Northwestern Events Calendar


Reckoning with the Syrian Uprising a Decade On — A Forum with Lisa Wedeen & Yasser Munif

When: Monday, March 15, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CT

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

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  


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


The Syrian uprising began in March of 2011. The peaceful, grassroots protests that broke out across the country that spring were met with ferocious repression, which in turn led to the militarization of the conflict and a staggering level of violence: hospitals and apartment buildings bombed, entire cities reduced to rubble, industrial-scale torture and murder of detainees, mass starvation, and unimaginable trauma.

Nearly half a million Syrians have been killed and more than 12 million have fled the country or been internally displaced — the biggest internally displaced population in the world. “Syria has become the great tragedy of this century — a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres solemnly remarked.

How can we make sense of this colossal tragedy a decade on? What lessons can be drawn from the Syrian uprising and the ghastly fate it met? Join Northwestern's Center for International and Area Studies and the Evanston Public Library for this discussion with Lisa Wedeen and Yasser Munif, the authors of two recent books that grapple with these and related questions.

About the speakers

Lisa Wedeen is the Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science and the College and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT) at the University of Chicago. She is the author of three books: Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria (1999), Peripheral Visions: Publics, Power, and Performance in Yemen (2008); and Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria (2019), which won the American Political Science Association’s Charles Taylor Book Award and the Middle East and North Africa Politics Section’s best book award. She is Co-Editor of the University of Chicago Book Series “Studies in Practices of Meaning.”

More on Lisa Wedeen's Authoritarian Apprehensions:

Yasser Munif is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Institute for Liberal Arts at Emerson College. He is the author of The Syrian Revolution: Between the Politics of Life and the Geopolitics of Death (2020). His research explores the importance of urban settings in shaping national identities during the Arab revolts (Egypt and Syria). More specifically, by investigating the confluence of arts and culture and urban spaces, it analyzes the making and un-making of national identities. Munif is the co-founder of the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.

More on Yasser Munif's The Syrian Revolution:

Danny Postel (moderator) is Assistant Director of the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University. He is co-editor of three books: The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future (2010), The Syria Dilemma (2013), and Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (2017).

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required:

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