Northwestern Events Calendar


Global Lunchbox: Sovereignty and Diversity: What we Can Learn from Early Modern Empires (Loubna El Amine)

When: Friday, October 23, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cindy Pingry  


Co-Sponsor: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Please join us for the Global Lunchbox series, a weekly conversational forum hosted by the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies featuring work-in-progress by members of the Northwestern community.

About the Talk

The way we think normatively about issues of diversity today is constrained by the requirements of sovereignty in the modern state. We usually take these requirements for granted, but what happens if we relax them? In this talk, comparative political theorist Loubna El Amine will propose that looking at how early modern empires dealt with diversity is one way to do so. More specifically, she will discuss the Mughal, Ottoman, and Qing empires, and draw some implications from these examples for thinking about the relationship between sovereignty and diversity.

About the Speaker

Loubna El Amine is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern.

In her first book, Classical Confucian Political Thought: A New Interpretation (2015), she offered a close reading of the early Confucian texts (the Analects, the Mencius, and the Xunzi), eliciting their answers to such questions as who should rule, how, and why, and what the relationship between ruler and ruled should be. She argued for an interpretation of Confucian political thought that centers on the concept of order, rather than virtue and its corollaries.

She is currently working on her second book, tentatively titled "Beyond Freedom and Slavery: Status and Membership in the Ancient Confucian Political Community," in which she will aim to revise the conventional portrayal of early Chinese thought as patriarchal, exclusive, authoritarian, and rigidly hierarchical (in comparison with early Greek political thought). The book will also explore the place of boundaries and territory in the definition of the Confucian conception of the political community.

Before coming to Northwestern, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council for Learned Societies. That year, she was based first at the Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences at Zhejiang University and then at Oxford University as an associate member at Nuffield College and visiting scholar at the Blavatnik School of Government.

In addition to her scholarly work, she writes frequently (in both English and Arabic) on issues such as Lebanon and the Arab world, being Muslim in Trump’s America, “Hoping against Hope: A Perspective on the US Elections from the Periphery,” “Are ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ Western colonial exports?” and other themes.

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Meeting ID:
946 6407 4553

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