Rita Sakr is Lecturer in Postcolonial and Global Literatures at Maynooth University, Ireland. Among other publications, she is the author of Monumental Space in the Post-Imperial Novel: An Interdisciplinary Study and ‘Anticipating’ the 2011 Arab Uprisings: Revolutionary
Literatures and Political Geographies, co-editor of The Ethics of Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege of Beirut and co-director and co-producer of the RCUK-funded documentary on Beirut, White Flags. Her article on the topic “Imagining Mid-Nineteenth-Century Beirut as a ‘City of the World’: Public Intellectuals, Photography, Cartography, and Historical Literature” is forthcoming in Journal of Urban Cultural Studies.

Cultural Imaginaries of Mid-Nineteenth Century Beirut as “City of the World”

Reading List Description

The reading list addresses the mid-nineteenth-century cultural-geographical dynamics that constructed Beirut as a ‘city of the world’ and helps us to consider how its production forms both a ‘crisis of representation’ and a ‘representation of crisis’. Regarding a pivotal period in the city’s development from 1858 to 1876, this reading list explores transnational and transhistorical perspectives: in the output of mid-nineteenth-century Beiruti intellectuals and missionaries (including newspapers, public lectures, the encyclopedia, and the memoir), alongside mid-nineteenth-century photography and cartography by military and civilian visitors to Beirut, as well as in twenty-first-century Lebanese historical literature that recreates mid-nineteenth-century Beirut as an overdetermined representational space shaped by the city’s more recent post-war transformations.

This reading list developed out of a talk given at SOAS “Imagining Mid-Nineteenth-Century Beirut as a ‘City of the Worldon the 10th January 2018.

Download the reading list here: Cultural Imaginaries of Mid-Nineteenth Century Beirut as “City of the World”