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Faculty Research, Foucault, and Human Rights are the Highlight of CNES
Coffee Trade Card, Arbuckle Bros., New York, 1891. Special Collections, Young Research Library, UCLA

Faculty Research, Foucault, and Human Rights are the Highlight of CNES's Spring Programs

Conferences on Women in Conflict Zones, Iranian-American Writers, and Foucault in the Middle East

The Center for Near Eastern Studies continues its North African Initiative with the opening of the America's North Africa exhibit in the Powell Library Rotunda, which is open until September 2009.


The Center for Near Eastern Studies is celebrating the research of UCLA faculty with a series of book talks during the spring quarter, starting with Gabriel Piterberg (UCLA) and Amir Eshel (Stanford) and their discussion of David Myer’s (UCLA) Between Jew and Arab: The Lost Voice of Simon Rawidowicz on April 7. Saree Makdisi’s (UCLA) Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation will be the focus of David Myers (UCLA) and Richard Falk (UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) dialogue on April 23. The concluding lecture features a discourse between Nikki Keddie (UCLA) and Thomas Ricks (University of Pennsylvania) centered on Sexual Politics in Modern Iran by Janet Afary (UCLA).

The Center for Near Eastern Studies continues its North African Initiative with the opening of the America’s North Africa exhibit in the Powell Library Rotunda, which is open until September 2009. With funds provided by the UCLA International Institute, the US Department of Education, and the Social Science Research Council, the Center is concluding the North Africa Initiative in spring 2009 with lectures by Anouar Majid (University of New England), Abdelwahab Meddeb, and Mourad Yelles (Institut Maghreb-Europe, Université Paris 8). The culmination of the initiative is its two month long film series (co-sponsored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive), “From Casablanca to Sahara: Hollywood’s North Africa.” The UCLA Hammer Museum will be hosting the free screenings of classic films at its Billy Wilder Theater. Standards such as Casablanca have been paired with lesser-known films from Hollywood’s golden age. The six screenings, beginning on May 1 with Morocco and The Garden of Allah, and includes introductions by experts to provide both North Africa’s and Hollywood’s historical and cultural context to the films.

Lecture Series on Iran, Islam, Historiography, Hip Hop

The Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran, organized by CNES affiliate Nayereh Tohidi (CSUN), resumes it’s programming with a discussion with Persian poets, titled “Persian Poetry in Diaspora.” CNES will host the dialogue between poets Mansour Khaksar, Sheida Mohamadi, Majid Nafisi, Partow Nooriala, Abbas Saffari, Sholeh Wolpe and the public. Afsaneh Najmabadi (Harvard University) will present a lecture on gender and sexuality in contemporary Iran on May 3. Professors Nikki Keddie (UCLA) and Nayereh Tohidi (CSUN) have organized a May 22 seminar on “Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Iran: Realties and Policy Issues, Past and Present,” which includes Asghar Schirazi (Harvard University), Arash Khazeni (Claremont McKenna College), Mehrdad Amanat (Independent Scholar), and Rasmus Christian Elling (University of Copenhagen). The Lecture Series continues with a screening and discussion on May 24 with Jahangir Golestan-Parast, the director and producer of “Bam 6.6: Humanity Has No Borders,” a fascinating look at the devastation caused by an earthquake’s destruction of the ancient city of Bam in Iran. "Rationality and Opinions About Democracy in Iran” a lecture by Mohsen Kadivar (University of Virginia) and Hossein Ziai (UCLA) on June 7 in Persian and June 8 in English will conclude this year's lecture series.

The series on Hip Hop in the Middle East and North Africa spearheaded by Professor H. Samy Alim of the UCLA Anthropology Department, will preview New Muslim Cool on May 13, with director Jennifer Maytorena Taylor present for the screening and discussion afterwards.

And the series on the Historiography of the Middle East, moderated by Professor James Gelvin of the UCLA History Department, explores Authoritarian Pathways: Trajectories of State Building in the Arab World with Steven Heydemann (US Institute of Peace) on May 8. James Gelvin has also organized a one-day conference covering the topic of Foucault and Middle East Studies on April 28. Timothy Mitchell (NYU), Afsaneh Najmabadi (Harvard), Khaled Fahmy (NYU), and Janet Afary (UCLA) will be presenting papers that explore the relationship between the philosopher, Michel Foucault, and Middle East Studies.

The Journal for Middle Eastern Women’s Studies (JMEWS) is sponsoring a conference on Women in Conflict Zones, organized by Professor Sondra Hale of the UCLA Anthropology Department.

CNES and the Farhang Foundation have organized a roundtable with Iranian-American Authors on April 18. Organized by Nasrin Rahimieh (UCI) and Persis Karim (San Jose State University), this event will bring together authors Salar Abdoh, Farnoosh Moshiri, and Nahid Rachlin for an in-depth discussion of their lives and works.

For more details, visit the Events section of our website.