Senses of the Secular: Ethnography, Law, and the State in Lebanon

Washington, United States

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CCAS is proud to present

Senses of the Secular: Ethnography, Law, and the State in Lebanon

Featuring Levant Post-Doctoral Fellow Raja Abillama

What could one say about secularism with respect to a society that considers itself to be antithetical to it, yet its individual members can -- and occasionally do -- openly claim to be secular? Rather than proceed to prove that the state is secular (or not), or to merely describe local interpretations of secularity, Dr. Abillama reflects on the anxieties, desires, and aversions embedded in a series of dispersed ethnographic situations and encounters. He brings to the surface assumptions -- about identity, language, religion, translation, sectarianism, law, marriage, ethics, medicine -- constitutive of the manifold unarticulated and embodied senses of the secular that make possible both the affirmation and negation of secularism.

Raja Abillama is a Levant Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York's Graduate Center. He is currently working on a book manuscript based on field research in Lebanon on secularism and sensibility.

Lunch will be served.


(202) 687 - 6215