Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Graduate Center, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9357
Approve DateOctober 5, 2016
Project TitleSheet, Douaa, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Politics of 'Dignity' in Post-Uprising Tunisia: Transitional Justice, Social Suffering, and Shifting Fault Lines,' supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano
DOUAA SHEET, then a graduates student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2016 to aid research on “The Politics of ‘Dignity’ in Post-Uprising Tunisia: Transitional Justice, Social Suffering, and Shifting Fault Lines,” supervised by Dr. Vincent Crapanzano. This project is a historical and ethnographic study of ‘dignity’ (karāmā): the moral demand that mobilized the 2011 Tunisian uprising and dominated the social and political scene in its aftermath. Through the lens of the Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC)—the heated controversies that have surrounded its work, public hearings, demonstrations protesting its proceedings, interviews with its commissioners and staff, participation in its national consultations, and a reading of its internal laws and reports—this study investigates the role of moral values in mobilizing social movements. The competing moral traditions examined include: the Islamic tradition that gained more dominance with the rise of the Islamist Ennahda party to power after the uprising, the leftist understanding of dignity as employment, and the human rights discourse of dignity as recognition of past abuses represented by the TDC. Findings detailing how differential conceptions of dignity in Tunisia are used as moral grounds to legitimize certain models of militancy and disparage others are analyzed to identify the role of moral values in mobilizing the 2011 Arab Spring. This project advances studies of national reconciliation processes, social movements, the adjudication of human rights violations, and the changing role of women in the broader Middle East.