A Public Conversation With: Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
May
2
6:00 PM18:00

A Public Conversation With: Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

  • 407 Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Featuring Author Mahmoud Dowlatabadi to discuss his latest publication The Colonel: A Novel

Moderated by Prof Hamid Dabashi

Sponsorship provided by the Iranian Studies Initiative, New York University and the Middle East Institute
http://www.isi-nyu.org/isi-nyu/isi/2012/04/a-public-conversation-with-mahmoud-dowlatabadi.html

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"This is Where We Take Our Stand" Film Screening and Q&A
Apr
23
7:30 PM19:30

"This is Where We Take Our Stand" Film Screening and Q&A

  • 501 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University (map)
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"This is Where We Take Our Stand" is the story of fifty five courageous veterans who publicly told their accounts of the realities they witnessed on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. In March of 2008, two hundred and fifty veterans and active-duty soldiers marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by gathering in Washington, DC, to testify from their own experience about the nature of the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was chilling, horrifying, and challenging for all who witnessed it. 

Against tremendous odds, they brought the voices of the veterans themselves into the debate. "This is Where We Take Our Stand" is the inside story of those three days and the courageous men and women who testified-a story that's as important to tell today as ever. 

Please watch the trailer here: http://thisiswherewetakeourstand.com 

The Q&A will feature Jose Vasquez and Jason Lemieux. 

Jose Vasquez is the Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He served fourteen years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 2007 as a conscientious objector. Jose was a key organizer of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations and represented IVAW in the editing process for the book published by Haymarket. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at CUNY Graduate Center conducting research on the politics of veteran status in contemporary American society. 

Jason Lemieux testified at the Winter Soldier Hearings. He served three tours in Iraq with Third Battalion, Seventh Marines. Lemieux is a Masters Candidate at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Human Rights Working Group.

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Turkish Diplomacy Within the Framework of the UN in the 21st Century
Apr
17
1:00 PM13:00

Turkish Diplomacy Within the Framework of the UN in the 21st Century

  • 1219 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan
Moderated by Professor David Cuthell

Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan will discuss Turkey's increasingly assertive role in international affairs, including its recent experience in the Security Council. 

Ambassador Apakan has been the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations since August 2009. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Apakan served as the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey from December 2006 until August 2009, as Deputy Under-Secretary for Bilateral Political Affairs from 2004 to 2006, and as the Ambassador of Turkey to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from 1996 and 2000. 

A light Turkish lunch will be served. 

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Bahrain: An Eyewitness Account of an Ongoing Revolution
Apr
16
7:30 PM19:30

Bahrain: An Eyewitness Account of an Ongoing Revolution

  • 501 Northwest Corner Building, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Radhika Sainath
Moderated by Professor Hossein Kamaly

Sponsored by the Middle East Institute and American Council for Freedom in Bahrain.

Over the past year, tens of thousands of Bahrainis, inspired by the Arab Spring movements in Tunisia and Egypt, have taken to the streets in an attempt to win democracy and respect for their human rights. The regime responded by killing over 80 people, detaining thousands and beginning a campaign of retribution against anyone supporting or participating in protest. Radhika Sainath, a civil rights attorney, was able to gain entry and will discuss her experience and document the regime's epression of democracy activists. 

Radhika is a human rights activist with experience in conflict zones and has supported democracy movements in Mexico, Pakistan, Palestine and the Philippines.

Co-sponsors include: 
Witness Bahrain, Campaign for Peace & Democracy, Global Justice Working Group at Occupy Wall Street, Coalition to Defend the Egyptian Revolution

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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)
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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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Turkey, the United States and Canada: Security, Commercial and Cultural Opportunities for the Next Decade
Apr
4
to Apr 5

Turkey, the United States and Canada: Security, Commercial and Cultural Opportunities for the Next Decade

  • 1219 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A Talk by M. Levent Bilgen, Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey
Moderated by Professor David Cuthell.

Turkish Diplomacy as well as the Turkish economy have gone from relative obscurity to daily coverage in the media and the general public. Recent high profile coverage of the Turkish role in mediating the Syrian uprising and Turkish leadership of the ISAF forces in Afghanistan is well known. What is less well understood is the growing Turkish diplomatic and business engagement with both the United States and Canada. Consul General Levent Bilgen has served both in Toronto and New York and will offer his perspectives on both of these topics. 

Co-sponsors: Middle East Institute and the Turkish Initiative
 

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The Poetics of Dissent in Modern Egyptian Literature
Mar
29
6:30 PM18:30

The Poetics of Dissent in Modern Egyptian Literature

  • 207 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Noha Radwan, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at UC Davis
Moderated by Professor Joseph Massad, Columbia University

Did Egyptian Literature play a role in creating or fostering dissent, protest, and revolutionary fervor among the Egyptian public? Professor Radwan explores the answers to this question through an analysis of both fiction and poetry and the poetics of countering the dominant discourse during the last few decades. 

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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)
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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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Hamas: From Resistance to Government
Mar
22
12:30 PM12:30

Hamas: From Resistance to Government

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Paola Caridi, Italian journalist
Moderated by Professor Brinkley Messick
 

Hamas; From Resistance to Government is a comprehensive history of the Palestinian Islamist movement and combines news analysis with interviews of residents of Gaza to paint an incisive and multi-layered portrait of this still largely clandestine organization. Caridi steers clear of sensationalist reporting of the 2006 elections that brought Hamas to power, and instead looks at the history of this war-torn region and analyzes the circumstances that led a secular people to elect a radical Islamist group and the larger effects that its had on the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

Paola Caridi has been living in the Middle East and Jerusalem since 2001, as the MENA region reporter for the Italian news agency Lettera22. 
 

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A Climate for Abduction, A Climate for Redemption: Armenian Women and Their Children During and Immediately After the Genocide
Mar
21
6:30 PM18:30

A Climate for Abduction, A Climate for Redemption: Armenian Women and Their Children During and Immediately After the Genocide

  • 207 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Lerna Ekmekcioglu, Assistant Professor of History, McMillan-Stewart Career Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The talk will focus on the forcible incorporation of Armenians into Muslim households and orphanages during World War I, and post-war Armenian attempts to rescue the kidnapped. The speaker argues that this effort remained extremely inclusive whereby rape victims, former concubines and wives, as well as their (technically) Muslim children, were treated as full-fledged Armenians. 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute, the Armenian Center at Columbia University, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). 

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Slavery, Manumission, and the British Policy in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea in the 1930s
Mar
21
12:30 PM12:30

Slavery, Manumission, and the British Policy in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea in the 1930s

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Jerzy Zdanowski, Professor in Middle East Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw
Moderated by Professor Lawrence Potter

This talk will cover the engagement of the British authorities in suppressing the slave trade and the resultant eradication of slavery in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea throughout the first half of the twentieth century, which combined both diplomatic and military measures. 

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Turkey's Path to the European Union: Open Road or Cul de Sac?
Mar
1
12:30 PM12:30

Turkey's Path to the European Union: Open Road or Cul de Sac?

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by David Cuthell, Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University 
and Riccardo Serri, EU Foreign Service and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University 

In October 2005 the Republic of Turkey embarked on Accession Negotiations with the European Union. More than six years on, the process has all but stalled. By contrast, Croatia started negotiations on the same date, and is now slated to join in 2013. For Turkey, much remains to be accomplished and there was no tangible progress last year. This lecture will discuss what went wrong in the process, and whether Turkey is still on the path to joining the EU. 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Blinken European Institute. 

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Pious Citizens: Modernizing Zoroastrianism in India and Iran
Feb
23
1:15 PM13:15

Pious Citizens: Modernizing Zoroastrianism in India and Iran

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A talk by Monica Ringer, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies, Amherst College
Moderated by Professor Allison Busch

Ringer tells the story of a major intellectual revolution in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century India and Iran, one that radically transforms the role of religion in society. Ringer demonstrates how rational and enlightened religion, characterized by social responsibility and the interiorization of piety, was understood as essential for the development of modern individuals, citizens, new public space, national identity, and secularism. 

Monica Ringer is co-editor of Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East. She teaches Middle Eastern history at Amherst College

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the South Asia Institute. 

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Democratization in Turkey: Prospects and Challenges
Feb
21
12:30 PM12:30

Democratization in Turkey: Prospects and Challenges

  • Heyman Center Common Room, Columbia University (map)
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A talk with Nicole Pope, Author of Turkey Unveiled and Honor Killings in the 21st Century 
Moderated by David Cuthell

Directions: http://www.heymancenter.org/visit.php 

Nicole Pope, journalist and author of Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey, will examine Turkey's prospects for democracy and regime change. Her lecture will build on over 15 years of service as a foreign correspondent in Turkey for the French daily Le Monde and numerous other international publications. 

Co-sponsored by the Committee on Global Thought and the Middle East Institute. 

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Replacing Space with Time: 'Gray Spaces' in Israel/Palestine
Feb
20
4:00 PM16:00

Replacing Space with Time: 'Gray Spaces' in Israel/Palestine

  • 509 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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 Oren Yiftachel, Professor of Geography, Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheba, Israel. 

Moderated by Professor Yinon Cohen.

The lecture traces the legal geography of land policies in Israel/Palestine. It highlights the creation of 'gray spaces' as a key instrument of the ethnocratic state, and examines its ethnic, economic and political consequences. 

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Marwan Bishara to discuss his new book "The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution"
Feb
16
6:00 PM18:00

Marwan Bishara to discuss his new book "The Invisible Arab: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution"

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A Discussion with Marwan Bishara, host of Al Jazeera's Empire 
Moderated by Hamid Dabashi

*REGISTRATION REQUIRED:(Registration will not guarantee seating; please arrive by 5:30PM to guarantee a seat.) 
Register here

One of the leading figures interpreting the Arab revolution on Al Jazeera was and continues to be Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's Senior Political Analyst. Bishara will discuss his new book, THE INVISIBLE ARAB: The Promise and Peril of the Arab Revolution. Hailed as a brilliant, lucid and provocative analysis of the dynamics of the Arab revolution, it is particularly relevant given today’s context, as the world returns its gaze to the Middle East and North Africa with the first anniversary of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions approaching—and as events in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain are still up in the air. 

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

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Iraq, the Arab Spring, and Prospect for Reform in the Arab World
Feb
15
12:00 PM12:00

Iraq, the Arab Spring, and Prospect for Reform in the Arab World

  • 801 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A Brownbag Lecture with David L. Phillips

Director, Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Mr. Phillips is a former Foreign Affairs Expert and Senior Adviser to the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of State. He is author of many articles and books on political developments in the Middle East, including Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco and From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition. 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Institute for the Study of Human Rights. 

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Mobilities and Immobilities: Reflections of Fieldwork in Palestine
Feb
14
5:00 PM17:00

Mobilities and Immobilities: Reflections of Fieldwork in Palestine

  • 411 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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A public talk by Distinguished Scholar Glenn Bowman, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Kent and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. 

His talk is part of an ongoing conversation that has been taking place in the Religion and Mobility Faculty Seminar, organized by Karen Barkey, Professor of Sociology and History, and Valentina Izmirlieva, Professor of Slavic Languages, and sponsored by the IRCPL. 

Co-sponsored by CDTR, IRCPL and the Middle East Institute. 

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Arab Spring and Beyond: Social Networking and Political Change in the Middle East, Russia and China
Feb
10
10:30 AM10:30

Arab Spring and Beyond: Social Networking and Political Change in the Middle East, Russia and China

  • 918 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Featuring: 
Xiaobo Lu, Professor of Political Science, Barnard College
Thanassis Cambanis, Journalist
Timothy Frye, Director, The Harriman Institute; Marshall D. Shulman Professor of Post-Soviet Foreign Policy.

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Harriman Institute

Registration begins Monday, January 30 at 5PM.
Register at http://socialnetworkingeastasia.eventbrite.com/ 
Open to Columbia students only, with preferential registration given to current Columbia College, GS, SEAS and Barnard students. Columbia graduate students can sign up on a waitlist to attend each talk, and will be notified if space is available. 
Breakfast will be served. 
 

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Saudi Arabia and the Arab Spring Uprisings
Feb
9
5:45 PM17:45

Saudi Arabia and the Arab Spring Uprisings

  • 1501 International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)
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Presentation by Bernard Haykel (Princeton University) 
 

REGISTRATION STILL OPEN 
REGISTER HERE

*Please note that registration does not guarantee you a seat at the event. 
 
Saudi Arabia's leaders have claimed that their regime is immune to the revolutionary changes associated with the Arab Spring uprisings. The Saudis have been quite actively engaged with these events and in complicated ways, domestically as well as regionally. They have encouraged some of the uprisings and attempted to clamp down on others. Haykel will explore Saudi Arabia's policies in response to the Arab Spring, which include enforcing religious sanctions against public demonstrations within the Kingdom, increasing various domestic subsidies in an effort to co-opt potential dissent, stabilizing the monarchy in Bahrain and stewarding a new government into power in Yemen. 

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

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Turkey's "New" Foreign Policy Activism: Evaluating its Political and Economics Underpinnings
Feb
2
12:30 PM12:30

Turkey's "New" Foreign Policy Activism: Evaluating its Political and Economics Underpinnings

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A Lecture by Ioannis N. Grigoriadis
Moderated by Professor David Cuthell

Turkey's ambition to play a key regional role and become a global actor is not novel. What has, however, been indeed novel and has lent credibility to the whole experiment is Turkey's recent economic dynamism. This lecture will address Turkey's claims for a global strategic role and a value-based foreign policy, which may already be overblown. Turkey is bound to play a key regional role and may indeed become a global actor in the years to come; its capabilities, however, are not infinite, and significant risks may lurk in their overestimation. 

Dr. Ioannis N. Grigoriadis is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Bilkent University and Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). 
 

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Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime
Jan
30
12:30 PM12:30

Saddam Hussein's Ba'th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A Lecture by Joseph Sassoon
Moderated by Timothy Mitchell.

The Ba`th came to power in Iraq in 1968 and remained there for thirty-five years until the 2003 US-led invasion. Under the leadership of Saddam Hussein, who became president in 1979, a powerful authoritarian regime was created based on a system of violence and extra-ordinary surveillance network, as well as reward and incentives for supporters of the regime. This lecture will focus on recent access to Iraqi documents which allow us to understand how authoritarian regimes operate and how they control their population. 

Born in Iraq, Sassoon obtained his PhD at St Antony's College Oxford. He teaches at Georgetown University and this term he is a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. Sassoon has published widely on Iraq and the Middle East. His previous book was on the Iraqi Refugees post the 2003 invasion and called : The Iraqi Refugees: The New Crisis in the Middle East. 

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The Salafis, Politics and the Revolution in Yemen
Jan
23
12:30 PM12:30

The Salafis, Politics and the Revolution in Yemen

  • 208 Knox Hall, Columbia University (map)
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A lecture by Laurent Bonnefoy
Moderated by Professor Brinkley Messick.

Since the early 1980s, Salafism in Yemen has developed as a mostly apolitical movement. Yet, the revolutionary process that emerged in 2011 is changing much of its face in the country and fostering deep recompositions in the Islamist field. This lecture will analyze these changes and concentrate on showing why this political movement matters beyond issues of counter-terrorism. 

Laurent Bonnefoy (PhD), born in 1980, is a researcher in political science at the Institut Français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) based in Palestine. Building on four years spent in Yemen, his research focuses primarily on contemporary religious identities in the Arabian Peninsula. He is the author of Salafism in Yemen. Transnationalism and Religious Identity (Columbia University Press, 2012). 

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Alliance Program. 

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