Call for Proposals

Workshop Leaders for the 2015 APSA MENA Workshops

Deadline: 5:00 PM (EST), December 14, 2014

The American Political Science Association (APSA) is pleased to announce a call for proposals from political scientists interested in serving as co-leaders for the 3rd annual MENA Workshop program. The 2015 program will be conducted as a series of two one-week sessions (held in the spring and fall) linked by a 3-4 month break for writing, research, and manuscript revision. For a full description of the program and application process, see the project website HERE

Sex Across the Border: Fractured Reflections of Arab Sexual Attitudes in Some Latin Texts

By Professor Everett Rowson (New York University)


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Time:  7:00pm

Location: Faculty House, Columbia University

This talk will cast an Arabist's eye on two medieval Latin texts, a tenth-century account of the martyrdom of St. Pelagius in Cordoba and Alan de Lille's twelfth-century Complaint of Nature attacking "unnatural" sexual practices, with the hope of elucidating some of the textual problems that have stymied Europeanists.  Some observations will also be made about other cases of treatment of sexual topics across the Arabic-Latin border, in particular Avicenna's medical discussion of sodomy in its Arabic and Latin versions.

If you would like to join us for dinner at 6:00 pm, please RSVP to the seminar's rapporteur Vivek Gupta ( no later than Monday, December 1, 2014. Please note that the cost of dinner is $25, payable by check made out to "Columbia University."


Tunisian Democratization After the Elections: "A Trip Report from Alfred Stepan"

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Time: 5:10 - 7:00 pm

80 Claremont Ave, 1st Floor Conference Room

Professor Alfred Stepan will be speaking about Tunisia's recent democratic transition and the elections which took place there last month. Having just returned from another trip to the area, he will report on his experiences speaking with Tunisian political leaders and activists, the country's political present and future, and its role within the region.

This event is free and open to all.  A wine and cheese reception will follow.

Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; the Economic and Political Development Concentration at SIPA; and the Center for Democracy, Toleration, and Religion. 

Race, Violence, Resistance. From Gaza to Ferguson.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Time: 7:30 - 9:30 pm

Location: Barnard College, Diana Event Oval. 

Columbia University.

Panel discussion highlighting the many intersections of race, militarized policing, and structural state violence faced by communities in Palestine and Ferguson.

Introductory remarks provided by: 

President Debora Spar, Barnard College

Moderated by: 

Katherine Franke: Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School


- Nikhil Singh: Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University

- Patricia Williams: James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School 

- Jamil Dakwar: Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program (HRP), Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY).

Architecture & Representation: The Arab City

Friday, November 21, 2014

Time: 9am - 7pm

Location: Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall. 

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Columbia University

Taking the 'Arab City' and 'Islamic Architecture' as sites of investigation, this symposium critically engages contemporary architectural and urban production in the Middle East in an effort to move beyond reductive notions of identity, myths of authenticity, the fetishizing of tradition, or the resilience of constructed oppositions between tradition and modernity. Through the careful reframing of the region's buildings, cities and landscapes, presentations will work towards a broadening of the architectural and urban canons with an emphasis on past intersections, contaminated models and hybrid conditions. 

Keynote by Timothy Mitchell.

Organized by Dean Amale Andraos and Nora Akawi, Studio-X Amman, with Columbia Global Centers | Middle East, Middle East Institute, and Studio-X Istanbul, with supporting partners Qatar Foundation and Aramex.


Live@365 Global Music Series - Emel Mathlouthi

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time: 7 pm

Location: The Graduate Center, CUNY. 365 Fifth Avenue.

Special show at Live@365 global music series at the CUNY Graduate: Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi. She gained attention when her song "Kelmti Horra (My Word is Free)" was adopted by the Arab Spring revolutionaries on the streets of Tunis and soon became an anthem throughout the regions.

Use code EmelTix15 to receive $10 off the full price ticket.Click here

From "Indispensable Nation" to "Realism-Based Restraint": Reconsidering U.S. Engagement with the World

By Chas Freeman, Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

"It's time to stop pretending the United States assigns any real importance to democracy, the rule of law, or human rights in the Middle East. We pay for gross violations of all three by Israel, support their negation in Egypt, and do not interfere in the politics of illiberal monarchies like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Clearly, U.S. policy is almost entirely about interests, not values." [Chas Freeman, Obama's Foreign Policy and the Future of the Middle East, July 21, 2014]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Time: 5:30 pm

Location: Carnegie Council. 170 E. 64th Street, New York.

Click here for more information

Spatial Ordering of Exile: The Architecture of Palestinian Refugee Camps by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

Monday November 17, 2014

Time: 6 pm

Location: Orozco Room (A712). 66 West 12th street New York.

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti are both architects and researchers in urbanism, members of DAAR, an architectural office and an artistic residency program that combines conceptual speculations and architectural interventions. Alongside research and practice, Hilal and Petti are engaged in critical pedagogy, they are founding members of Campus in Camps an experimental educational program by Al Quds University hosted by the Phoenix Center in Dheisheh refugee camp Bethlehem. 

The lecture is followed by a roundtable discussion with Ilana Feldman (Associate Professor of Anthropology, History and International Affairs at George Washington University), Carin Kuoni (Director of Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School for Public Engagement) and Ann Stoler (Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research).

DOC NYC: Cairo Drive

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Time:  2:15pm

Location: Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

Cairo Drive expertly balances humor, frustration and a distinctive sense of fatalistic irony to offer a view of Egypt unseen in recent documentaries about the Arab Spring. Shot before, during and after the revolution, Sherief Elkatsha's entertaining film explores Cairo from the street level through the perspectives of its drivers. Fighting congestion, navigating in the absence of any apparent traffic laws and deciphering the surprisingly eloquent language of car horns, they represent a cross section of Egyptians trying to make their way through a country fraying at its edges.

Tickets & Info

Turkey and the European Union: Shall the Twain Ever Meet?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Time:  4:00pm

Location: Hamilton Hall, Room 304 Columbia University

Joost Lagendijk has been a member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Green Left Party from 1999 to 2009. During his mandate at the European Parliament, he worked on foreign affairs, security and defense issues. He also served as Chairman of the Turkey Delegation of the European Parliament and rapporteur for the parliament on Kosovo. 

He is the author of several on the borders of Europe, the foreign policy strategies of the US and the EU and the European democratization policy towards the majority Muslim neighbor countries of the EU. 

Cosponsored by the Columbia Turkish Students Association (CTSA) and the Middle East Institute, Columbia University

Alwan Arab Music Ensemble

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Time:  5pm

Location: Reisinger Concert Hall

Sarah Lawrence College.

The Alwan Arab Music Ensemble presents a repertoire that includes regional folk songs, masterpieces of Egyptian cinema, Arab concert hall culture, and the root of it all - classical Arabic music. Performances evoke the ambiances of Cairo, Baghdad, al-Quds and Aleppo, as well as contemporary New York with its own vibrant Arab American artistic and intellectual community.

Free and open to the public. 


Media Contact: Judith Schwartzstein,

(914) 395-2219;

Ultra Revolutionaries: Players in Egyptian Politics?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Time:  6:30pm

Location: Schermerhorn Extension, Room 754. Columbia University

Rabab El-Mahdi's talk will examine the tumultuous path of Egypt's revolutionary process through the lens of the Ultras soccer fan groups. The story of the Ultras represents a microcosm of Egypt's recent travails and poses questions about class, agency and the formulation of politics in a changing moment of history.

Rabab El-Mahdi is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo and a Carnegie Centennial Fellow at Columbia this fall semester. Her work focuses on social movements and mobilization, including women, labor and political Islam.  She is a member of a number of opposition groups in Egypt and is a frequent media commentator.

Israel Film Series: Talya Lavie's "Zero Motivation" Screening and Q&A

Monday, November 10, 2014

Time:  8:00pm - 10:00pm

Location: Schermerhorn, room 501. 

Columbia University

Synopsis: Zero Motivation is a sharply observed, sometimes dark, and often hilarious portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female soldiers in a remote Israeli desert outpost. Pencil-pushers in the IDF's Human Resources Office, best friends Zohar (Dana Ivgy) and Daffi (Nelly Tagar) spend their time playing video games, singing pop songs, jousting 

with stationery and dreaming of Tel Aviv. The indolent twosome are watched over by their senior officer, Rama (Shani Klein), who dreams of a higher position and a significant military career, but her ambitions for promotion are constantly thwarted. Playing out like M*A*S*H meets Orange is the New Black, Talya Lavie's brilliant debut film details the power struggles of three women with different agendas and very little to do. (100 min) 

Learn more

Organized by The Institute For Israel and Jewish Studies.

Music of the Ottoman Empire: Lecture and Demonstration

Thursday November 6, 2014

Time: 12pm

Location: 208 Knox Hall. Columbia University

An outcome of hundreds of years of artistic development in a multicultural environment, geographically spread over three continents, Ottoman music left an indelible mark on world music today. 

Ahmet Erdogdular will give a lecture on music in the Ottoman Empire: its history, makam structure, forms, and the Turkish, Greek, Armenian, and Jewish musicians who contributed to the creation of the Ottoman musical heritage.

Accompanied by Ali Osman Erdogdular, he will demonstrate singing and playing techniques and imporvisation on several instruments.

Lunch will be served
Free and open to the public