This essay discusses the politics of affect in post-1967 Arabic literary and cultural production. It argues that melancholia’s underappreciated swerve from normative structures of power and mourning is a threshold moment of critical and cultural enablement in the Arab world, where the nexus between proxy and settler colonialisms continues to produce and reproduce almost all aspects of literature and culture.
Afteraffect: Arabic Literature and Affective Politics
Nouri Gana is Professor of Comparative Literature and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Signifying Loss: Toward a Poetics of Narrative Mourning and the editor of The Making of the Tunisian Revolution: Contexts, Architects, Prospects and of The Edinburgh Companion to the Arab Novel in English. He is currently completing a book manuscript on the politics of melancholia in the Arab world and another on the history of cultural dissent in colonial and postcolonial Tunisia.
Nouri Gana; Afteraffect: Arabic Literature and Affective Politics. Representations 1 August 2018; 143 (1): 118–137. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2018.143.1.118
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