Michael Azar

is a professor of History of Ideas at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and one of the founders of Glänta. Azar has published many books, including Liberty, Equality and Fratricide. Revolution and colonialism in Frantz Fanon and Albert Camus (Symposion, 2001), on the Algerian Independence War and its repercussions to the French intellectual debate. His most recent book, The Birth of America: The cross and the sword in the New World (Leopard förlag, 2015), explores the intense debate in Renaissance Spain regarding the nature of the New World and its civilizations.


Cover for: Transcending ‘the absurd drama’

Frantz Fanon’s impact is as important today as it was when he wrote ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, a political work that assesses violence, both of colonists and activists. Glänta commemorates the psychiatrist and political philosopher’s life and work, highlighting his influence on postcolonial theory and anti-racism, in an interview with historian Michael Azar.

Cover for: The right word

Read me: words can change the relationship between lived reality and idealistic dreams, as writers from Gorgias and Plato to Cervantes and Flaubert – whether they embraced or feared literary seduction – testify.

Bruce Lee statue

Swedish author and scholar Michael Azar weaves together a patchwork of narratives in which people matter just as much as the places in which they live; a practice that provides the key to the long overdue task of fashioning cities in accordance with human needs and hardships.


Western martyrdom and the politics of memory and death

What is the connection between the mediaeval hunt for relics and the idolization of Benno Ohnesorg? Or between Nietzsche and Oliver Cromwell? Outlining aspects of the history of western martyrdom and its ideologies, Michael Azar shows how to this day the dead are instrumentalized for the purposes of the living.

The stranger, the mother and the Algerian revolution

A postcolonial reading of Albert Camus

The purely existential themes of The Stranger hide Camus’ critique of the discriminatory nature of French rule in Algeria. Yet Camus never entirely renounced the civilizing premise of colonialism. The reason lies in his relation to his mother, writes Michael Azar.

B is for barbaric, bestial, and bombed. Michael Azar on Beirut, the city that was one day described as the Paris of the Middle East and the next lay bleeding on the ground. Out of necessity, the story of Beirut is also a story of power, memory, and statecraft.

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