destabilize the territorial fixity implied in theories of the "boomerang effect" or "laboratories of modernity." Contributors Aitana Guia, Lilith Mahmud, Thomas Serres and Muriam Haleh Davis will offer interdisciplinary perspectives on topics such as economic development, contemporary social movements, questions of security, and decoloniality.

Muriam Haleh Davis is an assistant professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her current book project studies how the postwar reinvention of a market economy influenced prevailing ideas of race and national identity in Algeria. She is the co-editor of a volume entitled “North Africa and the Making of Europe: Institutions, Governance and Culture,” and has published articles in the Journal of Contemporary History, the Journal of European Integration History, and Middle East Critique.

Aitana Guia is a social and political historian of Modern Europe. Her areas of expertise are nationalism, migrants, and minorities in post-war Europe. Dr. Aitana Guia joined California State University, Fullerton in 2016 as assistant professor in modern European history. Dr. Guia’s latest monograph is The Muslim Struggle for Civil Rights in Spain: Promoting Democracy through Migrant Engagement, 1985-2010 with Sussex Academic Press. Dr. Guia is currently researching nativism in postwar Europe and environmental urban activism in Spain.

Lilith Mahmud is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Irvine. She specializes in critical European studies and feminist anthropology with particular expertise in the study of secrecy, transparency, migration, nationalism, gender, race, class, liberalism, and the Right. Her first book, The Brotherhood of Freemason Sisters: Gender, Secrecy, and Fraternity in Italian Masonic Lodges (University of Chicago Press, 2014), was awarded the William A. Douglass Prize for best ethnography in Europeanist anthropology. Prof. Mahmud’s second book project is a study of Italy’s institutional responses to the intertwined crises of labor and migration focused on Italian cooperatives as the main socio-economic organizations handling the business of solidarity at the margins of Europe. Prof. Mahmud has also published about liberalism and contemporary fascism. In 2017-2019, she is serving a two-year term as an elected officer on the Executive Board of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, and she was previously the Book Reviews Editor for American Anthropologist.

Thomas Serres is a specialist of North African and Mediterranean politics and his scholarship focuses on questions of crisis, economic restructuring and authoritarian upgrading. His first book studies the politics of catastrophization in post-civil war Algeria. This forthcoming monograph is entitled Managing the Crisis, Blaming the People: The Suspended Disaster in Bouteflika's Algeria (Gérer la Crise, Blâmer le Peuple: De la Catastrophe Suspendue dans l'Algérie de Bouteflika) and will be published by Karthala later this year.

Lia Brozgal earned a B.A. in French from Chatham College and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures. Before joining the faculty at UCLA in 2008, she was an appointed lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. Her research and teaching encompass a variety of topics in Francophone North African literature, culture and history, as well as contemporary France. She is the author of Against Autobiography: Albert Memmi and the Production of Theory (U Nebraska Press, 2013); co-editor of Being Contemporary: French Literature, Culture and Politics Today (Liverpool UP, 2015); co-editor of Ninette of Sin Street (the first English translation of the Tunisian novella Ninette de la rue du Péché by Vitalis Danon); and author of essays on North African literature and cinema, beur cultural productions, chronicles of the Holocaust in North Africa, and Judeo-Maghrebi literature and film. Professor Brozgal is anticipating the completion of a monograph devoted to the literary and visual representations of the October 17, 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris.


Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies