ONLINE - DREAM SEMINAR - Muriam Davis, Kmar Bendana : Fanon And Its Cercles

14. Juni | 14:30

Dynamiken und Erfahrungen der Globalisierung

Muriam Davis, History (University of California Santa Cruz) 
Kmar Bendana, History (Manouba-University, Tunisia)

The session will be held in French and English, with translation

The Seminar is organised in cooperation with the Centre d’histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (CHS) Paris and the Centre Marc Bloch (CMB) Berlin
All Sessions will be held online via Zoom. For participation and/ or subscription on our mailinglist please send an Email to

Further information on the sessions, such as texts for the preparation, but also changes of the program or the possibility of participating on site in Berlin or Paris, can be found on our homepage which is updated regularly

Décentrer les révolutions/ Decentring Revolutions

The interdisciplinary seminar proposed by the research team of the DREAM project, offers a reflection on revolutionary itineraries in the Middle East and North Africa. It focuses on the experiences of political learning and places that remain unnoticed in most of the studies. These places are difficult to grasp by archives or not very present in the traditional repertoires of protest and mobilizations which tend to privilege political or union structures, or streets and its police handling, to identify revolutionary actors. In terms of documentation, this means a focus on the archives of power often targeting the same people, or structured activist documentation, or the collection of life stories from previously identified activists. These same activists often recall spaces and moments they consider important and that constitute decisive places of learning and sometimes the source of notable biographical breaks or ruptures.

These can be spaces of sociability such as reading or cinema circles, extracurricular or university activities, sports clubs, amateur newspapers or places of worship. They provide occasions for meeting and discussion, opportunities to explore and foster a “desire for change”. The DREAM Seminar welcomes reflections on these places of political learning. Researchers will be invited to discuss methodologies to capture them through empirical fieldwork and archival documentation.

In the course of the seminar researchers will present their work on activists’ biographies in the Arab world, particularly with regard to the uprisings that have occurred since 2010. Ten years later, it is possible to return to individual or collective itineraries, to examine more “cold” moments of engagement, or more intimate places of politicization (of bodies, sexualities or life choices often perceived as non-political). We will reflect on the theoretical and conceptual tools that allow us to address the question of “silences”, “breaks” and “blanks”. Apart from the presentation of ongoing research and books, raw documentation and archival collections will be presented as case studies and brought up for discussion.

The seminar is built around two thematic components:
1/ a reflection on the biographical consequences of contestation, focusing on recent mobilizations (from December 2010), articulated on the presentation of recent research.
2/ a series of presentations, readings and discussions on the spaces of political learning, conceived as a first identification of places where ruptures and commitments occur, or where future activists acquire skills they can mobilize in protests and revolts.

The seminar is part of the transnational research in the framework of the ERC funded project “DREAM” (CO-771453)

Photo: Hand in Hand Together by Mariam Soliman 
Logo design: Danièle Ansermet
Layout and design: Amichai Green


Dorothee Mertz
mertz  ( at )


Centre d’histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (CHS) Paris