What might it mean to think through psychoanalysis and Islam together, not as a problem, but as a creative encounter of ethical engagement? Traversing literatures minor and major, Omnia El Shakry shows how postwar thinkers in Egypt translated and blended psychoanalytic theories with classical Islamic concepts. El Shakry explores how Freudian ideas of the unconscious were crucial to the formation of modern discourses of subjectivity in fields as diverse as psychology, Islamic philosophy, and the law. Rather than view Islamic discourses as hermetically sealed, or traffic in dichotomous juxtapositions between East and West, this talk focuses on the points of intersection and articulation between Islamic discourses and modern social scientific thought, and between religious and secular ethics. The hybridization of psychoanalytic thought with Arab and Islamic discursive formations thus illustrates that the Arabic Freud, like psychoanalysis itself, was elaborated across the space of human difference.
Omnia El Shakry is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Davis, specializing in the cultural and intellectual history of the modern Middle East. She is the author of The Great Social Laboratory: Subjects of Knowledge in Colonial and Postcolonial Egypt, and editor of the multi-volume Gender and Sexuality in Islam.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for European and Russian Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, and Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures.