This panel aims to address the question of how resistance and trauma are conceived and practiced in prison literature in North Africa in the years leading to and following the Arab Uprisings of 2010-2011.
Yosra Amraoui holds a PhD in English Language, Literature and Civilization from the University of Manouba, Tunisia. She teaches at the High Institute of Languages of Tunis, University of Carthage, Tunisia. Her areas of research and teaching revolve around Historiography, Media Studies and Anglophone History. She was the head of a master’s program in English for Communication for 5 years, is an entrepreneurship coach, a conference interpreter and a consultant in countering violent extremism (CVE). She co-edited two volumes with Cambridge Scholars Publishing: On History and Memory in Arab Literature and Western Poetics (2020) and Poetics of the Native (2021) and has published a number of articles on the history and identity of British and American Jews and their role in the creation of Israel. She is now in the process of writing a book on Contemporary Political Prison Narratives in the Maghreb Region thanks to the Hazem Ben Gacem post-doctoral fellowship that affiliated her to the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University during the current year.
Ahmed Naji is a writer, journalist, documentary filmmaker, and criminal. His Using Life (2014) made him the only writer in Egyptian history to have been sent to prison for offending public morality. His book Rotten Evidence, which chronicles his time in prison, is due out in September (2023) with McSweeney’s. Other novels by him published in Arabic are Tigers, Uninvited (2020), The happy ends (2022) Naji has won several prizes, including a Dubai Press Club Award, a PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, and an Open Eye Award. He is currently a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV. He now lives in exile in Las Vegas, where his writing continues to delight and provoke.