Oct
23
6:00 PM18:00

EXHIBITION & TALK | The Second-Hand Binding & In the School of Wisdom: Persian Bookbinding, ca. 1575-1890

“The Second-Hand Binding”

Gallery talk by guest curator and Columbia University graduate student Matthew Gilman, sponsored by Center for the Study of Muslim Societies.

Reproduction technologies, from chromolithography to digitization, have long been heralded as boon as to scholarship in the arts of the book. Nevertheless, bookbinding, especially that from the Muslim world, has remained at the fringes of the field. This talk examines the historical circumstances (such early modern libraries, second-hand book markets, and Orientalist scholarship) which create difficulties for the study of the art. They also, however, will offer an opportunity to reconsider the nature of manuscript culture at large. 

Lecture in conjunction with the exhibition "In the School of Wisdom: Persian Bookbinding, ca. 1575-1890." Talk will be held in Butler 523, followed by a reception for the exhibition in the Kempner Gallery, Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Butler Library, 6th Floor, East).

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"In the School of Wisdom: Persian Bookbinding, ca. 1575-1890."   
Exhibit open 10/22/18–3/1/19

Chang Octagon Room, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Butler Library, 6th Floor, East. 
Free, handicapped accessible, and open to the general public.
Exhibit hours are the same as the RBML service hours.
You must have photo ID to enter the building. Please see Directions for more information.   

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Oct
24
6:00 PM18:00

FILM | Checks and Balances (Contrepouvoirs)

  • Maison Francaise, East Gallery, Buell Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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To RSVP, please click here.

Screening and discussion with filmmaker Malek Bensmaïl, in conversation with Madeleine Dobie and Mohamed Amer Meziane.

Algerian documentary filmmaker Malek Bens­maïl set up his camera in the news­room of the famous daily paper El Watan, the spea­rhead of the Alge­rian inde­pendent press, to film the proce­dures and thought processes behind jour­na­lism during the last presi­den­tial elec­tion. Accom­mo­da­ted since Alge­ria’s Bloody Decade of the 1990’s in the “House of the Press,” the jour­na­lists of the famous daily news­pa­per El Watan await the comple­tion of their new offices, a symbol of their inde­pen­dence.

“My camera is embed­ded in their news­room as they follow the events of this new Alge­rian spring… President Boute­flika has set his sights on a 4th term… Beyond what we call the Arab revo­lu­tions and other media­ti­zed terms, I wanted this film to serve as a memo­rial to the women and men, young and less young, who battle daily to safe­guard the free­dom of infor­ma­tion in a poli­ti­cally and socially fossi­li­zed coun­try.” – Malek Bensmaïl

Event co-sponsored by the Maison Francaise, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and Middle East Institute, Film and Media Studies, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

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Oct
25
6:15 PM18:15

Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture | The Guests: Edward Said and Joseph Conrad

Organized by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Italian Academy.

Edward W. Said remained, for over forty years, concerned with Conrad. A fascinating conversation emerges between the two men’s work, one concerned with aesthetics, displacement and empire, and sheds an interesting light on the present moment.

The Fall 2018 Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture will be given by Hisham Matar, Pulitzer Prize-winning Memoirist and Novelist
Introduction by Gauri Viswanathan, Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

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Oct
25
6:30 PM18:30

FILM | The Battle of Algiers

  • Maison Francaise, East Gallery, Buell Hall (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Film screening and discussion with director Malek Bensmaïl. RSVP for event here.

With excep­tio­nal archival mate­rials and many inter­views (Alge­ria, France, Italy, United-States) Malek Bensmaïl’s docu­men­tary about Gillo Pontecorvo’s legendary 1965 film, The Battle of Algiers, will give us, sixty years after, a strong look back at this film half­way between history and legend.

In 1965, three years after Alge­ria gained its inde­pen­dence, Italian film-maker Gillo Ponte­corvo began to shoot a film recons­ti­tu­ting the events of the Battle of Algiers (1956/1957). The black and white news­reel-style film caused a sensa­tion. Effec­ti­vely banned in France until 1971, the film took on mythi­cal status in Alge­ria, where it was scree­ned each year on tele­vi­sion to comme­mo­rate the coun­try’s inde­pen­dence. It was copro­du­ced by the company of Saadi Yacef, one of the heroes of the struggle for libe­ra­tion, who plays himself in Ponte­cor­vo’s film. The shoo­ting of the film was used as a ruse to allow the tanks of Boume­die­ne’s army to enter the city more discreetly during the coup that over­threw President Ben Bella. In 2003, during the mili­tary opera­tions in Iraq, the film was shown to U.S. offi­cers as an example of a success­ful struggle against urban terro­rism.

Event co-sponsored by the Maison Francaise, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, and Middle East Institute, Film and Media Studies, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life.

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Nov
1
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | Cross-cultural encounters in contemporary book art between Baghdad and Beijing: a lecture by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, American University of Beirut

This talk focuses on the work of the Iraqi artist Rafa Nasiri (1940-2014) and his autobiographical account Rihlati ila Sin (My Journey to China, 2012). It explores cross-cultural encounters between Baghdad and Beijing in the context of geopolitical change after the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Iraq Revolution of 1958.

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Nov
7
6:00 PM18:00

TALK | Is Transnationalism Good for Democracy?

Organized by the Barnard Forum on Migration.

Drawing on longitudinal ethnographic work with Palestinian American youth, Professor Abu El-Haj explores the creative, flexible practices of transnational “citizenship” that develop from conditions of migration, mobility, and ambiguity. This portrait of flexibility, creativity, and change challenges public discourses that stubbornly cling to ideas of transnational affiliations as dangerous to democracy. Professor Abu El-Haj argues, instead, that youth develop a politics of justice and inclusion to fight inequality and oppression both within and across the artificial borders of nation-states. 

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Oct
17
6:30 PM18:30

FILM | In the Last Days of the City + Q&A with Director Tamer El Said

Tamer El Said’s ambitious debut feature tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93, Green Zone, The Square) as he struggles to capture the soul of a city on edge while facing loss in his own life. Shot in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin during the two years before the outbreak of revolution in Egypt, the film’s multi-layered stories are a visually rich exploration of friendship, loneliness and life in cities shaped by the shadows of war and adversity.

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Oct
17
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | Celebrating Recent Work by Wael Hallaq

Organized by the Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge, by Wael Hallaq
Since Edward Said’s foundational work, Orientalism has been singled out for critique as the quintessential example of Western intellectuals’ collaboration with oppression. Controversies over the imbrications of knowledge and power and the complicity of Orientalism in the larger project of colonialism have been waged among generations of scholars. But has Orientalism come to stand in for all of the sins of European modernity, at the cost of neglecting the complicity of the rest of the academic disciplines?

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Oct
16
6:00 PM18:00

LANGUAGE CIRCLE | Arabic Language

Date/location change for week of October 15-19, 2018.

The Middle East Institute’s Halaqa ʿArabiyya (Arabic Circle) provides extra language practice for Arabic language students in a conversational setting. Its core group of 5-11 attendees is composed of Columbia University and Barnard College students as well as some non-university affiliated individuals. The Arabic Circle is primarily held in Modern Standard Arabic, with some use of the Shami, Egyptian and Tunisian dialects.

Fall 2018 Semester: the Arabic Circle meets every Wednesday, 6-7:30 PM, in Knox 403. It is moderated by Wajdi Ben Hammed.

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Oct
11
2:00 PM14:00

PANEL | Revisiting Indigenous Histories, Legal Systems and Land Rights in the Naqab

  • Italian Academy for Advanced Studies (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Organized by the Center for Palestine Studies. Registration recommended.

Within the framework of exhibition Ground Truth: Testimonies of Destruction and Return in Al-Araqib, CPS is holding a scholarly panel to expand the discourse on the origins of the dispossession, expulsion, and displacement of the Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev/Al-Naqab, and in particular its historical background and legal aspects. The panelists are scholars and activists involved in historical research, legal geography, and human rights with the aim of situating the case of the Naqab Bedouins within key international debates, such as the territorial dispossession of indigenous peoples, indivisibility, and interrelationship of socioeconomic, cultural, civil, and political rights.

Panelists: Nadia Ben-Youssef, Adalah Justice Project; Bashir Abu-Manneh, Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, Kent University; Debby Farber, Zochrot

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Oct
10
5:30 PM17:30

EXHIBITION | Ground Truth: Testimonies of Destruction and Return in Al-Araqib

  • Italian Academy for Advanced Studies (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Organized by the Center for Palestine Studies and the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies.

Exhibition on the theme of Bedouin ownership of Negev lands and the ongoing Israeli state campaign to uproot the Palestinian Bedouin from the northern threshold of the desert. A joint project of Al-Araqib Popular Committee, Zochrot and Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths University, UK).

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Oct
9
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | An Evening with Akram Zaatari, Sponsored by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle

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Lebanese filmmaker and photographer Akram Zaatari presents his video Her + Him (2001–12), which was recently acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, and discusses his practice. A founding member of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut, Zaatari assumes the roles of researcher, collector, archivist, and curator in his work, investigating the sites, documents, and memories of the Middle East’s history through the filter of subjective experience.

$15, $10 members, free for students with RSVP.

RSVP here.

Funding is provided by members of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle.

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Oct
4
6:30 PM18:30

BOOK LAUNCH | For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers

Hiba Bou Akar in conversation with Faranak Miraftab, Timothy Mitchell, M. Christine Boyer, and Amale Andraos.
Stanford University Press’ For the War Yet to Come: Planning Beirut’s Frontiers is the first book by Assistant Professor of Urban Planning Hiba Bou Akar.

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. 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.

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Oct
4
2:00 PM14:00

TALK | Displaced and Segregated: The Socio-economic Status of the Second Generation of Internally Displaced Palestinians in Israel

Organized by The Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality. A talk with Ameed Saabneh.

This study investigates the effects of displacement on the socio-economic status of second-generation internally displaced Palestinians (IDPs) in Israel. The results show that second-generation IDPs and non-displaced Palestinians do not differ in their educational and occupational attainment, but displaced households have higher rates of poverty and poorer housing conditions than non-displaced households. We find that the relationship between displacement and the prime indicators of social mobility—education and jobs—was weakened by three factors: extreme spatial segregation between Palestinians and Jews, the concentration of disadvantage among IDPs within the host communities, which were Palestinian spaces, and a high level of dependence on resources concentrated in Jewish spaces among all Palestinians, not just IDPs. These three conditions, however, did not eliminate gaps in assets and land ownership between IDPs and non-IDPs, which, we argue, contribute to higher poverty rates among displaced households.

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Sep
28
9:30 AM09:30

SYMPOSIUM | What We CAN Do When There's Nothing To Be Done: Strategies for Change

  • The Forum at Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The MEI co-sponsors an all-day symposium organized by the Center for the Study of Social Difference.

How can we imagine justice, practice solidarity and create change across barriers of social difference in today’s political landscape? As the acceptance of inequality has become the new norm to a degree we might have deemed unthinkable, and as public dialogue has reached an impasse, protest and resistance continue. This conference brings together scholars, artists, and activists from around the globe whose work can inspire new ways of thinking, seeing and listening, and productive strategies of intervention for our time.

Registration will be open HERE starting September 5th. .

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Sep
20
6:00 PM18:00

BOOK LAUNCH | Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition

Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the Western Tradition
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, in conversation with Katherine Ewing, Nabeel Hamid, and Christia Mercer
Thursday, September 20, 2018  6:00pm
Maison Française

What does it mean to be a Muslim philosopher, or to philosophize in Islam? In Open to Reason, Souleymane Bachir Diagne traces Muslims’ intellectual and spiritual history of examining and questioning beliefs and arguments to show how Islamic philosophy has always engaged critically with texts and ideas both inside and outside its tradition. Through a rich reading of classical and modern Muslim philosophers, Diagne explains the long history of philosophy in the Islamic world and its relevance to crucial issues of our own time.

From classical figures such as Avicenna to the twentieth-century Sufi master and teacher of tolerance Tierno Bokar Salif Tall, Diagne explores how Islamic thinkers have asked and answered such questions as, Does religion need philosophy? How can religion coexist with rationalism? What does it mean to interpret a religious narrative philosophically? What does it mean to be human and what are human beings’ responsibilities to nature? Is there such a thing as an “Islamic” state, or should Muslims reinvent political institutions that suit their own times? Diagne shows that philosophizing in Islam in its many forms throughout the centuries has meant a commitment to forward and open thinking. A remarkable history of philosophy in the Islamic world as well as a work of philosophy in its own right, this book seeks to contribute to the revival of a spirit of pluralism rooted in Muslim intellectual and spiritual traditions.

Author: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French, Columbia University
Speakers: Katherine Ewing, Professor of Religion, Columbia University; Nabeel Hamid, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; Christia Mercer, Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Click here to register. 

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Sep
20
5:00 PM17:00

BOOK LAUNCH | Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo

Please join us for a book launch and conversation with Dr. Seth Anziska (University College London) and Professor Rashid Khalidi.

Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo (Princeton University Press, 2018).
Based on newly declassified international sources, Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine.

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Sep
17
6:00 PM18:00

SHARIA WORKSHOP | Lena Salaymeh

Imperialist Feminism and Islamic Law

Lena Salaymeh is Associate Professor at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University, and currently a Visiting Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center, Princeton University. Her research concerns Islamic and Jewish jurisprudence in both historical and contemporary legal systems.

We will discuss Dr. Salaymeh’s precirculated paper. To receive a copy please email amb49@columbia.edu

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Sep
11
6:00 PM18:00

MENA FORUM | Diasporas in Transition: Islam, Gender and New Regimes of Governance

  • International Affairs Building, 1512 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

MENA Forum: Diasporas in Transition: Islam, Gender and New Regimes of Governance
Speaker: Kathryn Spellman Poots
Moderator: Lisa Anderson

The session will trace the emergence of ‘’Islam’’ and “Muslim” as politicized and securitized categories in Western Europe and USA. It will start by examining the rising prominence of “Muslim” self- and group-identification in relation to the integration of Islam and Muslim practices into Western states, both pre- and post-9/11. Drawing on ethnographic research on Shi’i Muslims in the UK, I will show how geopolitics in the ME, the “war on terror” and the fear of Muslim extremism in the West not only complicates the role of Islam in relation to Western states, but also transforms the relationship within and between Muslim communities. Instead of privileging the reproduction and integration of Islam in block form and as a fixed religion system I would argue for the need for empirical research that provides an understanding of the diverse ways that Muslim populations engage and respond to particular local, national and transnational social and political conditions.

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An Era of Restrictions & Bans: Collecting Oral Histories: A Professional Development Course for Teachers
Jul
20
to Jul 21

An Era of Restrictions & Bans: Collecting Oral Histories: A Professional Development Course for Teachers

In this Trumpian Era where Muslim Bans and discrimination against Muslims and immigrants is at the forefront of the current administration’s agenda, it is even more imperative to tell Muslim stories. This two-day intensive workshop will focus on how to collect oral histories, how to craft a hands-on oral history project for students, and why it is important to collect Muslim oral histories. 

Documenting memories, from which meaning can be preserved and drawn out, is at the heart of oral history. Everyday personal commentaries that escape our collective attention are recorded through well-designed recorded interviews. Recordings are then transcribed, summarized, or indexed and then archived or disseminated in various formats. The method of collecting oral history can easily be developed as a project for students in many grades, one which opens up ways of knowing (literacy, developing research skill sets, networking, publishing) from community members and the significance of documenting localized memories.

Guided by an anthropologist of education, Dr. Amina Tawasil, Lecturer of Anthropology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, participants will be go through every step and angle of developing and executing an oral history project.

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Decentering the State: Refugees, Migration, and Displacement: A Professional Development Course for Teachers
Jun
29
to Jun 30

Decentering the State: Refugees, Migration, and Displacement: A Professional Development Course for Teachers

As the Syrian Civil War enters its eighth year, images of refugees continue to flood the media. While diaspora, displacement and migration increasingly define the human experience they remain difficult subjects to engage with and teach. President Trump’s initiatives - to cancel DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Migrants), build a wall on the US/Mexico border, limit refugee resettlement programs, and ban travel from Muslim majority countries - make discussions about displacement and migration in the classroom imperative. In addition to a lack of comprehensive and accessible instructional materials on these subjects, there is also the need to advise educators on how they can hold space for discussions that might be difficult for students.

This intensive two-day course will cover: historical and contemporary cases of displacement and migration and how to create space in classrooms for difficult conversations and divergent opinions. The first day offers an examination of legal categories such as 'citizen,' 'displaced person,' and 'refugee,' the movement of people around the world and the related geopolitical conflicts and social concerns that charge these topics. The second day focuses on the tools needed to plan and execute lessons based on the content from day one. Led by specialists from Teachers College at Columbia University, participants will learn how to translate content and implement strategies to create open, welcoming and supportive learning environments for students in order to discuss topics that may be highly emotional and politically charged. 

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Restoring Iraq: Devastation, Displacement, and the Seeds of Recovery
Jun
4
6:30 PM18:30

Restoring Iraq: Devastation, Displacement, and the Seeds of Recovery

  • Google Campus, Autumn Tech Talk, 11th Floor (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

For many years, Iraq has been the scene of heart-rending destruction. As part of their mission to help war-torn communities conserve their treasured sites, World Monuments Fund has worked at Babylon since 2007, and included the al-Hadba’ Minaret, destroyed by ISIS in 2017, on their 2010 and 2018 World Monuments Watch. Now, together with Google Arts & Culture, they present Preserving Iraq’s Heritage, an online platform documenting iconic Iraqi sites. On the heels of an announcement by UNESCO and the United Arab Emirates to rebuild the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and al-Hadba’ Minaret, this panel brings us together to remember the devastation and consider what the future may hold for the cradle of civilization.

Helen Malko, Anthropological Archaeologist at Columbia University
Salam Al Kuntar, Assistant Professor at the Department of Classics of Rutgers University and a Consulting Scholar at the Penn Museum of the University of Pennsylvania
Chance Coughenour, Program Manager at Google Arts & Culture

The panel will be moderated by Arwa Damon, multiaward-winning Senior International Correspondent for CNN, with opening remarks by Laurent Gaveau, Head of Lab, Google Arts & Culture.

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New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF)
Apr
26
to Apr 27

New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF)

The Middle East Institute is proud to be a co-sponsor of the annual New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF), a showcase of contemporary feature, documentary, and short films by and about the Amazigh people of North Africa and in the diaspora. NYFAF's mission is to create a space where the filmmakers, artists, and scholars of indigenous Amazigh identity and culture can gather yearly to share their knowledge and enthusiasm while fostering dialogue with a diverse audience of students and thinkers gathered from across New York City and the world. Through pre- and post-screening Q & As, live performances, and exhibitions of art and artifacts, the New York Forum of Amazigh Film seeks to disseminate Amazigh cinema and promote an understanding of the unique history, culture, and language of Amazigh peoples in North Africa and in the diaspora.

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Apr
11
6:00 PM18:00

Documenting Capital: My Great-Grandfather's Archive

Sherene Seikaly, University of California, Santa Barbara
In conversation with Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University
Moderated by Brinkley Messick, Columbia University

Sherene Seikaly is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the editor of Arab Studies Journal, co-editor at the Journal of Palestine Studies, and founding co-editor of Jadaliyya. Her first book, Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine (2016) explores how Palestinian "men of capital" and British colonial officials in the Thirties and Forties forged ideas of economy, property and accumulation in relation to broader currents in modern Arab thought, and in response to wartime austerity. Professor Seikaly's work draws on diverse sources to illustrate how this under-studied group of thinkers sought to shape concepts of frugality, scarcity, law, the home and the body, territory and region, ultimately constituting modern notions of "social man" in Palestine.

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Apr
9
to Apr 11

Academic Freedom Week

Day 1 - April 9: On The Palestine Exception (with some thoughts concerning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Zionism in the academy) - RSVP here
Jasbir Puar (Rutgers), Joseph Massad (Columbia), and Gil Hochberg (UCLA/Columbia)
Monday, 9 April 2018 @ 7pm, Northwest Corner Building 501, Columbia University

Day 2 - April 10: White Supremacy in Academia (Teaching and learning in a racist country) - RSVP here
Johnny Eric Williams (Trinity College), Dorothy Kim (Vassar College), Jessie Daniels (CUNY) and Ted Thornhill (Florida Gulf Coast University)
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @6pm, Lehman Auditorium, 202 Altschul Hall at Barnard College

Day 3 - April 11: Academic Antifascism (Self-defense strategies in response to the Alt-Right) - RSVP here
George Ciccariello-Maher (Hemispheric Institute), Dana Cloud (Syracuse), Kayum Ahmed (Columbia) and Ozzie Monge (San Diego State)
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 @7pm, Location: 301 Pupin Hall, Columbia University

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Apr
6
9:00 AM09:00

Sites Of Religious Memory In An Age of Exodus: Western Mediterranean

This day-long event is the third of a three-piece series that focuses on the movement of people across and along the Mediterranean and the emergence, re-signification, and use of sites of memory. It is organized by Seth Kimmel and Naor Ben-Yehoyada. Bringing together a mix of panelists from the humanities and social sciences, the day will include work by the following scholars: Avi Astor (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Nina Zhiri (UC San Diego), Isolina Ballesteros (CUNY), Eric Calderwood (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Charles Hirschkind (UC Berkeley).

Please note that this event has required registration. Please visit the Eventbrite page here to register, and to look at the full schedule: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sites-of-religious-memory-in-an-age-of-exodus-western-mediterranean-tickets-44486264615 

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Apr
5
4:00 PM16:00

SHARIA WORKSHOP | Intisar Rabb

Islamic Legal Canons as Interpretive Precedent: The Curious Case of Bughaybigha, 661-882

Intisar A. Rabb is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. She also holds an appointment as a Professor of History at Harvard University and as Susan S. And Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

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Apr
2
6:30 PM18:30

FILM | Between Fences Film Screening + Q&A with Director Avi Mograbi

Film screening and Q&A with Avi Mograbi, director, and Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Profesor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literatures.

Introduction by Brinkley Messick, director of the Middle East Institute.

Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon meet African asylum-seekers in a detention facility in the middle of the Negev desert where they are confined by the state of Israel. What leads African refugees to leave everything behind and go towards the unknown? Why does Israel refuse to take into consideration the situation of the exiled, thrown onto the road by war, genocide and persecution? Can the Israelis working with the asylum seekers put themselves in the refugees' shoes?

You can watch the Q&A session here.

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Mar
27
6:00 PM18:00

FILM | Ghost Hunting

Ghost Hunting. A film by Raed Andoni.
Screening and Q&A with the director and Professor James Schamus.

Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room, Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University

Director Raed Andoni places a newspaper advertisement in Ramallah. He is looking for former inmates of the Moskobiya interrogation centre in Jerusalem. In his ad he asks that the men should also have experience as craftsmen, architects or actors. After a casting process that almost feels like role play, he arranges for a replica of the centre’s interrogation rooms and cells to be built to scale inside a hall – under close supervision from the former inmates and based on their memories. In this realistic setting the men subsequently re-enact their interrogations, discuss details about the prison, and express the humiliation they experienced during their detention. Using techniques that are reminiscent of the so-called ‘theatre of the oppressed’ they work together to dramatise their real-life experiences. Their reconstruction brings long repressed emotions and undealt with trauma to the fore. Working on the film takes its toll on the men – both physically and mentally. The director also appears in front of the camera; not only is he creating a stage for his protagonists, he is also coming to terms with his own fragmented memories of imprisonment in Moskobiya thirty years previously.

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Mar
27
4:30 PM16:30

MENA FORUM | Salam Fayyad in conversation with Safwan Masri

  • International Affairs Building 1501 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Views and Voices: The Contemporary Middle East and North Africa
In collaboration with Columbia Global Centers

Join SIPA's MENA Forum for a conversation with Salam Fayyad, economist and former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, on regional developments and the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Moderator: Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University.

Tuesday, March 27th @4:30PM
IAB 1501
Food will be provided

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Mar
26
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | On South-South Circulations, Histories, and Possibilities in The Arab World

Seven- years after the Arab uprisings seemingly shook the Arab nation-state order that was left behind in the wake of the end of formal British and French imperial presence in the region, the content and the form of that order has been both entrenched and reconfigured. In view of this, this discussion asks two interrelated questions that pertain to an understanding of these realities as they have come to impact Arab societies: first, what would a sociology of colonial critique as emanating from the Arab world entail today, and what would its relevance be to an understanding of the changed colonial and neocolonial realities of the region? Second, what would such a critique provide by way of a contemporary sociology of the Arab world and the Global South more broadly?

Anaheed Al-Hardan is the Arcapita Visiting Professor of Arab Studies at the Middle East Institute and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut. She is the author of Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Stathis Gourgouris from Columbia University will serve as interlocutor

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