Translation: "Freedom is a daily practice."

Conference Program

All events will take place on the third floor of the Levis Center; 919 West Illinois Street; Urbana, Illinois 61801, except for lunch which will be served on the second floor.


Thursday, October 18


7:00 pm

Welcome by Valerie Hoffman, Director of the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Welcome by Wolfgang Schlör, Interim Associate Provost for International Affairs


Welcome and Introduction by Ruth Watkins, the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


First Keynote Address: Prince Moulay Hicham ben Abdallah, consulting researcher at Stanford University; founder and CEO of the Moulay Hicham Foundation for Social Science Research on North Africa and the Middle East: "After the toppling of the Jumlukiya: Crises versus Political Institutionalization"


8:30 - 9:30 pm Reception on the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center


Friday, October 19


9:15-11:45 am     Religion, Politics and New Social Movements

Asef Bayat, Dept. of Sociology, University of Illinois: “Islam and the Arab Spring”


Jeremy Walton, Georgetown Center for Contemporary Arab Studies: "Politicizing Practice or Practicing Politics? Turkish Negotiations of Liberalism, Secularism and Islam"


Joyce Dalsheim, Dept. of Global, International, and Area Studies, University of North Carolina – Charlotte: “ "Unusual Convergences: Peacemaking and “Other Spaces” in Israel/Palestine"


Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Dept. of History, University of Illinois: “Is it Useless to Revolt? Revolutionary Transformation and Islamist Politics in Iran and Egypt”


Panel chair: Anna-Maria Marshall, Head, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois


12:00-1:00 pm

Lunch for conference participants and attendees


Student poster session on the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center

1:00-2:45 pm How Are Minorities Faring?

Abbas Vali, Department of Sociology, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul: “The Politics of the Transition to Democracy and the Subordinate Identities in Iran”


Anthony Shenoda, Department of Anthropology & Religion, Leiden University College: "Miracles as an Otherworldly Modality of Power: Some Thoughts on Coptic Christian Negotiations of Islam, Revolution, and Change in Egypt"


Senem Aslan, Department of Politics, Bates College: “Accommodation or Control? Recent Changes in Minority Policies in Turkey and Morocco”


Panel chair: Angela Williams, Associate Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Universityof Illinois


2:45-3:00 pm Coffee break
3:00-4:15 pm The State of the Economy: Labor, Resources, and Development

Bassam Yousif, Department of Economics, Indiana State University: "Economics and Revolution"


Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Department of Economics, University of Illinois: "Political Change and the Prospects of Economic Development in the Arab World"


Panel chair: Kenneth Cuno, Department of History, University of Illinois


4:15-4:30 pm Coffee break
4:30-6:45 pm

Gender Dynamics: What Has Changed?



Haideh Moghissi, Sociology, York University, Canada: “Women's rights and the ‘Spring’ of Islamism in the Middle East and North Africa: Lessons (Un)learned”


Zakia Salime, Sociology & Women’s Studies, Rutgers: “A New Feminism? Gender Dynamics in Morocco's February 20th Movement”


Gul Marshall, Department of Sociology, University of Louisville: "The Politics of Gender Equality in Turkey"


Paul Amar, Global and International Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, "New Logics of Popular Sovereignty and Subaltern Alternatives to Egypt's 'Thug State'"


Panel chair: Gale Summerfield, Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, University of Illinois



7:00 pm Reception on the first floor of the Levis Faculty Center
8:00 pm Showing of "A Separation"

Animal Sciences Laboratory; Room 150

1207 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801



Saturday, October 20


8:30-9:30 am

Second Keynote Address: Roger Allen, Prof. Emeritus of Arabic & Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania: “The Corruption of Power and the Power of Corruption: Contemporary Historical Fiction in Arabic, with Special Reference to Morocco”


Introduction by Waïl Hassan, Director, Program in Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois


9:30-10:00 am Coffee break   


10 -11:45 am Cultural Expressions: The Arts

Ted Swedenburg, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Arkansas: "Egypt's Music of Revolt, 2011: From Sayyed Darwish to DJ Amr Haha"


Dina Ramadan, Department of Foreign Languages, Cultures and Literatures, Bard College: "When Artists Become Martyrs: Representing the Egyptian Uprising”


Hamid Naficy, Professor of Radio-Television-Film and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in Communication, Northwestern University: “Iran-US Mediatic Public Diplomacy”


Panel chair: Lillie Gordon, School of Music, University of Illinois


12:00-1:00 pm Lunch for conference participants and attendees on the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center
1:15-3:00 pm Media in the Middle East Today

Joe Khalil, School of Communication, Northwestern University in Qatar: “The Emerging Arab Media Environment”


Niki Akhavan, Department of Media Studies, Catholic University of America: “State-Sponsored Media, Cultural Production, and Information Wars: The Case of Iran” (Paper will be read by Valerie Hoffman, Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois


Rebecca L. Stein, Anthropology, Duke University: “Viral Occupation:  Social Media, Israeli Sovereignty, and the Camera”


Panel chair: Angharad Valdivia, Head, Department of Media and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois


3:00-3:15 pm Coffee break
3:15-4:15 pm    Locating Power in the Arab World Today

Linda Herrera, Dept. of Educational Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois: “Power and Politics in the Age of Social Media”


Abderrahim Foukara, Washington Bureau chief, Al Jazeera: “The Arab Spring Revolutions: Back to the Future Familiarity or the Road Less Travelled?”


Panel chair: Feisal Mohamed, Department of English, University of Illinois

4:20-5:00 pm

The Future of Democracy in the Middle East

Moderated Discussion on the Future of Democracy in the Middle East: all conference participants and CSAMES Middle East faculty are invited to participate


Panel chair: Valerie Hoffman, Director, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois