NY Times Article | Morocco’s D.I.Y. Dance Crews

“Morocco and Algeria have the richest hip-hop scenes in the Middle East and North Africa region, [MEI Faculty] Hisham Aidi said, in part because of their connection to the immigrant communities in the French urban peripheries where hip-hop is very popular. […]

According to Mr. Aidi, the form developed during a tense political period in Morocco when the government was cracking down on street protests, after the riots of 1984 prompted by hikes in food prices. While protesters and outspoken artists were targets, dancers flew under the radar because they were seen as apolitical. When a second generation of Moroccan B-boy crews emerged in the early 2000s, their art really began to flourish.

“The government also began supporting hip-hop in earnest in the mid-2000s, after the Casablanca bombings of 2003, seeing music as a way to keep youth away from extremism,” Mr. Aidi said, referring to a terrorist attack that killed 45 people. “The Moroccan regime keeps a fairly tight grip over the hip-hop scene, showcasing pro-regime rappers and isolating or arresting oppositional ones.”

Now, a new generation of B-boys, and B-girls, is forming in Morocco.”

Rashid Khalidi wins WOCMES Seville 2018 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Middle Eastern Studies

Rashid Khalidi wins WOCMES Seville 2018 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Middle Eastern Studies

MEI Faculty Rashid Khalidi, one of the leading academics in the study of the 20th century Palestinian national movement, will receive the 5th WOCMES Award on Wednesday 18th of July 2018.

Every four years, coinciding with a new edition of the congress, WOCMES International Advisory Council highlights the prominent trajectory of an outstanding expert for his/her contribution to Middle Eastern Studies. In this occasion, the Council endorsed the candidacy of Dr. Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and one of the most brilliant scholars of our days.

Khalidi is the highest authority on interpretations of the Arab-Jewish and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, and author of some of the most influential studies on the topic. His public role as a prominent voice of the Palestinian cause is globally recognized and valued. It is impossible to understand this region and its historical experiences without Khalidi’s works.

Editorial | "The Palestinians Have Not Forgotten, They Have Not Gone Away"

Editorial | "The Palestinians Have Not Forgotten, They Have Not Gone Away"

MEI Professor Rashid Khalidi writes for The Nation on Palestine seventy years after the Nakba.

“The natives are still there, unified by decades of occupation and colonization since 1967, and they are restless. Those Palestinians who have managed to remain in historical Palestine—in spite of the ceaseless efforts to dispossess them—continue to resist erasure. Outside of Palestine, an equal number remain profoundly attached to their homeland and to the right of return. The Palestinians have not forgotten, they have not gone away, and the memory of Palestine and its dismemberment has not been effaced. Indeed, wider international audiences are increasingly aware of these realities.”

Columbia Global Centers | May 2018 Events

The Columbia Global Centers promote and facilitate the collaborative and impactful engagement of the University’s faculty, students, and alumni with the world, to enhance understanding, address global challenges, and advance knowledge and its exchange. The Global Centers, as envisioned by President Lee C. Bollinger, were founded with the objective of connecting the local with the global, to create opportunities for shared learning and to deepen the nature of global dialogue.

Opening | Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies Inaugural Event

Opening | Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies Inaugural Event

The Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies was formally inaugurated on May 4th, 2018, with a panel discussion titled “Human Rights and Hybrid Regimes.”

Introduced by: Holger A. Klein, Interim Director, The Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies
Moderators: John Huber, Columbia University, and Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Sabancı University
Panelists: Sebnem Gumuscu, Middlebury College, Fuat Keyman, Sabancı University, Lenore Martin, Emmanuel College, and David Waldner, University of Virginia.

The Sakıp Sabancı Chair and Center for Turkish Studies are the first initiative of its kind in the United States. Established with a $10 million gift, the goal of the professorship and the center is to increase knowledge and awareness of Turkey through research, teaching and intellectual exchange.

Seminar | Laleh Khalili and Malcolm Gladwell for the Uprising 13/13 Seminar Series

Seminar | Laleh Khalili and Malcolm Gladwell for the Uprising 13/13 Seminar Series

The final Uprising 13/13 seminar will address how to think about counterrevolutions in relation to all the other modalities of revolt and resistance that we have studied this year (civil disobedience, #BLM, breaking silence, Standing Rock, etc.). How do we talk about the counterrevolutions as a distinct form of uprising?

With Malcolm Gladwell, author; Bernard E. Harcourt, Columbia University; Laleh Khalili, Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS, University of London; Massimiliano Tomba, University of California Santa Cruz.
Moderated by Jeremy Kessler and Emmanuelle Saada.

The seminar will be streamed live here; also posted now is a reading guide by Emily Gruber to The Counterrevolution. Essays "The Aftermath" by Laleh Khalili, "The Paris Commune and the Poetry of the Unknown" by Massimiliano Tomba, and "How Our Government Became Maoist: The Paradoxical Legacy of May '68" are all posted here in advance of the seminar.

April 26, 2018 from 6:15 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Riverside Church Assembly Hall
490 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027

Video | A Conversation with Salam Fayyad - Moderated by Safwan Masri

Video | A Conversation with Salam Fayyad - Moderated by Safwan Masri

SIPA's MENA Forum and SIPA's Palestine Working Group hosted a conversation with Salam Fayyad, economist and former prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, to discuss regional developments and the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace on March 27th, 2018,

Moderator: Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University.

View full events details here.

Sakıp Sabancı Center Summer Fellowships for Columbia University Doctoral Students

Columbia University’s Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies is pleased to announce up to 5 competitive Summer Fellowships for doctoral students in any area of Turkish Studies, including the study of Turkish-speaking peoples from ancient periods to the modern as well as the study of cultures and civilizations in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire and within the borders of the modern Republic of Turkey. Each fellowship carries a $3,000 stipend and is designed to support library, archival, and collection research in Turkey of no less than one month during the summer of 2018. All first through sixth-year PhD students in the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University are eligible to apply as long as they are in good academic standing. Students who wish to apply for a Sakıp Sabancı Center Summer Fellowship should submit to Sharon Kim (sabancicenter@columbia.edu). The deadline for the submission of the application is Friday, March 30, 2018.

Obituary: Dr. Saba Mahmood, 1962-2018

Obituary: Dr. Saba Mahmood, 1962-2018

Saba Mahmood, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, passed away on March 10th, 2018. The cause was pancreatic cancer. Professor Mahmood specialized in Sociocultural Anthropology and was a scholar of modern Egypt.

Mahmood made path-breaking contributions to contemporary debates on secularism, opening up new ways of understanding religion in public life and contesting received assumptions about both religion and the secular.  Against an increasingly shrill scholarship denouncing Muslim societies, she brought a nuanced and educated understanding of Islam into discussions of feminist theory, ethics and politics. Her publications and presentations have reverberated throughout the humanities and social sciences, profoundly shaping the scholarship of a new generation of scholars as they develop a thoughtful, knowledgeable, and critical approach to religion in modernity. 

UCAME Undergraduate Summer Language Fellowship

The University Committee on Asia and the Middle East (UCAME) announces the de Bary undergraduate summer language fellowship for non-U.S. citizens who are working on East Asian, Middle Eastern, and South Asian studies. This year, one award of 8K will be made for each of the three regions. Interested applicants should submit a one-page statement of purpose that describes their plan of language study; an official transcript; and one letter of recommendation to john.phan@columbia.edu. The deadline is Friday March 23. Applicants must have already completed a minimum of one year’s study in the language.

Religion and Writing Seminar | Making Books Talk: The Reception of an Andalusan Biography of the Prophet

Religion and Writing Seminar | Making Books Talk: The Reception of an Andalusan Biography of the Prophet

On Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 5pm, MEI Faculty Dagmar Riedel, Marie Curie scholar in Madrid, will discuss her fellowship project on the manuscripts of the Kitāb al-shifāʾ by the Malikī jurist ʿIyāḍ b. Mūsā al-Yaḥsubī (1083–1149 CE), also known as Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ. This talk is part of the Religion and Writing Seminar.

Columbia Libraries to Digitize Rare Muslim World Manuscripts

Columbia Libraries to Digitize Rare Muslim World Manuscripts

With the support of new technology and conservation techniques, Columbia University Libraries and a group of Philadelphia-area institutions have received a three-year $500,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to digitize hundreds of manuscripts and paintings. The project will shed light on both the rich cultural heritage of the Muslim world and the collaboration between Islamic civilizations and the West. Religion, medicine, history, literature, astronomy and mathematics are among the subjects in the collection.

2018 MESAAS Graduate Student Conference

As scholars engaged in the study of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, we are frequently confronted with a shared set of theoretical challenges: What epistemologies do we employ? On what terms may we connect, compare and contrast conceptual vocabularies sourced from across these regions? How do colonial structures and rubrics intervene in our scholarship, and is it possible to think past them? At this year's MESAAS Graduate Student Conference 2018, we hope to build a repertory of integrative modes of researching these regions that transcends the orthodox model of area studies.

Keynote lecture by Prof. Simon Gikandi, Princeton University.
Plenary session: discussion of MEI director Brinkley Messick's Shari'a Scripts.

Lecture | Settler Colonialism Observed: Palestine's Alter-natives

Lecture | Settler Colonialism Observed: Palestine's Alter-natives

MEI Faculty Lila Abu-Lughod delivers the 2018 Clifford Geertz Commemorative Lecture at Princeton University.

Following in Geertz’ footsteps by thinking comparatively, Abu-Lughod will reflect on Palestine’s apparent political impasses in relation to the experiences of other colonized places and peoples. This reflection is inspired specifically by the current ferment in critical indigenous and native studies about settler colonialism in places like Australia and North America. And now Palestine. New imaginations of sovereignty and self-determination are emerging in indigenous activism, whether enabled by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People or the politics of refusal of liberal “recognition.”  The journey goes to a variety of museums and ritual spaces of recognition and ends with questions about how to judge the efflorescence of recent Palestinian cultural projects like the new Palestinian Museum. The infatuation with the framework of settler colonialism in Palestinian studies is, however contested and even problematic,  productive precisely because of the way it generates comparisons and solidarities that burst open exhausted political imaginations and bring together the political, material, and moral.

Symposium | The Muslim Protagonist: Authenticity?

Symposium | The Muslim Protagonist: Authenticity?

Columbia University's popular student group, The Muslim Protagonist presents its annual symposium to be held Saturday February 24, 2018. 

The theme for this year's symposium is “Authenticity?” A series of panels and workshops will discuss Muslim representation in popular culture: Who gets to shape the Muslim Narrative? What kinds of stories are being told about Muslims? What makes a story “authentic”? And why should we care?

Visiting Scholar | Dr. Abed Kanaaneh

Visiting Scholar | Dr. Abed Kanaaneh

Dr. Abed Kanaaneh joins the the Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia as a visiting scholar.  He recently completed an award winning dissertation "Hizballah in Lebanon: Al-Muqawamah (Resistance) as a Contra-Hegemonic Project” at Tel Aviv University.  His research interests include: Shiite political thought, radical Islamic movements, revolutionary thought in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and new Marxism in the Middle East.

Abed was previously the co-director of the Equality Policy Department at Sikkuy—The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality in Israel. He also headed communist member of parliament Dov Khenin’s staff and was the spokesperson of the Arab Center for Alternative Planning.