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A Conversation with Christopher Davidson

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
5:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

Dr. Christopher Davidson is a reader in Middle East Politics in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, a former visiting associate professor at Kyoto University, and a former assistant professor at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. He is the author of several books on the politics and international affairs of the Gulf states, including Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond, Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success, and The Persian Gulf and Pacific Asia: From Indifference to Interdependence.

Dr. Davidson will be discussing his most recent book After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies.

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).

Featuring Dr. Lara Deeb

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

In this lecture, Dr. Deeb will discuss the ways in which young Shi'i Muslims who take their faith seriously negotiate ideas and practices related to leisure in South Beirut — specifically activities related to cafe-going and to dating. These negotiations take place in a context where there are multiple moral authorities and where particular forms of piety have come to be taken for granted.

Lara Deeb is Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Scripps College. She is the author of An Enchanted Modern: Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon(2006) and co-author with Mona Harb of Leisure Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'i South Beirut (forthcoming 2013), as well as articles on Muslim women's participation in the public sphere, morality and leisure, transnational feminism, and Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Sponsored By:

The Middle East Policy Forum is presented with the generous support of ExxonMobil.
This event is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies, and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant for the Middle East.

Featuring Dr. Orit Bashkin

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

Although Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi patriots, their community--which had existed in Iraq for more than 2,500 years--was displaced following the establishment of the state of Israel. New Babylonians chronicles the lives of these Jews, their urban Arab culture, and their hopes for a democratic nation-state. It studies their ideas about Judaism, Islam, secularism, modernity, and reform, focusing on Iraqi Jews who internalized narratives of Arab and Iraqi nationalisms and on those who turned to communism in the 1940s.

As the book reveals, the ultimate displacement of this community was not the result of a perpetual persecution on the part of their Iraqi compatriots, but rather the outcome of misguided state policies during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sadly, from a dominant mood of coexistence, friendship, and partnership, the impossibility of Arab-Jewish coexistence became the prevailing narrative in the region--and the dominant narrative we have come to know today.

Dr. Orit Bashkin is Associate Professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Chicago. She is the author of The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq (Stanford, 2008).

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant for the Middle East, and the History Department. 

Featuring Ambassador Edward W. "Skip" Gnehm, Jr. - Kuwait Professor of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs, GWU

Thursday, February 28, 2013
6:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Harry Harding Auditorium, Room 213

The final convoy of U.S. combat forces withdrew from Iraq in December 2011, but the U.S. military intervention produced transformational effects that continue to reverberate in Iraq and throughout the region. On the 10 year anniversary of the U.S. intervention, Ambassador Gnehm will reflect on the costs and consequences of that action on the U.S., Iraq, specifically, and the Middle East, more broadly.

 

Sponsored By:

The Middle East Policy Forum is presented with the generous support of ExxonMobil.

Featuring Dr. Nadia Guessous

Monday, February 25, 2013
5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

When Moroccan leftist feminists narrate their life stories and talk about formative influences in their lives, many recall the influence of a "traditional" and pious father figure who was just and egalitarian, and who inspired their commitment to and struggle for gender equality. If this positive invocation of an enabling tradition is noteworthy for how consistently it recurs in the life stories of a cross-section of Moroccan leftist feminists, it is equally notable for how dramatically it disappears and is displaced by a notion of tradition as obstacle to women's emancipation and progress.

In her new paper, Dr. Guessous juxtaposes invocations of the "traditional, pious but egalitarian" father figure with that of "the failed and disappointing leftist husband who claims to be modern but is in fact traditional" in order to complicate our understanding of the relationship between feminism and tradition and to think about the imperatives of modern progressive politics. She argues that the tragedy of Moroccan leftist feminist subjectivity lies in the fact that it is predicated on locating the possibility of women's progress and feminist politics in the repudiation of the very tradition that makes it possible in the first place; and that this constitutive disavowal comes in the way of a more generous ethos of intergenerational and intersubjective engagement.

Dr. Nadia Guessous is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Research on Women and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers. She received her PhD in anthropology from Columbia University in 2011.  Her research interests include gender and feminism; the anthropology of politics; religion and secularism; modern subjectivity; affect and viscerality; postcolonial feminist theory; the Middle East, North Africa, and Islam.  She has published articles and book reviews in Confluences Mediterranee, The Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, and Jadaliyya; and has forthcoming articles in The Review of Middle East Studies and Arab Studies Journal. She is also the author of a study on women and political violence during the repressive years of lead in Morocco, which was commissioned by the Moroccan Truth Commission and published by the Consultative Council on Human Rights.

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant for the Middle East, the Department of Religion, and the Women's Studies Program. 

Featuring Dr. Evelyn Alsultany
Thursday, February 21, 2013
5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
First Floor, Room 113

After 9/11 there was an increase in sympathetic portrayals of Arabs and Muslims on U.S. television. If a TV drama represented an Arab or Muslim as a terrorist, then the storyline usually included a "positive" representation of an Arab or Muslim to offset the negative depiction. Given that the US government passed domestic and foreign policies that compromised the civil and human rights of Arabs and Muslims, and given that demonizing the enemy during times of war has been commonplace, why would such sympathetic portrayals appear at all? 

This talk will review various forms of positive imagery of Arabs and Muslims in TV dramas and news reporting since 9/11 and explain why the production and circulation of "positive" representations of the "enemy" is essential to depicting the United States as a benevolent superpower, especially amidst declarations of war and propagation of racist policies.

Dr. Evelyn Alsultany is an Associate Professor in the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Arabs and Muslims in the Media: Race and Representation after 9/11 (New York University Press, 2012). She is co-editor (with Rabab Abdulhadi and Nadine Naber) of Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging (Syracuse University Press, 2011), winner of this year's Arab American National Museum's Evelyn Shakir Book Award. She is also co-editor (with Ella Shohat) of Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2012). She is guest curator of the Arab American National Museum's online exhibit, Reclaiming Identity: Dismantling Arab Stereotypes (www.arabstereotypes.org). 

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant for the Middle East, and the Department of American Studies at George Washington University.

Monday, February 11, 2013
12:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

Ellen Lust, Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Lindsay Benstead, Professor of Political Science, Portland State University

Matthew Buehler, PhD Candidate, University of Texas - Austin

Moderated by Dr. Marc Lynch, George Washington University

Three leading political scientists will discuss elections in Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt.

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).

Thursday, January 24, 2013
12:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

Despite successful parliamentary elections in July 2012, Libya faces numerous obstacles to state development. Rife with internal divisions and regional tensions, Libya struggles to achieve national cohesion and advance the political process. Moreover, the country's fractious and divisive political environment inhibits institution building and complicates efforts to restore internal security. In light of Libya's institutional and security challenges, the panelists will discuss current developments and prospects for Libya's political future.

Dr. Mary-Jane Deeb, Chief of African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress

Dr. Karim Mezran, Senior Fellow, Rafiq Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council

Moderated by Ambassador Edward "Skip" Gnehm, Director, Middle East Policy Forum, George Washington University

The Middle East Policy Forum is presented with the generous support of ExxonMobil

Sponsored By:

Middle East Policy Forum

Thursday, January 24, 2013
12:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Linder Family Commons, Room 602

Three leading political scientists will discuss the outcomes and implications of Israel's January 2013 parliamentary elections. Yoram Peri, Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies, University of Maryland

Ilan Peleg, Charles A. Dana Professor of Government & Law, Lafayette College
Gershon Shafir, Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego
Jonathan Rynhold, Schusterman Visiting Professor in Israel Studies, George Washington University

Moderated by Dr. Marc Lynch, George Washington University

Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS).