Apr
20
3:30 PM15:30

Is Islamism a New Phenomenon? Religion and Politics in the Muslim World

Ousmane Kane

In recent decades, terms such as "Islamic fundamentalism," "Islamic activism," and "Islamic radicalism" have been used to describe the phenomenon of contemporary political Islam. Some observers have re-invented the term "Islamism," which has been used to mean Islam. Ousmane Kane will discuss several notions: that Islamism is a new phenomenon, that "Islamists" are primarily Salafi, and that Islamist movements are irrational and violent.

Ousmane Kane is an associate professor of international and public affairs at Columbia. He received his master's in Islamic studies at the Sorbonne nouvelle in 1985 and his Ph.D from Sciences Po, Paris, in 1993. He received fellowships from Yale, the University of London, Northwestern University, and the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin. He is the author of Muslim Modernity in Postcolonial Nigeria (2003), Intellectuels non europhones (2003), and Islam et islamisme au Sud du Sahara (with Jean-Louis Triaud, 1998).

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Apr
17
6:10 PM18:10

Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq

  • 417 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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An evening with Columbia University alumnus and New York Times Chief Military Correspondent Michael Gordon

Presented in cooperation with the SIPA International Security Policy Concentration and the student organizations Media and Communications in War and Peace and U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University.

Mr. Gordon will be speaking on the planning, buildup, and initial execution of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His new book, written with retired Marine Lt General Bernard Trainor, is well on its way to becoming the authoritative history of the lead-up to U.S. operations in Iraq. Who were the players and what were their views and decisions? How did plans translate into actions in the Area of Operations, and what were the results on the ground? Please join us for a very well informed analysis.

This event will be moderated by Robert George, Associate Editorial Page Editor at the New York Post and blogger (www.raggedthots.blogspot.com).

"Cobra II" will be available for purchase and Mr. Gordon will sign copies of his book.

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Apr
17
6:00 PM18:00

Some Key Development Policy Issues: A 2006 Perspective

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A special event featuring Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator and former Turkish Minister of Finance

Presented in cooperation with the SIPA Turkish Initiative and the International Economic Policy Concentration

Commentary by Lisa Anderson, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs, and Akbar Noman, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of International and Public Affairs

Kemal Dervis started as the new head of the United Nations Development Program on August 15, 2005. He is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, program and departments working on development issues.

Prior to his appointment with UNDP, Mr. Dervis was a member of the Turkish Parliament representing Istanbul (Nov 2002-June 2005) and was Minister for Economic Affairs and the Treasury (Mar 2001-Aug 2002) responsible for Turkey's recovery program after the devastating financial crisis that hit the country in February 2001.

He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and his Ph.D from Princeton University. From 1973 to 1977 he was a member of the economics faculties of the Middle East Technical University and then Princeton University. In 1977 he joined the World Bank, where he worked until he returned to Turkey in 2001.

The UNDP Administrator is the third highest ranking official in the United Nations System after the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General. He is appointed by the Secretary-General and confirmed by the General Assembly for a term of four years.

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Apr
13
3:30 PM15:30

Egyptian Judges and the 2005 Elections

Mona El-Ghobashy

Although Egyptian judges have been tasked with supervising elections since 1956, it was only in 2005 that they launched a concerted and high-profile mobilization for full and meaningful supervision. Why was 2005 different? And will all future Egyptian elections feature judicial collective action on the same scale as 2005? Mona El-Ghobashy will discuss the 2005 Egyptian elections, exploring the dynamic relationship between the judiciary, the executive, and the public at a time of political ferment in Egypt.

Mona El-Ghobashy is an instructor in the political science department at Columbia. Her work on Egyptian politics has been published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Transparency International's Global Corruption Report 2004. Her article "Egypt's Paradoxical Elections" appears in the spring 2006 issue of Middle East Report.

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Apr
12
7:30 PM19:30

Persepolis Recreated

  • 501 Schermherhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A special film screening
Presented in cooperation with the Columbia student group SAFAA

Please join us for a screening of "Persepolis Recreated," a documentary by Iranian filmmaker Farzin Rezaeian, which features extraordinary reconstructions of Persepolis, the most spectacular palace of ancient Achaemenid Iran, before it was destroyed by Alexander the Great’s conquering army more than two thousand years ago. The film includes commentary from renowned scholars from France, the United States and Iran, and has received wide acclaim throughout the United States and Europe.

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Apr
11
6:30 PM18:30

On Time, Culture, and Cities

  • 403 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A special screening of six short Turkish documentaries Presented in cooperation with the SIPA Turkish Initiative, Turkish Students Association, and the Light Millennium

This special screening will be an opportunity to all students and scholars as well as all interested people to see these short documentaries, representing diverse approaches in terms of concept and style, as well as to meet with the six Turkish guest producers and directors. They include Mustafa Ünlü (“The Old Town’s Newsmen”), Nurdan Arca (“Time Capsules”), Sehbal Senyurt (“The Adyghe: The Exodus of the Circassian People”), Murad Özdemir (“Tinkos Fish Tinkos”), Ersan Ocak (“Ankara – an experimental documtary”), and Ozgur E. Arik (“Ribat”). Entry is free of charge, and open to general public.

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Apr
11
12:30 PM12:30

Covering Iraq: How the News is Made

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A brown bag talk with Jane Arraf, Senior Baghdad Correspondent for CNN

Presented in cooperation with the SIPA International Media and Communication Concentration

Jane Arraf has seen Iraq through sanctions, crises, and the ongoing war. Her experience in the frontlines and interactions with soldiers and civilians from both sides provide her a valuable on-the-ground perspective.

Arraf will discuss the constraints of reporting from Iraq and how the gathering of information has changed since the war. She will comment on the implications of these media constraints on U.S. foreign policy and on public perception of the war, and will also touch on the ever-important and sometimes controversial relationship between the military and the media, as well as on the impact of the growing local media.

Jane Arraf is the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is currently on leave from CNN where she has been Baghdad Bureau Chief and Senior Baghdad Correspondent. Arraf joined CNN in 1998 as its first permanent Baghdad Baghdad Bureau Chief and was for several years the only Western correspondent based in Iraq. She has covered Iraq through crisis, sanctions, and the continuing war. She moved to Istanbul, Turkey as CNN Bureau Chief in 2001, returning to Baghdad as Bureau Chief in 2002.

Before joining CNN, Arraf worked as a reporter for Reuters Financial Television in Washington, D.C. where her assignments included covering the White House, Capitol Hill and the Treasury Department. She also served as Reuters Bureau Chief in Jordan from 1990 to 1993, and has worked as a Reuters correspondent in Montreal and Reuters correspondent/desk editor in New York and Washington D.C. Arraf reported extensively from Iraq for Reuters after the 1991 Gulf War. Other reporting assignments included India, Haiti and Bosnia. She studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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Apr
10
12:30 PM12:30

Iran, the U.S., and Israel: What Moves Ahmadinejad?

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A brown bag talk and discussion with David Menashiri

The Islamic regime in Iran since the Revolution has seen western influence as a major threat, viewing the U.S. as the "Great Satan" and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map. Although some lessening of hostility could be discerned under Khatami, moderate voices were frustrated with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, 2005.

What does the regime gain from Ahmedinejad’s radical statements? What is behind the Iran-U.S. talks over Iraq? What is Iran’s nuclear policy? Addressing these and other questions, David Menashiri will explore the ideologies and politics behind Iran’s attitudes toward the U.S. and Israel.

David Menashri is Director of the Center of Iranian Studies and the Parviz and Pouran Nazarian Chair for Modern Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. He has been a Fulbright scholar at Princeton and Cornell, and visiting scholar at the Universities of Chicago, Melbourne, Munich, and Waseda (Tokyo). In the late 1970s he spent two years conducting research in Iranian universities on the eve of the Islamic Revolution.

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Apr
6
1:00 PM13:00

Palestinian Anti-Colonial Cultural Nationalism

Bashir Abu-Manneh

 

Advancing the idea that Palestinian writers responded to the experiences of exile and dispossession by constructing an anticolonial humanism premised on notions of agency and struggle, equality and mutuality, and a conception of a just future, Bashir Abu-Manneh explores Palestinian culture in search of this humanist vision.

Bashir Abu-Manneh is assistant professor of English at Columbia. He received his doctorate from Oxford University and specializes in post-colonial theory. He is the author of the forthcoming article Towards Liberation: Michel Khleifi's Ma'loul and Canticle in Palestinian Cinema.

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Apr
5
7:00 PM19:00

An Evening with Farnoosh Moshiri

  • 628 Kent Hall, Columbia University (map)
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Presented in cooperation with the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures

Farnoosh Moshiri is an Iranian-born author. Her poems and short stories were published in several Iranian periodicals prior to her escape from Iran in 1983. Her novels include At the Wall of the Almighty, The Bathhouse, and Against Gravity. Among the many literary awards she has received are the Barthelme Memorial Fellowship, the Barbara Deming Fiction for Peace and Social Justice, two Black Heron Press Awards for Social Fiction, and the Valiente Award of Voices Breaking Boundaries.

Moshiri will be reading from her recently released novel Against Gravity (Penguin, 2005).

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Mar
30
1:00 PM13:00

Rediscovering Islamic Art: Calligraphy and the Miniature Tradition in Contemporary Pakistan

Kishwar Rizvi

Calligraphy and miniature painting have emerged in the past two decades in Pakistan as two sides of a polarized debate on authenticity. Kishwar Rizvi will explore the way in which young artists in Pakistan, and likewise in the Middle East, ‘construct' a history of Islamic art on their own terms by owning and critiquing their cultural heritage through calligraphy and the miniature.

Kishwar Rizvi is assistant professor of art history at Barnard College. She received her Ph.D in architecture from MIT, has taught at the College of the Holy Cross and Yale University, and focuses her research interests on architectural history, Islamic art, and Iranian studies.

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Mar
29
6:00 PM18:00

The Arab Human Development Report: How the Arab World is Rethinking its Own Development

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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The SIPA Economic and Political Development (EPD) Concentration and the Middle East Institute of Columbia University present:

A presentation by Ms. Nada Al-Nashif Chief of the Regional Programme Division at the
UNDP/Regional Bureau for Arab States.

Nada Al-Nashif was appointed Chief of the Regional Programme Division, Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP, in January 2005. She is responsible for six UNDP programmes in the Arab region, focusing on governance, trade and human development, quality assurance in education, information and communications technologies for development, HIV/AIDS, and the Arab Human Development Report series. Nada joined the Bureau Headquarters from the Lebanon Country Office where she held the position of Deputy Resident Representative since June 2000. Nada joined UNDP through the Management Training Programme in 1991 after she completed her Masters in Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She had earlier completed a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Balliol College, Oxford University, and worked in the private sector as an economic analyst.

 

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Mar
7
1:00 PM13:00

The 2006 Palestinian Elections: What Do the Results Mean?

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A special brown bag talk and discussion with;

Rashid Khalidi: Director of the Middle East Institute and Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University.

 

and

Sara Roy: Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University.

The recent Palestinian elections resulted in a decisive victory for Hamas, the political party that has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States, Europe, and Israel. In light of its electoral victory, will Hamas change its position on peace talks with Israel? Will Hamas be able to form a working government? What do the election results mean for Israeli-Palestinian relations, and for relations between the Palestinian Authority, the U.S., and Europe? Addressing these and other questions, Rashid Khalidi, Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute, and Sara Roy, Scholar in Residence at Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies, will probe the complexities underlying Palestinian politics and the implication of the 2006 elections for peacemaking, politics, and security in the Middle East.

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Mar
2
1:00 PM13:00

Hasaruf: The Burned Hoax and the State of Israeli Culture

Uri Cohen

 

Hasaruf (literally, "the burned") was a hoax that shook Israeli culture in 2000 when a neglected Ashkenazi singer garnered attention and fame by posing to be a Mizrahi cripple injured in a fire as a child. His painful "oriental" music was an immediate hit and he was featured on the cover of the widest-read Israeli weekly supplement. In analyzing the hoax, Uri Cohen examines some of the cultural complexities shaping the colonial question in Israel.

Uri Cohen is assistant professor of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia. He received his Ph.D from Hebrew University and specializes in modern Hebrew and Italian literature.

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Feb
23
1:00 PM13:00

Middle East Summer Language Study Programs

  • 1118 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A Middle East Institute brown bag student panel discussion

Are you interested in studying a Middle Eastern language over the summer? If so, bring your questions and come hear your fellow students share their experiences studying Middle East languages at programs in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Yemen, the United States, and more!

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Feb
22
6:00 PM18:00

Istanbul Tales

  • 403 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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The acclaimed 2005 Turkish film written by Umit Unal

Presented in cooperation with the SIPA Turkish Initiative

Istanbul is a metropolis spanning two continents, situated at the westernmost point of the East and the easternmost point of the West. It is here that the best-known fairytales of the West are enacted in the captivating film "Istanbul Tales," a movie consisting of five stories that bring to life fairytale characters in Istanbul. Everyday people happen to meet Little Red Riding Hood, the Pied Piper, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, and all tales are interconnected--a single murder, for example, can change the lives of not only the murderer and the victim, but those of many other people. The most insignificant and unconscious act can have awesome consequences.

Directed by five different Turkish directors, "Istanbul Tales" celebrates the allure of the city of Istanbul while reminding us that true fairytales are the same the world over.

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Feb
16
1:00 PM13:00

The Arab Literature of the Jews

Gil Anidjar

Between Arab and Jew, what is literature? The premises of literary history make it difficult to analyze literary traditions that transcend national, linguistic, religious, and generic boundaries. Although comparisons and relations between Hebrew and Arabic, between poetry and philosophy, have been examined by many scholars, attempts to map the larger boundaries that link, separate, and make sense of the rhetorical difficulties involved remain rare. Gil Anidjar will offer a sketch of what such a map might look like and provide elements of a solution, if not resolution.

Gil Anidjar is assistant professor of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia, specializing in comparative literature, Arab-Jewish relations, Hebrew and Jewish culture, and post-colonialism. He is the author of Our Place in Al-Andalus: Kabbalah, Philosophy, Literature in Arab Jewish Letters (2002) and, most recently, The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (2003)

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Feb
9
1:00 PM13:00

Why Does Europe Need Turkey in the EU?

David Cuthell

 

Formal accession talks for Turkey to join the European Union began in 2005, even as vocal segments of European society oppose Turkey's membership on cultural and political grounds. David Cuthell examines Turkey's bid to join the EU from a new perspective, focusing on key aspects of EU-Turkey relations often neglected in mainstream commentary, such as labor demographics, regional security, and European economic and trade policy.

David Cuthell is the Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct professor of history at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. He lived in Turkey during the 1950s and 1960s, attended Yale University, and received an MBA from Columbia. He worked on Wall Street for 20 years before returning to Columbia, where he completed his Ph.D in 2004.

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Feb
7
4:00 PM16:00

Turkey's EU Path: How Long is the Journey?

  • 1512 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Presented in cooperation with the SIPA Turkish Initiative

Featuring Dr. Soner Cagaptay
Director, Turkish Research Program
Washington Institute for Near East Policy

After intense negotiations and missed deadlines, Turkey has begun accession talks with the European Union--a milestone in its two-century quest to become a full-fledged member of the Western world. Dr. Cagaptay will analyze the dramatic transformation of Turkey under the ruling Justice and Development Party and comment on the unprecedented impediments on the path toward Turkey’s EU membership.

Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow and director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Turkish Research Program. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations and Turkish politics and nationalism, publishing in Middle East Quarterly, Middle Eastern Studies, and Nations and Nationalism. His commentaries have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and La Stampa, and he appears regularly on CNN, Fox News, NPR, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, and al-Hurra. He also serves as chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute.

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Feb
2
12:30 PM12:30

Jews and Arabs: The Shifting Boundaries of Kinship and Difference

Nadia Abu El-Haj

Different understandings and configurations of Jewish history, biology, and identity are at work in late-19th and early 20th century Jewish racial science, Israeli population genetics in the 1950s and 60s, and genetic anthropology today. Nadia Abu El-Haj will address an aspect of that work: who is a Jew at any moment in time, and what is the nature of kinship both within the (known) Jewish world and between Jews and non-Jewish populations, Arabs in particular, in these different scientific practices and social epochs.

Nadia Abu El-Haj is assistant professor of anthropology at Barnard College, with research interests in Israel/Palestine, the Jewish Diaspora, science, colonialism, nationalism, and contemporary practices of identity. She received her Ph.D from Duke University and taught at the University of Chicago before moving to Columbia. Among her many publications is Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (2001).

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Jan
26
12:30 PM12:30

Islam and Modernity in China: Between Imperialism and Nationalism

Zvi Ben-Dor

Focusing on the history of Islam and China in the twentieth century, Zvi Ben-Dor will discuss the complicated relationship between Chinese Muslims and the emerging Chinese nation, the Japanese empire, and the Islamic world. He will also address the question of what it means to be a Muslim minority in a non-Islamic Asian country in the modern period.

Zvi Ben-Dor is Assistant Professor of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, and is currently a Remarque Institute Fellow. He received his Ph.D from UCLA and has taught at Boston University, Rutgers University, and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The author of numerous articles on Muslims in China, his most recent publication is The Dao of Muhammad: A Cultural History of Muslims in Late Imperial China.

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