“We come here and cry!” Emotion, authenticity and urban identity in pre-conflict Aleppo

Prince Alwaleed Lectureship

Dr Paul Anderson
Tuesday, 24 November 2015, 1-2pm
South Lecture Room, Division of Archaeology

This paper discusses the importance that Aleppine merchants and shopkeepers in pre-conflict Syria (2009) attached to emotional sensitivity, both as a way of demonstrating moral sincerity and as a way of cultivating relationships capable of enduring across time and space. “Emotionality” was a valued form of male personhood and central to local conceptions of identity ranging from the urban to the national and pan-national. I will explore the way that performances and narrations of emotional authenticity interacted with other symbols of cultural authenticity, to enable Aleppine merchants to make claims about urban identity at a time of weakening Baathist nationalism.