Dec
12
5:30 pm17:30

The Bodies of Virgins and God's Will: Holy Women in Early Eastern Christianity

  • 302 Hamilton Hall, Columbia University

Valentina Calzolari Bouvier, Professor at the University of Geneva and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University will address the valorization of female virginity in Early Eastern Christianity. The violation of virgins, bodies considered Temples of God, was considered the desecration of a sacred space in some traditions. Prof. Calzolari will detail how the analogy of the virgin’s body as a sacred space contributed to certain historiographic accounts about the conversion of pagan peoples and their perceived rebirths as nations. 

Free and open to the public. 

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute.

Dec
5
12:30 pm12:30

The "Thorough Surveillance" Book Party

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University

Join the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute to celebrate the launch of Thorough Surveillance, the new book by Arcapita Visiting Professor in Arab Studies Ahmad Sa’di, on Israel's expertise in techniques of surveillance and political control. 

Israel has been successful in controlling a native population for a long time. Despite tremendous challenges, it has maintained a tight grip over a large Palestinian population in the territories it occupied in the 1967 war. 

We will also celebrate this year's publishing of works by several other Middle East Institute faculty members, including:

  • Nadia Abu-El Haj
  • Lila Abu-Lughod
  • Hamid Dabashi
  • Wael Hallaq
  • Rashid Khalidi
  • Timothy Mitchell

This event is sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies and Middle East Institute. 

Marwan Rechmaoui: Images, texts, and conversations
Dec
3
6:00 am06:00

Marwan Rechmaoui: Images, texts, and conversations

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University

Born in Beirut, Marwan Rechmaoui’s work focuses on urban dynamics, demographics and behaviors. He uses industrial materials such as concrete, rubber, tar and glass to create tactile works on a large scale, many of which focus on the histories of spatial violence in the Lebanese civil war. 

This event is brought to you by Studio @, a program curated by Rosalind C. Morris and sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. This event is also made possible by contributions from Alwan for the Arts and the Middle East Institute. 
 

Reflections on Iranian Cinema
Nov
22
6:30 pm18:30

Reflections on Iranian Cinema

  • Kevorkian Center for Middle Eastern Studies, New York University

A Presentation & Panel Discussion with: Hamid Naficy

Round-table Panelists: 
Hamid Dabashi (moderator) 
Negar Mottahedeh
Richard Peña
Farbod Honarpisheh

This is event is sponsored by Columbia University's School of the Arts (Film) and Middle East Institute, as well as NYU's Iranian Studies Initiative. 

Mediatic Public Diplomacy Iranian State, Iranian People, and the West
Nov
21
7:30 pm19:30

Mediatic Public Diplomacy Iranian State, Iranian People, and the West

  • Faculty House, Columbia University

Over the last thirty years, normal diplomatic relations between Iran and the West, particularly with the United States, have been curtailed. Much of the diplomacy has been either in deep secrecy or in plain sight, via the media. This talk focuses on the four-partner diplomatic dance through film and media by which the Iranian government, American government, Iranians at home, and Iranians in the diaspora engage with each other; illustrated with video clips. 

Please join us for a presentation by Hamid Naficy (Northwestern University) with respondent, Farbod Honarpisheh (Columbia University). 

This event is sponsored by Columbia University's Sites of Cinema and the Middle East Institute. 

Photography in the Spaces of Violence: Politics of Witness in Occupied Palestine and Libya
Nov
14
12:00 pm12:00

Photography in the Spaces of Violence: Politics of Witness in Occupied Palestine and Libya

  • Stabile Center Room, Columbia School of Journalism

Mohammad Al-Azza is a refugee from the village of Beit Jibreen. He was born and resides in Aida Refugee Camp. He is a documentarian and photographer, and he directs the Arts & Media Unit of Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp, Palestine. 

In this capacity, he helps youth to produce photography and video projects. His first documentary, Ali Wall, won the Global Jury Prize of the It Is Apartheid Film Contest (2010), and his documentary Everyday Nakba (2011) has been screened in numerous festivals and mobilized an international movement to improve access to clean water in Aida Refugee Camp and other Palestinian communities. His award-winning photography on media representation, refugee rights, and popular protest has exhibited in Palestine, France, and the United States, among other places. 

Diana Matar is a photographer based in London and New York. Her projects, which often incorporate testimony, text, or sound, focus on the interplay of history, memory and landscape. Her internationally award winning projects include those on political disappearance, immigration, veiled women, and the disappearing landscape of peripheral Cairo . 

She has been awarded the International Fund for Documentary Photography, the Deutsche Bank Award for Fine Art, an Individual Artist Grant by the British Arts Council and was nominated for the Prix Pictet Photography Award. Her work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London, and in over 15 countries. Earlier this year her work from Libya was published in the New Yorker Magazine. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections around the world. An installation of Matar's work from Libya will be exhibited in the Tate Modern exhibition, Photographers Responding to Conflict, in 2014. 

The discussion will be moderated by The New Yorker's Photo Editor, Elissa Curtis

The event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute, Center for Palestine Studies, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists' Association and SIPA's (IMAC) International Media, Advocacy and Communications specialization. 

Nov
14
11:30 am11:30

Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation

  • 313 Fayerweather Hall, Columbia University

During a special lecture, Professor Edhem Eldem of the Bogaziçi University history department will speak on the topic of "Osman Hamdi Bey's Genesis (1901): Symbolism, Emulation, Provocation." 

The lecture will be followed by lunch in the Faculty House. Please note that the price of lunch is $22.50. RSVP to aw2355@columbia.edu if you plan to attend, and specify whether or not you will stay for lunch. 

This event is sponsored by the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Seminar, the Department of History and the Middle East Institute. 

Nov
7
12:00 pm12:00

The Risks of Translation: Towards a History of Risk in Iran

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University

Philip Grant, is a research fellow in Social Studies of Finance at the University of Edinburgh in the UK. During this event, he will speak about the study of the concept of 'risk' and its import into Iran, which reveals much about the asymmetrical power dynamics and the political and ethical shifts of which the translation of concepts and techniques is an important part to a future study of finance in contemporary Iran, as well as to a reassessment of its history. 

In seeking an answer, then, to the question of why there is no Persian equivalent of English "risk", except for the loanword, we might point to the late development of insurance, finance, techniques of corporate management, and shareholder ownership in Iran, as well as to the more recent development of the ethics of individualized self-promotion and realization. However, in so doing we give the impression of a benign and inevitable modernity radiating out from its Euro-American heartlands. But translation, no more than economics and finance, is not a purely technical exercise; rather it is interwoven with and inseparable from key ethical and political questions. 

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute. 

Nov
6
6:30 pm18:30

Egypt in Transition: A talk and Q&A with Adel Iskandar and Mona El-Ghobashy

  • Lindsay Rogers Room, International Affairs Building (7th floor), Columbia University

Mona El-Ghobashy is an assistant professor in the political science department at Barnard College. Her research focuses on political mobilization in contemporary Egypt, and has appeared in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Report, American Behavioral Scientist, Boston Review, and edited volumes. She is working on a book project supported by the Carnegie Corporation, on Egyptian citizens' use of street protests and court petitions to reclaim their rights before and after the 2011 uprising. 

Adel Iskandar is a scholar of Arab studies whose research focuses on media and communication. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of several works includingAl-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism, Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation(University of California Press), and Mediating the Arab Uprisings (Tadween Publishing). Iskandar's work deals with media, identity and politics. He has lectured extensively on these topics at universities worldwide. His most recent publication isEgypt In Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution (AUC Press). A co-editor of the online publication Jadaliyya, Iskandar teaches at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Communication, Culture, and Technology program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. 

Copies of Adel Iskandar's recent book, Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution, will be available for purchase and signing. (cash only, please) 

This event is sponsored by the Middle East Institute. 

Fabrice Balanche: Minorities in the Syrian Crisis
Nov
6
12:00 pm12:00

Fabrice Balanche: Minorities in the Syrian Crisis

  • 754 Schermerhorn Extension, Columbia University

The slogan chanted in the demonstrations against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in spring 2011 was controversial: “The Alawites to the grave and Christians to Beirut.”

The Syrian opposition claimed that the authors of this slogan were members of the intelligence services who infiltrated the demonstrations. According to them, the purpose was to show the radicalism of the opposition, dominated by Salafists, to scare minorities and all those who wish to live in a secular Syria. Is it actually a manipulation of the system or a real aim of a part of the opposition? 

After two and a half years of fighting, a clear cleavage has emerged between minorities and the Sunni Arab majority in Syria. Does this foreshadow a partition of the country, and more generally the entire Middle East on ethno-religious criteria? 

Fabrice Balanche, Director of the Research Group in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Studies, will discuss sectarianism and community fragmentation in Syria and beyond. 

This event is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Alliance Program

Judith Butler & Cornel West in Conversation
Oct
30
7:00 pm19:00

Judith Butler & Cornel West in Conversation

  • Low Library Rotunda, Columbia University

Palestine & The Public Intellectual: Honoring Edward Said

Moderated by James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features & Professor of film, Columbia University

Introduction by Lila Abu Lughod, Director, Middle East Institute & Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

Doors open at 6pm. 

Registration Required. Seating is on a first come, first-seated basis. 

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) with the generous support of the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) and the Anthropology Department, as well as the Middle East Institute (MEI), Heyman Center for the Humanities, Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWAG), Center for International History (CIH), Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS). 
 

Life Again, Capturing resurrection after the Vazargan earthquake in Iran
Oct
24
6:00 pm18:00

Life Again, Capturing resurrection after the Vazargan earthquake in Iran

  • 4th Floor Atrium International Affairs Building, Columbia University

 Exhibit opening.

On August 11th, 2012, Iran's Azarbayjan province was hit by two earthquakes within eleven minutes. The quakes left some 306 dead and 3000 injured, primarily in the rural and mountainous areas to the northeast of Tabriz. In a series of part-staged, part-reality, photographer Hoda Rostami portrays a sense of hope and eagerness for a return of normal life. A story about the physical, social and psychological cost of natural disaster on daily life accompanies each photograph. Both the artist and Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University will present the images. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies Department

"The Law in These Parts" film screening and Q&A with director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Oct
23
4:20 pm16:20

"The Law in These Parts" film screening and Q&A with director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz

  • 102B Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School

Hosted by Professor Katherine Franke, Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. Q&A with the Director, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz to follow the screening. 

The Law in These Parts explores the four-decade-old Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories. Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 War, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the world. 

The Law in These Parts examines this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals, who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. 

This event is part of the Milbank Faculty-Student Intellectual Life Series. 

Sponsored by the Human Rights Institute and Middle East Institute. 

From Prison to Palace: Islamism and Inclusion in Tunisia
Oct
18
12:00 pm12:00

From Prison to Palace: Islamism and Inclusion in Tunisia

  • 207 Knox Hall, Columbia University

Discussant: Professor Al Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government and Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion

Comments by: Professor Karen Barkey, Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and Professor of Sociology and History

Monica L. Marks is a Rhodes Scholar and doctoral candidate at St. Antony's College, Oxford. Her work, which focuses primarily on Islamism, youth politics, and security reform in Tunisia, has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, and the Huffington Post, as well as academic publications. As lead Tunisia researcher for the Barcelona-based Institute for Integrated Transitions in 2012-2013, Ms. Marks drafted “Inside the Transition Bubble,” a report analyzing international technical assistance flows to four key sectors of Tunisia's transition. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Ms. Marks returned there to work as an instructor at Istanbul's Bogazici University in summer 2013. She is currently based in Tunisia, where she has also moonlighted as a freelance journalist for the New York Times. 

Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL) and the Middle East Institute. 

Soli Ozel on Gezi Park Protests - The Religious Dimension
Oct
15
12:00 pm12:00

Soli Ozel on Gezi Park Protests - The Religious Dimension

  • 754 Schermerhorn Extension, Columbia University

The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life welcomes Professor Soli Özel to speak on Tuesday, October 15th, at 12:15pm. He will be discuss religion and the recent Gezi Park protests in Turkey. 

Soli Özel is professor of International Relations and Political Science at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He has taught at U.C. Santa Cruz, SAIS, University of Washington, Hebrew University, and Bogazici University in Istanbul. Ozel's articles and opinion pieces appear in a wide variety of leading newspapers in Turkey and elsewhere around the world. Currently, he is a columnist for Haberturk newspaper, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post's “Post Global,” and the former editor of the Turkish edition of Foreign Policy. Most recently, he co-authored the report Rebuilding a Partnership: Turkish-American Relations For a New Era? with Dr. Suhnaz Yilmaz and Abdullah Akyuz. 

This event is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life and co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute. 

Syria From the Ground Up
Oct
9
7:00 pm19:00

Syria From the Ground Up

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University

Join us for a comprehensive panel as we unravel the complexities on the ground in Syria with Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Arnold Saltzman Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs; Michael Oppenheimer, Clinical Professor, Center for Global Affairs at NYU, Liam Stack, from the New York Times;Lara Setrakian, Executive Editor of Syria Deeply; Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. 

Sponsored by the International Media, Advocacy and Communication Specialization, UN Studies Program, Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy Concentration, Middle East Institute and Arab Students Association
 

"Our Harsh Logic" with Avner Gvaryahu
Oct
7
6:30 pm18:30

"Our Harsh Logic" with Avner Gvaryahu

  • 523 Butler Library, Columbia University

Avner Gvaryahu was born and raised in a religious Zionist family in central Israel. He joined the IDF as a paratrooper in 2004 and served as a sniper team sergeant in a special operations unit, mainly around Nablus and Jenin. After his discharge, Avner became involved with Breaking the Silence firstly as a researcher but later as Diaspora Activities Coordinator. Avner holds a Master of Social Work from Tel Aviv University and lives in Tel Aviv with his wife. Breaking The Silence was established in Jerusalem in 2004 by Israel Defense Forces veterans who have served since the beginning of the Second Intifada and have taken it on themselves to expose the public to the realities of everyday life in the occupied territories. They have collected over 800 testimonies to date. 

Israeli soldiers, the young men and women in the army, know the truth of the occupation better than anyone—they are the people who carry it out. Now, in a monumental book of collective testimony, Our Harsh Logic: Israeli Soldiers' Testimonies from the Occupied Territories, 2000-2010 the soldiers speak out and demand to be heard. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is still held by many to be "the most moral army in the world," and its actions in the Occupied Territories are—it claims—first and foremost aimed at protecting the country from terror. But the soldiers themselves tell a different story. Talking frankly about what they did, what they were told to do, and what they saw, these young Israelis draw a broad and powerful portrait of an ostensibly defensive military program that in fact serves an offensive agenda. As the soldiers show in vivid and immediate detail, even the key terms of IDF policy—"preventing terror," "separating populations," "preserving normal Palestinian life," and "law enforcement"— in fact mean precisely the opposite on the ground, spreading fear and subjugation, accelerating Jewish settlement and the acquisition of Palestinian land, crippling all political and social life, and ultimately thwarting any possibility of independence. Avner Gvaryahu of Breaking the Silence will discuss the book and the process of making it. 

Sponsored with the Columbia University Oral History MA Program, INCITE Middle East Institute.

Contemporary History and its Discontents: Memory Politics in Morocco
Oct
3
7:00 pm19:00

Contemporary History and its Discontents: Memory Politics in Morocco

  • Faculty House, Columbia University

With Sonja Hegasy, Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin.

Hegasy examines the interplay of state and non-state actors in the field of memory politics in Morocco and examines contemporary debates over the country's post-colonial history. To what extent do such debates reflect a “restless longing for better circumstances”? In particular, how has the landscape of cultural memory in Morocco been shaped over the last decade through print media, fierce conflicts over academic and archival territory, and new institutional initiatives born out of Morocco's 2004 national Equity and Reconciliation Commission? 

Click for directions http://bit.ly/16i9k68 

Sponsored by the University Seminar on Cultural Memory and the Middle East Institute.

Sep
25
6:15 pm18:15

The Sheltering Word

  • Heyman Center, Columbia University

Opening reception on Wednesday, September 25, 6:15 pm, Heyman Center.

Irini Gonou "The Sheltering Word" 
Art exhibition.
Map to the Heyman Center 

Sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, BEI, and the program in Hellenic Studies, Columbia University and the Middle East Institute.

Remembering Edward Said
Sep
23
7:00 pm19:00

Remembering Edward Said

  • Roone Arledge Cinema, Lerner Hall, Columbia University

On the tenth anniversary of the passing of Professor Edward Said, we invite you to join us as we reflect on his legacy. We will also screen excerpts from documentaries on Edward Said. IntroductionRashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies.

Jonathan Cole, John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University and Provost Emeritus of the University

Gauri Viswanathan, Class of 1933, Professor in the Humanities

Moustafa Bayoumi, Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Timothy Brennan, Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota

This event is free and open to the public. First come, first seated. 

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies with the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and the Middle East Institute. 

The Global Landscape of Mira Nair
Sep
17
6:30 pm18:30

The Global Landscape of Mira Nair

  • Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University

View on YouTube

Women Creating Change, a global initiative of the Center for the Study of Social Difference, is proud to invite you to a film screening and discussion, featuring acclaimed film director Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, and now, The Reluctant Fundamentalist). Nair will be in conversation with Mabel Wilson, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Anupama Rao, Barnard Department of History. 

Lila Abu-Lughod, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference will moderate. 

Click here for directions to Columbia University. 

Seating is limited. Priority will be given to attendees with Columbia University IDs. Overflow space is available in 114 and 115 Avery Hall, and in Brownie's Cafe. 

Sponsored by the Columbia University School of the Arts, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the South Asia Institute, the Middle East Institute, and the Heyman Center for the Humanities