Conference

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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.

MIGRATION SYMPOSIUM LARGE.png
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SYMPOSIUM | What We CAN Do When There's Nothing To Be Done: Strategies for Change
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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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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CONFERENCE | Sites of Religious Memory in an Age of Exodus: the Eastern Mediterranean
Nov
17
9:00 AM09:00

CONFERENCE | Sites of Religious Memory in an Age of Exodus: the Eastern Mediterranean

This day-long event is the first 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. Bringing together a mix of panelists from the humanities and social sciences, the day will include work by the following scholars. Emrah Yildiz (Northwestern University) will present his work on “The Ways of Zainab: Ziyarat & Maqam,Visitation and the Shrine, in the Syrian Age of Exodus.” Faiz Ahmed (Brown University) will discuss “Indo-Afghans and Religious Memory in the Ottoman Mediterranean: Jaffa to Jerusalem, Tripoli to Istanbul.” Columbia’s Dimitrios Antoniouwill talk about “Memories of a Spatial Imagination: The Athens Mosque and the Politics of Sacrifice.” And Adnan A. Husain (Queen’s University) will speak about “Miraculous Commemorations: The Easter Fire at the Holy Sepulchre in Medieval Jerusalem. ”

Respondents will include Leyla Amzi-ErdogdularNaor Ben-Yehoyadaand Avinoam Shalem.

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A History of Difference: Piety and Space in Early Modern West Asia. Keynote Speakers Fatma Müge Göçek and Carl Ernst
May
4
9:00 AM09:00

A History of Difference: Piety and Space in Early Modern West Asia. Keynote Speakers Fatma Müge Göçek and Carl Ernst

This conference brings together scholars working broadly in Ottoman and Mughal pasts to converse, consult, and present what ways of thinking and doing difference are recoverable to us. This workshop will take as its objective a grounded history of difference narrated in diverse textual and visual cultures. We aim to incorporate venues beyond the legal—histories, hagiographies, travel accounts, visual and material culture—into the discussions of the contemporary.

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Iranian Intellectuals: Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects
Mar
24
to Mar 25

Iranian Intellectuals: Contemporary Challenges and Future Prospects

  • Butler Library Room 523 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Please join the Middle East Institute and leading Iranian intellectuals from around the country for a special two-day Persica Forum. This conference includes critical discussions of controversial topics centered on religious and secular thought among some leading Iranian intellectuals. 

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Categories in Trouble: The Politics of Identity in North Africa, 19th-20th Centuries
Oct
7
10:00 AM10:00

Categories in Trouble: The Politics of Identity in North Africa, 19th-20th Centuries

  • Columbia Maison Francaise, East Gallery (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Over the past two centuries, North Africa has been transformed by momentous economic and political change as well as mass migration. This one-day conference will address how these developments have shaped conceptions of population and territory and, in turn, personal and collective identities.

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The Politics of Life and Death
Apr
21
10:00 AM10:00

The Politics of Life and Death

  • Lecture Hall, Columbia Journalism School (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The symposium engages intersecting imaginaries and histories that impact Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Tamils. Complex modes of power and history structure conquest, appropriation, and occupation across shifting colonial, (post)colonial, and decolonial moments. Peoples and landscapes are witness to monumental partitions, erasures, and Nakbas (catastrophes), producing states of exception organized through securitization, majoritarianism, and militarism.

The symposium is concerned with issues of subjugation, minoritization, and racialization; and persistent efforts to articulate/silence truth and practice resistance, freedom, and self-determination. We draw on the efforts of native-local and allied intellectuals, activists, artists, and scholars of colonized peoples and geographies to decolonize knowledge and facilitate counter-memory.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

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Alternative Narratives of the Middle East
Oct
17
9:00 AM09:00

Alternative Narratives of the Middle East

  • Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


Times: 9am-12.30pm, 6-9pm

The Columbia Journalism School, in conjunction with the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, and the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, is hosting a mini-conference on covering alternate narratives of the Middle East.

The event will highlight best practices and offer guidance on covering the region in ways that move beyond the recurring conflict motifs to reveal the diversity and complexity of world views and lived experiences of those in the region.

The conference will be comprised of two morning panel discussions (9am-12:30pm) with journalists and journalism educators and an evening event (6-9pm) with a panel discussion and concert with celebrated Lebanese indie band, Mashrou' Leila.

Speakers (confirmed so far) include: Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Nina Ansary, Sheila Coronel, Nahed Eltantawy, Shahira Fahmy, Lonnie Isabel, Alia Malek, Souad Mekhennet.

Tickets for the Mashrou' Leila panel and discussion can be purchased here.

RSVP for the morning panels here

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Assia Djebar: Patterns of Resistance Conference
Oct
16
10:00 AM10:00

Assia Djebar: Patterns of Resistance Conference

  • Columbia Maison Francaise, 2nd Floor Buell Hall, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The death of the Algerian writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar in February 2015 represents the loss of a major voice of world literature and one of the last great literary representatives of the age of decolonization. For half a century, Djebar explored her country’s past and present in novels, essays and films that combine poignant lyricism with theoretical sophistication. Counter-narratives to official nationalism, her works highlight, above all, the experiences of Algerian women before, during and after colonialism. In this one-day conference an international group of leading scholars reflects on Djebar’s poetics and politics and the legacies of her writing in Algeria, France and beyond.

The conference will include three panels: Overtures and Departures; Memory and Mourning; and History and Fantasy; and a keynote address by Gayatri Spivak.

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

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Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies
Apr
24
to Apr 25

Radical Increments: Toward New Platforms of Engaging Iraqi Studies

  • 203 Butler Library, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

As the rift between theory and application in the field of Iraqi studies has grown over the past three decades for political, social, economic and security reasons, the Conference seeks to create an informed space to address major intellectual and political issues pertinent to Iraq in a manner that bears practical utility. To that end, the Conference will bring together a number of scholars and researchers in the field of Iraqi studies as well as Iraqi policy makers, journalists and novelists, with the hope that this platform will help modify, extend, or reposition existing frameworks of knowledge to allow for new possibilities of application and action.

Conference Co-Organizers:
Muhsin al-Musawi, Columbia University
Yasmeen Hanoosh, Portland State

For more details click here.

Register by emailing Joscelyn Shawn Ganjhara Jurich at jsj10@columbia.edu.

Sponsored by the Middle East Institute, the Middle East, South Asian and African Studies Department (MESAAS), Butler Library, and al-Shaybani Foundation.

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Teaching Religion: Pedagogy, Transmission, and Technology
Mar
27
8:00 AM08:00

Teaching Religion: Pedagogy, Transmission, and Technology

  • World Room (3rd Floor), Columbia School of Journalism (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Columbia University Religion Department Graduate Student Conference

Pedagogy, transmission, and technology transform the teaching of religion by shaping the movement of ideas. Often understood as distinct categories, pedagogy, transmission, and technology substantially overlap in discussions of how, why, and by what means religion is taught. By bringing to light both how religions themselves are so often pedagogical in nature and the ways the study of religion poses particular pedagogical problems, this conference aims to challenge popular modes of teaching religion. In this conference we will discuss fundamental questions of how religion can be studied and taught, how religious knowledge can be created and transmitted, and how new technologies enable new ways of imagining religion. By putting into conversation teachers of religion from both within and outside religious communities, this conference seeks to not only cultivate interdisciplinary conversation, but also transgress the boundaries between religion and its secular study.

For more information click here.

Sponsored by the Sponsored by the Department of Religion, the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, the Graduate Student Advisory Council, and the Middle East Institute. 

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Why Prayer? A Conference on New Directions in the Study of Prayer
Feb
6
to Feb 7

Why Prayer? A Conference on New Directions in the Study of Prayer

  • Italian Academy, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

What can the study of prayer tell us about social life, religious institutions and practices, ethical self-formation, and our concepts of communication, both shared and unique? The Social Science Research Council's Program on Religion and the Public Sphere announces Why Prayer?

A Conference on New Directions in the Study of Prayer, a two-day gathering that will showcase the work of over 30 scholars and journalists who have explored these questions and more.

Please join us February 6-7, 2015, for panels and presentations on topics including religious technologies, embodiment, material culture, language, politics, and the mind. Beginning Friday afternoon, the conference will also feature the Prayer Expo-a pop-up installation of multi-media presentations and material objects that call attention to the myriad representations of prayer shaping discourse and practice. On Saturday, two plenary events will highlight the multiple registers of engagement occasioned by new, transdisciplinary research on the practice of prayer.

Presented by the Social Science Research Council, Program on Religion and the Public Sphere, and the following Columbia University co-sponsors: the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL); the Middle East Institute; the department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS); and the departments Anthropology and Psychology.

For conference programs and detailed information visit the Social Science Research Council, Program on Religion and the Public Sphere.

REGISTER NOW

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The Concept of Authority in Muslim Societies: Political, Religious, Social and Literary
Sep
20
9:00 AM09:00
Mar
29
9:00 AM09:00

Hinge of the World: Connections, Networks, and Linkages in Inner Eurasia

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

Seventh Annual OASIES Graduate Student Conference.

The Harriman Institute and the Organization for the Advancement of Studies of Inner Eurasian Societies at Columbia University, Princeton University, and New York University are pleased to announce its 7th Annual OASIES Conference. 

Inner Eurasia has been and continues to be particularly fertile terrain for thinking through ideas of connections, networks, and linkages across culture, space, and time. The very language of connecting and linking, however, can inadvertently simplify the complex and mutually constituting qualities of interactions at the point of impact. While the popular concept of globalization, for example, often highlights the entangled nature of politics, history and society, its theorizations also open up possibilities for more thorough investigation into the different elements of these entanglements. In other words, a productive engagement with connections and networks must be coupled with a re-interrogation of the basic units of analysis that might otherwise be too easily presupposed. Bearing this in mind, this year's conference asks: in what ways can rethinking connections, networks, and linkages not only reconfigure but re-conceptualize the categories that structure our scholarship on Inner Eurasia? 

The conference considers Eurasia past and present, spanning from the Black Sea to Mongolia, from Siberia to South Asia. Stressing multi-disciplinarity, submissions are welcome from a variety of departments, programs, and centers, including but not limited to: Anthropology, Archeology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Fine Arts, History, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, Caucasian Studies, Central Asian Studies, Inner Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, the Middle East Institute, Mongolian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature, South Asian Studies, and Tibetan Studies. 

For a full program, please visit:http://harriman.columbia.edu/files/harriman/OASIES_Conference2014_Program.pdf 

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Feb
14
8:30 AM08:30

Unsettlement and Decolonization: New Directions

  • Heyman Center, Common Room, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Plenary Speakers:

  • Kevin Bruyneel (Politics, Babson College).

  • Jodi A. Byrd (English and American Indian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

  • Mark Rifkin (English and Women's and Gender Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro).

  • Dale Turner (Government and Native American Studies, Dartmouth College).

Respondents:

  • Elizabeth Povinelli (Columbia University); Audra Simpson (Columbia University).

Presenters:

  • Phanuel Antwi (St Mary's University), Hadeel Assali (Columbia University), Bruno Cornellier (University of Winnipeg), Melissa Forbis (SUNY Stonybrook), Shiri Pasternak (Columbia University), Mezna Qato (Columbia University). And featuring artist Stephen Paul Jackson (presenting as Stron Softi) and filmmaker Hadeel Assali presenting on their creative work.

http://icls.columbia.edu/events/page/unsettlement_and_decolonization_new_directions

This conference is organized by Dr. Michael R. Griffiths Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University and co-sponsored by Department of Anthropology, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Center for Palestine Studies, INTERACT Initiative, The Middle East Institute, and The Heyman Center for the Humanities. 

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May
17
to May 18

Late Imperial Epistemologies: A Eurasian Studies Workshop

  • 1219 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

A two-day conference with Anna Afanasyeva, Tarik Amar, Cemil Aydin, Richard Bulliet, Pey-Yi Chu, Alexander Cooley, Marwa Elshakry, Markus Friedrich, Emese Lafferton, Tong Lam, Eugenia Lean, Alan Mikhail, Peter Perdue, Christine Philliou, Ruth Rogaski, Jonathan Schlesinger, Steven Seegal, Natasha Wheatley, and Larry Wolff. 

For detailed information on the speakers CLICK HERE 

Free and open to the public

Sponsored by the Harriman Institute, the Middle East Institute, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Blinken European Institute.
 

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Phenomenology of Islamic Prayer
Apr
26
9:00 AM09:00

Phenomenology of Islamic Prayer

A conference led by Souleymane Bachir Diagne.

How and why was the commandment of prayer established? What is its significance in connection with the Prophet's Ascent (Mi'raj)? How should we comprehend the time ofprayer as different from the serial time of our works and days? How should we understand also the different times of the five prayers? 

For example the systematic grouping of zuhr and asr on the one hand, maghrib and isha on the other hand by Shi'i Muslims while such a grouping is exceptional among Sunni Muslims? What interpretations for the very gestures accomplished during a prayer? How do we decipher the signs that are written by the praying body? These are some of the questions that will be raised. 

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The Arab Revolts: Causes, Dynamics, Effects
Apr
13
9:30 AM09:30

The Arab Revolts: Causes, Dynamics, Effects

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS


Registration Required 

This conference will provide an analysis of causes, forms of political organization and mobilization, and challenges to authoritarian state structures across the Arab world. 

Opening Keynote: Rashid Khalidi, Columbia University

Panelists: 
Gilbert Achcar, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University
Asef Bayat, University of Illinois
Mona El-Ghobashy, Barnard College
Jason Brownlee, University of Texas at Austin
Gershon Shafir, University of California San Diego
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

Concluding Keynote: Khaled Hroub, Cambridge University

Cosponsors; Center for Palestine Studies, the Trans-Arab Research Institute, Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. 

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Expanding and Shrinking Areas of Liberty: Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Syria
Mar
29
2:00 PM14:00

Expanding and Shrinking Areas of Liberty: Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Syria

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

This conference will explore factors that have led to greater, or more restricted, liberties in countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the role of religious actors, international bodies like the UN, civil society, and developments since the Arab Spring. 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion (CDTR). 
 

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Golden Ages: Universal Histories and the Origins of Science - A two day conference
Dec
9
to Dec 10

Golden Ages: Universal Histories and the Origins of Science - A two day conference

  • Heyman Center for the Humanities Common Room (2nd Floor), Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets or registration necessary. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Photo ID required for entry. 

The idea of a Golden Age is as old as history itself. Many religious and dynastic communities of the past constructed visions of a prelapsarian world. Often times this was central to authorizing the very nature of their own knowledge-claims. This conference will feature Cemil Aydin, Deborah Coen, James Delbourgo, Marwa Elshakry, Cathy Gere, George Saliba, Steven Shapin, Pamela Smith, Geert Somsen, and others. 

Co-sponsored by Columbia University Seminar on the History of Philosophy and Science, Heyman Center for the Humanities, Department of History, Center for International History, Blinken European Institute and the Middle East Institute.

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Ibn'Arabi & Rumi: Teachings for the Modern World
Nov
4
to Nov 5

Ibn'Arabi & Rumi: Teachings for the Modern World

For more details, and to register please see: http://www.opencenter.org/ibn-arabi 

This conference will include international scholars, from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, on the works of mystics, Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi (Arabic) and Jalaluddin Rumi (Persian). The program will include lectures, workshops, a panel discussion, and poetry readings in the original languages of Arabic and Persian and their English translation. Speakers will include James W. Morris, Fatemeh Keshavarz, Michael Sells, Stephen Hirtenstein, Mahmud Kilic, Nargis Virani, and more, plus a special performance by renowned Turkish musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek. The evening concert (a separate event) will include performances by leading American poet - Coleman Barks, Grammy Award winner, David Darling, rock star - Salman Ahmad , and whirling Dervish, Sakina. Ibn 'Arabi and Rumi: Teachings for the Modern World.

A Rare New York Open Center Conference & Ibn Arabi Society.

Sponsored by The Middle East Institute and the Institute of African Studies.

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Muslim American Citizenship: A Decade Since 9/11
Oct
7
10:00 AM10:00

Muslim American Citizenship: A Decade Since 9/11

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

There has been little research or policy analysis about the ways Muslims in America engage politically and civically, and about how recent laws, policies and social pressures have affected their civic and political engagement. We are inviting scholars and policymakers to speak at this conference on this and other topics. We believe this conference is among the first to look at the Muslim American experience from the standpoint of rights, political participation and relations with the state. 

Co-sponsored by SIPA, CDTR, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), the Middle East Institute, and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. 
 

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