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International Workshop “Moments of Pleasure: Time, Ethics and Desire in Contemporary Egypt”

International Workshop “Moments of Pleasure: Time, Ethics and Desire in Contemporary Egypt”
Presened by Aymon Kreil (Asien-Orient-Institut – University of Zurich)

We cordially invite you to the international workshop on March 8th 2017.

Aymon Kreil is an anthropologist who defended his Ph.D. Thesis on the ways to speak about love and sex in Cairo at the EHESS (Paris), as part of a joint program with the University of Neuchâtel. In this workshop, he is going to talk about the current city scape of Cairo from unique perspectives such as time, ethics and desire.

Date:
March 8th, 2017 2:00-4:30pm

Venue:
The Main Conference Room, 3F, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The university of Tokyo
http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/eng/access/index.html

Speaker:
Aymon Kreil (Asien-Orient-Institut – University of Zurich)

Discussants:
Matsunaga, Noriko (Teikyo University)
Okado, Masaki (Sophia University)

Language:
English

Abstract:
“Moments of Pleasure: Time, Ethics and Desire in Contemporary Egypt”

Research on gender in the Middle East still largely relies on studying religious and social norms. The existing literature on love and desire in Egypt mostly focuses on family expectations and on the difficulties young people encounter for their marriage projects. Recent developments of the anthropology of ethics drawing on Michel Foucault’s work underscore the self-disciplining practices of Egyptians willing to make Islamic moral ideals their own.

Although these studies offer valuable insights, one of their common features is that they all suppose some projection into a future time in which to become a better person. By contrast, this presentation focuses on moments of festive transgression in which people explicitly avoid any references to the day after. The surrendering to the craze of the moment favors anti-morals promoting the immediate enjoyment of life by all possible means. The emphasis on present moments also creates a sense of intimacy among those participating. As a result, they often value practices that they would ordinarily consider as condemnable: for instance, consuming alcohol or having sexual relations outside of marriage. Consequently, it appears crucial to recognize desire as a core dimension of the framing of time, of ethics, and ultimately of the shaping of subjectivities.

Speaker:
Aymon Kreil is an anthropologist. He conducted most of his research in Egypt. In 2012, he defended his Ph.D. Thesis on the ways to speak about love and sex in Cairo at the EHESS (Paris), as part of a joint program with the University of Neuchâtel. Among his most recent publications are “Dire le harcèlement sexuel en Égypte: Les aléas de traduction d’une catégorie juridique,” Critique internationale 70, 2016; “Territories of Desire: A geography of competing intimacies in Cairo,” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 12: 2, 2016; “The Price of Love: Valentine’s Day in Egypt and its Enemies,” Arab Studies Journal 24: 2, 2016. Kreil taught at the University of Cairo, at the University of Neuchatel, at the Geneva University for Art and Design, and at the University of Fribourg. Currently, he is a researcher at the Asia-Orient-Institute of the University of Zurich.

Organizer:
JSPS Grants-in-aid for Research/Basic Research A: Basic Synthetic Research for the Construction of Islam & Gender Studies
http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~nagasawa/about/Eng_aboutus.html

Co-organizer:
Center for Modern Middle East Studies at the National Museum of Ethnology
http://www.minpaku.ac.jp/nihu/cmmes/index.html

Inquiries:
islam_gender[at]ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp