|Middle East Concentration/Certificate|
|Turkish Studies Program|
|Dreams of a Nation|
|Center for Palestine Studies|
|Columbia University Middle East Research Center|
|Columbia University Seminar on the Middle East|
|Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies|
|International Conflict Resolution Program|
The Middle East Institute of Columbia University, founded in 1954, has helped to set the national pace in developing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present, with a primary focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. Fostering an inter-regional and multi-disciplinary approach to the region, the Institute focuses on the Arab countries, Armenia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, Central Asia, and Muslim Diaspora communities.
The Institute sponsors approximately 30 lunch-time talks per year on topics ranging from art and literature to current events, hosts conferences, and provides a neutral atmosphere for scholarly and student exchanges of views on issues concerning the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. It offers courses and outreach seminars to teachers and adult education groups, briefs journalists, and generally acts as a clearing-house for requests for information on the region and its peoples by the media, educational professionals, and the interested public, drawing upon the expertise of its own staff and the faculty of the School of International and Public Affairs and Columbia University.
The Global Landscape of Mira Nair
View on YouTube.
Location: Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
Women Creating Change, a global initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Difference, is proud to invite you to a film screening and discussion, featuring acclaimed film director Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, and now, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). Nair will be in conversation with Mabel Wilson, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Anupama Rao, Barnard Department of History.
Lila Abu-Lughod, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference will moderate.
Click here for directions to Columbia University.
Seating is limited. Priority will be given to attendees with Columbia University IDs. Overflow space is available in 114 and 115 Avery Hall, and in Brownie's Cafe.
Sponsored by the Columbia University School of the Arts, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the South Asia Institute, the Middle East Institute, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities
Remembering Edward Said
Location: Lerner Hall, Roone Arledge Cinema
On the tenth anniversary of the passing of Professor Edward Said, we invite you to join us as we reflect on his legacy. We will also screen excerpts from documentaries on Edward Said. Introduction, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies
Jonathan Cole, John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost Emeritus of the University
Gauri Viswanathan, Class of 1933, Professor in the Humanities
Moustafa Bayoumi, Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Timothy Brennan, Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
This event is free and open to the public. First come, first seated.
Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies with the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Middle East Institute.
The Sheltering Word
Opening reception on Wednesday, September 25, 6:15 pm, Heyman Center
Irini Gonou "The Sheltering Word"
An art exhibition in the Heyman Center First Floor Lobby and Board Room
Map to the Heyman Center
Sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, BEI, and the program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia University and the Middle East Institute
Contemporary History and its Discontents: Memory Politics in Morocco
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Faculty House
with Sonja Hegasy, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin
Hegasy examines the interplay of state and non-state actors in the field of memory politics in Morocco and examines contemporary debates over the country's post-colonial history. To what extent do such debates reflect a “restless longing for better circumstances”? In particular, how has the landscape of cultural memory in Morocco been shaped over the last decade through print media, fierce conflicts over academic and archival territory, and new institutional initiatives born out of Morocco's 2004 national Equity and Reconciliation Commission?
Click for directions http://bit.ly/16i9k68
Sponsored by the University Seminar on Cultural Memory and the Middle East Institute
Our Harsh Logic with Avner Gvaryahu
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30pm
Location: Room 523 Butler Hall
Avner Gvaryahu was born and raised in a religious Zionist family in central Israel. He joined the IDF as a paratrooper in 2004 and served as a sniper team sergeant in a special operations unit, mainly around Nablus and Jenin. After his discharge, Avner became involved with Breaking the Silence firstly as a researcher but later as Diaspora Activities Coordinator. Avner holds a Master of Social Work from Tel Aviv University and lives in Tel Aviv with his wife. Breaking The Silence was established in Jerusalem in 2004 by Israel Defense Forces veterans who have served since the beginning of the Second Intifada and have taken it on themselves to expose the public to the realities of everyday life in the occupied territories. They have collected over 800 testimonies to date.
Israeli soldiers, the young men and women in the army, know the truth of the occupation better than anyone—they are the people who carry it out. Now, in a monumental book of collective testimony, Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 the soldiers speak out and demand to be heard. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is still held by many to be "the most moral army in the world," and its actions in the Occupied Territories are—it claims—first and foremost aimed at protecting the country from terror. But the soldiers themselves tell a different story. Talking frankly about what they did, what they were told to do, and what they saw, these young Israelis draw a broad and powerful portrait of an ostensibly defensive military program that in fact serves an offensive agenda. As the soldiers show in vivid and immediate detail, even the key terms of IDF policy—"preventing terror," "separating populations," "preserving normal Palestinian life," and "law enforcement"— in fact mean precisely the opposite on the ground, spreading fear and subjugation, accelerating Jewish settlement and the acquisition of Palestinian land, crippling all political and social life, and ultimately thwarting any possibility of independence. Avner Gvaryahu of Breaking the Silence will discuss the book and the process of making it.
Sponsored with the Columbia University Oral History MA Program, INCITE Middle East Institute
Syria From the Ground Up
Location: International Affairs Building, Room 1501
Join us for a comprehensive panel as we unravel the complexities on the ground in Syria with Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Arnold Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs; Michael Oppenheimer, Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs at NYU, Liam Stack, from the New York Times; Lara Setrakian, Executive Editor of Syria Deeply; Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children.
Sponsored by the International Media, Advocacy and Communication Specialization, UN Studies Program, Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy Concentration, Middle East Institute and Arab Students Association
Soli Ozel on Gezi Park Protests- The Religious Dimension
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Location: 754 Schermerhorn Extension
The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life welcomes Professor Soli Özel to speak on Tuesday, October 15th, at 12:15pm. He will be discuss religion and the recent Gezi Park protests in Turkey.
Soli Özel is professor of International Relations and Political Science at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He has taught at U.C. Santa Cruz, SAIS, University of Washington, Hebrew University, and Bogazici University in Istanbul. Ozel's articles and opinion pieces appear in a wide variety of leading newspapers in Turkey and elsewhere around the world. Currently, he is a columnist for Haberturk newspaper, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post's “Post Global,” and the former editor of the Turkish edition of Foreign Policy. Most recently, he co-authored the report Rebuilding a Partnership: Turkish-American Relations For a New Era? with Dr. Suhnaz Yilmaz and Abdullah Akyuz.
This event is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute.
From Prison to Palace: Islamism and Inclusion in Tunisia
Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Knox Hall, room 207
Discussant: Professor Al Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government and Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion
Comments by: Professor Karen Barkey, Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and Professor of Sociology and History
Monica L. Marks is a Rhodes Scholar and doctoral candidate at St. Antony's College, Oxford. Her work, which focuses primarily on Islamism, youth politics, and security reform in Tunisia, has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and the Huffington Post, as well as academic publications. As lead Tunisia researcher for the Barcelona-based Institute for Integrated Transitions in 2012-2013, Ms. Marks drafted “Inside the Transition Bubble,” a report analyzing international technical assistance flows to four key sectors of Tunisia's transition. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Ms. Marks returned there to work as an instructor at Istanbul's Bogazici University in summer 2013. She is currently based in Tunisia, where she has also moonlighted as a freelance journalist for the New York Times.
Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL) and the Middle East Institute.
The Law in These Parts film screening and Q&A with director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Time: 4:20 pm
Location: Room 102B, Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School
Hosted by Professor Katherine Franke, Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. Q&A with the Director, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz to follow the screening.
The Law in These Parts explores the four-decade-old Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories. Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 War, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the world.
The Law in These Parts examines this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals, who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years.
This event is part of the Milbank Faculty-Student Intellectual Life Series.
Sponsored by the Human Rights Institute and Middle East Institute.
Life Again, Capturing resurrection after the Vazargan earthquake in Iran
Time: 6-8 PM
Location: International Affairs Building, 4th Floor Atrium
On August 11th, 2012, Iran's Azarbayjan province was hit by two earthquakes within eleven minutes. The quakes left some 306 dead and 3000 injured, primarily in the rural and mountainous areas to the northeast of Tabriz. In a series of part-staged, part-reality, photographer Hoda Rostami portrays a sense of hope and eagerness for a return of normal life. A story about the physical, social and psychological cost of natural disaster on daily life accompanies each photograph. Both the artist and Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University will present the images.
This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies Department
Judith Butler & Cornel West In Conversation
Location: Low Library Rotunda
Palestine & The Public Intellectual: Honoring Edward Said
Moderated by James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features & Professor of film, Columbia University
Introduction by Lila Abu Lughod, Director, Middle East Institute & Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Doors open at 6pm.
Registration Required. Seating is on a first come, first-seated basis.
Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) with the generous support of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) and the Anthropology Department, as well as the Middle East Institute (MEI), Heyman Center for the Humanities, Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWAG), Center for International History (CIH), Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS).
Fabrice Balanche: Minorities in the Syrian Crisis
Time: 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Schermerhorn Hall Extension, Room 754
The slogan chanted in the demonstrations against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in spring 2011 was controversial: “The Alawites to the grave and Christians to Beirut.”
The Syrian opposition claimed that the authors of this slogan were members of the intelligence services who infiltrated the demonstrations. According to them, the purpose was to show the radicalism of the opposition, dominated by Salafists, to scare minorities and all those who wish to live in a secular Syria. Is it actually a manipulation of the system or a real aim of a part of the opposition?
After two and a half years of fighting, a clear cleavage has emerged between minorities and the Sunni Arab majority in Syria. Does this foreshadow a partition of the country, and more generally the entire Middle East on ethno-religious criteria?
Fabrice Balanche, Director of the Research Group in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies, will discuss sectarianism and community fragmentation in Syria and beyond.
This event is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Alliance Program.
Egypt in Transition: A talk and Q&A with Adel Iskandar and Mona El-Ghobashy
Location: Lindsay Rogers room, IAB Building 7th floor
Mona El-Ghobashy is an assistant professor in the political science department at Barnard College. Her research focuses on political mobilization in contemporary Egypt, and has appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Report, American Behavioral Scientist, Boston Review, and edited volumes. She is working on a book project supported by the Carnegie Corporation, on Egyptian citizens' use of street protests and court petitions to reclaim their rights before and after the 2011 uprising.
Adel Iskandar is a scholar of Arab studies whose research focuses on media and communication. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of several works including Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism, Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation (University of California Press), and Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing). Iskandar's work deals with media, identity and politics. He has lectured extensively on these topics at universities worldwide. His most recent publication is Egypt In Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution (AUC Press). A co-editor of the online publication Jadaliyya, Iskandar teaches at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Communication, Culture, and Technology program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Copies of Adel Iskandar's recent book, Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution, will be available for purchase and signing. (cash only, please)
This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.
The Risks of Translation: Towards a History of Risk in Iran
Time: 12 – 2pm
Location: 208 Knox Hall
Philip Grant, is a research fellow in Social Studies of Finance at the University of Edinburgh in the UK. During this event, he will speak about the study of the concept of 'risk' and its import into Iran, which reveals much about the asymmetrical power dynamics and the political and ethical shifts of which the translation of concepts and techniques is an important part to a future study of finance in contemporary Iran, as well as to a reassessment of its history.
In seeking an answer, then, to the question of why there is no Persian equivalent of English "risk", except for the loanword, we might point to the late development of insurance, finance, techniques of corporate management, and shareholder ownership in Iran, as well as to the more recent development of the ethics of individualized self-promotion and realization. However, in so doing we give the impression of a benign and inevitable modernity radiating out from its Euro-American heartlands. But translation, no more than economics and finance, is not a purely technical exercise; rather it is interwoven with and inseparable from key ethical and political questions.
This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.
"Arabic Literature: Migration, Diaspora, Exile, Estrangement"
Location: Columbia University
Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation.
Time: 11:30am -1:00pm
Location: Fayerweather 313
During a special lecture, Professor Edhem Eldem of the Bogaziçi University history department will speak on the topic of "Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation."
The lecture will be followed by lunch in the Faculty House. Please note that the price of lunch is $22.50. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend, and specify whether or not you will stay for lunch.
This event is sponsored by the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Seminar, the Department of History and the Middle East Institute.
Photography in the Spaces of Violence: Politics of Witness in Occupied Palestine and Libya
Time: 12:00-2:00 pm
Location: Stabile center room, Columbia University's Journalism School
Mohammad Al-Azza is a refugee from the village of Beit Jibreen. He was born and resides in Aida Refugee Camp. He is a documentarian and photographer, and he directs the Arts & Media Unit of Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp, Palestine.
In this capacity, he helps youth to produce photography and video projects. His first documentary, Ali Wall, won the Global Jury Prize of the It Is Apartheid Film Contest (2010), and his documentary Everyday Nakba (2011) has been screened in numerous festivals and mobilized an international movement to improve access to clean water in Aida Refugee Camp and other Palestinian communities. His award-winning photography on media representation, refugee rights, and popular protest has exhibited in Palestine, France, and the United States, among other places.
Diana Matar is a photographer based in London and New York. Her projects, which often incorporate testimony, text, or sound, focus on the interplay of history, memory and landscape. Her internationally award winning projects include those on political disappearance, immigration, veiled women, and the disappearing landscape of peripheral Cairo .
She has been awarded the International Fund for Documentary Photography, the Deutsche Bank Award for Fine Art, an Individual Artist Grant by the British Arts Council and was nominated for the Prix Pictet Photography Award. Her work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London, and in over 15 countries. Earlier this year her work from Libya was published in the New Yorker Magazine. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections around the world. An installation of Matar's work from Libya will be exhibited in the Tate Modern exhibition, Photographers Responding to Conflict, in 2014.
The discussion will be moderated by The New Yorker's Photo Editor, Elissa Curtis.
The event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute, Center for Palestine Studies, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists' Association and SIPA's (IMAC) International Media, Advocacy and Communications specialization.
Mediatic Public Diplomacy Iranian State, Iranian People, and the West
Time: 7:30 - 9:30pm
Location: Columbia University Faculty House (64 Morningside Drive)
Over the last thirty years, normal diplomatic relations between Iran and the West, particularly with the United States, have been curtailed. Much of the diplomacy has been either in deep secrecy or in plain sight, via the media. This talk focuses on the four-partner diplomatic dance through film and media by which the Iranian government, American government, Iranians at home, and Iranians in the diaspora engage with each other; illustrated with video clips.
Please join us for a presentation by Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University) with respondent, Farbod Honarpisheh (Columbia University).
This event is sponsored by Columbia University's Sites of Cinema and the Middle East Institute.
Reflections on Iranian Cinema
Time: 6:30 - 8:30pm
Location: 50 Washington Square South, New York University, Kevorkian Center for Middle Eastern Studies
A Presentation & Panel Discussion with: Hamid Naficy
Hamid Dabashi (moderator)
This is event is sponsored by Columbia University's School of the Arts (Film) and Middle East Institute, as well as NYU's Iranian Studies Initiative.
Marwan Rechmaoui; images, texts, and conversations
Location: Room 208, Knox Hall (606 W. 122 Street, between Broadway and Claremont)
Born in Beirut, Marwan Rechmaoui’s work focuses on urban dynamics, demographics and behaviors. He uses industrial materials such as concrete, rubber, tar and glass to create tactile works on a large scale, many of which focus on the histories of spatial violence in the Lebanese civil war.
This event is brought to you by Studio @, a program curated by Rosalind C. Morris and sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. This event is also made possible by contributions from Alwan for the Arts and the Middle East Institute.
The Thorough Surveillance book party
Location: Knox Hall Room 208 (606 West 122nd Street)
Join the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute to celebrate the launch of Thorough Surveillance, the new book by Arcapita Visiting Professor in Arab Studies Ahmad Sa’di, on Israel's expertise in techniques of surveillance and political control.
Israel has been successful in controlling a native population for a long time. Despite tremendous challenges, it has maintained a tight grip over a large Palestinian population in the territories it occupied in the 1967 war.
We will also celebrate this year's publishing of works by several other Middle East Institute faculty members, including:
The Bodies of Virgins and God's Will: Holy Women in Early Eastern Christianity
Location: Hamilton 302, Columbia University, Morningside Heights Campus
Valentina Calzolari Bouvier, Professor at the University of Geneva and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University will address the valorization of female virginity in Early Eastern Christianity. The violation of virgins, bodies considered Temples of God, was considered the desecration of a sacred space in some traditions. Prof. Calzolari will detail how the analogy of the virgin’s body as a sacred space contributed to certain historiographic accounts about the conversion of pagan peoples and their perceived rebirths as nations.
Free and open to the public.
This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.
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