Dani Nassif M.A.
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Dani Nassif M.A.
Robert-Koch-Str. 29
  • Project

    Working title: Jaber’s Novels as Models for Derridean Mourning

    In Memoires for Paul de Man, Derrida argues that Freudian mourning reduces the dead to the figure of a memory. True mourning must rather acknowledge that our conversation with the dead is with their images “in us” and “for us”. Each time we think of our dead friend, we must acknowledge that “our friend [is] gone forever, irremediably absent… for it would be unfaithful to delude oneself into believing that the other living in us is living in himself” (21). Hence, for mourning to succeed it must fail; it must recognize its own impossibility which initiates an open-ended conversation with the dead. Remembering the dead has often been an unguarded topic in Lebanon following the 1991 war resolution which turned a blind eye to the fate of thousands who had gone missing. Moreover, the sudden deaths of film director Maroun Baghdadi and psychology professor Ralph Rizkallah after the war also left gaps in the Lebanese archive. In four intricate metafictional novels, Rabi’ Jaber remembers the dead while borrowing from the archive as much as from the imagination. In the light of Derrida’s notion on mourning and singularity, the dissertation proposes a model which conceives of Jaber’s novels as possible models for Derridean mourning. In order to contain and operate such a modeling process, the dissertation adapts Erdbeer’s model as a template for literary analysis. The amalgam (structure) of intertextuality (literary and non-literary), cognitive mapping, and self-conscious narratives in Jaber’s texts are the main elements that this dissertation takes as the cargo for its modelling. It particularly argues that those elements function as aporias which invalidate all possible attempts to claim a unified narrative about the other. Two of the novels are biographical fictions that pay tribute to Maroun and Ralph respectively: al-Bait al-akhīr (1996) and Ralph Rizkallah fi al-mir’āt (1997). The other two are historical novels that remember the missing of the Lebanese civil war: Taqrīr Mehlis (2005) and I‘tirāfāt (2015).

  • Vita

    since October 2016 doctoral scholarship at the Reasearch Training Group "Literary Form. History and Culture of Aesthetic Modelling" in Münster, Germany
    2016 PhD in Arabic Studies / University of Münster, Germany
    2010 Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) / University of Cambridge Program
    2006 – 2010 Masters of Comparative Literature / University of Balamand, Lebanon
    1999 – 2003 Bachelor of English Language and Literature / Lebanese University, Lebanon
  • Lectures


    XIIth EURAMAL: Upholding humanity in a post-human world? Arabic Writing after the “Arab Spring” / University of Oslo, Norway
    Vortrag: al-Mawtu ‘amalun shāq: The Afterlife during the Syrian War.

  • Teaching

    2010 – 2015 English Language Instructor / University of Balamand, Lebanon
    2011 – 2015 English Language Instructor / Notre Dame University, Lebanon
    2006 – 2010 High School Teacher / International School, Lebanon
    2003 – 2006 High School Teacher / Dubai, UAE