ANN: Dena al-Adeeb, Pro Arts Talk, Oakland California (18 Jan 2019)

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UC Chancellor’s Postdoc Talk

Cultural Studies Colloquium

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

4:00pm – 6:00pm

Risling Room (Hart 3201)

The Architecture of War: Destruction, Dislocation, and Collection Practices

The Architecture of War critically investigates the relationship between art, architecture and archaeology and militarized visual culture, analyzed against the historical and political backdrop of imperial and neoliberal processes in the Middle East. Drawing from the fields of postcolonial theory, architecture, archaeology, visual and cultural studies, The Architecture of War sheds light on the United States’ 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. It specifically examines the United States’ military occupation of Iraqi ancient cities and heritage sites (archeological and architectural) which has resulted in their destruction. It further investigates the U.S. military bases established in relation to the archeological sites and architectural monuments as a performative spectacle of power. It also assesses the premeditated decision not to safeguard contemporaneous architectural monuments, cultural, and educational institutions, such as museums, libraries, and universities. 

The Architecture of War  also examines the ideologically driven programmatic destruction of Iraq and the United States’ ongoing use of cultural annihilation as a means of conquest, erasure, and reconfiguration of societies’ collective memory, history, and identity.It considers the ways in which the U.S. military strategies of disfiguring the representational monuments of Iraq is part and parcel of the dismantling process of the Iraqi nation state, in order to remap, reimagine, and reconstruct space through a long-term agenda in the service of capital and empire. It situates these acts within representational practices of empire building and link them to a colonial legacy, U.S. hegemonic control (geo-political, socio-economic, and military) of the region as it relates to neo-liberal globalization.

Pro Arts Gallery

Friday, January 18, 2019

7:00pm – 9:00pm

150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California 94612.

This Stays Between Us involves the creation of a quasi-fictive archive by two subjects in dialogue, each presenting and responding to images, video, text, and gestures relating to personal and collective narratives of the city of Cairo. In Part I, the artists explored historical and personal memories as they relate to the formation of images of the prominent Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi and contemporary women participating in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. In Part II, the artists trace the poetics of the un/seen as they relate to gendered experiences of hyper-visible invisibility.


Dena Al-Adeeb is the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the American Studies Department working under the mentorship of Caren Kaplan. Dena also collaborates with the Critical Militarization, Policing, and Security Studies (CRTMIL) research group. Dena received her PhD in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Culture and Representation track, from New York University.  

Her work appears in a diversity of publications including:  Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War Anthology, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging, and the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.

Her work has been exhibited internationally, at such places as Mana Contemporary, Museum of Tunisia, Art 13: London: Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, Light Work Gallery, Worth Ryder Gallery at the University of California-Berkeley, OFF Biennale Cairo, Arab American National Museum, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The National Veterans Art Museum, among others.