Mar
26
7:00 PM19:00

PERFORMANCE & FESTIVAL | Nayruz Festival

Hosted by the School of International and Public Affairs Eurasia Group, the Nayruz Festival will celebrate the Nayruz/Persian New Year/Spring Equinox. A bazaar-style celebration with Central Asian/Middle Eastern food, traditional performances including bellydancing, and collaboration with professional dancers and musicians.

Tickets will be available for purchase (early bird $7 and regular $10).

Co-sponsors: SIPA Eurasia Group, SIPA Food Systems Group, SIPA MENA Forum, Harriman Institute, Columbia University Middle East Institute.

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Apr
19
to Apr 21

CONFERENCE | The Cultural Turn in Arabic Literary Production

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The Cultural Turn in Arabic Literary Production

April 19-21

A conference in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Journal of Arabic Literature. Full program details to follow. 

Organized by Muhsin al-Musawi (Columbia), Elizabeth Holt (Bard), Tarek El-Ariss (Dartmouth College), Nizar F. Hermes (University of Virginia) and Anna Ziajka-Stanton (Penn State University). 


Sponsored by the Middle East Institute; the Department of Middle Eastern; South Asian, and African Studies; Society of Fellows, Heyman Center; the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Center for Chinese Literature and Culture; University Seminars; Division of Humanities in the Arts and Sciences; Dartmouth College; Brill Academic Publishers; Dr. Aziz Shaibani/Arab-American Educational Foundation, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University.

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Apr
26
to Apr 27

WORKSHOP | Representations of Exile and Migration

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Columbia University Middle East Institute will be hosting a professional development workshop for teachers, grades 8-12.

This two-day course will provide a nuanced portrait of the experience of displacement and the figure of the migrant by focusing on literary, cinematographic, pedagogical, and theoretical materials.

To learn more, visit here.

Please email Simone with any questions at sr3429@columbia.edu.

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May
9
to May 10

FILM FESTIVAL | New York Forum of Amazigh Film

  • LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (map)
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The New York Forum of Amazigh Film will celebrate the 5th Annual Amazigh Film Festival exploring North African Identitites.

Sponsored by LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, LaGuardia Community College, International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva, and Columbia University Middle East Institute.

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Mar
14
12:00 PM12:00

TALK | What Are Iranians Dreaming about Today? Reflections on the Islamic Revolution at 40

Kian Tajbakhsh: Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Fellow, Committee on Global Thought

For more information, please visit the Committee on Global Thought website.

Sponsored by Columbia University Committee on Global Thought

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Feb
22
4:30 PM16:30

TALK | Iraqi Archives in Exile with Rebecca Abby Whiting

“Over the course of the Gulf Wars, vast caches of records were looted from the institutions of the Iraqi state and the Ba’th Party. The archives were shipped to the United States, in part due to the perceived value as evidence of state violence.

This presentation seeks to explore the ways in which displaced archives are engaged, and in particular archives associated with state brutality.”

Presented by Rebecca Abby Whiting, visiting PhD Candidate, Department of History at the University of Glasgow.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Muslim Societies and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.

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Feb
21
12:00 PM12:00

TALK | The 'Permanent Crisis' of Migration by Sea by Violeta Moreno-Lax

This lecture is organized as part of the course, ‘Mapping Maritime Frontiers in the Eastern Mediterranean’, at Columbia University taught by Nora Akawi and Naor Ben Yahoyada. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Studio-X Amman at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Columbia Global Centers | Amman, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the European Institute, and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.

Announcement:
”The ‘permanent crisis’ narrative employed by destination countries in Europe, North America, and Australia, has allowed them to structuralise ‘exceptional’ measures as part of their domestic apparatuses of border control in their war against irregular migration. This is particularly visible at sea, where ‘pull-backs’ by proxy, ‘privatized’ interdiction by merchant vessels, and instances of non-rescue challenge the core principles of international protection. Many have written on the erosion of non-refoulement in extraterritorial contexts, denouncing the difficulties facing ‘boat migrants’ in reaching safe haven. The extra-territoriality of the oceans, removed from the public eye, creates an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ effect favouring the excesses of power characteristic of Operation Sovereign Borders in Australia, the mare clausum approach followed by the EU, and the ‘wet foot / dry foot’ arbitrariness still guiding the US Caribbean interdiction programme. These initiatives have a well-documented negative impact on the rights of ‘boat migrants’ and fail to address the root causes of displacement. Instead, as several studies corroborate, they divert flows towards ever more perilous routes and contribute to the raise of death tolls. They entrench insecurity, fuelling not only the original causes of flight but creating new dangers impeding access to protection – if not denying plain survival. The question hence arises as for whether ‘policies based on deterrence, militarization and extraterritoriality’, denounced by UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard and others, ‘which implicitly or explicitly tolerate [and perpetuate] the risk of migrant deaths as part of an effective control of entry’ are compatible with international law.*  What is more, the point is to elucidate whether trapping migrants in a vicious circle of more control, more danger, and more displacement, where they can only rely on facilitators to escape life-threatening perils, does not per se amount to a form of ‘persecution’ in the sense of Article 1(A)2 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. This is the question this paper proposes to explore to determine the limits that international (refugee) law should be understood to impose on consolidating practices of ‘remote’ (yet violent) maritime border control that deter entry by endangering human life, whether purposely or inadvertently. The role of knowledge (rather than intent), the foreseeability of lethal consequences of policy measures, and due diligence obligations to protect physical integrity from irreversible harm will be examined in this framework. The final goal is to (re-)define the contours of what constitutes a legitimate exercise of sovereignty when managing maritime migration flows.

*Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Agnès Callamard, A/72/335 (2018), para 10 (emphasis added).


This lecture is organized as part of the course Mapping Maritime Frontiers in the Eastern Mediterranean at Columbia University, taught by Nora Akawi and Naor Ben-Yehoyada. The event is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Studio-X Amman at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Columbia Global Centers | Amman, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the European Institute, and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 


Click here to go to the Facebook event page.
All events are free and open to the public.”

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Feb
12
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | The Shahnameh: The Persian Epic as World Literature with Hamid Dabashi

  • Heyman Center for the Humanities, Second Floor (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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A panel discussion celebrating the recent work by Hamid Dabashi.

Sponsored by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Middle East Institute, The Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, as well as the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.

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Feb
11
6:00 PM18:00

TALK | Tankers, Tycoons, and the Making of Modern Regimes of Law, Labour, and Finance

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An evening talk with Lelah Khalili, Professor of Middle East Politics SOAS University of London, on the evolution of modern regimes.

Sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, Institute of Religion, Culture, and Public Life, The Racial Capitalism Working Group, Department of Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies, and the Middle East Institute.

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Feb
1
9:00 AM09:00

CONFERENCE | Turkey Today

  • International Affairs Building, Room 707 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Turkey Today, the 3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference

Organized by Columbia PhD students in collaboration with the Northeast Working Group on Turkish Studies

 9AM-10.45AM | Panel I: Gender and Generation
Discussant: Ceren Belge (Associate Professor of Political Science, Concordia University)

  • The Limits and Extent of Gender Reforms in the MENA: Experimental Evidence from Tunisia and Turkey | Tahir Kilavuz (University of Notre Dame) and Youssef Chouhoud (Christopher Newport University)

  • Gendered Influences of Labor Market Policies in Turkey – Elifcan Celebi (University of Cologne)

  • Millenials and Populism: Generational Dimension of Democratic Backsliding – Burcu Kolcak (Rutgers University) and Sevinc Ozturk (Rutgers University)

11:15AM-1PM | Panel II: Partisan Politics and Voting Behavior
Discussant: Lisel Hintz (Assistant Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies)

  • Expressive Partisanship in Turkey: Understanding the Content and Determinants of Partisan Identities | Melis Laebens (Yale University) and Aykut Ozturk (Syracuse University)

  • Informational Role of the Welfare State: Proximity to Healthcare and Votes | Serkant Adiguzel (Duke University), Asli Cansunar (University of Oxford), and Gozde Corekcioglu Ishakoglu (European University Institute)

  • Politics of Nostalgia and Populism: An Experimental Study | Ezgi Elci (Koc University)

2:15PM-4:15PM | Panel III: Democratic Backsliding 
Discussant: Jack Snyder (Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University)

  • Who Wants a Coup? A List Experiment of Turkey’s 2016 Coup Attempt | Sharan Grewal (Brookings Institution)

  • Democratic Backsliding in Hybrid Regimes over Time: Internal and External Factors Effect in Turkey and Montenegro Case | Can Zengin (Temple University)

  • Price of Liberal Democracy: The Role of Public Services in Democratic Backsliding | Serkant Adiguzel (Duke University)

  • Leaders, Media, and Regimes: The Logic of Media in Illiberal Regimes | Elizabeth Pertner (The George Washington University)

4:30PM-5:45PM | Keynote Address
Lisel Hintz (Assistant Professor of International Relations, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies)

 Sponsored by The Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies and The Middle East Institute at Columbia University.

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Jan
31
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | "Existence is Resistance: Carceral Capitalism in/an Palestine" with Jasbir Puar

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Jasbir Puar, Rutgers University professor, examines the production of mobility obstacles and restrictions in Palestine through the linked frames of disaster and carceral capitalism, highlighting the logistics of border crossings and movement in the West Bank in relation to disability rights frameworks.

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

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Jan
28
6:00 PM18:00

TALK | The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and Histor

In this groundbreaking book, leading Arab and Jewish intellectuals examine how and why the Holocaust and the Nakba are interlinked without blurring fundamental differences between them. While these two foundational tragedies are often discussed separately and in abstraction from the constitutive historical global contexts of nationalism and colonialism, The Holocaust and the Nakba explores the historical, political, and cultural intersections between them. The majority of the contributors argue that these intersections are embedded in cultural imaginations, colonial and asymmetrical power relations, realities, and structures. Focusing on them paves the way for a new political, historical, and moral grammar that enables a joint Arab-Jewish dwelling and supports historical reconciliation in Israel/Palestine.

With:
Gil Anidjar, Columbia University
Alon Confino, UMass Amherst
Amos Goldberg, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Raef Zreik, Tel Aviv University
Gil Hochberg, Columbia University (Panel Chair)

This event is cosponsored by the Department of Religion, the Middle East Institute, and the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies.

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Dec
5
4:15 PM16:15

BOOK TALK | Shari'a Scripts: A Historical Anthropology with Professor Brinkley Messick

  • Heyman Center for Humanities, 2nd Floor Common (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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Celebrating new books in the Arts & Sciences at Columbia University, the Heyman Center for the Humanities will host a roundtable discussion on Professor Messick’s book, Shari’a Scripts: A Historical Anthropology.

Speakers:
Brinkley Messick, Columbia University
Intisar Rabb, Harvard Law School
Gil Anidjar, Columbia University
Mashal Saif, Clemson University
Guy Burak, New York University
Islam Dayeh, Freie Universitat Berlin
Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University

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Dec
4
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | Ta'al Bachir (Come Tomorrow): The Politics of Waiting for Citizenship

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

Join the Columbia SIPA Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Forum for a Voices and Views Speaking Event: Ta'al Bachir (Come Tomorrow): The Politics of Waiting for Citizenship,  TUESDAY DECEMBER 4th, 6:10-7:30pm in Room IAB 1512 with guest speaker Dr. Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations at Boston University and author of the forthcoming book, Offshore Citizens: Permanent 'Temporary' Status in the Gulf.

Light snacks provided. Moderated by Professor Lisa Anderson.

POST EVENT OPPORTUNITY: Five Columbia University students are invited to attend a post-event intimate dinner conversation with the speaker immediately following the event. The first five students to contact Sarah Stone, MENA Communications Chair (sbs2181@columbia.edu) will receive a spot. Please include "12/4 MENA Dinner" as the subject. 

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Nov
30
3:00 PM15:00

TALK | Deliverance from Commitment: al-Ghazali’s Reconfiguration of Rationalism with Visiting Professor Benham Sadeghi

Deliverance from Commitment: al-Ghazali’s Reconfiguration of Rationalism

 

William Bartley’s The Retreat to Commitment outlines how Euro-American rationalist traditions have repeatedly faced identity crises when realizing that what they took to be knowledge did not live up to their standards of what counts as rational. Such an internal contradiction could be resolved in different ways: by upholding reason but rejecting beliefs/knowledge (rational skepticism), by having beliefs but rejecting reason (irrationalism, relativism, fideism), or — more significantly for rationalism — by upholding reason and the possibility of knowledge but relaxing the criteria of what counts as rational by no longer requiring that every proposition be justified by reason. In Bartley’s terminology, this is a shift from “pan-rationalism” to “critical rationalism.”

 

Professor Sadeghi argues that al-Ghazali’s Deliverance from Error represents the kind of shift Bartley described, from pan-rationalism to critical rationalism. As a scholar of Ash’ari kalam, al-Ghazali had been an exponent of the pan-rationalist meta-context governing kalamfalsafa, and Batini thought, which insisted that every proposition be justified by a sequence of logical inferences ultimately rooted in firm foundations. He experienced a crisis when he realized that his cherished beliefs could not be justified in this way. True to the pan-rationalist demand to believe only what is rationally justified, he privately gave up all belief. After two miserable months as a skeptic, an epiphany allowed him to have beliefs: namely, he gave up the requirement that all beliefs be justified by reason. Crucially, though, he did not thereby reject reason; rather, he became a critical rationalist. His faith in Islam was restored, and he set out to determine which approach to Islam is correct — kalamfalsafa, Isma’ilism, or Sufism. He argued for Sufism using a mixture of rational argumentation and rationally unjustified beliefs.

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Nov
28
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | NYU Arts & Sciences Everyday Magic in Iranian Modern Art

"SIAH ARMAJANI: EVERYDAY MAGIC IN IRANIAN MODERN ART" 

Clare Davies, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Part of the Silsila fall 2018 Lecture Series, Matters of Mediation/Bodies of Devotion

"On the way to south Tehran you passed by the main post office. Two or three 'scribes' would be seen sitting on the steps where people could hire them to write a personal letter to family, break a spell or write a special prayer for curing sickness. The scribes would also write letters of protection from Satan for travelers."--Siah Armajani, 2011

Siah Armajani's earliest works are collages of fabric and paper made while the artist was still a university student and political activist in 1950s Tehran. Drawing on the material culture of southern Tehran's historical bazaar, these works incorporated spells, prayers and talismans purchased from the post-office scribe alongside lines of poetry, political protest, and folk songs snatched from the radio, figures copied from the pages of Persian miniatures, information transcribed from family birth certificates and the wax seals of personal signet rings. This paper considers the relationship of religious and magical practices in Armajani's work to the broader political and social context of southern Tehran, as well as their enduring significance for Iranian artists in the 1960s and 70s.

RSVP here.

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Nov
27
6:10 PM18:10

TALK Whose Feminism? Critical Perspectives on Gender and Security Policy

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

Join student organizations at the School of International and Public Affairs on Tuesday, November 27 from 6:10 - 8:00 PM in IAB 1512 for a conversation with three distinguished panelists on the intersection of gender and security policy issues.

Panelists:
Lila Abu-Lughod
Nimmi Gowrinathan
Rafia Zakaria

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Nov
26
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | Egypt in Africa: Beyond Security Priorities & Economic Constraints

Presented by the Institute of African Studies, with guest, Rawia Tawfik from Cairo University and moderated by Abosede George from Columbia University.

After decades of the marginalization of Africa in its foreign policy priorities, Egypt seems to be making a strong comeback to the continent. Active presidential diplomacy under President Sisi has been combined with the restructuring of a number of institutions responsible for implementing Egypt’s Africa policy. This lecture explores whether this rising interest in Africa has been translated into a clear definition of a new Egyptian role in the continent.

For more information, visit ias.columbia.edu/events-upcoming

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Nov
14
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | NYU Arts & Sciences Presents Sensory Experience within Early Islamic Pilgrimage with Adam Burs

What sights, smells, sounds, and tastes did pilgrims to the Kaʿba, the Dome of the Rock, and other early Islamic sacred spaces experience? Drawing upon literary and material evidence, this paper will attempt to reconstruct some important sensorial—and especially olfactory—components of Islamic pilgrimage of the seventh and eighth centuries CE. Taking account of participants’ physical practices within sacred spaces, I suggest that these sensory experiences played a formative role for Muslims and for the Islamic identities they formed, both during the pilgrimage and afterwards.

Adam Bursi earned his PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University in 2015. He is currently a postdoctoral research fellow with the ERC-funded project SENSIS: The Senses of Islam at Utrecht University. His research studies early Islam in dialogue with other late antique religions, focusing on the ways that rituals related to relics, pilgrimage, and healing were tightly interwoven with the formation, self-understanding, and performance of communal membership among early Muslims.

Silsila: Center for Material Histories is an NYU center dedicated to material histories of the Islamicate world. Each semester we hold a thematic series of lectures and workshops, which are open to the public. Details of the Center can be found at: 
http://as.nyu.edu/content/nyu-as/as/research-centers/silsila.html

RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/yyQBlldfpzfkHkrb2

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Nov
12
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Imagining & Narrating Plague in the Ottoman World A conversation with Orhan Pamuk and Nükhet Varlık

  • Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, Pulitzer Hall, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Imagining & Narrating Plague in the Ottoman WorldA conversation with Orhan Pamuk and Nükhet Varlık

This event is sponsored by The Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies, The Columbia University School of the Arts, The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and The Department of History.

“Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk and award-winning plague historian Nükhet Varlık will have a conversation with historian A. Tunç Şen about how a novelist and a historian can imagine and recount past plagues. Pamuk and Varlık will share insights drawn from Ottoman plague episodes and discuss the challenges of relating these experiences in historical and fictional writing.

Orhan Pamuk is currently finishing his latest novel, Veba Geceleri, set on a plague-infested Ottoman island at the turn of the twentieth century. He is the Robert Yik-Fon Tam Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

Nükhet Varlık is the author of multiple award-winning Plague and Empire in the Early Modern Mediterranean World: The Ottoman Experience, 1347-1600. She is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark.

A. Tunç Şen is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and an Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University.


Join us for a discussion and Q&A with the writers.

Register for the event here.

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Nov
9
2:00 PM14:00

CONFERENCE | Migration Symposium: Beyond Representation

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

A space for inclusive, vibrant, and essential conversation about people on the move around the world. Featuring representatives from grassroots organizations across New York, UN agencies, media, culture, and academia.

Opening remarks by Ravi Ragbir, Immigrant Rights Activist and Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York.

Reception and Concert by Faraj Abyad and his Classical Arabic Music Ensemble to follow.

For more information, contact sipa.migration@columbia.edu.

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Nov
7
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Votive Bodies: Waz and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices

  • New York University Arts & Sciences (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

"Votive Bodies: Wax and Beyond in Medieval Mediterranean Devotional Practices”

Ittai Weinryb, Bard Graduate Center

Part of the Silsila fall 2018 Lecture Series, Matters of Mediation/Bodies of Devotion

The unique characteristics of wax and beeswax made the material a crucial participant in votive practices. By focusing on the material of wax, the lecture will outline the relations between, site, body, material and materiality in order to further exemplify the relations between devotees and divinities, between the here and hereafter in Christian devotion. 

Register here.

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