Competition: US & Canada
Yoav Di-Capua is an intellectual historian of the modern Arab world currently practicing as a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin. His work revolves around a ubiquitous Arab concern: How to find an authentic, safe and productive space in a modern world made by others? Over the last two centuries this preoccupation yielded a rich intellectual canon in which Arab thinkers debated as well as designed the various cultural responses to this challenge. It is a rich world which he engages via the lens of Decolonization Studies, Trauma Studies, Political Theology and related fields. After two dense scholarly books about Egyptian historical thought and Arab existentialism, each of which took about a decade to bring to press, he is currently writing a lighter cross-over scholarly work. The First Arabs: An Intimate History of Their Struggle for Dignity and The Aftermath of Defeat returns to the dramatic story of the first Arab generation who, in the wake of WWII, laid the ground for the creation of a free, just, and dignified Arab world, but instead found themselves reckoning with dystopia.