Monday, December 5, 2016
The 12th public lecture in our Fall 2016 Proseminar Speaker Series, "Who the People: Punctuating Politics in the USA, Being America in the World"
Speaker: Prof. Moustafa Bayoumi, City University of New York
Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of the critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America (Penguin), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction. The book has also been translated into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers. His latest book, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror, was published by NYU Press in 2015. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The National, CNN.com, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Progressive, and other places. His essay “Disco Inferno” was included in the collection Best Music Writing of 2006 (Da Capo). Bayoumi is also the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage) and editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (O/R Books & Haymarket Books). With Lizzy Ratner, he also co-edited a special issue of The Nation magazine on Islamophobia (July 2-9, 2012). He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and on CNN, FOX News, Book TV, National Public Radio, and many other media outlets from around the world. Panel discussions on How Does It Feel To be Problem? have been convened at The Museum of the City of New York, PEN American Center, Drexel Law School, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the book has been chosen as the common reading for incoming freshmen at universities across the country. Bayoumi is a professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In 2015, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Southern Vermont College. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Division of Social Studies presents the Fall 2016 Proseminar in Humanistic and Social Scientific Inquiry on the theme of "Who the People: Punctuating Politics in the USA, Being “America" in the World." This Fall, we engage with questions of the vitality, legitimacy, promise, im/possibility of democratic life that haunt one of the largest democracies in the world, which is also, indeed, one of the largest global imperial powers. How do the frames of polis, nation-state, colony, and postcolony intersect in the United States of America, and how are we to understand the people that fill out or outline these enclosures? What are the self-conceptions and proclamations, indeed also sighs and laments, of “the people” enclosed within these frames, and how do they impact the claims the people are able to make with regard to the meaning of politics, the political process, participation, and possibility--and indeed the very possibility of life within and without the polity. What must a transdisciplinary and decolonial inquiry into these matters of life and death look like, where does and must it happen, who does and must undertake it--and what affects and actions must it seek to enable and disable in us?