Memoirs, Memory, and the History of the Tunisian Left

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Episode 103: Memoirs, Memory, and the History of the Tunisian Left

In this podcast, Dr.Idriss Jebari contemplates the outpouring of memory from the former leftists of the Perspectives movement, following the 2011 Tunisian Revolution. In a series of published memoirs, the likes of Gilbert Naccache, Fethi Ben Haj Yahia and others take their readers from their experience of prison in the sixties and seventies, as well as their reflections on critical moments of Tunisia's political transition, particularly transitional justice and national reconciliation. Through these memoirs, Dr. Jebari explores how they could help write new histories for the Tunisian people: one that is plural and democratic. On the ten-year anniversary of the Revolution, after unprecedented transformations and the global pandemic, we are reminded of the fleeting nature of memory in light of the tragic passing of several figures from the Maghrib's past.

Dr. Idriss Jebari is Al Maktoum Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies at Trinity CollegeDublin. His work investigates the distinctiveness of the Maghribi critique of modernity in contemporary Arab intellectual and cultural history. He completed a doctorate on the history of the production of critical thought in Morocco and Tunisia at the University of Oxford on the intellectual projects of Moroccan thinker Abdallah Laroui and Tunisian thinker Hichem Djaït. He then held an Arab Council for Social Sciences postdoctoral fellowship at the American University of Beirut to study the dynamics of intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Maghrib and the Mashriq after 1967. He has published on the intellectual projects of several North African intellectual figures such as Abdelkebir Khatibi, Mohamed Abed al-Jabri and Malek Bennabi, and how the younger generations remember this intellectual heritage and the Arab Left. He is currently working on his first book manuscript that will address the critical societal debates that shaped North Africa's path today modernity in the sixties and seventies.

This podcast was recorded between Tunis and Dublin on January 8, 2021, by the Centre d'Études Maghrébines à Tunis (CEMAT) and the Centre d'Études Maghrébines en Algérie (CEMA) and is part of the special podcast series, "The Ten-Year Anniversary of Tunisia's Revolution (January 14, 2021)." The podcast was introduced by Dr. Robert P. Parks, CEMA Director.

We thank Yesser Jradi for his interpretation of "Narja3lk dima." A talented artist, Yesser is a painter, musician with interests in cinema and theatre.

Posted by Hayet Lansari, Librarian, Outreach Coordinator, Content Curator (CEMA).

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