The Carthage Seminars: Pluralism in Arab and Muslim Societies
Summer School: 28-29 June, 2 July


The Summer School’s courses and workshops will explore the status of pluralism in the Arab world and the Arab-origin communities the world over — from Beirut to Santiago to Detroit and beyond — as it is lived and experienced in the arts and humanities: Literature (poetry and prose); Cinema/Television series; and Music.

What are the current influences in contemporary Arab cinema? A noticeable shift has taken place recently from Syrian-Egyptian hegemony in the popular arts towards Turkey. What does this mean for the themes, storytelling and aesthetics of film and TV? Does this emergent dominance threaten cultural pluralism? How does this reflect on society — for example, are women creating a space for their voices through artistic means? Has room for artistic expression been on the decline since the Arab Spring? Have the faltering democracies or outright dictatorships that emerged in the last ten years allowed for the creation of an artistic dimension, whether government-sanctioned or otherwise? 


Evaluation: Attendance during the School and Conference (50%); final paper to be submitted by the 31st of July (50%).


Application requirements: Applicants should be students or young scholars in the field of humanities, social and political science, law, arts, journalism, media and the creative industries. A good working knowledge of English or Arabic is a requirement.


To apply, please e-mail the following to

  1. A short cover letter explaining your interest in the summer school (max 300 words).
  2. Your curriculum vitae.
  3. A personal ID (Passport or National Identity Document).
  4. References are welcome but not indispensable.

The deadline for applications is 24 June 2021.


Grants: Small grants with are available to non-salaried participants to facilitate their internet connection during the Seminars and their follow-up activities. Please include your grant request with your application.


N.B. In order to receive the certificate of attendance and grant of the Summer School, attendance to all lectures, workshops and conference speeches is mandatory.



School Program (28 June – 02 July 2021)

Online, Via Zoom


The following schedule is according to Rome Time (GMT +2)




Opening Lesson and Introduction


3-3:30 pm – Introduction 

Giancarlo Bosetti / Jonathan Laurence / Federica Zoja


4 pm  – Lesson 1: Francesca Corrao

Arabic poetry after the riots and beyond


4.50 – 5 pm Break


5 pm  – Lesson 2: Atef Elshaer

Edward Said’s Orientalism


5.50 – 6 pm Break


6 pm – Lesson 3: Randa Aboubakr

Social Media as the New Public Sphere in Egypt


6.50 – 7 pm Break


7 pm – Lesson 4: Teresa Pepe

Blogging in Egypt between Literature and Politics





3 pm – Lesson 1: Zyed Krichen

Media and Power in Tunisia: the Failures of the Democratic Transition


3.50 – 4 pm Break


4 pm – Lesson 2: Moez Mrabet

Acting in contemporary Theater : Constraints of Traditions and Liberties of Transgressions


4.50 – 5 pm Break


5 pm – Lesson 3: Peter Limbrick

Pluralism, Duress, and Dissent in Arab Cinema


5.50-6 pm Break


6 pm – Lesson 4: Tarek El-Ariss

Ottomania: Turkish Drama and the Politics of Memory


7 pm – Lesson 5: Josh Carney
The Harem, Hürem, and the truth: restorative nostalgia and the veiling of a Magnificent heroine



Wed., 30 June -Thurs. 1 July: International Conference (open to the public)





3 pm – Lesson 1: Shady Hamadi

The Arab diaspora in Italy between stereotypes and Literature


3.50 – 4 pm Break


4 pm – Lesson 2: Bahia Shehab

Arab Graphic Design and Politics


4.50 – 5 pm Break


5 pm – Lesson 3: Ismail Khalidi

Kanafani would have been a Rapper: Cultural Resistance and the Radical Palestinian Imagination 


5.50 – 6 pm Break


6 pm – Lesson 4: Omar Fassatoui

Citizenship and minorities in North Africa


6.50 – 7 pm Conclusions




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