Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa

Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa

Edited by Ussama Makdisi and Paul A. Silverstein
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/21/2006
Format: paper 256 pages, 1 index
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21798-1
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Description

“. . . constitutes an important and much needed intervention on the themes of memory and violence in Middle East studies.” —Lisa Hajjar, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Middle East and North Africa form a region united by a common history of armed conflict and repeated international efforts at producing a lasting peace. This interdisciplinary collection explores the connections between memories of past violence and the violence of present memories, the context for all contemporary efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation. The contributors examine the 1954–1962 Franco-Algerian war, the 1975–1991 Lebanese civil war, and the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict as interconnected struggles that outline national polities, infranational fractures, and transnational political connections. Insofar as national unity has been constructed on the contested claims of sacrifice and martyrdom, the legacy of violence has remained inscribed at the heart of political identity. The case studies point to the failure of current attempts to officially forget past conflicts, at the same time indicating local successes in commemorative actions that forge at least partial peaces between individuals and groups.

Author Bio

Ussama Makdisi is Associate Professor of History at Rice University.

Paul A. Silverstein is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Reed College.

Reviews

"The power of these studies lies in their revelation that history—that is, 'collective memory'—is not limited to remembered experiences. It is creative, expanding to bind related events into grand narratives defining identities, making credible the wide-spread belief in Western hostility toward Muslims dating back to the crusades. . ." —American Anthropologist

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
Introduction: Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa Paul A. Silverstein and Ussama Makdisi
I. Violence and Sacrifice
1. A Death Revisited: Solidarity and Dissonance in a Muslim-Christian Palestinian Community Glenn Bowman
2. Martyrdom and Destiny: The Inscription and Imagination of Algerian History James McDougall
3. Patriotic Sacrifice and the Burden of Memory in Israeli Secular National Hebrew Culture Yael Zerubavel
II. Resolution and Reconciliation
4. Commemoration under Fire: Palestinian Responses to the 1956 Kafr Qasim Massacre Shira Robinson
5. The Making and Unmaking of Memories: The Case of a Multi-Confessional Village in Lebanon Anja Peleikis
6. The Algerian War in French Memory: Vengeful Memory's Violence Benjamin Stora
III. Archaeology of Memory
7. Can the Subaltern Remember? A Pessimistic View of the Victims of Zionism Gabriel Piterberg
8. Beirut, a City without History? Saree Makdisi
9. Archaeology, Nationhood, and Settlement Nadia Abu El-Haj
Contributors
Index