Happening at Columbia

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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
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
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
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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Nov
6
6:10 PM18:10

TALK | Changing the Middle East

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

Join SIPA's MENA Forum for a conversation with Nabil Fahmy, former Foreign Minister of Egypt. Fahmy made great strides as foreign minister and also served as the Egyptian Ambassador to the US and Japan. He founded the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo in 2009. We welcome you to join us as he discusses recent trends in the Middle East.

Moderated by Lisa Anderson.

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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
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
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

Organized by Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Middle Eastern Circle.

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.

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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
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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