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Academia and Social Justice: Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship & Arab Studies Institute Second Annual Conference (11 – 13 March 2016)

Faculty and students at institutions of higher learning have always been engaged in the issues of their times. They have often played an important galvanizing and sometimes game-changing role in their societies’ demands for equity, equality, and social and political justice. They have done so both in their academic and research production as well as their direct social and political activism within the community beyond academia, sometimes paying a heaving price for this activism. Historically, the choice to focus scholarship and engagement with the community on social justice issues has not always been an easy one for those in academia. 

This conference aims to query aspects of this history in the MENA region and beyond, the debates and paradigms that define this engagement, as well as obstacles and resistance on the part of university administrations and society’s power elites. The conference will also seek to situate those dynamics within the current understanding(s) of the role of academic institutions, market-place economics and corporatization, and political orthodoxy.  

 

S C H E D U L E

 

DAY ONE – Friday, March 11

8.30 – 9:00

Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship Arab Studies Institute

Second Annual Conference (March 11 – 13, 2016)

Academia and Social Justice Crown Plaza Hotel, Beirut

Agenda

Introductions and welcome panel

  1. Fadlo Khuri, President, American University of Beirut (AUB)

  2. Bassam Haddad, George Mason University & Arab Studies Institute

  3. Fateh Azzam, Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, AUB

9.00 – 11:00 Panel 1: Academia and political society

Moderator: Omar Dewachi, AUB

  1. Ala Alazzeh, Birzeit University - Knowledge in a Colonial Space.

  2. Alan Sears, Ryerson University - Infrastructure of dissent.

  3. Sari Hanafi, AUB - The Demise of Public Life of Arab Academics: The case of writing

    op-eds in Lebanese newspapers.

  4. Coralie Pison Hindawi, AUB - The role of Academia in Individual R2P

11.00 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 1.00 Panel 2: Academia and the marketplace

Moderator: Nadya Sbaiti, AUB

  1. Mudar Kassis, Birzeit University - Do universities contribute to the consolidation

    of contemporary slavery?

  2. Corinna Mullin, University of Tunis & SOAS - Global neoliberal governance and

    higher education: power and resistance in post-uprising Tunisia

  3. Tory Bryklaksi, University of California-Davis - Organized labor as a form of

    strategic resistance against the privatization of the academy

1.00 – 2.30 Lunch

2.30 – 4:00 Panel 3: Are public universities expressions of social justice?

Moderator: Nahla Chahal, As-Safir Al-Arabi Weekly Supplement

  1. Rehab Sakr, Cairo University - ‘Free University Education, the Quality of the

    ‘Product’ and the changing meaning of social justice: The Egyptian experience

    from 1950s until now.’

  2. Nahla Abdel Tawab, Salma Abou Hussein, and Tarek Alam El Din, Population

    Council - The Cost of ‘Free’ University Education in Egypt: Analyzing evidence of

    equity in access.

  3. MennatuAllah Hendawy, Ain Shams University - Does Academia reinforce socio-

spatially just designs?

4.00-4.30 Break

4.30 – 6:00 Panel 4: The active role of students

Moderator: Aya Adra, Red Oak Club, AUB

  1. Mohamed Baba Mohda, Université Internationale du Sahel - When students

    impose social justice through democratic means

  2. Mohammed Aljssem, Damascus University - Academic alienation in Syrian

    universities and the Syrian social movement

  3. Pankhuri Dasgupta, Centre for Women’s Studies - Occupy UGC’ – A closer look at

    student movements in India in 2015

9.00 – 10.30 Panel 5: Academic organizing in Lebanon

Moderator: Sawsan Abdulrahim, AUB Faculty United, AUB

  1. Emile Shaheen, Author, formerly Lebanese University - The role of faculty and

    students in the birth of the Lebanese University

  2. Jacques Kabbanji, Contemporary Arab Affair, Lama Kabbanji, Research Institute

    for Development, and Hala Awada, researcher - The university public space and

    the protest movement experience in Lebanon.

  3. Makram Rabbah, Georgetown University - Beyond the Gilded Walls: AUB and the

    World Around it

10.30 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 1:00 Panel 6: Advocating for Palestine in Western academic Institutions

Moderator: Steven Salaita, AUB

  1. Brenna Bhandar, SOAS - The Big Chill: Charities law and the politics of BDS

    activism in UK universities.

  2. Rafeef Ziadah, SOAS - Silencing Dissent on Campus: the case of Israeli Apartheid

    Week’

  3. Max Ajl, Cornell University - Opening Spaces for Speech: Organizing against

    backlash

  4. Tareq Radi, Georgetown University - Repression Through Reform: The Student

    Handbook as a Living Document

1.00 – 2.30 Lunch

2.30 – 4:00 Town Hall meeting; Guided open discussion Moderators: Fateh Azzam, Bassam Haddad, Rania Masri

DAY TWO – Saturday March 12

4.00 – 4.15 Mini-Break

4.15 – 5.30 Panel 7: The University and Beyond: Power, Ethics and Academic Freedom

Moderator: Seteney Shami, Arab Council for the Social Sciences

  1. Eileen Kuttab, Birzeit University – Gender, Equity, and Social Justice in the

    University

  2. Ramy Aly, American University in Cairo (AUC) – Academic Freedom between the

    University and the State

  3. Perla Issa, Institute for Palestine Studies – Reflections on conducting research

    with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

9.30 – 11.00 Panel 8: Pedagogy and social justice

Moderator: Elie el Hindi, Notre Dame University

  1. Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University - Resisting the New

    McCarthyism: Palestine Studies and Justice-Centered Knowledge

  2. Sabiha Allouche, SOAS - No Longer Caught Between Two Worlds: Towards a

    Decolonized Feminist Research in the Middle East

  3. Gregory Shupak, University of Guelph -Teaching Media and the Middle East in a

    Western University

11.00 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 1:00 Panel 9: Schools and alternative models

Moderator: Fateh Azzam, Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, AUB

  1. Mike Orr, University of Edinburgh, and Samer Annous, University of Balamand -

    Linguistic Imperialism, identity, and English medium instruction in Lebanon

  2. Ghada Feghali, Mmkn Association - Pedagogy for social justice: The experience of

    Mmkn

  3. Sawsan El Sherif, AUC - Learning and knowledge-based society: the Community

    Universities

1.00 – 2.30 Lunch

2.30 - 4.00 Closing Panel: Publicly Engaged Scholarship

Moderator: Huda Zurayk, AUB

  1. Patrick McGreevy, AUB - The idea of university autonomy and the challenges of

    the 21st century

  2. Ahmad Dallal, AUB - The role of public intellectuals in the changing landscape of

    higher education

  3. Bassam Haddad, George Mason University & Arab Studies Institute - Context,

    opportunities and limits

DAY THREE – Sunday, March 13

 

9.30 – 11.00 Panel 8: Pedagogy and social justice

Moderator: Elie el Hindi, Notre Dame University

  1. Rabab Abdulhadi, San Francisco State University - Resisting the New

    McCarthyism: Palestine Studies and Justice-Centered Knowledge

  2. Sabiha Allouche, SOAS - No Longer Caught Between Two Worlds: Towards a

    Decolonized Feminist Research in the Middle East

  3. Gregory Shupak, University of Guelph -Teaching Media and the Middle East in a

    Western University

11.00 – 11.30 Break

11.30 – 1:00 Panel 9: Schools and alternative models

Moderator: Fateh Azzam, Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship, AUB

  1. Mike Orr, University of Edinburgh, and Samer Annous, University of Balamand -

    Linguistic Imperialism, identity, and English medium instruction in Lebanon

  2. Ghada Feghali, Mmkn Association - Pedagogy for social justice: The experience of

    Mmkn

  3. Sawsan El Sherif, AUC - Learning and knowledge-based society: the Community

    Universities

1.00 – 2.30 Lunch

2.30 - 4.00 Closing Panel: Publicly Engaged Scholarship

Moderator: Huda Zurayk, AUB

  1. Patrick McGreevy, AUB - The idea of university autonomy and the challenges of

    the 21st century

  2. Ahmad Dallal, AUB - The role of public intellectuals in the changing landscape of

    higher education

  3. Bassam Haddad, George Mason University & Arab Studies Institute - Context,

    opportunities and limits

*** 

 

 

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