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Centering the Margins: Identifications and Belonging in Lebanon and Syria: 1943-1958 (Centering the Margin)
Date du début: 1 sept. 2012, Date de fin: 31 août 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

My research will bring out the multiplicity and fluidity of identifications across national and city-vs.-town boundaries in Lebanon and Syria from 1943-1958. Notably, it is precisely within and amongst the interactions of the inhabitants of the towns of Zahle (Lebanon) and Qamishle (Syria) with those of Beirut and Damascus where new identifications were constructed. These identifications have been obscured by both nationalist histories that reinforce the power of the nation-state, and cosmopolitan histories that claim to weaken this power.Specifically, I will be addressing the following two questions:• How did the inhabitants of the peripheral towns of Zahle and Qamishle articulate self and external identifications during the consolidation of nation-state power in Lebanon and Syria?• How did these identifications interact with and inform the identifications of the inhabitants of the capital cities of Beirut and Damascus?The transformations of how people identified themselves and were identified during the formative years of the Lebanese and Syrian nation-states help us understand the current manifestations of violent struggle over power and membership in both countries. This project therefore calls for multi-sited research in order to go beyond current frameworks of diversity and cosmopolitanism, adding to our understanding of how people view themselves and one another, and the adaptation of identifications over time and location.This grant will enable me to fulfill the requirements to gain permanent employment, namely excellence in scholarship and the facility to attract external funds. Permanent employment confirms not only my commitment to the host institution as a locale, but also solidifies my position as an extension of its scholarship, teaching, innovative research, and obligation to society.