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HB-232107-16

Peter Limbrick
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1077)
Moroccan Director Moumen Smihi (b.1945): Arab Modernities and Cinema

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the films of Moroccan director Moumen Smihi (b. 1945) and the history of colonialism in the Arab world.

This project investigates films by Moroccan director Moumen Smihi to better understand the relationship between Arab cinema and the historical experiences of colonialism and modernity. In addressing Smihi's rich images and narratives of colonial encounter, the project analyzes the ways that Euro-American critical discourses have struggled to understand the relationship of Arab cultural production to a modernity that is often conceived as exclusively Euro-American. Using Smihi's films as a lens, my book rethinks those relationships, stressing long histories of mutual influence and exchange that destabilize accounts of Arab modernisms as derivative products of cultural borrowing or colonial imposition. Smihi's cinema offers a compelling vision of the way that cinema, a quintessentially modern technology, has animated relationships between Arab and non-Arab worlds, thus transforming the way we think about the axes of history, colonialism, nationalism, and modernity across the Middle East.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Area Studies; Film History and Criticism; Near and Middle Eastern History

Program:
Awards for Faculty

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2016 – 6/30/2017