CHANGE OF VENUE: 1210 Heller Hall Noon, Tuesday, November 15
Special ICGC Brown Bag
Deceptive words: The nuances of re-naming the Arab revolutions
Imed Labidi, Ph.D., media scholar and lecturer
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Gayla Marty, M.F.A., editor and media relations manager
College of Education and Human Development
Flower metaphors, jasmine, and even a whole season--spring--were rapidly adopted in popular discourse about the Arab revolutions of the past year. What are the semantic and political layers embedded in such ambiguous labels in contrast to distinct terms like the French Revolution or the American Revolution? Why is it used, and how do we understand this "nature talk"? This discussion will contextualize the images that such linguistic constructions deploy within racial politics and illustrate how they create a sense of confusion about Arabs and their struggle against dictatorial regimes.
The presenters each spent several weeks in Tunisia this summer. Marty will give an American's perspective on the early post-revolutionary period in Tunisia and changes she has observed since her first sojourn in 1979. Labidi will speak from a representational viewpoint within U.S. discourse. Labidi and Marty are alumni of the University of Minnesota-University of Tunis reciprocal exchange program, which enabled nearly 40 students from the U of M and Tunisia to study abroad between 1977 and 1998.