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Pedagogy

New Texts Out Now: Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, Unsettled Belonging: Educating Palestinian American Youth After 9/11

[Cover of Thea Renda Abu El-Haj,

Thea Renda Abu El-Haj, Unsettled Belonging: Educating Palestinian American Youth After 9/11. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Thea Renda Abu El-Haj (TRAEH): Unsettled Belonging is a deeply personal book. I came to the US to attend Swarthmore College in the early 1980s. Having grown up in Iran and Lebanon, and traveled often to spend time with my family in Palestine, my political consciousness was shaped by ongoing fallout from legacies of colonialism. It was not an easy time to articulate a political commitment to justice in Palestine. Even among the many left-leaning political activists who were working hard to ...

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The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research: Spring and Summer 2016 Courses

As The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research's Winter 2016 term comes to an end, we want to thank all the students and faculty who have participated in BISR seminars in the past three months. Conversations have been lively, instructive, challenging, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Looking ahead to Summer 2016, we'd like to highlight three of our upcoming courses, which will begin during the first week of May. At a time when the United States has the world's highest incarceration rate, and one in three African-American men can expect to spend some time in jail during his lifetime, Discipline, Punish, and Revolt: Foucault and Prison Abolitionism will ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

[Cover of Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones,

Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, editors, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf. London: Zed Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones (AS & MOJ): Bahrain is small, but significant. Sadly though, it is often overlooked when it comes to writing on the region. We wanted to address the relative gap in the literature on Bahrain, and write a book that analyzed the recent uprising from multiple points of view, yet especially by those who had been directly affected somehow. J: What particular topics, issues, and literatures does the book address? AS & MOJ: Much of the literature ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ramy Aly, Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity

[Cover of Ramy Aly,

Ramy Aly, Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity. London, Pluto Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ramy Aly (RA): My motivations were both personal and political, but at the outset the personal was more compelling. I was born and raised in London to Egyptian immigrant parents. It is a beautifully complex city that I love, but all too often I was made to feel that being brought into this world in Hammersmith Hospital in 1977 was some kind of cosmological mistake that I should spend my life correcting. In 2003 I went to live in Dubai very briefly; it was my first attempt to “return” to an Arab world that I had never ...

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New Texts Out Now: Caecilia Pieri, Bagdad. La construction d'une capitale moderne, 1914-1960

[Cover of Caecilia Pieri,

Caecilia Pieri, Bagdad. La construction d'une capitale moderne, 1914-1960. Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Caecilia Pieri (CP): Having seized an opportunity to go to Baghdad in June 2003,[1] I unexpectedly discovered an interesting modern vernacular landscape, which remains important to this day—in terms of quality and, still today, in terms of quantity. Instead of the black hole of information and of desolation with which the city’s name was associated due to the war(s) and sanctions, I saw a modern city which possessed a human shape, whose brickwork and concrete architecture revealed a civilian life, a ...

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Today I Testified Before the CUNY Task Force on Anti-Semitism

[Sarah Schulman.]

Today I testified before the CUNY Task Force on Anti-Semitism. I was accompanied by my attorney, Jed Eisenstein, president of the board of Jewish Voice for Peace. I also had legal support from Palestine Legal and The Center for Constitutional Rights. One member of the Task Force, Paul Shechtman, was not present. He is an attorney who—in addition to being on this Task Force—represents the New York Police Department officer who killed Akai Gurley, and his firm has also represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In his absence, I was interviewed by Judge Barbara Jones. Upon arrival at their Park Avenue Office, I was presented with a fourteen-page list of accusations filed by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

[Cover of Joel Beinin,

Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joel Beinin (JB): I lived in Cairo for most of the time between September 2004 and December 2008. During this period, the wave of strikes and collective actions by Egyptian workers escalated dramatically. Workers invited me to visit factories and other workplaces where strikes were underway and asked that I write about what they were doing. So I began writing journalistic articles for Middle East Report, Le Monde Diplomatique, and similar outlets. I also wrote a report for the AFL-CIO ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadine Bekdache, Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon's Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015]

Nadine Bekdache, “Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon's Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles,” in Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 320-51. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Nadine Bekdache (NB): I started by researching the urban transformation of ‘Ain al Mraysseh, the seaside neighborhood in which I grew up, and mapping the demolition of old buildings, as well as buildings awaiting demolition whose residents live in a state of uncertainty and are constantly expecting eviction. Prime land-—a label that haunts almost all built and un-built land in Municipal Beirut-—is subsequently made available for real estate investment. I looked for ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World

[Cover of Mona Harb and Sami Atallah,

Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, editors, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World. Beirut: LCPS-OSF, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Mona Harb and Sami Atallah (MH and SA): We wanted to write this book since we first met at a conference on local governments at the current Institut Français du Proche-Orient of Beirut in 2000, which led to a publication that remains a reference on the topic. Mona was presenting her work on local governments’ participatory practices in south Beirut, and Sami was speaking of fiscal decentralization in Lebanon. Fourteen years later, the opportunity to realize this ...

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New Texts Out Now: Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tugal, Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society

[Cover of Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tuğal, editors,

Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tuğal, editors, Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Cihan Tuğal (CT): Why did “moderate” Islamists fail so miserably throughout the Arab Spring? Why did the Turkish Islamists first stumble, but then re-emerge even more powerful (even if, in the way, they dropped their “moderation”)? Our edited volume allows us to answer these questions by drawing attention to political creativity. The book includes analyses of politics in several countries and in different eras. Here I will focus on the overall theoretical claims, as ...

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Call for Applicants--Doctoral Dissertation Summer Workshop: Researching Lebanon

The Arab Studies Institute (ASI) and AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES) are pleased to announce the first Lebanon-focused Doctoral Dissertation Summer Workshop, to be held 13-24 June 2016. The program aims to provide a framework for facilitating and advancing rigorous inter-disciplinary doctoral dissertation research on Lebanon. Scholarly literature on Lebanon is seldom fully integrated into the graduate coursework of PhD students focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. Furthermore, such students rarely find themselves at institutions with access to a scholar of Lebanon to fulfill the role of course professor, academic advisor, field ...

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New Texts Out Now: Haytham Bahoora, Writing the Dismembered Nation: The Aesthetics of Horror in Iraqi Narratives of War

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015]

Haytham Bahoora, “Writing the Dismembered Nation: The Aesthetics of Horror in Iraqi Narratives of War,” in Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 184-209. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Haytham Bahoora (HB): The article came out of a conference at Haverford College, organized by Professor Zainab Saleh, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, titled “Shades of Occupation: Iraq After Ten Years.” I was interested in how Iraqi fiction and art have represented the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and its residual effects on the Iraqi population. Since 2003, Iraqi writers and artists have undertaken a wide-ranging cultural ...

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Derailing Democracy?: The Anti-Boycott Playbook Explained

[This piece was first posted on the website of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions on 28 April 2016.] As members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) cast their ballots on a proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions, outside organizations are desperately mobilizing to pressure the Association and derail the initiative. In the interests of educating all members of the Association—whatever their position on the boycott—we are sharing information ...

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CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council Adopts Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[This statement was released on 15 April 2016.] The Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of The City University of New York (CUNY) has adopted a Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, by a vote of 42-18 with nine abstentions. At the same meeting, the DSC also overwhelmingly adopted the Resolution Calling for Expanded Tuition Remission for Graduate Center Students. The mission of the DSC includes promoting democracy within CUNY and enabling students to participate in important ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jacob Mundy, Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics

Jacob Mundy, Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jacob Mundy (JM): At first, I wanted to write a book about the unanswered questions surrounding the violence in 1990s Algeria, particularly the extraordinary massacres of late 1997 and early 1998. The typical question asked in response to those atrocities, even today, is: “Who killed who?” That is, who ...

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The Panoptic Gaze and the Ivory Tower: A STATUS/الوضع Episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom

This episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom examines the state's use of university campuses as sites of surveillance and recruitment, and its effects on students and faculty. STATUS/الوضع host Tareq Radi interviews Muna Sharif, Arshad Ali, Jared Austin, and Danya Zituni about their experiences.  The program episode below includes four parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript below the player.  Muna Sharif is a Palestinian-American organizer based in Anaheim, ...

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Urgent Call for Solidarity with Academics in Turkey (Letter to the US Department of State)

[This letter was written by a group of US-based scholars and educators and was released on 22 March 2016.] Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights US Department of State Email: tmalinowski@state.gov Dear Mr. Malinowski: We are a group of US-based scholars and educators who have grown deeply alarmed and shocked by the blatant violations of human rights to which our academic colleagues and counterparts in Turkey have been subjected under an increasingly authoritarian Turkish ...

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Open Letters from CUNY Faculty and Students to President Chase Robinson Regarding the Replacement of Dr. Anny Bakalian, Associate Director of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC)

[The following letters have been sent by faculty, PhD students, MA students, and alumni affiliated with the Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, to Chase Robinson, President of the Graduate Center. The letters address proposed cuts that would replace the position of Associate Director, currently held by Dr. Anny Bakalian, with a part-time college assistant. Fifty-two faculty, fifty-nine PhD ...

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New Texts Out Now: Abir Saksouk-Sasso, Making Spaces for Communal Sovereignty: The Story of Beirut's Dalieh

AbirSaksouk-Sasso, “Making Spaces for Communal Sovereignty: The Story of Beirut's Dalieh,” in Arab Studies Journal(Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 296-319. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? AbirSaksouk-Sasso(AS): When I started working on this article back in 2012, I had just finished a collaborative project entitled “This Sea Is Mine” about the coast of Beirut. The project had triggered a series of questions in relation to the coast and public space in Beirut. In fact, in a debate ...

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The Political Life of Illiberal Death

During the summer of 2015, India suffered an extreme heat wave. Over 2500 people—primarily from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana—lost their lives, either directly from heatstroke or from lack of access to water or healthcare. Many of these people were from the poorest strata of Indian society, already malnourished or reliant on day labor in order to survive. The Indian state’s response was weak at best, and in many cases, it was individual citizens and charity organizations that ...

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New Texts Out Now: Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East

Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, paperback edition 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Eckart Woertz (EW): In 2007-08, at the height of the global food crisis, I was living in Dubai, working for the Gulf Research Center. Food price inflation became a hot topic, and in 2008 Gulf countries started to make all these announcements about agro-investments in food-insecure countries like Sudan and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ward Vloeberghs, Architecture, Power, and Religion in Lebanon

Ward Vloeberghs, Architecture, Power, and Religion in Lebanon: Rafiq Hariri and the Politics of Sacred Space in Beirut. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ward Vloeberghs (WV): While studying in Beirut in the early 2000s, I witnessed a construction site on the corner of Martyrs’ Square. Back then, contrasting rumors circulated as to what exactly was emerging on this central location, and who was in charge of the project. I became intrigued by this ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mike de Seve and Daniel Burwen, Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East

Mike de Seve and Daniel Burwen, Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East. Foreword by Stephen Kinzer. London and New York: Verso, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mike de Seve (MdS): Well, being an American gets stranger the more you know about our covert history. Having grown up in a time and place where America stood for peace and democracy, and Iran was considered the devil (in my town, Khomeini dart boards were a big seller) I was fascinated to find ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ella Shohat, The Question of Judeo-Arabic

Ella Shohat, “The Question of Judeo-Arabic,” Opening Essay for Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXIII No. 1 (Fall 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Ella Shohat (ES): This essay revolves around a very personal question for me—the name of the language I spoke with my grandparents and parents. Baghdadi-Jews like my family spoke the language, first in Iraq, then in Israel, and later in the US. For us, it was simply Arabic, although we also knew of course that it was a dialect, a specific ...

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