Thursday, April 15, 2021
12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Watch on Watson's YouTube channel.
Iraq was the first postcolonial state recognized as legally sovereign by the League of Nations amid the twentieth-century wave of decolonization movements. It also emerged as an early laboratory of development projects designed by Iraqi intellectuals, British colonial officials, American modernization theorists, and postwar international agencies. Familiar Futures considers how such projects — from the country's creation under British mandate rule in 1920 through the 1958 revolution to the first Ba'th coup in 1963 — reshaped Iraqi everyday habits, desires, and familial relations. Future-oriented discourses about the importance of sexual difference to Iraq's modernization worked paradoxically, deferring demands for political change in the present and reproducing existing capitalist relations. Ultimately, the book shows how certain goods--most obviously, democratic ideals--were repeatedly sacrificed in the name of the nation's economic development in an ever-receding future.
In collaboration with the Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS).