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Darryl Li, “The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity”

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 4:45pm to 6:15pm

Virtual Event

As part of the ICM's New Books series, Darryl Li (Anthropology, Law, University of Chicago) will discuss his book The Universal Enemy:  Jihad, Empire and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford UP:  2020).

SUMMARY: No contemporary figure is more demonized than the Islamist foreign fighter who wages jihad around the world. Spreading violence, disregarding national borders, and rejecting secular norms, so-called jihadists seem opposed to universalism itself. In a radical departure from conventional wisdom on the topic, The Universal Enemy argues that transnational jihadists are engaged in their own form of universalism: these fighters struggle to realize an Islamist vision directed at all of humanity, transcending racial and cultural difference.

Anthropologist and attorney Darryl Li reconceptualizes jihad as armed transnational solidarity under conditions of American empire, revisiting a pivotal moment after the Cold War when ethnic cleansing in the Balkans dominated global headlines. Muslim volunteers came from distant lands to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina alongside their co-religionists, offering themselves as an alternative to the US-led international community. Li highlights the parallels and overlaps between transnational jihads and other universalisms such as the War on Terror, United Nations peacekeeping, and socialist Non-Alignment. Developed from more than a decade of research with former fighters in a half-dozen countries, The Universal Enemy explores the relationship between jihad and American empire to shed critical light on both.

Image credit:  Omar Khouri, 2020

Dial-In Information

PLEASE REGISTER HERE TO ATTEND

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Event Type

Lecture

Departments

Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM)

Tags

cascal, anthro, LawSchool, cashum, africal

Contact E-Mail

icm@cornell.edu

Contact Phone

6072558073

Speaker

DARRYL LI

Speaker Affiliation

University of Chicago

Disability Access Information

If you require special accommodations to participate in this event, please contact icm@cornell.edu as soon as possible.

Open To

the public. Registration is required

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