Based on my academic engagement, my talk calls into question some methodological frameworks that have come to define the interdisciplinary intersections between Comparative Literature and Indigenous Studies. Looking at examples from Mexico and Palestine, and from Latin America to the Middle East at large, I will explore the challenges of applying the notion of indigeneity and the imperative to decolonize it, while also examining the ways in which the term has been instrumentalized by literary figures, scholars, artists, and activists. Ultimately, my presentation considers how the tension between indigeneity, in all its ambiguity, and nationalism, in all its determination, problematizes the affinity and blurs the possibilities of encounters between Latin America and the Middle East.
Amal Eqeiq is Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies and Comparative Literature at Williams College. She is currently working on her manuscript, Indigenous Affinities: Comparative Study in Mayan and Palestinian Narratives. Her interdisciplinary research includes modern Arab literature, popular culture, Palestine Studies, feminism(s), performance studies, translation, indigenous studies in the Americas, the Global South, literary history, hip-hop, critical border studies, and decoloniality. She has contributed to the Contemporary Levant Journal, The Routledge Companion to World Literature and World History, Journal of Palestine Studies, Transmotion: An Online Journal of Postmodern Indigenous Studies, MadaMasr, Jadaliyya, and Kohl among others. She has received several awards, including a writing residency at Hedgebrook, the Dean’s Medal in Humanities from the University of Washington, and PARC NEH/FPIRI research fellowship. She earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington (2013). Eqeiq also keeps a Facebook blog called “Diaries of a Hedgehog Feminist.” From November 2019 to January 2021, Eqeiq will be an affiliated EUME Fellow associated with the Lateinamerika‐Institut of Freie Universität Berlin.
The conversation will take place at the Forum Transregionale Studien. An on-site attendance will be available only for a limited number of pre-registered participants. The conversation will be broadcasted via Zoom. Please register in advance via eume(at)trafo-berlin.de to receive the login details. Depending on approval by the speakers, the Berliner Seminar will be recorded. All audio recordings of the Berliner Seminar are available via the account of the Forum Transregionale Studien on Soundcloud.