EVENT May 15
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The Body in all its states: Aesthetics of the body in the Arab World

Organization: Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth (USJ)
Categories: Postcolonial, Comparative, French, Popular Culture, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Mediterranean, Middle East, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2019-05-15 Abstract Due: 2019-05-15

The Body in all its states: Aesthetics of the body in the Arab World.


The current issue of Regards will focus on the relations between the arts (cinema, theater, dance, visual arts…) and the body in the Arab societies and, more broadly, in the Mediterranean region. This sensitive subject suffers from prejudgment and prejudice in both audience’s and critics’ minds. Put starkly, the Arab world seems to be deprived of it.


However, the relation of art to the body, although sometimes ignored or denied, appears to be extremely operative and perennial. To be convinced of this, one need only undertake a historiography of modern and contemporary art in the Arab world.


Nevertheless, it is not this diachronic perspective Regards that will adopt in its issue. We envision rather an issue discussing the body and the relations to the body made possible by art and artists in the very heart of their societies. Which bodies and relations to bodies or corporeity can art and artists make possible in Arab societies confronted with the collapse of ideologies (panarabism, communism before it…), the hazards of post-revolutionary eras, or the incapacity of liberalism to find anchorage? With the crisis of democracy, the affirmation of authoritarian regimes, the banalization of human experience and its singularities, nationalism, fundamentalism, and the proliferation of all sorts of obscurantism?


Many questions can be asked and discussed (non-exhaustive list):

- Can we find in the Arab world, films, theater, dance or other artistic works, in which the body is shown and represented in all its ‘power’ and its complexity?

- A contrario, can art become a technique to confine the body in predetermined and normalized knowledge?

- Can art become, in the hands of dominant powers, a mean to capture, stigmatize or canalize individuals in an unidimensional subjectification?

- In what ways can a ‘complex’ representation of the body express a sovereign subject or challenge the sovereignty of the subject?

- And what type of body, experiences or corporeity do those representations of the body suggest?

- Do certain bodily representations act on the subject as forms of dominant powers’ (social, economic, political, religious…)?

- Is it possible to identify in the Arab world and Mediterranean countries artistic productions that guide the body to resist the impoverishment and dwindling of its socially and culturally determined means of being?

- Can we talk of a politicization of the body that opposes it to all socio-cultural conditioning and taming? Can art define the conditions allowing the body to (re)invent itself, by offering it new possibilities of life?



The authors wishing to submit an abstract (in French, English or Arabic) are invited to send it to the following address:



Before May 15th 2019.


The author should provide the following information:

·         An abstract of the article (approx. 500 words).

·         Keywords.

·         A mini bio-bibliography (approx. 100 words).

The abstracts will be examined by the editorial committee, and the authors will receive an answer before May 30th 2019.


Scientific Committee

·         Hamid Aidouni, PR (Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, Maroc)

·         Karl Akiki, MCF (Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Liban)

·         Riccardo Bocco, PR (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Genève, IHEID, Suisse)

·         Fabien Boully, MCF (Université Paris Nanterre, France)

·         André Habib, PR (Université de Montréal, Canada)

·         Dalia Mostafa, MCF (University of Manchester, Angleterre)

·         José Moure, PR (Université Paris Panthéon Sorbonne – Paris 1, France)

·         Jacqueline Nacache, PR (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7, France)

·         Ghada Sayegh, MCF (IESAV, Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Liban)

·         Kirsten Scheid, Associate PR (American University of Beirut, Liban)

Editor-in-chief: Joseph Korkmaz, PR (Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, Liban)

Call for papers editor : Gilles Suzanne, MCF (Aix-Marseille Université, France)



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BEAUGÉ, Gilbert, CLÉMENT, Jean-François (dir.), L’Image dans le monde arabe, Paris, CNRS, 1995.

BURKHALTER, Thomas, DICKINSON, Kay, HARBERT, Benjamin J. (dir.), The Arab avant-garde : music, politics, modernity, Middletown, Conn., Wesleyan University Press, Music/culture, 2013.

CHORON-BAIX, Catherine, MERMIER, Franck, Marchés de l’art émergents, Transcontinentales, n° 12-13, 2012.

DELEUZE, Gilles, "Post-scriptum sur les sociétés de contrôle", DELEUZE, Gilles, Pourparlers, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuits, 1990.  

FOUCAULT, Michel, Qu'est-ce que la critique ? Suivi de La culture de soi, Paris, Vrin, 2015. 

BOISSIER, Annabelle, GILLET, Fanny, MESSAOUDI, Alain et al. (dir.), « Arts visuels en terres d'islams : nouvelles approches, nouveaux enjeux », Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée, n° 142, 2017.

SUZANNE, Gilles, « Images au pouvoir et pouvoir des images en Méditerranée », Incertains Regards, Presses Universitaires de Provence, n° 6, 2016.



Toufic El-Khoury