Idriss Jebari, a postdoctoral fellow at the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (ACSS), will be giving a talk on efforts to decolonize the social sciences in Morocco, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 5:00 PM at the American University of Beirut.
Titled "Thinking the Maghrib between Paris and Beirut: The Moroccan Post-independence Efforts to Decolonize the Social Sciences," his talk reflects on the work of Abdelkebir Khatibi and Abdallah Laroui to highlight the importance of adopting a material perspective for the study of Arab knowledge production.
By calling on their peers to “think the Maghrib” in the seventies, Abdelkebir Khatibi (1938-2009) and Abdallah Laroui (1933) each made seminal contributions to the radical Moroccan effort to decolonize the social sciences from their colonial and orientalist legacies. Despite this shared goal, these two figures disagreed firmly on their conception of socio-historical change and on Moroccan modernity, in large part to their interlocutors and audiences. During this fascinating period of intellectual renewal taking place in Paris and Beirut, Laroui and Khatibi engaged profoundly with deconstructionists, poststructuralists, reformed orientalists, disillusioned pan-Arabists, Marxists and new supporters of cultural heritage, producing an important and often neglected episode of Arab intellectual history.
Jebari's talk is part of his postdoctoral research project titled “Exploring the centre-periphery relation between the Maghrib and the Mashriq,” which is funded by the ACSS.
After completing his doctorate in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford, in 2016, he has been working on researching and publishing on the contemporary social, cultural and intellectual history of North Africa, and on the social memory of the recent past and its impact on present-day youth social mobilization.