Crisis and Development in 20th Century Iraq

Episode 397

hosted by Susanna Ferguson

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What is "development?" What can we learn about this key concept of the 20th century world by looking at it through the history of modern Iraq? In this episode, Sara Pursley unpacks the history of "development" in many forms to show how ideas about what the future should look like have governed what's possible in the present and the ways that we can narrate the past. From the girls' schools of interwar Iraq, to the "family farms" instituted there by American experts in the 1940s, to literacy programs instituted after Iraq's 1958 revolution, we see how projects meant to give Iraqis better futures often had unintended and contradictory effects.



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Contributor Bios
Sara Pursley is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. She is the author of Familiar Futures: Time, Selfhood, and Sovereignty in Iraq (Stanford University Press, 2019) and a number of articles, including, most recently, "`Ali al-Wardi and the Miracles of the Unconscious," Psychoanalysis and History 20 (December 2018): 336-51.
Suzie Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Middle Eastern History at Columbia University. She is currently finishing a dissertation entitled "Tracing Tarbiya: Women, Gender and Childrearing in Egypt and Lebanon, 1865-1939."

Credits


Episode No. 397
Release Date: 08 January 2019
Recording Location: New York, New York
Audio editing by Matt Ghazarian
Music: Louisa Tounsia, "Ya Bent el Nass"
Images and bibliography courtesy of  Sara Pursley


Images

Jawad Salim, Nusb al-Hurriyya, 1962. Photo credit Atheer Mohammed 2018.
Detail from Jawad Salim, Nusb al-Hurriyya, 1962. Photo credit Atheer Mohammed 2018.
Detail from Jawad Salim, Nusb al-Hurriyya, 1962. Photo credit Atheer Mohammed 2018.
Detail from Jawad Salim, Nusb al-Hurriyya, 1962. Photo credit Atheer Mohammed 2018.
Detail from Jawad Salim, Nusb al-Hurriyya, 1962. Photo credit Atheer Mohammed 2018.

Select Bibliography


Arndt, H. W. "Economic Development: A Semantic History." Economic Development and Cultural Change 29, no. 3 (1981): 457<->66.

Donzelot, Jacques. The Policing of Families. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.

Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Ferguson, James. The Anti-Politics Machine: "Development," Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Koselleck, Reinhart. Futures Past: On the Semantics of Historical Time. Translated by Keith Tribe. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004.

al-Wardi, `Ali. Mahzalat al-`Aql al-Bashari. London: Alwarrak, 2013.

al-Wardi, `Ali. Mantiq Ibn Khaldun. London: Alwarrak, 2009.

Zimmerman, Andrew. Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

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