Invitation to ‘The Arab Left Journal: Pedagogies in the Classroom and Beyond’, website launch and roundtable discussion, 4 March 2022


We would like to invite you to a roundtable on periodicals of the Arab left and decolonization from the 1950s to the 1980s with scholars Idriss Jebari, Zeina Maasri, Mezna Qato and Hana Morgenstern.

A discussion on the critical role of Arab left journals in social, literary and cultural movements, as well as related processes of decolonization in the Middle East and North Africa; including but not limited to journals such as Perspectives Tunisiennes (Tunisia), al-Jadid (Palestine), al-Tariq (Lebanon), and al-Hadaf (Palestine).  The roundtable will ask how we can expand the role of Arab left periodicals and archives in research, teaching and histories of the region.  We will look at how Arab left periodicals are brought into classrooms and other educational settings, using various pedagogical approaches including digital teaching tools from the Revolutionary Papers website.

The event will also launch the Revolutionary Papers website, an online platform hosting digital teaching tools and a journals’ database for research and teaching on anticolonial and postcolonial journals.

Revolutionary Papers is a transnational collaboration exploring 20th century periodicals as forums of Left and anti-colonial thought.  It is co-founded by Hana Morgenstern, Koni Benson, and Mahvish Ahmad.This Revolutionary Papers event is jointly hosted by the University of Western Cape, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics.  It is co-sponsored by the Archives of the Disappeared at CRASSH, Cambridge, and the Literatures of Annihilation, Exile and Resistance collective.


1 to 1 15: Opening Remarks & Website Launch with Koni Benson & Mahvish Ahmad

1 15 to 2 15: Roundtable discussion with Idriss Jebari, Hana Morgenstern, Mezna Qato & Zeina Maasri

2 15 to 2 30: Q & A

Moderator and Discussant: Mezna Qato

Link to EventBrite to register

Speaker Bios

Idriss Jebari is an Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies at Trinity College Dublin who researches North African cultural history and Arab thought.  After completing his doctorate on the history of the production of critical thought in Morocco and Tunisia at the University of Oxford, he has held a postdoctoral fellowship at the American University of Beirut to study the dynamics of intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Maghrib and the Mashriq.  He held an Andrew Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Bowdoin College (Maine, USA) where he taught Middle East History.  He has published on the intellectual projects of several radical North African intellectual figures such as Abdelkebir Khatibi, Mohamed Abed al-Jabri and Malek Bennabi, and on the theory and practice of Arab intellectual engagements in public affairs.  He also works on collective memory of leftist groups in the Arab world and its role for reconciliation processes and transitional justice.

Hana Morgenstern is a scholar, writer and translator.  She is Associate Professor in Postcolonial and Middle East Literature at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Newnham College.  Morgenstern is co-director of the Revolutionary Papers projects, co-convener of the Archives of the Disappeared and Literatures of Annihilation, Exile, and Disappearance research seminars, and convener of the Postcolonial Paper at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge.  She is currently at work on a book manuscript titled Cultural Co-resistance in Palestine/Israel: Collaboration Under Colonialism.

Mezna Qato is Margaret Anstee Fellow at Newnham College, University of Cambridge.  Dr Qato is a historian of the modern Middle East, and in particular of migration, development, and social histories of Palestinian refugee and exile communities.  She was previously a Spencer Fellow at the National Academy of Education, and Junior Research Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge.  She is currently completing a book on the history of education for Palestinians.  Her research and teaching interests centre on histories and theories of social, economic and political transformation amongst refugee and stateless communities, the politics and practice of archives, and global micro-histories of movements and collectivities in the Middle East.

Zeina Maasri (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK.  Before taking up her post at Brighton, she was both an independent graphic designer and an academic at the American University of Beirut (1999 – 2016) in Lebanon.  Her recent monograph, Cosmopolitan Radicalism: The Visual Politics of Beirut’s Global Sixties (Cambridge University Press 2020), is the co-winner of the 2021 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize.  She is also the author of Off the Wall: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War (IB Tauris 2009) and curator of related travelling exhibitions and online archival resources (  She is finishing a new co-edited volume, Transnational Solidarity: Anticolonialism in the Global Sixties, forthcoming with Manchester University Press in June 2022.