Fawwaz Traboulsi's lecture will be based on his new book, Sykes-Picot-Balfour: Beyond the Maps (El-Rayyes for Books and Publishing, Beirut 2019),which was inspired by the centenary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and Balfour Declaration, and by the debate raised about both. The book revisits two founding documents of the modern Near East during the critical decade (1914-1924) that decided the fate of the Arab peoples of the ex-Ottoman Empire, against the background of World War I, the competition between the British and French colonial powers, and the outcome of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. In his talk, Traboulsi will retrace that sequence and address issues of unity and partition; natural and artificial states; and what he calls the “fetichism of maps.” He will also examine the resources and economic interests at stake in the Franco-British colonial competition.
Fawwaz Traboulsi teaches Political Science and History at the American University of Beirut. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York University, University of Michigan, and University of Vienna. Traboulsi is a fellow of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
His twenty books and numerous lectures, papers and articles have dealt with history, politics, liberation and social movements, political philosophy, memoirs, folklore and art in the Arab world. Traboulsi's latest translations include Edward Said’s Out of Place(2003), Humanism and Democratic Critique (2005) and On Late Style (2015) and Antonio Gramsci’s Notes on Italian History (2017). Traboulsi's recent work includes; A History of Modern Lebanon (2007, 2012), Al-Dimuqratiyah Thawra (Democracy is a Revolution, 2011),Hareer wa Hadeed (On Silk and Iron, From Mount Lebanon to the Suez Canal, 2013), Al-Tabaqat al-Ijtima’iyyah wa-l-Sulta al-Siyassiyyha fi Luban (Social Classes and Political Power in Lebanon, 2016), Damm al-Akhawayn. Al-`Unf Fil Hurub al-Ahliyah (On Violence in Civil Wars, 2017), and most recently, Sykes-Picot-Balfour: Ma Waraa’ al-Khara’it (Sykes-Picot-Balfour: Beyond the Maps, 2019).
Traboulsi, a long-time journalist, is the editor of the quarterly cultural journal Bidayat, founded in spring 2012.
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