We invite you to submit abstracts on 'Workers' Struggles and
Nationalist Movements in the Arab World, 1900-present.' We are
directing a workshop on this theme at the Tenth Mediterranean Research Meeting which will take place near Florence (Italy) on 25 –28 March 2009.
In order to submit your paper abstract, kindly go to
http://www.eui.eu/RSCAS/Research/Mediterranean/mrm2009/Index.shtml.Scroll down to "Information for Prospective Participants" before clicking on "online application form." If you encounter any difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact us. The deadline for submissions has been extended until 10 September.
You will find the workshop abstract below:
Workers' movements present a problematic when considered
internationally, as their context has been defined by national
liberation in the Middle East and across North Africa. When workers
carried out strikes in colonized areas, sustained agitation against
the managers of the enterprises that hired them meant indigenous
workers' struggles for better wages, safer working conditions, and
more secure contracts were seldom simply for their own well-being.
Migrant workers' protests also fueled larger national liberation
movements by defining inclusive national communities and articulating progressive directions for such communities.
So how do we assess the significance of the strikes that took place
outside what have now become postcolonial states? Calling for
acknowledgement of the colonial-era split (both in the theoretical
realm of law and the practical realm of political institutions)
between metropolitan and indigenous workers, and recognizing that the movement's history exceeds both institutional histories of labor
unions and political parties, this workshop addresses labor and
affiliated issues both in a comparative framework and transnationally.
Since transfers of populations--whether for labor, military service,
settlement, or in response to induced environmental
disasters--characterized colonialism, many Arabs from colonized parts of West Asia and North Africa worked as émigrés in the various
métropoles. We propose to address the link between labor and national liberation bridging across the national histories that have fragmented common aspects of modern Arab experience. Furthermore, we seek to address labor and nation with the inclusiveness of new social movements, since workers developed strategic alliances with other organizations and political interests (whether miners from Algeria, dock workers in Aden, or Palestinian factory workers) to strengthen and broaden collective consciousness across gender and class.
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