Book Talk: “The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, And The Challenge Of Solidarity”


Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 4:30pm to 6:00pm


TSAI Auditorium, CGIS South

Speaker: Darryl Li, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences in the College, and Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago

Li is the author of The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (Stanford University Press, December 2019), which develops an ethnographic approach to the comparative study of universalism using the example of transnational “jihadists” — specifically, Arabs and other foreigners who fought in the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia Herzegovina. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted in Bosnia and a half-dozen other countries, the monograph situates transnational jihads in relation to more powerful universalisms, including socialist Non-Alignment, United Nations peacekeeping, and the U.S.-led “Global War on Terror.” He is at work on a second project on migrant military labor (frequently called “mercenaries” or “military contractors”) across the Indian Ocean.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Program in Islamic Law.