"Revolution's Late Style: Dialectics of Multitude in Faiz Ahmed Faiz"
Keynote lecture by Aamir Mufti for "Emergent Voices: Pakistan in the 21st Century"
Posted: June 5, 2012
Friday September 21, 2012
Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)
In a number of his late poems, Faiz turned to the question of the nature of the historical present, a “moment” characterized by the "lateness" of its emergence. These works revisit the entire arc of the twentieth century and raise fundamental questions about the vocabulary of the revolutionary imagination, the terms in which the revolutionary subject has been historically imagined and conceived. They rearticulate the hope for human emancipation, find a new language for its articulation, precisely in the aftermath of the collapse or containment of revolutionary politics worldwide.
Aamir Mufti is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at UCLA. His work reconsiders the secularization thesis in a comparative perspective, with a special interest in Islam and modernity in India and the cultural politics of Jewish identity in Western Europe. His areas of specialization include: colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a primary focus on India and Britain, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century Urdu literature in particular; Marxism and aesthetics; Frankfurt School critical theory; minority cultures; exile and displacement; refugees and the right to asylum; modernism and fascism; language conflicts; global English and the vernaculars; and the history of Anthropology. His most recent contribution to the study of secularism is a book, Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (Princeton University Press).
Faiz Ahmad Faiz (February 13, 1911 – November 20, 1984) was an influential left-wing intellectual and one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language. A notable member of the Progressive Writers Movement (PWM), Faiz was a recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union in 1962. Faiz wrote extensively on culture and politics and was a journalist of some acclaim. In the 1960s he was principal of a college in Karachi and in the early 1970s was instrumental in creating Lok Virsa, the institution for national heritage in Pakistan. In the late 1970s he edited the international journal of Afro-Asian writings, Lotus from Beirut during his years of self-exile. He came back to Pakistan in 1982 where he passed away in November of 1984.
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