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December 5, 2019

5:30pm

1957 E St NW Lindner Commons

Washington, DC

Description coming soon

About the Author

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Bard College. Her first book, Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine, was published in 2019 and explores what happens when waste is transformed from matter out of place into matter with no place to go.

October 24, 2019

5:30pm

1957 E St NW Room 505

Washington, DC

Description coming soon

About the Author

Asma Sayeed is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures and the Program Director of Islamic Studies at UCLA. Her research focuses on early and classical Muslim social history, the history of Muslim education, the intersection of law and social history, and women and gender studies. Her book, Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam, analyzes Muslim women's religious education from the rise of Islam to the early Ottoman period.

September 12, 2019

5:30pm

1957 E St NW Room 505

Washington, DC

Since 2011 over 5.6 million Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and beyond, and another 6.6 million are internally displaced. The contemporary flight of Syrian refugees comes one century after the region's formative experience with massive upheaval, displacement, and geopolitical intervention: the First World War.

In this talk, Stacy Fahrenthold examines the politics of Syrian and Lebanese migration around the period of the First World War. Some half million Arab migrants, nearly all still subjects of the Ottoman Empire, lived in a diaspora concentrated in Brazil, Argentina, and the United States. They faced new demands for their political loyalty from Istanbul, which commanded them to resist European colonialism. From the Western hemisphere, Syrian migrants grappled with political suspicion, travel restriction, and outward displays of support for the war against the Ottomans. From these diasporic communities, Syrians used their ethnic associations, commercial networks, and global press to oppose Ottoman rule, collaborating with the Entente powers because they believed this war work would bolster the cause of Syria's liberation. Between the Ottomans and the Entente shows how these communities in North and South America became a geopolitical frontier between the Young Turk Revolution and the early French Mandate. It examines how empires at war-from the Ottomans to the French-embraced and claimed Syrian migrants as part of the state-building process in the Middle East. In doing so, they transformed this diaspora into an epicenter for Arab nationalist politics.

About the Author

Stacy Fahrenthold is an Assistant Professor of Migration History at the University of California, Davis. Her research has specialized in global migration, forced displacement, and modern Syria and Lebanon. Her first Book, Between the Ottomans and the Entente: The First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925, was published in 2019.

April 22, 2019

12:30pm

1957 E Street NW Room 211

The creative, entertaining and sometimes zany English instruction programs, produced by the Israeli Educational Television in the 1970s, abandoned the respectability associated with “Shakespeare” in favor of the plots and images of American popular culture. In doing so, they captured some of the broader cultural and historical shifts that reshaped Israel after 1967.   

Eitan Bar-Yosef is a literary scholar and cultural historian and the outgoing editor of "Teoria U-vikoret" ("Theory and Criticism", published by the Van-Leer Institute, Jerusalem), Israel’s leading critical theory journal. Bar-Yosef is specializing in postcolonial studies, Victorian studies and Israel studies. He is the author of The Holy Land in English Culture, 1799-1917: Palestine and the Question of Orientalism, which examined British Imperial culture, with an emphasis on Britain's colonial interests in Palestine, and A Villa in the Jungle (in Hebrew) which examined representation of Africa in Israeli literature, theater and high and pop culture. This lecture is part of his new research project, examining Israeli culture after 1967 through the unique prism offered by the productions of the now deceased Israeli Educational Television.

February 21, 2019

5:00pm

Room 505

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

For the past six years, the world has watched in horror as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have endured some of the worst human and heritage violence since World War II. In this talk, Stephennie will argue that the dominant universalist model of archaeological heritage preservation, wherein heritage is envisioned as a property-based model belonging “to all humankind”, has in fact been an important motivation for the destruction of heritage in wartime and the alienation of local communities from their heritage following reconstruction. Archaeologists, as researchers on the past who can assist in shaping the narratives of the present, should instead work to understand local models of heritage and support communities traumatized by war to rebuild in ways that serve local needs first. Often, post-war reconstruction has only multiplied the trauma of people in the aftermath of conflict. However, if sites damaged by war are rebuilt in an inclusive manner, reconstruction has the potential to be a genuinely healing act of resistance to the violence perpetrated during wartime. 

Stephennie Mulder is Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a specialist in Islamic art, architectural history, and archaeology. She worked for over ten years as the head ceramicist at Balis, a medieval Islamic city in Syria, and has also conducted archaeological and art historical fieldwork throughout Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and elsewhere in the region. 

Her research interests include the art and architecture of Shi’ism, the intersections between art, spatiality, and sectarian relationships in Islam, anthropological theories of art, material culture studies, theories of ornament and mimesis, and place and landscape studies. Dr. Mulder also writes on the contemporary aesthetics of the art of resistance in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

March 7, 2019

5:30pm

GW Textile Museum

701 21st Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

This event is cosponsored by the Loeb Institute for Religious Freedom and the GW Textile Museum.

In March 1996, Mahmoud Abdul Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson), an all-star guard for the Denver Nuggets and an African American Muslim convert, was suspended by the NBA for not standing for the national anthem. Until then, Abdul Rauf had earned national headlines only for his record-setting free-throw shooting game and overcoming Tourrette Syndrome. The sudden NBA suspension and the media interest that immediately followed sparked a national debate about race, politics, religion, and freedom of speech with Abdul Rauf at center-stage. The media controversy pivoted on the question of what it means to be American and un-American, particularly for Muslims, and reveals how so many contemporary political anxieties about patriotism, racism, political correctness, freedom of speech, and Islamophobia have histories deeper than 9/11 and the War on Terror. Tracing his evolution from a media darling and icon of the American dream to an "un-American foreigner," this timely film documents the history of anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia through a simple, poignant story of one man's spiritual journey turned public trial.

Zareena Grewal is a historical anthropologist and a documentary filmmaker whose research focuses on race, gender, religion, nationalism, and transnationalism across a wide spectrum of American Muslim communities. Her first book, Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority (NYU 2013), is an ethnography of transnational Muslim networks that link US mosques to Islamic movements in the post-colonial Middle East through debates about the reform of Islam. Her forthcoming book, titled “Is the Quran a Good Book?”, combines ethnographic and cultural studies analyses with historical research to trace the place of the Islamic scripture in the American imagination, particularly in relation to national debates about tolerance. She has received awards for her writing and research grants from the Fulbright, Wenner-Gren and Luce Foundations. 

A full lesson plan for middle school and high school teachers will be available at the event.

April 4, 2019

5:00pm

Room 505

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Beirut is a city divided. Following the Green Line of the civil war, dividing the Christian east and the Muslim west, today hundreds of such lines dissect the city. For the residents of Beirut, urban planning could hold promise: a new spatial order could bring a peaceful future. But with unclear state structures and outsourced public processes, urban planning has instead become a contest between religious-political organizations and profit-seeking developers. Neighborhoods reproduce poverty, displacement, and urban violence.

For the War Yet to Come examines urban planning in three neighborhoods of Beirut's southeastern peripheries, revealing how these areas have been developed into frontiers of a continuing sectarian order. Hiba Bou Akar argues these neighborhoods are arranged, not in the expectation of a bright future, but according to the logic of "the war yet to come": urban planning plays on fears and differences, rumors of war, and paramilitary strategies to organize everyday life. As she shows, war in times of peace is not fought with tanks, artillery, and rifles, but involves a more mundane territorial contest for land and apartment sales, zoning and planning regulations, and infrastructure projects. 

About the Author 

Hiba Bou Akar is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She has also worked as an architect and urban planner in Beirut.

March 21, 2019

5:00pm

1957 E St NW

Room 505

Washington, DC 20052

Iraq's healthcare has been on the edge of collapse since the 1990s. Once the leading hub of scientific and medical training in the Middle East, Iraq's political and medical infrastructure has been undermined by decades of U.S.-led sanctions and invasions. Since the British Mandate, Iraqi governments had invested in cultivating Iraq's medical doctors as agents of statecraft and fostered connections to scientists abroad. In recent years, this has been reversed as thousands of Iraqi doctors have left the country in search of security and careers abroad. Ungovernable Life presents the untold story of the rise and fall of Iraqi "mandatory medicine"—and of the destruction of Iraq itself.

Trained as a doctor in Baghdad, Omar Dewachi writes a medical history of Iraq, offering readers a compelling exploration of state-making and dissolution in the Middle East. His work illustrates how imperial modes of governance, from the British Mandate to the U.S. interventions, have been contested, maintained, and unraveled through medicine and healthcare. In tracing the role of doctors as agents of state-making, he challenges common accounts of Iraq's alleged political unruliness and ungovernability, bringing forth a deeper understanding of how medicine and power shape life and how decades of war and sanctions dismember projects of state-making. 

About the Author

Omar Dewachi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Social Medicine, and Global Health and Co-Director of the Conflict Medicine Program at the American University of Beirut.

January 17, 2019

5:00pm

Lindner Family Commons (Room 602)

1957 E St NW

Washington, DC 20052

Meet the director

Asma is an award winning film and documentary director who's been in the field since 2007. In 2008 she was enrolled in the documentary fellowship program at George Washington University. She also received a training from the USC (University of Southern California).

Her film "I am Gaza" which was shot during the 2008 war was the Opening Film at Amal Film Festival (Spain) and the Arab Film Festival (Algiers) in 2010. This film received 4 production awards.

In 2012 Asma received her Masters Degree from El Instituto de Cine de Madrid in Directing for Cinema and TV.

Asma has worked for TV broadcasters like ARTE, France 24, MBC Group, Al Jazeera, Arabi TV. She also worked with NGOs like: The United Nations, MercyCorps, CARE International.

Her feature documentary "Aisha" which was released in 2016 received The Best Film Award at Malmo Film Festival in Sweden, amongst 5 production awards.

 

Watch the trailer here: