Creative Radicalism in the Middle East: Culture and the Arab Left after the Uprisings by Caroline Rooney

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In the face of vicious oppression and years of authoritarian and neoliberal ideology, how did the Arab Left assert itself during the Arab Uprisings? In this bold new account, Caroline Rooney outlines the importance of aesthetic strategies and creative expression in the left's critique of authoritarian and Islamic extremist discourse during the revolutions.

Using a wide array of texts and sources, both Arab and non-Arab, the book engages affect theory to show how a poetics of disappointment, despair and distrust, to dignity, solidarity and reconfigured senses of the sacred, offered a way for the left to reclaim ethical and progressive 'radical' values co-opted by political leaders and extremists in the Middle East. In so doing, the book offers an original conceptual framework for differentiating 'radicalization' from the creative radicalism of the Arab avant-garde.

Year: 2020


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