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Alia Al-Saji
McGill University
  1. A Phenomenology of Hesitation: Interrupting Racializing Habits of Seeing.Alia Al-Saji - 2014 - In Emily Lee (ed.), Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race. State University of New York Press. pp. 133-172.
    This paper asks how perception becomes racializing and seeks the means for its critical interruption. My aim is not only to understand the recalcitrant and limitative temporal structure of racializing habits of seeing, but also to uncover the possibilities within perception for a critical awareness and destabilization of this structure. Reading Henri Bergson and Maurice Merleau-Ponty in dialogue with Frantz Fanon, Iris Marion Young and race-critical feminism, I locate in hesitation the phenomenological moment where habits of seeing can be internally (...)
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  2. Bodies and Sensings: On the Uses of Husserlian Phenomenology for Feminist Theory.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):13-37.
    What does Husserlian phenomenology have to offer feminist theory? More specifically, can we find resources within Husserl’s account of the living body ( Leib ) for the critical feminist project of rethinking embodiment beyond the dichotomies not only of mind/body but also of subject/object and activity/passivity? This essay begins by explicating the reasons for feminist hesitation with respect to Husserlian phenomenology. I then explore the resources that Husserl’s phenomenology of touch and his account of sensings hold for feminist theory. My (...)
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  3. Too Late: Racialized Time and the Closure of the Past.Alia Al-Saji - 2013 - Insights 6 (5):1-13.
    In this paper, I explore some of the temporal structures of racialized experience – what I call racialized time. I draw on the Martiniquan philosopher and psychiatrist Frantz Fanon, in particular his book ‘Black Skin, White Masks,’ in order to ask how racism can be understood as a social pathology which, when internalized or ‘epidermalized,’ may result in aberrations of affect, embodiment and agency that are temporally lived. In this regard, I analyze the racialized experience of coming ‘too late’ to (...)
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  4. The Memory of Another Past: Bergson, Deleuze and a New Theory of Time.Alia Al-Saji - 2004 - Continental Philosophy Review 37 (2):203-239.
    Through the philosophies of Bergson and Deleuze, my paper explores a different theory of time. I reconstitute Deleuze’s paradoxes of the past in Difference and Repetition and Bergsonism to reveal a theory of time in which the relation between past and present is one of coexistence rather than succession. The theory of memory implied here is a non-representational one. To elaborate this theory, I ask: what is the role of the “virtual image” in Bergson’s Matter and Memory? Far from representing (...)
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  5.  43
    Feminist Phenomenology.Alia Al-Saji - 2017 - In Serene Khader, Ann Garry & Alison Stone (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 143-154.
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  6.  65
    Durée.Alia Al-Saji - 2019 - In Gail Weiss, Gayle Salamon & Ann V. Murphy (eds.), Fifty Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology. Evanston, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press. pp. 99–106.
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  7. A Phenomenology of Critical-Ethical Vision: Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the Question of Seeing Differently.Alia Al-Saji - 2009 - Chiasmi International 11:375-398.
    Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s “Eye and Mind” and Bergson’s Matière et mémoire and “La perception du changement,” I ask what resources are available in vision for interrupting objectifying habits of seeing. While both Bergson and Merleau-Ponty locate the possibility of seeing differently in the figure of the painter, I develop by means of their texts, and in dialogue with Iris Marion Young’s work, a more general phenomenology of hesitation that grounds what I am calling “critical-ethical vision.” Hesitation, I argue, stems from (...)
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  8. SPEP Co-Director's Address: Hesitation as Philosophical Method—Travel Bans, Colonial Durations, and the Affective Weight of the Past.Alia Al-Saji - 2018 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (3):331-359.
    It is, without a doubt, a difficult task to address at once the state of philosophy as embodied by the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy and the place of one’s own thought within it. This is the task that a co-director’s address tries to fill. Whether with a critical reexamination of the phenomenological mode of seeing distinctive of SPEP, of philosophical progress, or of the place of transcontinental philosophy, prior co-directors found ways to subtly chart the windings and turns (...)
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  9. The Site of Affect in Husserl’s Phenomenology: Sensations and the Constitution of the Lived Body.Alia Al-Saji - 2000 - Philosophy Today 44 (Supplement):51-59.
    To discover affects within Husserl’s texts designates a difficult investigation; it points to a theme of which these texts were forced to speak, even as they were explicitly speaking of regional ontologies and the foundations of sciences. For we may at first wonder: where can affection find a positive role in the rigor of a pure philosophy that seeks to account for its phenomena from within the immanence of consciousness? Does this not mean that the very passivity and foreignness of (...)
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  10.  21
    Vision, Mirror and Expression: The Genesis of the Ethical Body in Merleau-Ponty’s Later Works.Alia Al-Saji - 2006 - In James Hatley, Janice McLane & Christian Diehm (eds.), Interrogating Ethics: Embodying the Good in Merleau-Ponty. Duquesne University Press. pp. 39-63.
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  11.  13
    Muslim Women and the Rhetoric of Freedom.Alia Al-Saji - 2009 - In Mariana Ortega & Linda Martín Alcoff (eds.), Constructing the Nation: A Race and Nationalism Reader. SUNY Press.
    I argue that representations of the Muslim woman in the Western imaginary function as counter-images to the patriarchal ideal of Western woman. Drawing upon the work of Frantz Fanon (and supplementing it with a consideration of the role of gender), I show how the image of the veiled, Muslim woman is both othered and racialized. This “double othering,” I argue, serves: (i) To normalize Western norms of femininity. The social control of women and their bodies by liberal society is hidden. (...)
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  12. Decolonizing Bergson: The Temporal Schema of the Open and the Closed.Alia Al-Saji - 2019 - In Andrea Pitts & Mark William Westmoreland (eds.), Beyond Bergson: Examining Race and Colonialism through the Writings of Henri Bergson. Albany, NY, USA: SUNY Press. pp. 13-35.
    I attend to the temporal schema of open/closed by examining its elaboration in Bergson's philosophy and critically parsing the possibilities for its destabilization. Though Bergson wrote in a colonial context, this context barely receives acknowledgement in his work. This obscures the uncomfortable resonances between Bergson's late work, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, and the temporal narratives that justify French colonialism. Given Bergson's uptake by philosophers, such as Gilles Deleuze, and by contemporary feminist and political theorists (especially “new materialists”), (...)
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  13.  87
    Frantz Fanon.Alia Al-Saji - 2020 - In Hilge Landweer & Thomas Szanto (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotion. New York, NY, USA: pp. 207-214.
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  14. Life as Vision : Bergson and the Future of Seeing Differently.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - In Michael R. Kelly (ed.), Bergson and Phenomenology. Palgrave-Macmillan.
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  15. An Absence That Counts in the World: Merleau-Ponty’s Later Philosophy of Time in Light of Bernet’s 'Einleitung'.Alia Al-Saji - 2009 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 40 (2):207-227.
    This paper examines Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s later philosophy of time in light of his critique and reconceptualization of Edmund Husserl’s early time-analyses. Drawing on The Visible and the Invisible and lecture courses, I elaborate Merleau-Ponty’s re-reading of Husserl’s time-analyses through the lens of Rudolf Bernet’s “Einleitung” to this work. My question is twofold: what becomes of the central Husserlian concepts of present and retention in Merleau-Ponty’s later work, and how do Husserl’s elisions, especially of the problem of forgetting, become generative moments (...)
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  16.  20
    Material Life: Bergsonian Tendencies in Simone de Beauvoir’s Philosophy.Alia Al-Saji - 2018 - In Emily Anne Parker & Anne Van Leeuwen (eds.), Differences: Rereading Beauvoir and Irigaray. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 21-53.
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  17.  68
    Creating Possibility: The Time of the Quebec Student Movement.Alia Al-Saji - 2012 - Theory and Event 15 (3).
    Introduction: -/- Walking, illegally, down main Montreal thoroughfares with students in nightly demonstrations, with neighbors whom I barely knew before, banging pots and pans, and with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people on every 22nd of the month since March—this was unimaginable a year ago.1 Unimaginable that the collective and heterogeneous body, which is the “manif [demonstration]”, could feel so much like home, despite its internal differences. Unimaginable that this mutual dependence on one another could enable not only (...)
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  18. Merleau-Ponty and Bergson: Bodies of Expression and Temporalities in the Flesh.Alia Al-Saji - 2001 - Philosophy Today 45 (5):110-123.
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