Tabayyun 20 is available from the ACRPS Electronic Bookstore.


The ACRPS published the 20th issue (Spring, 2017) of the peer reviewed academic journal Tabayyun, covering cultural studies and philosophy. This latest issue includes six academic papers and two reviews of significant,  recently published books.



See the Table of Contents below for information on the papers published most recently.

Cultural Blocks: An Attempt to Construct the Concept” (Mohsen Toumi)

The Representation of Feminist Identity in Alawiya Sobh’s Novel Dunia” (Mohammed Bouazza)

The Post-Modern Character of the Post-Colonial Novel: A Reading of Season of Migration to the North” (Abubakr AbdElrazek Mohammed)

Theory and Translation: Mikhail Bakhtin and Contemporary Arabic Literary Criticism” (Driss El Khadraoui)

The Overlapping Critique of Despotism: The Examples of al-Kawakibi and Abdel-Razek” (Hicham El Haddaji)

Cognitive and Social Discourse: Constructing Discourse and Producing Social Meaning” (Abdelmajid Noussi).


Book reviews: 

Mounir Kachou’s review of How to be a Conservative by Roger Scruton

Rashed Al-Khudeiri’s review of “Similarity and Difference: A Reading in Arabic Critical Theory and Research into the Different Similar” by  Abdullah Alghathami



Cultural Blocks: An Attempt to Construct the Concept

Mohsen Toumi

This research paper falls within the space of “applied modernisms” and proposes a new procedural concept: “cultural blocks” which is used to interpret and understand some signs of hesitation or faltering that have controlled the paths towards becoming rational and achieving revival and modernization in the Arab world. The study relies on an interdisciplinary synthetic method and takes advantage of the latest developments in neuroscience applied to knowledge and being.


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The Representation of Feminist Identity in Alawiya Sobh’s novel “Dunia”

Mohammed Bouazza

This study approaches the representation of feminist identity in the novel “Dunia” by the novelist Alawiya Sobh in the aim of uncovering the implicit discursive strategies which motivate feminist narrative in the construction of its images and representations of the subject and the other. It is evident that feminist identity in this text takes shape in the space of narrative and cognitive anxiety between the ideology of masculinity that endeavours to dominate and possess women and the utopia of feminist narrative that operates as a counter discourse to masculine dominance, undertakes a deconstruction of its implicit structuration that undermines the image of women in society, and exposes its biases. This leads to the creation of new images of women’s subjectivity and discourse.


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The Post-Modern Character of the Post-Colonial Novel: A Reading of Season of Migration to the North

Abubakr AbdElrazek Mohammed

This paper deals with the problems of representation and hegemony embodied within the idea of modernity by means of an approach that looks at the post-modern character of the post-colonial novel as a means to resist this unfair representation, and as an alternative discourse to European modernity and its colonialist traditions. The study is applied to the text and discourse(s) of the novel Season of Migration to the North and compares it to the philosophy and propositions of the post-modern trend. It concludes by demarking two central features that redefine the post-colonial novel.


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Theory and Translation: Mikhail Bakhtin and Contemporary Arabic Literary Criticism

Driss El Khadraoui

This paper attempts to understand the role of translation in the transmission and spread of theory outside the cultural field where it was first formulated. To reveal this role, it takes as an example the social poetics formulated by Russian critic Mikhail Bakhtin starting in the 1920s. It focuses on the translations of Moroccan critic Mohammed Barada of some of Bakhtin’s texts (published as “Novelistic Discourse” in 1987). The paper concludes that Barada’s reception of Bakhtin’s suggestions, particularly the concepts of the dialogic, polyglossia, the carnivalesque, and polyphony, opened up for the Arab novelist-critic opportunities for innovation on the levels of method and practice, so as to emerge from the closed circling of reading.


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The Overlapping Critique of Despotism: The Examples of l-Kawakibi and Abdel-Raziq

Hicham El Haddaji

The question of political and religious despotism is here examined by considering the most important manifestations of the overlapping critique of two prominent modern Arab thinkers (al-Kawakibi and Abdel-Raziq). The aim is to reveal their shared critical features in a number of aspects despite the differences between them, since the goal of the critique of despotism in both its forms is the critique of politics from the inside using its tools. It is also a real effort to sow the seeds of enlightened thinking in the aim of breaking the essentialist and interest-based links between the political and religious domains in the prospect of refounding the relationship between them according to a modern, rational understanding.


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Cognitive and Social Discourse: Constructing Discourse and Producing Social Meaning

Abdelmajid Noussi

The purpose of this paper is to analyze a specific cognitive and social discourse from a discourse semiotics perspective. The material comes from the book “Possible Morocco”. While the book is replete with statistics and chronological indices, it contains many components that create a discourse (including tense and spatial structure, agents, and mechanisms of persuasion, and techniques for building the effect of truth). These discourse components are described and analyzed in order to trace how social meaning is developed.


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A Review of How to be a Conservative by Roger Scruton

Mounir Kachou

In this book Roger Scruton argues that the individualist tendency in liberalism represents a threat to those institutions from which individuals derive the elements of their personal identities, and that it is these elements that create group cohesion. Scruton derives his arguments from Hegel, Edmund Burke, Hobbes, Adam Smith, and Joseph de Maistre. However, in his later works, particularly in his 2007 A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism—his position on liberalism can be seen to change. He later uses Hayek, and moderates his critique of the effects arising from liberalisms policies on the traditional institutions of society.


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Abdallah al-Ghathami’s Similarity and Difference:  Excavations in Arabic textual linguistics

Rached Al-Khodeiri

The writings of al-Ghathami are characterized by change and difference. At the same time, they represent deep excavations of Arabic culture through the lens of cultural studies and cultural criticism. Ghathami has established this critical project through multiple volumes of work, and despite disagreements from many of his peers over the ideas he generated, his competence, expertise, and excellence are not contested. Ghathami remains, furthermore, a staunch defender of his intellectual and critical project. His latest book comes within the context of reading to construct new Arabic theories that do not annul tradition but interrogate it in light of new critical theories, especially those in the post-structuralist period.