Aarhus Universitets segl

ICSRU research seminar

Anne Kirstine Rønn on challenges to intersectional solidarity in Lebanon and Younes Saramifar on the transnational Shia militant network.

Oplysninger om arrangementet


Onsdag 14. december 2022,  kl. 14:15 - 16:00





After introductions and news, the seminar will hear and discuss two presentations:

(1) Anne Kirstine Rønn, "The Struggle of Unifying a People in Fragments: Challenges to Intersectional Solidarity in the Lebanese 2019 October Uprising."

In October 2019, Lebanon witnessed the outbreak of mass protests against the country’s sectarian regime. The so-called October Uprising was seen as a historical moment, because it displayed an unprecedented level of unity and solidarity between citizens in a country that has long been associated with division and conflict. However, the uprising also faced difficult challenges when seeking to forge solidarity between citizens across sect and other salient boundaries in Lebanon. The study explores these challenges. Doing so, it contributes to a growing research literature concerning how anti-sectarian social movements can alleviate political sectarianism and promote peace and stability in divided societies. More specifically, it uncovers the important obstacles movement members need to address and overcome in order to foster such change.  

The study argues that the October Uprising not only struggled to forge solidarity between sects, but also across other social fault lines such as class and geography. The backbone of the work consists of three in-depth case studies, which are based on data from 57 days of fieldwork in Lebanon, 108 interviews, as well as extensive text and visual material. The studies illustrate three main challenges to solidarity building. The first challenge concerns the inclusion of sub-segments within the lower classes. The second challenge regards the distortion of protest narratives by the media and political elites. The third challenge concerns the internal disagreements between protesters mobilizing within a shared space.

(2) Younes Saramifar, "Pleasure and Piety: An ethnography of the Shia militant transnational network and political violence beyond the ideological register."

Shia militancy has been associated with every ideological twist and turn, from Khomeini’s Guardianship of the Jurist, Muqtada Sadr’s unique populism to Sistani’s quietism and not to forget Shirazi’s ever damaging sectarian discourse. I step into the Shia transnational network supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Gaud Corpe by way of ethnography to explain why Shias groups, civilians and nonstate actors volunteer and join the militias across the region. My journeys with these nonstate actors are accounts of political violence by way of nonhumans, temporalities and unexpected glimpse into the militants’ bedrooms and sexual conducts.