The Aesthetics of Dissent

The Aesthetics of Dissent: Culture and Politics of Transformation in the Arab World, co-edited by Eid Mohamed, Waleed F. Mahdi, and Hamid Dabashi for the International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 23, issue 2, March 2020, pp. 141-281.

This special issue captures the interplay of media, politics, religion, and culture in shaping Arabs’ search for more stable governing models at a crossroads of global, regional, and national challenges through systematic and integrated analyses of evolving and contested Arab visual and performing arts in revolutionary and unstable public spheres. The issue presents a unique attempt to investigate these forms of cultural production as new modes of knowledge that shed light on the nature of social movements with the aim of expanding the critical reach of the disciplinary methods of political discourse and social theory. Contributors articulate the ways in which the Arab scene can contribute to the understanding of the rise of new social movements worldwide by exploring the methodological gaps in dominant Western discourses and theories.

Tables of Content

  • Introduction: “The aesthetics of dissent: Culture and politics of transformation in the Arab world” by Eid Mohamed, Waleed Mahdi, Hamid Dabashi
  • “Culture and society during revolutionary transformation: Rereading Matthew Arnold and Antonio Gramsci in the context of the Arab Spring’s cultural production” by Eid Mohamed
  • “Sensing the next battle: An overshadowed prehistory of creative dissent in Tunisia” by Joachim Ben Yakoub and Sami Zemni
  • “Post-coup recuperation in al-Manawahly’s songs” by Noha Radwan
  • “‘Loud’ and ‘quiet’ politics: Questioning the role of ‘the artist’ in street art projects after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution” by Darci Sprengel
  • “Mourning the death of a state to enliven it: Notes on the ‘weak’ Yemeni state” by Kamilia Al-Eriani
  • “The digital carceral: Media infrastructure, digital cultures and state surveillance in post-Arab Spring Morocco” by Annemarie Iddins
  • “Liberation or emancipation? Counter-hegemony, performance and public space in Lebanon” by Hanan Toukan