TALK | Beyond Fighting ISIS: Gender, Conflict & Nationalism
Nov
20
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Beyond Fighting ISIS: Gender, Conflict & Nationalism

This talk aims to move beyond simplistic and often celebratory accounts of Kurdish women fighters resisting ISIS in Syria and Iraq by exploring underlying ideological and political underpinnings. We illustrate the dialectical relationship between the writings of the political leader (Öcalan), and the resistance to male hegemony within the movement on behalf of Kurdish women activists. We interrogate the long-term prospect of radical gender equality and justice in a context of escalating conflict, militarization and the prevalence of conservative gender norms and relations, particularly pertaining to sexuality.

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WORKSHOP | Sharīʿa Workshop with Robert Gleave
Dec
4
6:00 PM18:00

WORKSHOP | Sharīʿa Workshop with Robert Gleave

Rob Gleave is Professor of Arabic Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI), IAIS, University of Exeter Gleave is currently Principal Investigator of 2 major projects: Understanding Shari’a: Past Present Imperfect Present (www.usppip.eu) and Law and Learning in Imami Shi’ite Islam (LAWALISI). We will discuss his precirculated paper. To receive a copy, contact amb49@columbia.edu. 

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TALK | Intervention: An Eastern Mediterranean genealogy
Nov
10
9:30 AM09:30

TALK | Intervention: An Eastern Mediterranean genealogy

The times in which we live are rife with interventions - humanitarian, financial, and political - into the inner affairs of sovereign states. Deep incisions into the body politic, they injure even as they seek to heal, upturning conventional understandings of the state as an autonomous entity by inserting foreign elements beneath its skin. This paper sketches out a genealogy for these practices, tracing them back to the nineteenth-century Mediterranean and the particular sovereign arrangements born of the Ottoman empire’s unhappy encounter with Britain and France. From the 1830s onwards, it argues, these two states devised novel ways of organising population, territory, and debt and new understandings of sovereignty.

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TALK | The Discovery of Ancient Carthage and the Reception of Antiquity in 19th Century Tunisia
Oct
31
1:30 PM13:30

TALK | The Discovery of Ancient Carthage and the Reception of Antiquity in 19th Century Tunisia

In Tunis, the first collections of antiquities were established in the 18th - 19th centuries. European Consuls, foreign scholars, and international traders acquired most of the archaeological remains then available from the ancient city of Carthage. Whether growing out of their personal taste, commercial considerations, or a desire for cultural distinction, they enriched the collections of major European museums. This collecting practice was not limited to foreigners, but also touched the local ruling class.

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Oct
31
12:00 PM12:00

BOOK TALK | Democratic Transition and the Rise of Populist Majoritarianism: Constitutional Reform in Greece and Turkey

October 31st from 12-2PM Knox Hall Room 207 Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University, Turkey,  will be discussing his new book, "Democratic Transition and the Rise of Populist Majoritarianism: Constitutional Reform in Greece and Turkey".  This comparative study explores the impact of populist majoritarianism on Greek and Turkish democratic transition. Using the case studies of Greece and Turkey, the author argues that while majoritarianism is often celebrated as a manifestation of popular sovereignty, it can undermine institutional performance. In cases of transition states where social capital is scarce and polarization is high, it can even upset the process of democratic consolidation, contributing to a confrontational and inefficient democratic regime. A “mild democracy” would require a calibrated system of checks and balances, trust- and consensus-building mechanisms. This book will be of use to students and scholars interested in the fields of Greek and Turkish politics, law and democratization.    http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319575551 Special offer - get 20% of the print book or ebook! Use code Grigoriadis17 on palgrave.com Valid 31/10/17 - 31/12/17

October 31st from 12-2PM
Knox Hall Room 207


Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, Associate Professor and Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University, Turkey,  will be discussing his new book, "Democratic Transition and the Rise of Populist Majoritarianism: Constitutional Reform in Greece and Turkey". 

This comparative study explores the impact of populist majoritarianism on Greek and Turkish democratic transition. Using the case studies of Greece and Turkey, the author argues that while majoritarianism is often celebrated as a manifestation of popular sovereignty, it can undermine institutional performance. In cases of transition states where social capital is scarce and polarization is high, it can even upset the process of democratic consolidation, contributing to a confrontational and inefficient democratic regime. A “mild democracy” would require a calibrated system of checks and balances, trust- and consensus-building mechanisms. This book will be of use to students and scholars interested in the fields of Greek and Turkish politics, law and democratization. 
 

http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319575551

Special offer - get 20% of the print book or ebook! Use code Grigoriadis17 on palgrave.com Valid 31/10/17 - 31/12/17

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Oct
30
12:30 PM12:30

TALK | New Frames for the Bey of Tunis: Creating an Official Art in the Age of the Great Reforms (1830-1881)

Located in the center of the Mediterranean, far from the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul, Tunisia experienced an important transformation during the 19th century. Starting in the reign of Ahmad Bey (1837-1853) the period ended, after the gradual disintegration of the Tunisian State, with the installation of the French Protectorate in 1881. It remains a decisive moment of great political, intellectual and social progress for the kingdom of Tunisia under the rule of the Husainid monarchy, against a background of realignment in the Mediterranean Basin. During this complex period of European Imperial expansion, Tunisia undertook the modernization of its state through a series of reforms, which saw the country assume its autonomy and equip itself with an enduring framework. From the Art perspective, this same period was particularly fascinating with the coexistence of Ottoman, local and European Art, appreciated by a new cosmopolitan ruling class who asserted their power through the collection, particularly through the art of portrait, which was becoming very popular and marked a new form of power in Tunisia.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Ridha Moumni read Art History and Archaeology in Paris, at La Sorbonne University, where he earned his Ph. D. He researches classical, modern and contemporary art from a global and transnational perspective, with emphasis on questions of collecting practice and intellectual history. Winner of several prizes he was the first Tunisian Fellow at the French Academy in Rome (Villa Medici). Curator of exhibitions of photography and modern art, he recently organized with the Rambourg Foundation The Awakening of a Nation: Art at the Dawn of Modern Tunisia (1837-1881) to commemorate the 60th birthday of the National Independency. Dr. Moumni is currently head of project of the creation of the Qsar es-Saïd Art Museum, the future museum of Ottoman era in Tunisia.

Introductions by: Brinkley M. Messick
Event Location: Knox Hall, 606 W. 122 St., New York, NY Room 207
Sponsors: Middle East Institute and Columbia Global Centers

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BOOK TALK | Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History
Oct
24
5:30 PM17:30

BOOK TALK | Family Life in the Ottoman Mediterranean: A Social History

In writings about Islam, women and modernity in the Middle East, family and religion are frequently invoked but rarely historicized. Based on a wide range of local sources spanning two centuries (1660-1860), Beshara Doumani argues that there is no such thing as a typical Muslim or Arab family type that is so central to Orientalist, nationalist, and Islamist political imaginations. Rather, one finds dramatic regional differences, even within the same cultural zone, in the ways that family was understood, organized, and reproduced. In his comparative examination of the property devolution strategies and gender regimes in the context of local political economies, Doumani offers a groundbreaking examination of the stories and priorities of ordinary people and how they shaped the making of the modern Middle East.

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BOOK TALK | Arab Patriotism – The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt
Oct
18
4:00 PM16:00

BOOK TALK | Arab Patriotism – The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt

Arab Patriotism: The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017) challenges the received narrative that Arabism in general and Egyptian territorial nationalism in particular emerged in opposition to the Ottoman and British Empires and primarily from below. The author argues instead that early Arabic nationalist culture was produced in dialogue with the localized Ottoman power by educated Arabs who integrated Muslim and European cultural forms in their search for political inclusion and patronage.

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Sep
28
6:00 PM18:00

TALK | The Italian and Mediterranean Colloquium with Simone Brioni

Simone Brioni's paper analyses to what extent Deleuze and Guattari’s definition of the three main features of ‘minor literature’ – namely ‘the deterritorialization of language, the connection of the individual to a political immediacy, and the collective assemblage of enunciation’ – are relevant in analyzing literature by authors of Somali origins in Italian.

Because of Deleuze and Guattari’s abstract reference to gender and race issues and their vague concern for the geographical, linguistic and cultural specificities of literatures by minor authors, she will argue that ‘minor literature’ should not be seen as a rigid framework to be applied in interpreting a specific case study, although its theoretical flexibility might be useful when investigating a literature that strongly refuse categorization. In particular, Deleuze and Guattari’s reference to ‘minor’ ‘literature as a literature ‘in becoming’ helps to identify the position of Somali Italian literature in a transnational context, proposing some changes in how 'Italian' literature has been conceptualized so far.

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SCREENING | Looted and Hidden Palestinian Archives in Israel
Sep
27
5:30 PM17:30

SCREENING | Looted and Hidden Palestinian Archives in Israel

The film Looted and Hidden focuses on a number of groundbreaking institutions that were plundered: The Palestine Research Center, the Palestinian Cinema Institution (PCI) and the Cultural Arts Center (CAS) of the PLO. These bodies were among the first to document Palestinian existence and to preserve, research and chart the visual and written Palestinian history from the late 1960s onward. Looted and Hidden , the first film devoted to the subject, follows pioneering, bold, and idealistic creators and directors and the archives they built, focusing mainly on the cinematic enterprise created by the CAS and PCI. Tracing their pillaging, administration and control by Israel - looting, censorship, denial of access, and erasure - the film raises questions about archival institutions in areas of conflict and points, as in detective work, to the need to dig into the invisible and hidden in order to reveal what has been erased or rewritten.

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TALK | The Mediterranean Incarnate
Sep
14
6:15 PM18:15

TALK | The Mediterranean Incarnate

In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters.

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TALK | Muslim Women and the "Right to Choose Freely"
Sep
13
6:30 PM18:30

TALK | Muslim Women and the "Right to Choose Freely"

What can we learn from public debates about Muslim women that hinge on a right—the “right to choose freely”—that has been enshrined in international feminist conventions and that animates the popular American and European imagination about such practices as veiling and arranged marriage? As an anthropologist, Professor Abu-Lughod will look to the everyday lives of young women in one Egyptian village to teach us a different way to think about choice and also to expose the politics of common fantasies about this "right."

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