Department of Social Anthropology

Seminar with Professor Ghassan Hage

We are happy to announce the upcoming seminar with Professor Ghassan Hage. The title of his paper is "The patriarchal management of what to keep and what to give of oneself in the making of Lebanon’s diasporic modernity"

Lebanese woman smoking waterpipe
Professor Hage will focus on the making of Lebanon’s diasporic modernity in his talk.
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The patriarchal management of what to keep and what to give of oneself in the making of Lebanon’s diasporic modernity

In this paper I begin by arguing that migration and diasporic culture are not ‘the result’ or ‘an offshoot’ of Lebanon’s capitalist modernity, rather diasporic culture is the culture of Lebanese modernity.

Like all modernities it involves a splitting of the subject between a driven self and a homely self; in the case of diaspora it is a self entangled with the transnational capitalist market and capitalist values and a self yearning for home and to protect what it considers most valuable about itself from this market. This can be a painful split of the self, and in some instances it can be dealt with through a splitting of the married couple rather than a splitting of the self.

In this process it is men who aim to monopolise the possession of what is worthy of being kept and what can be allowed to be given away. The paper examines ethnographically how this logic is integral to the making of diasporic culture.

Short bio

Ghassan Hage is professor of Anthropology and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He has held many visiting professorships around the world including at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, University of Copenhagen, University of Amsterdam and Harvard. His research interests include: Critical Anthropological Theory; Comparative nationalism, colonialism and racism; The work of Pierre Bourdieu; The anthropology of the Palestinian question; and The anthropology of Lebanon and the Lebanese diaspora. His more recent works includes Alter-Politics: Critical Anthropological Thought and the Radical Imagination (2016), and Is Racism an Environmental Threat? (2017)

Light refreshments will be served after the seminar. All interested are welcome!