Wednesday, 05 July 2017, 6.00 pm - 7.30 pm |
Freie Universität Berlin, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Ihnestr. 21 - F, 14195 Berlin

Toward a Popular History of the Syrian Uprising: We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled

Wendy Pearlman
(Northwestern University, EUME-CNMS Fellow of the AvH 2016-18)
Chair: Cilja Harders
(FU Berlin, EUME)

We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria
chronicles the Syrian uprising and war through a mosaic of testimonials collected from 2012 through 2017 from more than 300 displaced Syrians across the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Beginning with a chapter on life under the regime of Hafez al-Assad, it moves to describe changes in Syria after Bashar al-Assad’s assumption of power, the launch of protests in 2011, the government’s subsequent crackdown, the escalation and militarization of the rebellion, everyday life under conditions of war, and the experience of forced migration -- as recounted by the ordinary people who lived these events. “It was the revolution that allowed me to see people for who they really are,” one woman comments near the book’s closing. “It showed me that every Syrian has a hundred stories in his heart. Every Syrian is himself a story.” We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled is a journey into some of those stories.

Wendy Pearlman is Associate Professor of Political Science and the Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professor at Northwestern University, where she specializes in the comparative politics of the Middle East. She is the author of three books, We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017), Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003), as well as dozens of articles or book chapters. Pearlman holds a BA from Brown University, an MA from Georgetown, and a PhD from Harvard. She has studied or conducted research in Spain, Germany, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a EUME Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, she is spending summers 2016, 2017, and 2018 researching questions of identity, integration, and socio-economic class among Syrian refugees in Germany.