Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA Monday | Water on Fire: A Memoir of War

When: Monday, April 15, 2024
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CT

Where: University Hall, 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Cost: 0

Contact: MENA  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

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


Lunch will be served at this event.

Water on Fire tells a story of immigration that starts in a Beirut devastated by the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), continues with experiences of displacement in Europe and Africa, moves to northeastern American towns battered by lake-effect snow and economic woes, and ends in New York City on 9/11. This story of loss, but also of evolution, models a kind of resilience inflected with humor, daring, and irreverence.  Alternating between his perspective as a child and as an adult, Tarek El-Ariss explores how we live with trauma, poignantly illustrating the profound impact of war on our perception of the world, our fears and longings.

Tarek El-Ariss is the James Wright Professor and Chair of Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College. In 2021, he earned a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his memoir. Trained in philosophy, comparative literature, and visual and cultural studies, he works across disciplines and languages to examine notions of the subject, community, and modernity. His research interests include Arabic literature, culture, and the arts; literary theory, new media, and digital humanities; Nahda and modernity studies; travel writing and the war novel; sci-fi and utopia studies; 18th- and 19th-century French philosophy and literature; and gender and sexuality studies.

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