Call for Applications: U.S. Media Development Seminar on Palestine

Sponsored by the Palestine American Research Center (PARC) 

Call For Applications

July 14- July 25, 2016 in Jerusalem and the West Bank

The Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) announces its second Media Development Seminar on Palestine. This 12-day seminar is for U.S. faculty members with a demonstrated interest in, but little travel experience to, Palestine.

PARC will select 10 to 12 U.S. journalism/media faculty members to participate in Jerusalem-based activities that will include visiting university media departments and local media outlets as well as meeting with Palestinian scholars and members of the Palestinian media community, civil society and government.
Through these activities, participants will learn about the region, deepen their knowledge of media in and about Palestine, and build relationships with Palestinian colleagues both in academia and the media sector.

For complete information and an application, visit PARC's website here.

Call For Applications: Summer Intensive Arabic in Rabat

Sponsored by AMIDEAST

AMIDEAST is excited to announce that a number of $1,000 scholarships are available to applicants of AMIDEAST's summer Intensive Arabic Program in Rabat, Morocco. 

Scholarship and program applications will be accepted through May 1, 2016. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage interested students to submit program and scholarship application materials as soon as possible. Please visit the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Student Portal to open a program and scholarship application.

 Eligible applicants:

  • Are enrolled at an accredited college or university and have completed one year of post-secondary study
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); however, applications will be considered holistically
  • Are physically and emotionally prepared to spend one to eight months abroad
  • Are willing to adapt to a new, potentially challenging environment

Apply by May 1, 2016.

Additional information can be found here.

Movie Screening: Theeb

Friday, April 29
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia GSAPP, New York, NY 10027

Join us for a screening of the 2016 Oscar nominated film for Best Foreign Language Film. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Jordanian writer and director Naji Abu Nowar. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Global Centers, Studio-X Amman, Columbia GSAPP and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. 

Showcase: A Joule in the Life of a Refugee

Sponsored by Columbia SIPA Students

Thursday, April 28

Time: 1:00-2:00pm

Location: Room 802, International Affairs Building,

420 West 118th St, New York, NY 10027


As the number of refugees continues to rise globally, research on the provision and economics of energy access in refugee camps is much needed but remains understudied. Providing adequate energy access is difficult in a displacement context, where political challenges, a shortage of energy specialists in the field, and limited private sector investment are a few of the many factors that prevent substantial improvements from reaching refugees. 

Project Joule is a group of four female SIPA students who traveled in March 2016 to Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon to explore this issue. You are cordially invited to join their showcase presentation where they will discuss their observations in addition to a photo exhibit.

Registration is required to attend the event. To register, click here.

Note that the event will start promptly at 1PM. Food will be provided by Eat Offbeat - a social enterprise that offers authentic ethnic food prepared and delivered by refugees in New York and Manhattan.

More information is available here.

Mai Masri at Columbia University

Sponsored by the Center for Palestine Studies

Monday, April 25

3000 Nights

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Lecture Hall, Columbia Journalism School

Director Mai Masri presents the New York Premiere, moderated by Lila Abu-Lughod and Hamid Dabashi


Tuesday, April 26

Women Calling the Shots: From Documentary to Fiction

Time: 6:00pm

Location: Schermerhorn 612, Columbia University

Master class with Mai Masri

Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War

Thursday, April 21
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Location: World Room, Columbia Journalism School, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Book launch with authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami

Burning Country could have been titled "A People's History of the Syrian Revolution and War": it provides a view from below that constitutes the perfect antidote to geopolitical reductionism. This book is unique in its combination of first-hand material derived from fieldwork, factual and analytical rigour, and unshakable faith in the Syrian people's struggle for justice and dignity. -Thomas Pierret, Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World

This event is co-sponsored by the Dart Center for Journalism and TraumaStudents Organize for Syria, the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.

The Politics of Life and Death (Post)/Decolonial Encounters in Palestine, Kashmir, and Tamil

Thursday, April 21
Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Lecture Hall, Columbia Journalism School, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

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. 

More information on the symposium is available here.

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

Sidestepping Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism: Resetting the Terms of Empirical Description

Sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture & Public Life

Wednesday, April 20

Time: 4:00-6:00pm

Location: Hamilton Hall, Room 402, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027 


Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University

"Islam is a religion of peace." "Islam teaches hate." The current American and European public discussion about Islam can be characterized by fierce debates regarding the nature of the religion. 

Muslim and non-Muslim journalists, academics, politicians, and self-declared experts take turns in the media spotlight to declare the essence of Islam and, by extension, of Muslims. Inherently, most such Western claims derive from comparison with other religions - especially Christianity and Judaism - or secularism or atheism.

Some scholars and religious community members have challenged this approach and championed claims to Islams, Christianities, and Hinduisms. Others have indicted the comparative study of religion because of its imperial and Christian heritage. Others have sought to disqualify the comparative use of the category "religion" itself as a theme.

Since none of these approaches have proven broadly effective or convincing, observers of religions must move beyond a focus on labels such as "Islam," "Christianity," and "Hinduism." Only through a focus on Muslims, Christians, and Hindus - and their use of these terms - can scholars of the empirical study of religions create an adequate paradigm for comparison.

More information is available here.

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

Monday, April 18th

Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Jerome Greene Hall, Room 701, 435 W 116th Street, New York, NY 10027

A Lunchtime Talk with Scott Long, Founder of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program, Human Rights Watch

Since the 2013 coup, Egypt has seen massive and spreading human rights violations, part of a counterrevolution stretching across the Middle East.  LGBT Egyptians have been among the victims.  Egypt today keeps more people imprisoned for their gender expression or for same-sex sexual conduct than any other country in the World.

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.

This event is is free and open to the public.  A non-pizza lunch will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and the Middle East Institute

(Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging

Sponsored by the Columbia Muslim Students Association

Saturday, April 16

Time: doors open 9am

Location: Davis Auditorium, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027

The Muslim Protagonist is an annual literary symposium of Muslim and minority writers, artists, and thinkers at Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia Muslim Students Association (MSA) and open to participants of all backgrounds, ages, faiths, and cultures. Since its inception in 2012, The Muslim Protagonist has been committed to facilitating dialogue and exploring inspirational, and practical tools for pursuing "literature as an agent of social, intellectual, and spiritual change." The event is not exclusively for Muslims, "minorities," or Columbia students/faculty - everyone is welcome. With "The Muslim Protagonist," we aimed to inspire our peers, Muslims (and non-Muslims) to Write Our Own Stories.

This year's symposium, "(Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging," will focus on the theme of home, in all of its myriad connotations. We will be exploring home as a site of transformation, refuge, trauma, healing, and growth and want to center our event around the themes of belonging, alienation, and migration. We want to examine the notion of home in the context of nation and nationality, and also explore how it is inscribed and reinscribed by borders and frontiers, and boundaries. How does the Muslim Protagonist build their home?

More information is available here.

Working in War: The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Sponsored by Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute

Wednesday, April 13

Time: 12:10-1:10pm

Location: Jerome Greene Hall, Room 105, 435 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027


Jose Serralvo, Practitioner in Residence, Human Rights Institute

Established in 1863, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. The mandate of this four-times Nobel laureate is based, inter alia, on the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The ICRC is also the "guardian" of international humanitarian law, a branch of international law that regulates the conduct of war and the treatment of detainees. Through its bilateral and confidential dialogue with States and organized armed groups, the ICRC attempts to promote compliance with international humanitarian law and ensure respect for the lives and dignity of the victims of armed struggle all around the world. This talk will analyze the role of the ICRC, its modes of action and some of its main differences with other humanitarian actors.

Jose Serralvo is the Human Rights Institute's inaugural Practitioner in Residence. Serralvo has worked as a consultant with Human Rights Watch and has spent two years at the ICRC's Legal Division in Geneva, first as a Legal Attaché and then as Legal Advisor to the Operations. He has also been ICRC field delegate in Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has carried out short missions to Somalia, Nigeria and Kenya. In May, he will transition to the position of Legal Advisor for the ICRC in Afghanistan. 

Syria Film Series

Sponsored by Students Organize for Syria at Columbia University

Monday, April 11

Queens of Syria

Time: 8pm

Location: 702 Hamilton Hall


Tuesday, April 12

The Destruction of Memory

(followed by a conversation between director Tim Slade and professor Avinoam Shalem)

Time: 6pm

Location: 304 Held Auditorium, Barnard Hall


Wednesday, April 13

Our Terrible Country

Time: 7pm

Location: 304 Held Auditorium, Barnard Hall


All screenings are free and open to the public. This series is co-sponsored by Turath, the Kraft Family Fund for Intercultural and Interfaith Awareness and the Office of the University Chaplain at Columbia University.

Being Muslim/Muslim Being: Mobilities and Practices

Sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College

Friday, April 8

The 2016 Helen Merrell Lynd Colloquium

Time: 9:30am-6:30pm

Location: Donnelley Theatre, Heimbold Visual Arts Center

1 Mead Way, Yonkers/Bronxville, NY 10708

This interdisciplinary colloquium brings together scholars whose work addresses the multiplicity of lived human experiences and practices of Muslims, past and present. Inspired by, and in homage to, the late Shahab Ahmed (1966-2015), the colloquium seeks to take up Dr. Ahmed's charge to explore "the historical and human phenomenon that is Islam in its plentitude and complexity

of meaning." Presentations will engage with Muslim histories, art and architecture, poetry, and law as well as their mobilities and productive practices across time and space. 

For more information and to register, click here.

Sacred and Profane: A False Dichotomy in Arab Music

Sponsored by the Spring 2016 Ethnomusicology Colloquium

Tuesday, April 5

Taoufik Ben Amor

MESAAS, Columbia University

Followed by a short performance of Arab Sufi repertoire with: 


Zafer Tawil

Vocals, Oud, Nay, Percussion 


Ramzi Eledlibi

Vocals, Percussion 


Time: 4:10-6:00pm

Location: 701c Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 

2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 

For a century, and despite the many criticisms waged against it, Durkheim's dichotomy of Sacred and Profane remained a dominant tool in the study of music in the Arab world and elsewhere. Through several examples from poetry, lyrics, melodies especially from the Sufi music tradition, this paper shows that the categories of Sacred and Profane are inadequate in understanding a porous situation in which the Sacred and Profane flow into one another. Instead, I propose the notion of Jidd and Hazl (The Earnest and the Jest), which overlap and intersect in occasion and space. 

Unlike the category of the Sacred, which dominates the Profane by setting a boundary of taboos, Jidd and Hazl are equal and constitute a continuum that depends on a ranking of taboos. In both categories, a declaration of the author's intention and that of the text, in a wide sense of the word, allows the audience to judge it according to different sets of norms. Thus, Hazl gives the author tremendous freedom in tackling taboo subjects, often using Jidd in the form of Hazl. The paper also raises wider theoretical questions about other related categories such as the secular and religious, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, religion and ideology, as well as universality and cultural specificity.

Call For Applications: The Humanities

Sponsored by Bogazici University

The Humanities is a yearlong interdisciplinary survey, designed to introduce students to cultures east and west, ancient and modern which have, over time, impacted and interacted with their own culture, and thus to encourage critical reflection on this wider cultural heritage with emphasis on philosophy, literature, arts, political thought, science and religion. Readings in primary and secondary materials to analyze, compare and contrast ideas, paradigms, worldviews in ancient, classical and medieval civilizations.

The survey course, taught in English, explores the original contexts, legacies, and controversies surrounding texts that have defined, challenged and reimagined the humanistic tradition.  

The Humanities instructor appointments are for one year, beginning (September 1, 2016- July 31, 2017), and are renewable up to a third year in exceptional cases. Native command of English and a Ph.D. in a Humanities-related discipline are required. Candidates must have completed and obtained their doctoral degrees before the beginning of the post.  The instructors will have the status of Visiting Assistant Professor. 

Salary is 4600 Turkish Liras per month.  Furnished housing close to campus (utilities and apartment fee are paid by the occupant), travel expenses to and from Istanbul (at the beginning and end of the contract), and state health care are provided by the program.  Instructors are eligible to apply to the Dean's Office for research travel funding (which is a fixed sum) once per academic year.

Applicants submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, writing sample, three recommendation letters and a 1-2 page teaching statement on a specific text of "canonical" status and discuss how they would teach this text.

Applications should be sent to the Academic Coordinator of Humanities, Assist. Prof. Leyla Kayhan Elbirlik,, with copies to  Review of applications begin April 1, 2016, and continue until June 1, 2016.

Please see the course website for further information here.

Trajectories for Contemporary Iraqi Art

Sponsored by the University Seminar in Arabic Studies

Thursday, March 31

Time: 7:00-8:00M

Location: Faculty House, 64 Morningside Dr, New York, NY 10027

Nada Shabout is a Professor of Art History and the Director of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Studies Initiative (CAMCSI) at the University of North Texas. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA), and was the Consulting Founding Director of Research at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha. 

The sanctions of the 1990s, followed by the 2003 US-led invasion, caused a drastic shift in the trajectories of Iraqi art. The twentieth century had marked very mature developments in modern movements and aesthetic experiments in Baghdad. In the twenty-first century, Iraqi contemporaneity, however, is being largely articulated in exile. Professor Shabout's talk will theorize threads of trajectory of Iraqi art now through the work of a number contemporary Iraqi artists.

The talk will begin at 7:00 pm. If you would like to join us for dinner at 6:00 pm, please RSVP to the seminar's rapporteur Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah ( no later than Thursday, March 24, 2016.  Please note that the cost of dinner is $25, payable by check made out to "Columbia University."

For a listing of Seminars in Arabic Studies, visit here