Recent Submissions to the Georgetown University Institutional Repository
This collection contains scholarship produced by the faculty and students at Georgetown University.
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Illness as Discourse Medical Welfare of Egyptian Labor in an Age of Liberalism and Progress (1919-1939)
Illness as Discourse Medical Welfare of Egyptian Labor in an Age of Liberalism and Progress (1919-1939) This thesis is about discourses and practices formulated around health issues of workers in Egypt during the interwar period (1919-1939). It locates working-class illness within three major social transformations: the rise of large-scale mechanized production and its impact on human bodies, the ascendance of Egyptian nationalism, and the major economic adjustment from laissez-faireism to state intervention. This thesis concerns the somatic suffering of workers as a result of the development in modern industrial sectors, and raises the question of who spoke for the bodies of workers; why were these discourses designed; and how did the practices of discourses conversely reshape these tortured bodies? To answer these questions, I seek to explore and understand the emergence of working-class illness as a social problem and the ways in which social elites popularized nationalist ideas and constructed working-class health into a national project during years of rapid economic transformation and state building. Using numerous primary and secondary sources, the pages that followed will look at symbolic systems that nationalist elites artificially designed to incorporate workers into anti-colonial struggles. This thesis also uncovers the enforcement of these strategies, the practices of the state to gradually build a medical welfare system as a rescue operation in order to minimize class antagonism, as well as the agency of medical expertise in the making of a modern interventionist state. M.A.
The People Want to Topple the System: An Alternative Narrative of the Arab Uprisings Since the toppling of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a one-dimensional narrative of the Arab Uprisings has become axiomatic in both foreign and Arab spheres. The mainstream narrative paints the movement as one for Western-style democracy and discursively associated economic neoliberalism. This account of the Uprisings not only obfuscates but also undermines the story that was put forth by activists themselves and that resonated so widely with diverse sectors of Arab populations. My thesis explores a narrative of the Arab Uprisings as put forth by activists. It presents and analyzes three demonstrations from Tunisia and Egypt to illustrate how, through their contentious performances, Arab activists attempt to challenge a system of imperial continuity--a centuries-old pattern of political, economic and social relations between foreign actors and the Arab people, and between Arab political elite and populations as a whole. Given the reach and history of this political system, such resistance is not easy. Nor is it straightforward; resistance to such a layered and variegated power formation must be relational. The Arab Uprisings present a dynamic by which actors revolted against local forms of oppression but also consistently reached for repertoires that were regional (rather than purely local) and drew upon networks and strategies that were Arab (rather than merely national). This indicates our need for a more nuanced narrative of how the Uprisings of 2011 constituted an event of Arab history. M.A.
"Building the Earth": Labor Politics, Technopolitics, and Tapline in Lebanon, 1950-1964 This project examines the history of the Aramco-owned Trans-Arabian Pipeline, or Tapline, focusing particularly on the history of its operations in Lebanon and labor activism by its Lebanese employees between 1950 and 1964. It applies the framework Timothy Mitchell develops in Carbon Democracy - entailing the analysis of the "chokepoints" created by energy infrastructure - to the particular case of Tapline in Lebanon, while supplementing Mitchell's "technopolitical" theoretical framework with attention to working conditions at Tapline and the particular the demands they made on their American employers. It therefore engages with literature on moral economy, class-formation, and labor politics in colonial and post-colonial settings.; My research revolves primarily around Tapline's management strategies, the Tapline workplace as experienced by its Lebanese employees, Tapline's vulnerabilities to strike action and workers' mobilization, and Lebanese Tapline employees' unionization and participation in a mass strike in 1964. Borrowing from Frederick Cooper's analysis of labor activism in colonial West Africa, I argue that Lebanese Tapline workers exploited Tapline's "chokepoints" to force the company to live up to its promises of meritocracy and welfare for its employees, and thus tried to improve their position within the status quo of their workplace rather than radically alter it.; This project is based on a diverse body of primary and secondary sources. Primary sources include interviews with the former head of the Tapline Laborers' Syndicate, internal documents from Aramco and Tapline, the Pipeline Periscope, an in-house magazine produced by the company for distribution to employees, coverage of Tapline and its employees' labor activism from the Lebanese press, and declassified US government documents. It aims to bring the literatures on the politics of labor and technopolitics into a productive dialogue. It also seeks to develop the historical literature on Tapline, which has received only fragmentary academic attention. M.A.
Developing Renaissance: Nahda Discourse in Jordanian Humanities Textbooks This analysis addresses the subject of nahda, or renaissance, in Jordanian history, civics, religion, and literature textbooks from the 1970s to 2009. "Nahda" is a keyword in the textbooks signifying both the historical period of Arab modernist thought and nationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the Jordanian state's present-day national development. The textbooks use the language of nahda to portray the Hashemite king as Jordan's historically qualified and legitimate leader. Nahda operates in nuanced ways across the genres. History and civics textbooks reflect "nahda as national development" in which the Hashemite kings are the primary actors in history and leaders of a comprehensive societal renaissance. Religion and literature textbooks, meanwhile, rely on "nahda as intellectual ideal" in which the state is hesitant to co-opt the ideals of pan-Arab and pan-Islamic unity because they exceed the territorially bounded Jordanian nation-state. These portrayals of nahda in the textbooks are coercive in the sense that they seek to preserve monarchic power by reducing Jordanian citizens to the loyal subjects of a progress-oriented king who not only raises their material well-being, but serves as the model for their civic virtue, tolerance, pluralism, and piety. M.A.
From Collective Memory to Nationalism: Historical Remembrance in Aden In Aden, the former capital of the People's Democratic Republic of South Yemen, a popular nationalist movement has emerged demanding a rescinding of the unification agreement that joined north and south Yemen in 1990. This paper explores the way in which history is being remembered, framed, and utilized to create a sense of coherent national identity rooted in historical understandings in Aden. This study draws upon ethnographic research and interviews conducted in Aden, Yemen and analyzes the social, political, and economic forces that have influenced this nationalist awakening. I focus on the concept of collective memory to explore how southerners are framing their understandings of a national past in light of current everyday realities and how new conceptions of Aden's colonial and socialist past are invoking new senses of nostalgia for remembered notions of liberal urban lifestyles. Drawing on theoretical works in the fields of collective memory and nationalism, I also examine the power structures that allow for certain narratives to become accepted while others are silenced, both in the context of a unified Yemen and within the south itself. I attempt to build upon the established link between collective memory and nationalism by exploring not just how collective memory can function as a vehicle for historical reimagining but also the diverse vectors that shape Adeni's national consciousness. I argue that Aden's remembered history has led to a reimagining of national borders and a sense of belonging in the larger Yemeni nation. M.A.
Framing Protest: A Social Movement Analysis of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and Moroccan Justice and Development Party in the 2011 Arab Uprisings
Framing Protest: A Social Movement Analysis of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and Moroccan Justice and Development Party in the 2011 Arab Uprisings This thesis uses social movement theory to examine how the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the Moroccan Justice and Development Party (PJD) frame their roles in the 2011 Arab uprisings and in the political shifts that followed. My primary theoretical lens is the concept of "framing," a process whereby social movement actors strategically produce and mobilize ideas and meaning for a variety of audiences. My analysis traces how both the MB and PJD departed from the regional trend in 2011 by continuing to articulate reformist rather than revolutionary goals. However the MB used non-institutionalized tactics by participating in street protests and boycotting Jordan's parliamentary elections, while the PJD used more quiescent institutionalized tactics by not participating in street protests and by running in Morocco's parliamentary elections. Building off of the work of Douglas McAdam (1996), I argue that the MB and PJD's choice of goals (reformist vs. revolutionary) and tactics (institutional vs. non-institutional) constitute a core signifying matrix that activists consciously deploy in order frame the nature of the movement to both the regime and the public. Each movement's choices on where to locate itself in this signifying matrix have been significantly impacted by its history, the regional context of the Arab uprisings, the institutional context of electoral authoritarian monarchy, and the specificities of national politics. Moreover, these framing choices were not self evident; they developed over time in response to changing events, prompted intense internal contestation, and exhibited a complex, nonlinear relationship with ideologies both internal and external to each movement. In making this argument, this thesis offers both empirical and conceptual contributions to the existing scholarly literature. Empirically, it examines two longstanding opposition movements that have been relatively understudied in the context of the 2011 Arab uprisings. Conceptually, it extends the democracy-centric theory of framing within social movement theory by applying it to Islamist movements in an authoritarian context. M.A.
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 8 Number 1 Smeeding, Timothy; Toikka, Richard; Neveu, Andre; Mikelson, Kelly; Harrigan, Brian; Thomas, Mark; Wolf, Patrick; Turner, Nicholas
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 5 Number 2 Kenworthy, James; Simpson, R. David; Toman, Michael; Brooks, Kim; Olavarria-Gambi, Mauricio; Woolverton, Maria; Webster, Benjamin; Berube, Alan
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 5 Number 1 Lemieux, Jeff; Greene, Jay; Giammo, Joseph; Mellow, Nicole; Stettner, Andrew; Pick, Daniel; Kroetch, Erika; Einstein, Heath; Ludwig, Jens; Shulman, Paul Jeffrey; Gordon, Leslie
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 4 Number 2 Russell, Steve; Luna, Eileen; Sarre, Rick; Ratnesar, Romesh; Donahue, Kevin; Singleton, Christa Marie; Brewer, Dominic; Thatcher, Jennifer
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 4 Number 1 Wheaton, Laura; Sorensen, Elaine; Kern, Kenn; Porter, Gareth; Buchanan, Nancy; Posner, Paul; Choi, Wen-Tsing; Kay, Sean; Mollison, Char
Georgetown Public Policy Review Volume 3 Number 2 Banck, Luis; Anthony, Stephen; Uccello, Cori; Mitchell, Jean; Hadley, Jack; Feeley, Theresa; Wallin, Helena; Hahn, Michael; Chait, Jonathan; Basson, Danna; Zebrak, Andrew
‘Dirty’ and Infertile: the Underdiagnosis and Impact of Chlamydia Carte, Elizabeth Personal identity is shaped as we navigate our social world and perceive our experiences. Human reproduction and motherhood have come to be associated with womanhood in immeasurable ways, to the extent that some consider pregnancy and motherhood to be the essence of womanhood. Therefore, complications such as infertility can have a huge impact on a woman’s identity. The World Health Organization estimates that everyday more than 1 million people are infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) (“Sexually Transmitted Infections). When left untreated, STIs can pose serious complications for women planning to become pregnant. Chlamydia, the most common STD in the United States, can result in urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain (Paavonen et al., 1990). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 2.86 million Americans are infected with Chlamydia annually, however as many as half of these cases go unreported; a frightening statistic considering 10-15% of the untreated infections develop into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and PID results in infertility 10-15% of the time (“STDs &Infertility”; “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease”). The Institute of Medicine estimates that PID is the etiology of infertility in at least 15% of infertile American women, yet less than 50% of sexually active young females, the most at-risk group, are tested annually. In 2000, 25.3% of young women were tested (“The Hidden Epidemic”). By 2007, it jumped to 41.6% (U.S Preventative Services Task Force). Historical failures of the medical community, current health disparities, and female-specific social pressures explain why so many cases of Chlamydia go undiagnosed, but the potential implications of Chlamydia and infertility on female identity are evidence that continuous efforts must be made to ensure all women are able to utilize preventative health services.
A Foucauldian Critique of Sexualized Neo-Imperialism and the U.S. War on Terror Buchanan, Kristin The U.S.’s intercession into the affairs and crises of the developing world appears to stem from motivations of benevolence, or an assumed responsibility to take on the role of “policeman” on the global stage. Often, the U.S. justifies its costly intercessions into the affairs of other countries, squandering tax payer money and putting citizens’ lives in jeopardy, by appealing to democratic values and human rights. However, rather than imagined magnanimity, Western interventions are characterized by intersections of power and dominance, exoticization, and othering marked by the Western imperial past (Abu-Lughod). As the U.S. continues to make its presence known in the developing world, feminist theories and conceptions of the gaze shed light on the racist, gendered, and sexualized discursive construction of the third world subject as the target of the Western civilizing mission. The male gaze is a form of violence structured by power relations and rooted in an imperial past that continues to shape race relations surrounding the gaze. Foucault’s analysis of Bentham’s panopticon and matrices of power, knowledge, and discipline reveal the transformative effect of the gaze in carrying out the Western agenda. Understanding this contemporary moment requires a look back into the past. In what follows I will ask how the patterns of historical imperialism have been reconfigured in the modern day, and how the application of Foucault’s theories can help us understand these elements. I will interrogate the dynamics around spectacle and visuality that have persisted from the colonial period into the neo-colonial period, and argue that in this critical juncture, Foucualt’s concept of the gaze sheds light on the extreme ways representational power is mobilized to colonial and neo-colonial ends.
“Fighting Sexism with Racism:” Anti-Immigration, Secularism, and the Politics of Shame in French Banlieues
“Fighting Sexism with Racism:” Anti-Immigration, Secularism, and the Politics of Shame in French Banlieues Recinos, Denise Throughout this paper, I analyze the case of gang rapes in French banlieues. I explore the reactions women have towards sexual violence, such as the shame rape survivors experience in their communities when speaking out. I also examine Samira Bellil’s memoir about being gang raped to further understand the implications and trauma rape survivors face, in particular those living in French banlieues. I analyze the ways in which the French Republic highlights sexual violence in banlieues and associates men of Maghreb and Muslim background as the main perpetrators of gang rapes. Even though the French state addresses sexual violence, highlighting and associating rape with men of North African countries creates a double bind for women living in banlieues. Survivors want to speak about their suffering, but at the same time they do not want to further stigmatize the communities they come from. As a result, the community demonizes and adds pressure to women to stay silent.
Criminalized Pregnancy: Drug Abuse, Fetal Rights, & Dehumanization of Poor Women Nwagwu, Jeanne Several questions arise from the conflicting issue of fetal rights versus maternal rights. The mother and the baby should be considered as one entity, so why are state policies trying to separate the two? Why are states more interested in punitive measures as opposed to treatments? Who reaps the benefits from this type of misguided retribution? More importantly, why aren’t mothers’ rights just as important if not more important than the rights of the fetus? In this paper, I plan to explore the complex nature of fetal and maternal rights within the context of the Alicia Beltran case, showing how state policies criminalize the drug use of pregnant women further I argue that we need to pay special attention to class because women of lower economic class are put at a higher risk for being criminalized.
Male + Feminism: Why Men Have a Stake in Racial and Gender Equity Lopez, Antony Why do males and minorities play a role of needing feminism? What I propose is working within minority communities now to secure a brighter future for all, implementing that all stakeholders have equal representation. After all, the men and women who are in college today will be the leaders and figureheads who inspire the generations that follow and set the framework for the majority minority population. We are presented with a unique opportunity to leap ahead and set an agenda to start a new chapter for this nation with a society that naturally works together and implements racial and gender equity as opposed to fighting for it after the fact. With all the current issues that minorities are facing and dealing with, now is the best time to incept feminist values into the conversations to create a future that ensures equity. Today’s generation would most benefit from implementing feminist values into their day to day lives and strive for a harmonious future between men and women. Feminism is currently the best tool to help our citizens - males included - resolve the inequality issues that plague our society, as it addresses the roots and not the symptoms of inequality. In present-day America, however, this has become an identification and movement with a great deal of stigma, which has plateaued its progress. In order for it to reach its full potency and aid social change, echoing the words of Jackson Katz, we need more men, “with the courage with the strength with the moral integrity to break our complete silence and challenge each other and stand with women not against them.”
CIRS Annual Report 2013-14
“His Slave or His Despot”: Contemporary Compulsory Heteromasculinity through the Lens of Leopold Sachor-Masoch’s “Venus in Furs”
“His Slave or His Despot”: Contemporary Compulsory Heteromasculinity through the Lens of Leopold Sachor-Masoch’s “Venus in Furs” Riggio, Melissa In this work I will examine how male heterosexuality is closely linked with “masculinity” (in the white Western dominant definition), and how the compulsory heteromasculinity of the Western World affects not only heterosexual men's relationships with women but also with other men, and ultimately how they view themselves in society. My main argument is that masculinity is inextricably associated with heterosexuality, and I support that argument with examples of studies in which men discuss how they feel compelled to be masculine to prove their heterosexuality, as well as pointing out the reflections of these thoughts in Austrian 19th century erotic novel "Venus in Furs", a book published in 1870 but still very reflective of the heteromasculine structure of contemporary Western men.
The Malleability of Identity: An Exploration of the Muslim-Arab Detroit Community Al-Thani, Mariam