Writing History in Historic Times

Episode 368

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What does it mean to study the past in the midst of momentous change in the present? In this special episode, we discuss history and history-in-the-making with Omar Mohammed, a scholar and activist from Mosul. For several years, Omar was an undercover chronicler of ISIS through the blog and Facebook group Mosul Eye. Currently, he is working on a Ph.D. project about the history and historiography of Mosul in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We examine the connections between the two endeavors, all the while exploring modern Iraqi history and, with it, colonialism, nationalism, regional connections, and everyday life.

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Contributor Bios

Omar Mohammed is a scholar and activist from Mosul, Iraq. He has a master’s degree in history from University of Mosul, and is currently working on a PhD in Europe on Mosuli history and identity in the nineteenth and twentieth century. For several years, he has operated the blog Mosul Eye. He has been selected as a Yale World Fellow for 2018.
Sam Dolbee completed his Ph.D. in 2017 at New York University. His book project is an environmental history of the Jazira region in the late Ottoman period and its aftermath. In 2018-2019, he will be a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University's Mahindra Humanities Center.


Episode No. 368
Release Date: 26 July 2018
Recording Location: Paris, France
Interview recording by Chris Gratien
Script and audio editing by Sam Dolbee
Music by Zé Trigueiros, and the songs are "Sombra," "Petite Route," "Chiaroscuro," "Fast," and "Big Road of Burravoe." The music is used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike-License, and has in some cases been modified from its original. http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Z_Trigueiros/

Select Bibliography

Sinan Antoon, The Corpse Washer (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014).

Avi Asher-Schapiro, “Who gets to tell Iraq’s history?” LRB Blog, 15 June 2018. https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2018/06/15/avi-asher-schapiro/who-gets-to-tell-iraqs-history/

Wafaa Bilal and Kari Lydersen, Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun (San Francisco: City Lights, 2008).

Dawud al-Chalabi, Kalimat farisiyya fi mustaʿmila ʿamiyyat al-Mawsil wa fi inhaʾ al-ʿIraq taliha kalimat kurdiyya wa hindiyya (Baghdad: Matbaʿat al-ʿAni, 1960).

Jane Hathaway, ed. Al-Jabarti’s History of Egypt (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2009).

Lori Hinnant and Maggie Michael, “Chronicler of Islamic State ‘killing machine’ goes public,” Associated Press, 8 December 2017. https://www.apnews.com/cdc0567f7bf34958b914b15869392a84

ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Napoleon in Egypt: Al-Jabarti’s Chronicle of the French Occupation, 1798, trans. Shmuel Moreh (New York: Markus Wiener Publishing, 1993).

Dina Khoury, State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540-1834 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Sinan Marufoğlu, Kuzey Irak (1831-1914) (Istanbul: Eren, 1998).

Omar Mohammed, “Eye of the storm: The historian known as Mosul Eye on documenting what ISIS were trying to destroy,” Index on Censorship 47.1 (April 2018): 47-49.

Ghada Siddiq Rasul, Shatat Ninawa: Riwaya (Beirut: Dar al-Farabi, 2016).

Riverbend, Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq (New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 2005).

Sarah Shields, Mosul Before Iraq (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000).

'Adil al-Bakri, 'Uthman al-Mawsili: Qissat hayatihi wa 'abqariyatihi (Baghdad: Dar al-Shu'un al-Thaqafiyya al-'Amma, 1990). 


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