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4pm Visual and Literary Encounters in the Middle East

September 27, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Visual and Literary Encounters in the Middle East: Between Production and Distortion of Knowledge

This reading group will examine the representation of the Middle East from the early modern period up to the contemporary era. The focus is on the critical junctures during which global encounters gained new impetus through diverse media. Each meeting will center on a cultural practice that became a vehicle for the circulation and transformation of ideas, cultures, peoples, and artifacts beyond borders or at contact zones. The focus will be less on the historical techniques of representation than on how cross-cultural interactions at the intersection of visual/bodily, as well as literary/imaginary experiences, produce, erase, distort, or transform knowledge of places— understood not as an empty phenomenon, but as lived spaces for human action. The outline of the reading group is general enough to allow participation by non-experts, who are interested in thinking about the current trends in the representation and dissemination of the image of the Middle East through new social media, with a historical awareness. There might be suggested primary materials related to images, narratives, films, and exhibitions accompanying main readings.

The sources are available online though McGill library. For more information contact Dr. Gül Kale gul.kale@mail.mcgill.ca

September 27/Week 2–(Un)dressing the Exotic Body

Elisabeth A. Fraser, ““Dressing Turks in the French Manner”: Mouradgea D’Ohsson’s Panorama of the Ottoman Empire,” Ars Orientalis 39 (2010): 198–230.

Kader Konuk, “Ethnomasquerade in Ottoman-European Encounters: Reenacting Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,” Criticism 46, 3 (2005): 393–414.

*Benjamin Schmidt, ‘Exotic Bodies: Sex and Violence Abroad,” in Inventing Exoticism Geography, Globalism, and Europe’s Early Modern World (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), 163–226.


September 27, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


3610 McTavish, 2nd floor
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2 Canada
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