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Grant number: FB-54867-10

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Michaelle Browers
Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC 27109-6000)

Arab Shi'i Political Thought since 1958: A Generation's Politicization

This project focuses on developments in political thinking among a 1960s generation of Arab Shi???i intellectuals who studied in Najaf, Iraq, and went on to found some of the most important Shi???i political and social organizations in various Arab countries, particularly Lebanon. I provide a historical analysis of this generation's development of a discourse of resistance that became prevalent among Shi???i communities in Iraq and Lebanon, first in communist and socialist guises, and later through revitalization of Islamic notions of protest and revolution, and reconceptualizations of notions of authority and political agency. I contend that this trend is distinguished from the understanding of Shi???i Islamism that emerges in Iran, since it was constituted in response to Shi???i political marginalization vis-??-vis other religious and ethnic groupings in Arab countries and was negotiated against competing discourses (nationalist, Arab nationalist, socialist, and traditionalist).

Project fields:
Near and Middle Eastern History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2010 – 7/31/2011