Poetics as a counter archive: Neoclassical Shi‘i poetry and de-sectarianizing knowledge | Intellect Skip to content
1981
1-2: Iraq and the Maladies of Archives
  • ISSN: 2515-8538
  • E-ISSN: 2515-8546

Abstract

In this article, I highlight the importance of literary products as an alternative archive. Focusing on Iraqi history in the first two decades of the twentieth century, I suggest that relying on Arabic literature is a useful method of decolonizing knowledge, which allows us to reconstruct, even partially, voices of Iraqis and exposes to us to their creativity and world-views. Some of Iraq’s poets, novelists and writers supported, and were supported by, the State, whose praises they sang in extravagant odes and mediocre novels. Others, however, were dissidents, radicals, anticolonial activists and commentators on social justice and gender equality. Their literary products are thus highly relevant to the late Ottoman period and the early years of the mandate as an archive countering British perceptions of politics at the time.

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2022-06-01
2024-02-25
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