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IMES-MERIP Public Outreach Partnership (IMPOP) Launch Event

IMES-MERIP Public Outreach Partnership (IMPOP) Launch Event. September 7th at 11am


This past year the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) partnered with Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) scholars to develop a series of multimedia webpages designed to engage and inform the broader public about the contemporary Middle East. The IMES-MERIP Public Outreach Partnership (IMPOP) takes critical scholarship on the Middle East and develops new content to broaden the reach of that scholarship, including video interviews with scholars and activists, infographics that highlight key facts and figures, political cartoons by regional artists, image slideshows, and layered maps. The first installment of this project is four multimedia readers on the subject of environmental (in)justice in North Africa that cover the intersections of resource extraction, environmental degradation, inequality, and unemployment in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. These multimedia readers are designed to provide context and critical information for K-14 educators and organizers wishing to learn more about MENA or engage in campaigns of solidarity with regional environmental activists.

Please join IMES, MERIP, and a cohort of scholars working on contemporary environmental justice issues in North Africa for an introduction to the work of IMPOP and a discussion on ecological exploitation and mobilization around issues of poverty and social justice.


  • Nejm Benessaiah is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown. As an environmental anthropologist, his research interests include climate change, the everyday politics of water, infrastructures, environmental justice, social movements, oases, the Sahara, Algeria, and the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently investigating the potential for upscaling ways to commonly govern important goods for humankind, such as water, the atmosphere, art, and digital knowledge. His most recent work investigates the role of voluntary associations in contemporary water management in North Africa, conceptualizing them as “micro-movements” in order to contrast how they may be key to managing (new) change, as opposed to customary governance regimes which are configured to maintain the status quo. He has published in Ethnobiology Letters and Quaternary International, and has book chapters in Law and Property in Algeria: Anthropological Perspectives, and African Anthropologies in the Post-colony (HSRC Press). He has also written for Truthout and the Daily Maverick.

  • Karen Rignall is a Community and Leadership Development Professor at the University of Kentucky. Her research has appeared in numerous journals, including, The Journal of Peasant Studies, and Migration and Development.

  • Katie Natanel is a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. Her research explores how gender and sexuality shape - and are shaped by - political participation and mobilisation, conflict and political violence, and political emotions. She takes particular interest in micro-politics, or the politics of everyday life, and psycho-social dynamics. As an ethnographer she works with feminist research methods, as well as feminist and gender theory more broadly. Her research and teaching both emphasise creative methods, from visual ethnography to digital storytelling and participatory action research.