Skip to content

With Fatima El-Issawi
Wednesday, November 29, 20172:00pm - 3:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Fatima El-Issawi's new book “Arab National Media and Political Change” dissects the role of Arab journalists, both as agents of change and status quo in post uprisings North African Arab countries, namely Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The book is based on extensive empirical investigation conducted with journalists and media stakeholders in these countries. The research investigates journalistic practices and their evolution in a fluid and unpredictable political environment post uprisings. The talk argues that journalists’ dual identity encouraged the adoption of hybrid practices that support in the same time change and conformity. This duality in journalists’ self-perception of roles acted finally as a strong tool to consolidate the status quo and to provide legitimacy to repressive measures against civil liberties.

A former journalist covering conflict zones for over 15 years, Fatima El-Issawi is Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Essex and Senior Visiting Fellow at the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics. She has wide expertise in the media industry with a focus on Middle East and North Africa (MENA), crossing journalism, public communication, policy and academia.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 113

When the state of Israel was established in 1948, not all Palestinians became refugees; some stayed behind and were soon granted citizenship. But these Palestinian citizens of Israel were relegated to second-class status and found themselves cut off from friends and relatives on the other side of the Green Line, as well as from the broader Arab world.

In this talk, based on her recently published book, Dr. Maha Nassar argues that despite the double-erasure that Palestinian citizens of Israel faced from the state and from the Arab world, intellectuals within this community insisted that they were a part of regional and global cultural projects of decolonization. Through a critical examination of a wide array of Arabic writings, Nassar demonstrates the importance of Arabic newspapers and literary journals in traversing national boundaries and creating transnational and transregional communities of solidarity. More broadly, she argues for the need to expand our conceptual understanding of decolonization as not only a series of national liberation projects, but also as a global project of cultural and intellectual emancipation.

Dr. Maha Nassar is an Assistant Professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. She is a cultural and intellectual historian of the twentieth-century Arab world, with a focus on Palestinian history. She is the author of Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World (Stanford University Press, 2017).

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Please join us for the launch of Dr. Murat Akan's new book: The Politics of Secularism: Religion, Diversity, and Institutional Change in France and Turkey.  We will begin with an introduction by the author followed by a discussion of the book with Ilana Feldman, Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs.

The book launch will be held from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm on August 29th at the Elliott School of International Affairs located at 1957 E Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20052 in Room 505. For additional information about this event please contact Christian Clinton at

With Houchang Chehabi
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 602

Houchang E. Chehabi was educated at the University of Caen, Sciences Po in Paris, and Yale University, where he received his PhD in political science in 1986.  He taught at Harvard University and UCLA before joining the faculty of Boston University as a professor of international relations and history in 1998.  He is the author of Iranian Politics and Religious Modernism: The Liberation Movement of Iran under the Shah and Khomeini, principal author of Distant Relations: Iran and Lebanon in the last 500 years, and editor of over ten books, most recently (with Grace Neville), Erin and Iran: Cultural Encounters between the Irish and the Iranians.
Dr. Chehabi's lecture discusses the close relationship Iran and South Africa have had since the 1970s and the evolution of this relationship, touching on politics, economics, and religion.
Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, room 602
1957 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Sponsored By:

This event is co-sponsored by the Institure for African Studies, the Institute for Middle East Studies, and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

the Socio-Political Lives of Historical Sites and Objects in the Middle East
Friday, April 14, 2017

9:00am - 4:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

Historical sites and objects are a focal point of socio-political contestation in the Middle East today. Whether it be the destruction and looting of the Egyptian Museum, Palmyra, or the Buddhas of Bamyan, or it be the renovation and rebuilding of Mecca, the Eyup Sultan complex, or heritage districts in Doha, Cairo or Beirut, the ways in which these historical sites and objects are intertwined with political projects and political-economic processes have drawn increasing scrutiny in recent years.
While popular discourses and news media accounts often portray these matters in terms of the actions of religious zealots, crass developers, or enlightened preservationists, this glosses over a far more textured socio-political terrain this conference seeks to explore. A day-long event that brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars who focus on the Middle East and the region’s past and present connections to other parts of the world, this conference explores the myriad socio-political work historical sites and objects do.
*Please join us on April 13th as well for a pre-conference presentation by Azra Aksamija on her Memory Matrix project.
Esra Akcan
Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, Cornell University
Azra Aksamija
Associate Professor in the Art, Culture and Technology Program, MIT
Farah Al-Nakib
Director of the Center for Gulf Studies, American University of Kuwait
Amin Alsaden
PhD Candidate, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Luna Khirfan
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo School of Planning
Michele Lamprakos
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Amal Sachedina
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Middle East Studies, George Washington University
The 2017 IMES conference was developed in collaboration with the American University of Kuwait’s Gulf Studies Center, as part of a broader project focusing on “Mobilities and Materialities of the Middle East.”
Friday, April 14, 2017
9:00am - 4:00pm
Sponsored By:

The IMES Annual Conference is sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

in conjunction with the 2017 IMES Annual Conference
Thursday, April 13, 2017


800 22nd St. NW
Lehman Auditorium

IMES is pleased to host this presentation to launch our 2017 Annual Conference, "Restless Matters: the Socio-Political Lives of Historical Sites and Objects in the Middle East." For more information on the conference, visit:
About the Memory Matrix:
"We live in a time when technology can be used to document an erasure as it takes place and to restore much faster than ever before. Hardly any other historic site has generated more intense public debate about these two issues than Palmyra. The impetus to defy Palmyra’s destruction notwithstanding, the questions of whether, when, and how to restore it remain controversial. These questions provide the conceptual basis for the Memory Matrix—a public space intervention referencing Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph—that counters the destruction of monuments with the creation of new ephemeral monuments that engage new fabrication technologies and transcultural collaborations. The Memory Matrix endorses the use of technology to foster solidarity and educate those who have been stripped of their home, culture, history, and identity. Preservation can also positively encourage human interdependence in the face of global problems that are affecting communities across borders, today and in the future."
Azra Akšamija is an artist and architectural historian, Associate Professor at MIT Art, Culture and Technology Program.  In her multi-disciplinary work, Akšamija investigates the politics of identity and memory on the scale of the body (clothing and wearable technologies), on the civic scale (religious architecture and cultural institutions), and within the context of history and global cultural flows. Her projects explore the potency of art and architecture to transform conflicts, and in so doing, provide a framework for analyzing and intervening in contested socio-political realities. Her recent academic research focuses on the politics of representation of Islam in the West, conflict in the Balkans since the 1990s, and the destruction of cultural heritage in the Balkans and Middle East.
Thursday, April 13
5:15pm - 6:45pm
Lehman Auditorium, Science and Engineering Hall
800 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20052
Sponsored By:

The Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

With Norma Claire Moruzzi
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

3:30pm - 5:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

In post-revolutionary Iran, women are legally “second class” citizens, with lesser rights than men in situations of family law (inheritance, custody, divorce, age of marriage) and public participation (restrictions on political office, public service, and legal testimony). But other evidence (ethnographic, demographic, and cinematic) indicates an increasingly empowered female population, and reminds us to look beyond surface impressions to understand the politics of daily life in the contemporary Islamic Republic of Iran. Through this lens, the lecture will attempt to ask and answer the question: How do we evaluate actual social and political conditions under less representative political systems, when a larger gap can exist between government actions and social reality?
About the Speaker:
Norma Claire Moruzzi is Associate Professor of Political Science, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History, Director of the International Studies Program, and Chair of the Middle East and Muslim Societies Cluster at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University; her book Speaking through the Mask: Hannah Arendt and the Politics of Social Identity (Cornell University Press: 2000) won the 2002 Gradiva Book Award. She has published on women’s and gender issues and cinema in Iran and the Middle East, and is a consulting member of the editorial committee of the journal Middle East Report. From 1998-2007 she regularly conducted field-work in Iran, while also participating in and conducting workshops for women’s groups and contributing to local journals. Her current project is a book analyzing transformations in Iranian women’s lives since the 1979 Revolution, titled Tied Up in Tehran: Women, Social Change, and the Politics of Daily Life.
Sponsored By:

The Institute for Middle East Studies and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grant Program.

Graduate Research using Primary Sources
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

3:00pm - 5:00pm

Gelman Library
Room 702

This graduate student panel will highlight the exciting research being done by GWU graduate students of History and Regional Studies, as well as  the resources available in our libraries helping them to make original contributions to their fields. Students from Fall 2016’s class on “Citizenship and Difference in the Middle East” with Professor Dina Khoury will discuss the original research that they conducted using resources available through Gelman Library’s  Global Resources Center.
Sebastian Bernberg, MA Student, History
“British Policies and the Coptic Community in Egypt, 1922-1932”
Starling Carter, MA Student, Middle East Studies
“Town Planning and the Concretization of Difference in Mandate Tel Aviv”
Dominic Charles, MA student, History
“Teaching Difference: A Study of Education's Role in Defining Nationality During the Palestinian Mandate"
Nicole Crisp, MA student, History
"Slaves, Sheikhs, and Sovereignty: British Imperial Sovereignty versus a Sheikh’s Local Autonomy in the Trucial States in 1931"
Sara Pulliam, MA Student, History
“No One’s Citizens: The Sinai Bedouin Under the Frontier Districts Administration”
Sponsored By:

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Middle East Studies and GWU Libraries.

A Discussion with Berna Turam, Güneş Tezcür, and Fatma Müge Göçek
Monday, March 27, 2017

3:00pm - 4:40pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 505

Panelists will discuss shifts and continuities in Turkish politics and society in the wake of the attempted coup of July 2016, looking ahead to a referendum on proposed constitutional changes scheduled for April 16, 2017.
Dr. Berna Turam, Professor of Sociology and international Affairs, Northeastern University
Dr. Güneş Tezcür, Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, University of Central Florida
Dr. Fatma Müge Göçek, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies, University of Michigan
Moderated by: Dr. Attiya Ahmad, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, GWU
Sponsored By:

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

With Nathan Brown and Mona Atia

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
Room 602

Please join us for a screening of "Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt" (80 min), followed by a discussion of the film with Dr. Mona Atia, moderated by Dr. Nathan Brown.
Film (7:00 pm):
Nasser’s Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt is the first film for an American audience about one of the Arab world’s most transformative leaders. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Gamal Abdel Nasser soon became a symbol of Arab progress and dignity. From 1952 to 1970, he challenged Western hegemony abroad, confronted Islamism at home, and faced deep divisions among the Arabs. He also established the region's first military authoritarian regime. A man of enormous charisma and ambition, Nasser had begun a revolution he could not complete. But his dreams, dilemmas and decisions continue to shape the current generation.
Producer Michal Goldman began work on this project before the January 2011 uprisings in Egypt and continued filming through General Sisi’s first year in power. During this period of turmoil, Egyptians argued passionately about their history as a way to see what course to follow in the future. It is their voices – peasants and professors, secularists and Islamists –that drive this film.
Post-film Discussion and Q&A (8:20 pm):
Dr. Mona Atia, Director, Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs
Dr. Nathan Brown, Director, IMES and Professor of Political Science and International Affairs
Moderator: Stephen Bennett, Education and Outreach Coordinator, IMES
Sponsored By:

This event is sponsored by IMES and the US Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center Grants Program.

GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.