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Bullets in Envelopes

Bullets in Envelopes

Iraqi Academics in Exile

Louis Yako

The social and intellectual history of Iraq told through the academic, political and social experiences of Iraqi academics in exile

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, many Iraqi academics were assassinated. Countless others received bullets in envelopes and instructions to leave their institutions (and in many cases the country) or get killed. Many heeded the warning and fled into exile.

Having played such a pivotal role in shaping post-independence Iraqi society, the exile and internal displacement of its academics has had a profound impact. Tracing the academic, political, and social lives of more than 60 academics, Bullets in Envelopes offers a 'genealogy of loss', and a groundbreaking appraisal of the dismantling and restructuring of Iraqi institutions, culture and society.

Through extensive fieldwork in the UK, Jordan and Iraqi Kurdistan, Louis Yako shows the human side of the destructive 2003 occupation, how things are today, and how they came to be.

Louis Yako is an independent Iraqi-American anthropologist, writer, poet and journalist. He has written for a range of publications including CounterPunch, openDemocracy, Global Research and The Feminist Wire.

'These life stories of academics from around the globe tell a vivid, inspiring and sometimes poetic history of modern Iraq' - miriam cooke, Braxton Craven Professor of Arab Cultures, Duke University

'Searing! The American assault aimed to 'end' the Iraqi state and shatter the culture that sustained it. Yako retrieves the stories of some sixty displaced Iraqi academics. Distillations of their experiences read as if written on shards of glass that penetrate the skin and wound the heart' - Raymond W. Baker, Board Director, International Council for Middle East Studies, Washington, D.C.

'Luis Yako's thinking is as compelling as his writing. 'Bullets in Envelopes' persuasively shifts the politics of argumentation. He uses anthropology to convey the existential turbulence of academics in exile after the US invasion, instead of using academics to advance the discipline'<br> - Walter D. Mignolo, author of 'The Politics of Decolonial Investigations' (Duke University Press, 2021)

'Excavates a searing genealogy of loss that documents Iraqi academics' displacement, through a powerful account of the travails of higher education and the links between power and knowledge' - Sherene Seikaly, Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

Introduction
1. The Story of This Story
2. A Nuanced Understanding of Iraq during the Ba‘ath Era
3. The Ba‘ath Era: Iraqi Academics Looking Back
4. The UN Sanctions: Consenting to Occupation through Starvation
5. The Occupation: Paving the Road to Exile and Displacement
6. Lives under Contract: The Transition to the Corporate University
7. Language as a Metonym for Politics
8. Final Reflections: Home, Exile and the Future
Published by Pluto Press in Jun 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745341989
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745341972
eBook ISBN: 9781786807458

256 pages

135mm x 215mm