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No Exit


Oct 12 2018


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

No Exit

No Exit: Arab Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Decolonization

A Conversation with Yoav Di-Capua

It is a curious and relatively little-known fact that for two decades — from the end of World War II until the late 1960s — existentialism’s most fertile ground outside of Europe was in the Middle East, and Jean-Paul Sartre was the Arab intelligentsia’s uncontested champion. In the Arab world, neither before nor since has another Western intellectual been so widely translated, debated, and celebrated. By closely following the remarkable career of Arab existentialism, this talk reconstructs the cosmopolitan milieu of the generation that tried to articulate a political and philosophical vision for an egalitarian postcolonial world and ended up settling for much less.

Free and open to the public. Light lunch served. Sponsored by the Duke University Middle East Studies Center, AMES Presents, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, the History Department, the Program in Literature, and the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University.


Yoav Di-Capua

University of Texas at Austin

Yoav Di-Capua is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches modern Arab Intellectual History. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 2004. He is the author of Gatekeepers of the Arab Past: Historians and History Writing in Twentieth-Century Egypt (University of…...

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Donald M. Reid

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Donald Reid is a labor historian of modern France at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He works on the "long 1968" as an intellectual, social, and political phenomenon, and on the history of collective memory in modern France....

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Sarah Miles

Sarah Miles is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies twentieth-century global francophone history, particularly the interactions between France and its former colonies, including Quebec, Algeria, the French Caribbean, and French West Africa. Her research focuses on the francophone anti-colonial left in the…...

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