The Politics of Life and Death
Apr
21
10:00am10:00am

The Politics of Life and Death

  • Lecture Hall, Columbia Journalism School (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The symposium engages intersecting imaginaries and histories that impact Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Tamils. Complex modes of power and history structure conquest, appropriation, and occupation across shifting colonial, (post)colonial, and decolonial moments. Peoples and landscapes are witness to monumental partitions, erasures, and Nakbas (catastrophes), producing states of exception organized through securitization, majoritarianism, and militarism.

The symposium is concerned with issues of subjugation, minoritization, and racialization; and persistent efforts to articulate/silence truth and practice resistance, freedom, and self-determination. We draw on the efforts of native-local and allied intellectuals, activists, artists, and scholars of colonized peoples and geographies to decolonize knowledge and facilitate counter-memory.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

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Gender & Sex Since the Arab Spring: Humans Rights, LGBT Rights, and the U.S. Responsibility
Apr
18
4:30pm 4:30pm

Gender & Sex Since the Arab Spring: Humans Rights, LGBT Rights, and the U.S. Responsibility

  • 701 Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This talk will give a direct account of the crackdown in Egypt, and will critically examine how U.S. LGBT movements have engaged with American diplomacy, and will address the contradictions in the Obama administration's much-touted support for LGBT rights globally.

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An Education of the Senses: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Male Desire in Early Modern Isfahan
Apr
7
4:00pm 4:00pm

An Education of the Senses: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Male Desire in Early Modern Isfahan

  • 754 Schermerhorn Extension, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Kathryn Babayan, Associate Professor of History, Director of Armenian Studies Program, University of Michigan.

The talk will employ the poetic form of the shahrashub, literally the “city disturbance,” to visualize seventeenth Isfahan. Isfahan is both the city where the author, Aqa Mansur, composes his guidebook as well as the site through which he represents a masculine space for a lover-friend to learn about the urban rules and etiquette of love. Forlorn men are the audience invited to travel, observe and discover a cityscape of masculine sensual pleasures. Our guide simultaneously configures the rituals of urbane masculinity to fashion a spectatorship of refined male gazers, just as he creates Isfahan the city discursively. I will walk you through the travelogue to see how Aqa Mansur’s knowledge of sexuality, gender, and community are conceptualized and woven together to picture Isfahan. This event is co-sponsored by MESAAS and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

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Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine
Mar
22
12:30pm12:30pm

Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine

Abigail is lecturer at the Department of History at MIT, and will be moving back to Israel soon to become the director of the "Neighbors in the Mediterranean" Department at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. She is also the chief editor of the Journal of Levantine Studies.

Abigail Jacobson is a historian working on social and urban history of late Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine and the Eastern Mediterranean. Her main research interest is the history of ethnically and nationally mixed spaces and communities, especially during times of war and conflict. Her first book is entitled From Empire to Empire: Jerusalem between Ottoman and British Rule (Syracuse UP, 2011). She recently finished a second book manuscript, written together with Dr. Moshe Naor, entitled Oriental Neighbors: Middle Eastern Jews and Arabs in Mandatory Palestine.

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

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"Why Human Rights Watch is Calling on Businesses to Pull Out of Israeli Settlements"
Mar
9
12:10pm12:10pm

"Why Human Rights Watch is Calling on Businesses to Pull Out of Israeli Settlements"

  • 105 Jerome Green Hall, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Sarah Saadoun, Human Rights Watch.

There are now more than half a million Israeli settlers living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem. Successive Israeli governments have facilitated this process, even though settlements are unlawful under international humanitarian law and are part and parcel of Israeli policies that dispossess, discriminate against, and abuse the human rights of Palestinians. But the system is not just propagated by the Israeli government; it also depends on the involvement of a multitude of businesses that operate in the settlements.

A new Human Rights Watch report, Occupation, Inc., examines the human rights impact of these businesses and calls on them to end their settlement-related activities. Using a series of case studies, it describes how such businesses facilitate and sustain unlawful settlements and thereby contribute to a system whose existence and expansion is contingent on the unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and resources. It also describes how such businesses benefit from a two-tiered system of laws, rules, and services that Israel has imposed in the area of West Bank under its exclusive control that encourages the growth of settlements and the settlement economy while stymying Palestinian economic development.

This event is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

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The Arab World and the West: A History
Jan
21
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Arab World and the West: A History

  • 1501 School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Jean-Pierre Filiu discusses his book, Les Arabes, leur destin et le nôtre, which aims to shed light on struggles in the Arab world today by exploring the entwined histories of the Arab world and the West, starting with Bonaparte’s expedition to Egypt in 1798...

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