No Exit: Arab Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre, & Decolonization
Friday, October 12, 2018 - 12:00pm
It is a curious and relatively little-known fact that for two decades-from the end of World War II until the late 1960s-existentialism's most fertile ground outside of Europe was in the Middle East, and Jean-Paul Sartre was the Arab intelligentsia's uncontested champion. In the Arab world, neither before nor since has another Western intellectual been so widely translated, debated, and celebrated. By closely following the remarkable career of Arab existentialism, this talk reconstructs the cosmopolitan milieu of the generation that tried to articulate a political and philosophical vision for an egalitarian postcolonial world and ended up settling for much less.