Global History Seminar: Nate George, “'Survival in an Age of Revolution': Charles Malik, Imperial Sovereignty, and Global Counterrevolution"


Monday, March 28, 2022, 3:45pm to 5:45pm

“'Survival in an Age of Revolution': Charles Malik, Imperial Sovereignty, and Global Counterrevolution"
Nate George, Raphael Morrison Dorman Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead Scholars Program.

Charles MalikGrad Student Commentator: Rustam Khan, PhD Candidate in History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society, MIT
Faculty Commentator: Anne Sa'adah, Professor of Government Emerita, Dartmouth University

While great effort has been invested in analyzing the role of revolutionary intellectuals in history and theory, much less attention has been paid to the counterrevolution and its guides. Through a political biography of Lebanese philosopher and statesman Charles Malik, I seek to historicize counterrevolution’s emergence in a specifically twentieth century mode that prized imperial over popular sovereignty in the age of decolonization and international civil war between 1914–1991. Malik was a leading ideologue and a candid opponent of what he theorized as the “great Asian and African revolution” against imperial rule. He participated in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; cultivated influential friendships with Richard Nixon and Billy Graham; and founded the Front for Freedom and Man in Lebanon, the counterrevolutionary alliance in Lebanon’s civil war (1975–90). Far from an advocate of universal human rights, Malik was globally committed to unequal citizenship and the political dominance of “higher” peoples and civilizations over the “lower.” Malik’s ideological and material links reveal his entanglement in civil wars on local, regional, and international levels; the centrality of US policy in structuring wars in the Third World; and the contribution of peripheral intellectuals to ideologies in the metropole.

To request the precirculated paper and Zoom link, please sign up below. You will receive an automatic email confirmation, and approximately one week before the seminar we will manually send you the paper and link.

This graduate-faculty research seminar is designed to bring together interested faculty and students on a continuing basis to cover topics on global history. It is part of History 2950A/B, Approaches to Global History, and includes both reading sessions designed for graduate students and research sessions open to the interested public during which students and faculty participants will present current research. Faculty participants will be drawn from a number of schools, and, most especially, from the group of fellows in global history who are spending the academic year 2021-2022 at the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History. Discussions will be moderated by Professors Sven Beckert and Charles Maier.

Registration Closed
See also: Seminars