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Black Feminism Is: Reflections on the Black Feminist Think Tank Symposium

Introduction On 20-21 March 2015, hundreds gathered at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to examine black feminism as an intellectual and political practice and to chart a way forward. As faculty, students, and activists from around the United States and beyond, we shared our frustrations with the isolation and invisibility (or, in some cases, notoriety) we have experienced as black women and women of color in higher education. Twenty years after the path-breaking conference “Black Women in the Academy: Defending Our Name, 1894-1994” held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994, our situation and the position of our field of inquiry have not fundamentally ...

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Event--ISIS: Origins and Illusions (14 April, Princeton University)

Princeton Middle East Society invites you to a panel discussion: ISIS: Origins and Illusions Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Computer Science Building (Room 104) Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Co-sponsored by The Mamdouha S. Bobst center for Peace and Justice Distinguished Panelists Chris Hedges: Pultzer Prize winning journalist, former Middle East Beureau Chief for The New York Times  Eric Davis: Professor of Political Science and past director of the Middle East Studies Program at Rutgers University Bassam S. Haddad: Director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University, and  co-founder of Jadaliyya E-zine ...

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Letter to the UAE Minister of the Interior Concerning Denial of Entry to the UAE of NYU Professor Andrew Ross

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 25 March 2015] His Excellency Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of the Interior, United Arab Emirates via fax 971-2-4022762 and 971-2-4415780 His Excellency Yussef Al Otaiba Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States 202-243-2432  Dr. John Sexton President of New York University john.sexton@nyu.edu Dr. Al Bloom Vice-Chancellor of NYU-Abu Dhabi nyuad@nyu.edu Your Excellencies Minister Al Nahyan and Ambassador Al Otaiba, President Sexton, Vice-Chancellor Bloom:  I write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic ...

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After the Elections: Solidarities Old and New

[Poster created by the the Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

It is no exaggeration to say that some of the most positive assessments of the recent election results in Israel have come from within the Palestine solidarity movement. “Positive” is, of course, not quite the right word, since no one serious about justice in Palestine would suggest that there is any bright side to the fact that Israeli voters rewarded Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party for a campaign that was deeply, viciously, and explicitly racist even by the degraded standards of contemporary Israeli political discourse. That said, there has been a strong sense that Netanyahu’s victory represents a clarifying moment, especially for those viewing the results from ...

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Symposium: The Fourth Amendment in the Digital Age (Washington DC, 3 April)

Friday, April 3 | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm | Reception to Follow American University Washington College of Law 4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 | Room 603 Scholars, policy experts, and practitioners will convene to have an open discussion about how digital searches, government surveillance programs and new technologies are impacting Fourth Amendment protections in criminal cases. The event will also be recorded and live streamed. Please rsvp if you plan to attend or watch online.  8:30-9:00 REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST 9:00–9:20 INTRODUCTION 9:20-11:00 PANEL 1: New Developments in Surveillance Technology: How the Government Collects, Searches, Stores, ...

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Reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary

[The entrance to Camp 1 in Guantanamo Bay's Camp Delta. Photo by Kathleen T. Rhem.]

“You are holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.” Guantánamo Diary, written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi,[i] depicts the continuing incarceration of this Mauritanian national in the military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The book tracks Ould Slahi’s multiple interrogations on three continents, his secret rendition to Jordan and then removal to Afghanistan, torture, degradation and isolation in Guantánamo, and his ongoing struggle to have his day in court. This is not a feel-good book, although it is, perhaps paradoxically, optimistic. It is also a triumphant book: There is a triumph in the fact that Ould Slahi’s ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism

[Cover of Joseph A. Massad,

Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joseph Massad (JM): I had been thinking for a while about a different book, namely one that traces genealogically the transformation in the semantic uses of the term “Islam” since the eighteenth century in Europe and among Muslims and Arabs in Asia and Africa. The project is an intellectual and semantic history of a term and the peregrinations it has made and undergone since its insertion in a modern “European” lexicon that depicted it as the opposite of an emergent “Europe” and an emergent “liberalism,” let alone the historic enemy of ...

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Loving the Lens: ‘American Sniper’ as Movie and Event

[Still image from

American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. USA, 2014. There is a lull at the moment in the clamor around Clint Eastwood's controversial film American Sniper, as award season ends and the movie's powerful box office stamina pushes the DVD release into the summer. This moment perhaps offers an opportunity to consider what—if anything—might or should be said about it as a piece of cinema. Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper in the title role, has to have been the most written about movie in the United States over the winter months, scoring the hat-trick with its critical success, box office wallop (the first American film about the invasion of Iraq to achieve such success), ...

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Cornell University Event: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East (3 March)

  [VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE HERE]   Lund Critical Debate Series presents: American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure Ambassador Dennis Ross (William Davidson Distinguished Fellow and Counselor, Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Professor Bassam Haddad (Director, Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University) Moderated by Aziz Rana, Cornell Law School Associate Professor Date and Time: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 4:30 PM Location: Statler Auditorium Admission is free and open to the public. For more information ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

[Cover of Elisabeth R. Anker,

Elisabeth R. Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Elisabeth Anker (EA): There are two answers to this question. The first is political: the idea for the book came out of anger at both the extensively violent response by the US to the 9/11 events, and the widespread support given to these operations by a vast majority of the US populace. I wondered why a narrative of good and evil mobilized such intense national sentiment to legitimate aggressive state power, while it also depoliticized this power by claiming it was a moral obligation upon injured victims. The ...

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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means

[

In the aftermath of Barak Obama's State of the Union Address, and his announcement that he will veto any congressional actions increasing sanctions on Iran, the Republican Party proceeded to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, making the latter on par with Winston Churchill for the most ever appearances by a foreign dignitary before a joint session of Congress. On Sunday, 25 January 2015, Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor Aslı Bâli participated in KPKA's Middle East in Focus radio show. Below is her response to hosts Estee Chandler and Nagwa Ibrahim's questions concerning Iranian, US, and Israeli goals and ...

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‘I Can’t Breathe’: Are You Aware of the Uprising?

[Protesters in New York City, 7 December 2014. Image by a katz / Shutterstock.com]

It is official. The world system is in deep crisis. Corruption really does start at the top. The United States, the leader of this system, first wavered in 2011. Yet another wave of protests shook the US from July to December 2014. At the “Occupy” protests three years ago, the system’s inequitable economic dimensions came to the fore. At the end of last year, its political-racial dimensions drew attention. Almost simultaneously, Europe witnessed the rise of anti-Muslim mass sentiment. Right-wing street demonstrations and mosque burnings have recently spread throughout the continent. Such actions are bound to garner more sympathy after the Charlie Hebdo attack. This event ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 14)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Hostage Crisis A Murder and Primitive Opposition Commenting on the hostage crisis on 31 March that ended with the murder of the prosecutor and two protesters, Etyen ...

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The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice

[The following report, the executive summary of which is excerpted here. was issued by the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network. The full report may be read here.] Introduction In the United States, criticism of Israel is increasing and support for the Palestinian movement for justice is growing. From the growing number of divestment resolutions by student bodies and academic associations across the U.S., to successful community campaigns to boycott or de-shelve Israeli ...

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Reclaiming Academic Freedom: A STATUS/الوضع Special Segment

In this gripping special segment, host Tareq Radi speaks to Judith Tucker, Ilana Feldman, Nashiha Alam, Lisa Rofel, and Nadia Abu El Haj, who illuminate the challenges of passing academic boycott, as well as the evolution of the tactics of repression affecting both students and faculty. The segment is a culmination of five comprehensive interviews bringing together the narratives of professors and students directly engaged in issues surrounding political speech in academia. The special segment below ...

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Five Decades of Painting and Innovation: An Interview with Samia Halaby

Last month, Samia Halaby’s retrospective, Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, traveled to Lebanon. Organized by Ayyam Gallery, the retrospective was held at the Beirut Exhibition Center, where it was shown from 2 to 26 February. For the Beirut installment, Halaby added nearly two dozen rarely seen drawings and several more paintings, significantly expanding the original list of included works. Lebanon’s Agenda Culturel interviewed Halaby about her artistic practice shortly before the show opened. ...

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What is the Role of Academia in Political Change?: The Case of BDS and Israeli Violations of International Law - from STATUS/الوضع Panels

In addition to a collection of rich individual interviews and special segments, Status also publishes panels and lectures with every issue of the audio journal. For Issue 2.1, we highlight the debate on academic freedom at the December 2014 meeting of the American Anthropological Association, and provide an exclusive audio recording of the panel.  Leading up to the 2014 American Anthropological Association Meeting, over 1,000 anthropologists signed a boycott pledge to protest ...

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Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government

What has quickly brought together a diversity of individuals—including a former Iranian political prisoner, a celebrated Palestinian filmmaker, important public intellectuals, and various professors, activists, students, artists, poets, writers, and cultural programmers? What has brought them together is their commitment to support the growing Palestinian civil-society call for cultural boycott, which is one element in the Palestinian call for  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). This BDS ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (February 2015)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyyastrives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post ...

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New Media and the Spectacle of the War on Terror

US-based artists of the Arab diaspora who have explored the interventionist potential of new media have often done so within the context of the American spectacle: a reality in which life is reduced to mere representation and social interactions and civic engagement are mediated through mass media and mass consumption. This reduction of life into a flow of imagery that renews itself as it permeates the public realm has been scrutinized in art since the 1960s, when the celebratory veneer of the post-war ...

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Open Letter: Racism, Militarism, Poverty: From Ferguson to Palestine

[The following open letter was issued by the below signatories on 4 February, 2015.] We support and congratulate UC Santa Cruz on their selection of Angela Davis for UCSC’s 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Convocation The undersigned organizations write in support of UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal for his office’s selection and sponsorship of the Black feminist theorist and activist Angela Davis, a luminary of our movements and our region, who delivered a speech on “Racism, ...

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Coming Soon! Too Big To Fail by Khalil Bendib

A subsidiary of the Arab Studies Institute,Tadween Publishing seeks to institutionalize a new form of publishing press by contributing to breaking down barriers and preconceived notions of the publication world. Release Date: Early Spring 2015   Ebook: $11.99   Print: $15.99 Book Description  Whatever happened to the United States’ much-vaunted post-Cold War “unipolar moment,” when it was not only supposed to be the only superpower left standing, but also one in a ...

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Who Is Afraid of the International Criminal Court?

Can the International Criminal Court (ICC) deliver the justice Palestinians have struggled to realize for well over a century? The pursuit of accountability at the ICC is one venue of this struggle. But any sustainable vision of Palestinian liberation must account for the confines of the courtroom in particular international law more broadly. As should be clear to all observers of international law, the odds are stacked against Palestinians in that courtroom. The challenge ahead is to innovate not simply ...

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The Worker’s Trap: An Interview with Sara Rahbar

Dirty gold is the color that smothers every surface of Sara Rahbar’s New York City studio. Disembodied casts of the artist’s own anxiously clenched hands and feet are laid out, clinically, on long tables alongside bullet casings, rifle butts, chains, and other found objects. With the same studied intensity that won her the art world’s lofty recognition for her earlier textiles, Rahbar spent the past two years with her ebony hair pulled back out of her face, hunched over these tables, teaching herself how ...

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