2012-13 Events

  • Film Screening: Downpour
    Wednesday, 07 August 2013 at 07:00 PM in Cubberley Auditorium, School of Education (485 Lasuen Mall, map&directions)

    Downpour (Iran, 1971: Drama directed by Bahram Beyzaie) is about a well-educated and humble teacher arrives in a new city and at a new job in the pre-revolutionary Iran. Post-film discussion with the director, Bahram Beyzae and Abbas Milani, Director of Iranian Studies.  

  • End of the Year Celebration
    Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 03:30 PM in Encina Commons Lawn (615 Crothers Way)

    Celebrate the end of the Spring Quarter with your professors, colleagues, and friends. Meet the 2012-13 Abbasi Program Student Grant Recipients. Join the book raffle co-sponsored by Stanford University Press. This event is open to all Stanford affiliates.

  • Ryan Crocker: Lessons from a Long War
    Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 05:30 PM in Encina Hall Central, Bechtel Conference Center (616 Serra Street)

    Ryan Crocker is the 2012-13 Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University.  Born in Spokane, Washington, he grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada and Turkey, as well as the U.S. He received a B.A. in English in 1971 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2001 from Whitman College (Washington).   He also holds an honorary Doctor of National Security Affairs from the National Defense University (2010) and honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Gonzaga University (2009) and Seton Hall University (2012).  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the  Association of American Ambassadors.

  • Maris Boyd Gillette: Women's Empowerment in Xi'an
    Thursday, 23 May 2013 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    This workshop explores women’s empowerment among the Chinese Muslims (or Hui) who live in Xi’an’s Muslim district. In the broader ethnographic literature on Muslim women’s empowerment, most analyses focus on social structure or individual agency. Collective sentiment receives rather less attention. This talk will look at the structural, agentive, and affective dimensions of Xi’an Hui women’s empowerment based on nearly two decades of field research in this urban Muslim neighborhood. I will focus on Chinese Muslim women’s empowerment as a site for reflection on the political, cultural, and intellectual implications of “women’s empowerment” as an analytic lens.

  • Mizrahi Shabbat at Hillel
    Friday, 17 May 2013 at 06:00 PM

    May 17, 6:00pm-8:30pm, Hillel at Stanford Mizrahi Shabbat at Hillel: Services, Program, and Dinner Open only to Stanford students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)

  • Rian Thum: Modular History in Context
    Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    This paper investigates how a regional identity can be maintained in a nonmo-dern context, focusing on the case of southern Xinjiang in the late nineteenth andearly twentieth centuries. The argument focuses on one aspect of this identity system, the popular historical tradition, arguing that its deployment through both manuscript technology and regional shrine pilgrimage contributed to the maintenance of Xinjiang’s settled Turki identity group before the constructionof the “Uyghur” identity. In the absence of a national history, separate historiesof local heroes were linked together through custom anthology production and networked travel to shrines, yielding a modular historical tradition that accom- modated local interests in regional narratives. Central to the operation of this system were community authorship in the manuscript tradition, the creationof a new genre for local history, and the publicly recorded circulation of pilgrims who heard performances of historical texts. This constellation of phenomena underpinned an alternative type of imagined community: a reasonably homogeneous, regional, writing-facilitated identity system flourishing in a nonmodern context.

  • Aron Rodrigue: Ladino, A Jewish Language of the Middle East
    Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 12:00 PM

    May 16, 12:00 pm-1:30 pm, Bechtel International Center Ladino - A Jewish Language of the Middle East: Prof. Aron Rodrigue Professor Aron Rodrigue, the Charles Michael Professor in Jewish History and Culture, will be discussing the history and usage of the Ladino language during lunch at the Bechtel International Center. [Co-sponsored by JIMENA, Music at Stanford, Hillel at Stanford, Stanford University Language Center, Hamid and Christina Mogadam Program in Iranian Studies, the Jewish Student Association, and Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies] Open only to Stanford students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)

  • Abbas Milani: Cultural Renaissance in Islamic Iran
    Wednesday, 15 May 2013 at 06:00 PM

    May 15, 6:00-7:30 pm, Becthel International Center Cultural Renaissance in Islamic Iran: Prof. Abbas Milani Professor Abbas Milani, the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies, will discuss the cultural Renaissance in Iran during dinner at the Bechtel International Center. [Co-sponsored by JIMENA, Music at Stanford, Hillel at Stanford, Stanford University Language Center, Hamid and Christina Mogadam Program in Iranian Studies, the Jewish Student Association, and Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies] Open only to Stanford Students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)

  • Alexander Key & Vered Shemtov:Texts of Protest and Consequences
    Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 06:00 PM in Bechtel International Center

    May 14, 6:00-7:30 pm, Becthel International Center Prof. Vered Shemtov and Prof. Alexander Key: Texts of Protest and Consequences Prof. Vered Shemtov, Eva Chernov Lokey Senior Lecturer in Hebrew and Comparative Literature, and Prof. Alexander Key, Assistant Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, will be discussing literature of protest in the MENA region over dinner at the Bechtel International Center. [Co-sponsored by JIMENA, Music at Stanford, Hillel at Stanford, Stanford University Language Center, Hamid and Christina Mogadam Program in Iranian Studies, the Jewish Student Association, and Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies] Open only to Stanford Students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)

  • Ramzi Salti: Alternative Arab Music&Video
    Monday, 13 May 2013 at 06:00 PM in Bechtel Interational Center

    May 13, 6:00-7:00 pm, Becthel International Center Alternative Arab Music & Video Clips: Prof. Ramzi Salti Dr. Ramzi Salti, a Stanford lecturer in Arabic Language and Literature,  will be discussing the new Arabic music of the MENA region over dinner at the Bechtel International Center. [Co-sponsored by JIMENA, Music at Stanford, Hillel at Stanford, Stanford University Language Center, Hamid and Christina Mogadam Program in Iranian Studies, the Jewish Student Association, and Stanford University Taube Center for Jewish Studies] Open only to Stanford Students (RSVP to jturan@stanford.edu)

  • Image as Animation: Mysticism, Magic, and Poetry
    Friday, 10 May 2013 at 09:30 AM in Stanford Humanities Center, Board Room (424 Santa Teresa)

    By simultaneously exploring Greek Christian and Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Islamic sources, this one-day workshop will focus on the metaphysical dimension of “image;” the connections between “image-making” and magic; as well as “image” understood as a creation of the mouth, breath, and orality and manifested in the actions of the body such as prayer, the singing of psalms, or the recitation of the Qur’an and poetry. Similarly, participants will reflect on the role of imagination as defined by Sufi texts in structuring the religious experience of “dwelling in the divine;” and seek parallels to these cultural phenomena in the Greek literature of ekphrasis and Anacreontic poetry, and in the multisensory aesthetics of the Constantinopolitan liturgy.

  • Great Arab Authors: Sonallah Ibrahim
    Monday, 06 May 2013 at 05:30 PM in Stanford Humanities Center, Board Room (424 Santa Teresa)

    Sonallah Ibrahim, one of Egypt’s most formally interesting and politically uncompromising writers, will give a public talk in conversation with Professor Noha Radwan (Arabic & Comparative Literature, University of California- Davis) and Professor Alexander Key (Arabic & Comparative Literature, Stanford University). His most recently translated book, That Smell, “was a breathtakingly subversive answer to the problem of the omnipresence of the state in daily life and the inability of Arabic literature to express and capture that reality. It met with immediate censorship.” (Yasmine El Rashidi , NYRB). “Ibrahim’s exhiliratingly bleak novel gives English-speaking readers a new classic of mid-century existentialism and, at the same time, a window onto an Egypt too few of us have glimpsed in literature or elsewhere.” (Benjamin Kunkel)

  • Partitions: Towards Transnational History of Twentieth Century Territorial Separatism
    Friday, 19 April 2013 at 10:00 AM in Stanford Humanities Center (424 Santa Teresa)

    Co-sponsored by the Department of History, FSI, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies with support from the Shoshana and Martin Gerstel Endowed Conference Fund, the Hebrew Literature & Culture Project, and Stanford Humanities Center.

  • Partitions in/ and Literature
    Thursday, 18 April 2013 at 04:00 PM in Stanford Humanities Center (424 Santa Teresa)

    This is part of the two-day "Partitions: Towards Transnational History of Twentieth Century Territorial Separatism" conference. Co-sponsored by the Department of History, FSI, the Taube Center for Jewish Studies with support from the Shoshana and Martin Gerstel Endowed Conference Fund, the Hebrew Literature & Culture Project, and Stanford Humanities Center.  

  • Panel: Challenges of Egypt's Transition
    Thursday, 11 April 2013 at 04:00 PM in Encina Hall, E0008 (616 Serra Street; Ground Floor)

    This special panel will feature Joel Beinin  (Stanford University), Robert Springborg (Naval Postgraduate School), Amr Adly (Stanford University), Maha Abdelrahman (University of Cambridge), Ahmed Salah (Activist), as they address the challenges facing Egypt's transition today.

  • Nathalie Rothman: Translating Empire
    Tuesday, 09 April 2013 at 12:00 PM in Lane History Corner, Room 307 (450 Serra Mall)

    This is the second workshop of the Byzantine and Ottoman Worlds Workshop Series.

  • Nathalie Rothman, Brokering Empire
    Monday, 08 April 2013 at 03:00 PM in Lane History Corner, Room 302 (450 Serra Mall)


  • Concert & Discussion Session with Omar Offendum, & DAM
    Saturday, 06 April 2013 at 08:30 PM in Roble Dorm Theater

    Moderator: Ramzi Salti (Stanford University); Open only to Stanford students.

  • Robert Morrison: Jewish Scholars Between Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean
    Thursday, 14 March 2013 at 03:30 PM

    Robert Morrison is Associate Professor of Religion at Bowdoin College.  He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. His courses lie in the academic study of both Islam and Judaism, but address, in addition, comparative topics.  His research has focused on the role of science in Islamic and Jewish texts, as well as in the history of Islamic science. His book The Intellectual Career of Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī (Routledge, 2007) received the 2009 World Prize for the Book of the Year of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Islamic studies. Among his publications are An Astronomical Treatise by Mūsā Jālīnūs alias Moses Galeano,” (Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism X/2 2011), “Discussions of Astrology in Early Tafsīr,” (Journal of Qur’ānic Studies XI 2009), “Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī’s Hypotheses for Celestial Motions” (Journal for the History of Arabic Science XIII, 2005),  "The Response of Ottoman Religious Scholars to European Science" (Archivum Ottomanicum XXI, 2003), "The Portrayal of Nature in a Medieval Qur’an Commentary" (Studia Islamica XCIV, 2002), "Conceptions of the Soul in Abraham Ibn Ezra's Poetry" (Edebiyat XI, 2000).

  • Islamic Studies Social
    Thursday, 07 March 2013 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall West, Rm. 208

    Meet Stanford affiliates who are interested in the study of Muslim societies and cultures. Catch with your professors, colleagues, and friends. Join the book raffle co-sponsored by Stanford University Press. The event is open to all Stanford affiliates.

  • Sukanya Chakrabarti: Spotlight on Art
    Wednesday, 06 March 2013 at 01:00 PM in Cantor Arts Center (328 Lomita Drive)

    Sukanya Chakrabarti (Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies, Stanford University) discusses Aisha Khalid's Kashmiri Shawl from The Jameel Prize: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition in the Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery.

  • Kathryn Babayan: Libraries of the Mind
    Tuesday, 05 March 2013 at 03:30 PM in CISAC Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Encina Hall Central (616 Serra Street)

    This paper is part of my book project that explores cultures of literacy and social practice, particularly through collecting practices, a place where historians rarely venture to study the epistemological keys of understanding the dynamics of state formation. I chart a ‘civilizing process’ in early-modern Isfahan reliant on the production and dissemination of pedagogical manuals on proper etiquette, conduct and manners to regulate social behavior and emotional expression. Manuals, created through literacy, a cultural know-how that had to be studied and embodied by refined subjects of the city of Isfahan.  To be in style one spoke poetry and moved with the gestures set out in codes of adab, or etiquette.   Adab literacy heightened practices of seeing, reading, writing and collecting. As Isfahanis came to cultivate adab, their distinct subjectivities and levels of literacy were shaped by these practices.  It is within this context that I will consider the disciplinary work this civilizational project performed on the medium of communicating social relations.

  • SAID Conference on International Women’s Issues
    Saturday, 02 March 2013 at 09:30 AM in Huang Engineering Building, NVIDIA Auditorium & MacKenzie Room

    Organized by the Stanford Association for International Development (SAID), the conference will focus on women in politics and governance; conflicts and wars’ effects on women's health; investing in women’s education and entrepreneurial ambitions; and religion and culture’s influence on women’s rights.

  • Shahzad Bashir: Ink and Blood
    Friday, 01 March 2013 at 12:15 PM in Building 70, Rm. 72A1

    Shahzad Bashir (Stanford University) is Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies, and Director of the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. His research is concerned with the intellectual and social history of Persianate societies of Iran and Central and South Asia circa fourteenth century CE to the present. His publications focus on  the study of Sufism and Shi’ism, messianic movements originating in Islamic contexts, representation of corporeality in hagiographic texts and Persian miniature paintings, religious developments during the Timurid and Safavid periods, and modern transformations of Islamic societies. He is the author of numerous articles and four books, Under the Drones: Modern Lives in Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands (2012), Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam (2011), Fazlallah Astarabadi and the Hurufis (2005), and Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions: The Nurbakhshiya Between Medieval and Modern Islam (2003). He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Building the Past: Memory, Metaphor, and Reality in Islamic Narratives.

  • Crisis and Renewal
    Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall West, Rm. 208

    In this roundtable, Evrim Binbas (Royal Holloway University of London) and Judith Pfeiffer (University of Oxford) will focus on crisis and renewal in late medieval and early modern Islamicate history. Evrim Binbas (Royal Holloway University of London) is Lecturer in Early Modern Asian Empires at the Department of History. His research interests focus on the historiography, political thought, and intellectual networks of the fifteenth and sixteenth century Islamic world. Judith Pfeiffer (University of Oxford) is Lecturer in Arabic/Islamic History (1000-1500). Her research interests include Islamic history, historiography, and hagiography of the 13th to 16th centuries; conversion processes post-Mongol (13th to 16th century) theology and philosophy; political thought during the later middle period of Islamic history; Buddhism during the Ilkhanid period; and early European scholars in Oriental Studies.

  • Baki Tezcan: Secularist Anxieties Meet Evangelical Ones
    Monday, 25 February 2013 at 04:15 PM in Building 200 (450 Serra Mall), Room 307

    Baki Tezcan is Associate Professor of History, and Director of Middle East/South Asia Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. His research interests include pre-modern Middle Eastern history, Ottoman political history in the 16th-18th centuries, pre-modern ethnic and racial identities in the Islamic world, fiscal and monetary history, Islamic law, and the intellectual tradition of Islam with a special emphasis on the relationship between politics, on the one hand, and philosophy and science, on the other.  Among his publications are The Second Ottoman Empire: Political and Social Transformation in the Early Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Beyond Dominant Paradigms in Ottoman and Middle Eastern/North African Studies: A Tribute to Rifa'at Abou-El-Haj (ISAM, 2010), and  Identity and Identity Formation in the Ottoman World: A Volume of Essays in Honor of Norman Itzkowitz (University of Wisconsin, 2007).

  • Walter Andrews: Ottoman Love Poetry
    Friday, 15 February 2013 at 12:15 PM in Building 70, Rm. 72A1

    Walter Andrews (professor of Ottoman and Turkish Literature at the University of Washington) will talk about his own long struggles to make sense of Ottoman love and love poetry in a context where most of what most people--including most scholars-- think they know is nonsense.  He will introduce the nonsense (myths about Ottoman Poetry), the reality (what we should know based on the evidence), the history of emotions and my notion of "emotional ecology" (how it all fits together from sex to the sacred), and several other things including prairie voles, bonding, and cultural neuroscience, ending (perhaps) with poiesis. 

  • Joshua Landis: Syria: What's Next?
    Thursday, 14 February 2013 at 05:30 PM

    In thinking about possible outcomes of the Syrian revolution and civil war, it is helpful to place Syria in the broader context of the Levant states, all of which are deeply divided and weak. In this lecture, Prof. Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma) will consider how the Turks, Iraqis, and Lebanese emerged from their efforts at revolution and civil war. These revolutions in Syria's direct neighborhood provide the surest guide to considering the possibilities for a unified Syrian national movement, the possibility of ethnic cleansing, and the possible future of the Alawite and Kurdish regions and how long war will last.

  • Munis Faruqui: Effrontery, Erasure, and Exaltation
    Tuesday, 12 February 2013 at 04:00 PM in Encina Hall West, Rm. 208

    Munis Faruqui (University of California, Berkeley) is Associate Professor in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies. His research focuses on the Muslim experience in South Asia, especially during the Mughal period. His books include Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504-1719 (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and two forthcoming edited volumes: Religious Interactions in Mughal India and Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History. His various journal articles have interrogated the creation of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605), the founding decades (c. 1720-40) of the princely state of Hyderabad, and the relationship between religion and politics in the life and work of the Mughal prince, Dara Shukoh (1615-59). He is currently working on a book reevaluating the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707).

  • Ravinder Binning: Spotlight on Art
    Friday, 08 February 2013 at 02:00 PM in Cantor Arts Center

    Ravinder Binning (Ph.D. Candidate in Art and Art History, Stanford University) discusses Soody Sharifi's Fashion Week and Frolicking Women in the Pool.

  • Roundtable on Islamic Art
    Thursday, 07 February 2013 at 05:30 PM in Cantor Arts Center

    Although very widely used, the phrase “Islamic art” has been the subject of considerable discussion and negotiation in recent years. In this roundtable, Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell University), Nada Shabout (University of North Texas), and Taraneh Hemami (Artist & Curator) will engage questions that relate the use of the phrase Islamic art to artistic practice on a worldwide scale. Taking seriously both the materiality of objects and installations that constitute art, and intellectual patterns and sociopolitical relations that lead to art’s production, the roundtable aims to move beyond any kind of sterile concern with definitions, and explores how producers, evaluators, buyers, and viewers of art today are likely to interpret the term Islamic art. The discussion will illustrate a diverse set of perspectives that, in turn, will reflect on aesthetics, the relationship between the present and the past, and personal and collective identities in the world today.

  • The U.S. and Iran: War or Diplomacy?
    Wednesday, 30 January 2013 at 07:00 PM in Tresidder Union, Oak Lounge

    Robert Crews (Stanford University), Trita Parsi (Founder and President of the National Iranian American Council), and Laleh Behbehanian (University of California, Berkeley) will  discuss the contemporary state and future of the relations between the United States and Iran. The session is co-sponsored by Stanford Says No to War, the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Muslim Students Awareness Network, Students for Palestinian Equal Rights, and Stanford University Speakers' Bureau.

  • Rachid Koraïchi: Eternity is the Absence of Time
    Thursday, 24 January 2013 at 05:30 PM in Cantor Arts Center

    Rachid Koraïchi is recipient of the 2011 Jameel Prize. Against the backdrop of his award-winning work, The Invisible Masters, he will discuss The Path of Roses, a series of installations that develop over time and in different locations.

  • Paul M. Lubeck: Youth, Governance and Muslim Globalization in Northern Nigeria
    Thursday, 24 January 2013 at 12:00 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    Paul M. Lubeck is the Associate Director of the  African Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of the Global Information Internship Program at UC Santa Cruz.

  • Merthan Dundar: From Panislamism to Greater Asianism
    Monday, 14 January 2013 at 04:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    Merthan Dundar (Ankara University)

  • Ahoo Najafian: Spotlight on Art
    Friday, 11 January 2013 at 02:00 PM

    Ahoo Najafian (Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies, Stanford University) discusses artist Bita Ghezelayagh’s Felt Memories.

  • Behnam Sadeghi: A Model for Decision Making
    Friday, 11 January 2013 at 12:15 PM in Building 70, Rm. 72A1

    Behnam Sadeghi (Stanford University) is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. He specializes in the early centuries of Islamic religion and teaches courses on pre-modern intellectual history. He has done research on the early history of the Qur'an, the hadith literature, and the early legal debates about women in the public space. His doctoral dissertation examined methods of textual interpretation applied in the Hanafi school of law in the pre-modern period.

  • The Jameel Prize Exhibition: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition
    Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at in Cantor Arts Center

    This exhibition presents the work of 10 finalists for the 2011 Jameel Prize which encourages the exploration of long-established practices of Islamic art, craft and design within a contemporary framework. The exhibition is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum London (V&A) in partnership with the Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives. Its presentation at Stanford is made possible through the collaboration between the Cantor Arts Center and the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and by the generous support of the Cantor Arts Center Members.

  • Islamic Studies Social
    Thursday, 06 December 2012 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    Meet Stanford affiliates who are interested in the study of Muslim societies and cultures. Catch with your professors, colleagues, and friends. Join the book raffle co-sponsored by Stanford University Press. The event is open to all Stanford affiliates.

  • Sunil Sharma, The Ghazal in the Twilight of Indo-Persian Literary Culture
    Thursday, 29 November 2012 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    The decline of Indo-Persian literary culture is thought to have been precipitated by the introduction of English as the official language in British India in 1835. Ghalib Dihlavi (d. 1869) is considered to have been the last Persian poet of India writing in a classical style whose writings evince a great deal of nostalgia for the master poets of a lost, unified Persianate world. Persian was increasingly treated as a classical language, along with Arabic and Sanskrit, and Urdu and other vernacular occupied the gap left by it in the public sphere. In the early twentieth century, there was a sudden revival of Persian poetry at the hands of two scholar-poets, Shibli Nu'mani (d. 1914) and Iqbal Lahori (d. 1938), who both composed verse in the language, using a conventional genre in distinctly new ways. The composition of these poems formed part of each poet's separate agenda in the larger project of literary modernity and Muslim nationalism in India, reflecting different views of the Persianate past. This paper will study the contexts in which these poets produced several ghazal cycles with respect to the use of imagery and well-known refrains of classical poems. A close reading of some of the poems will attempt to answer the fundamental questions of who the audience was for these poems in the absence of a vibrant Indo-Persian literary community and whether they had an impact in the larger Persophone world.

  • Ziya Onis: Turkey and the Arab Spring
    Thursday, 15 November 2012 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall East, Goldman Conference Room

    Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy. Amid the flux of geopolitical shifts in one of the world’s most unstable regions, Turkish foreign policy-making elites are attempting to reformulate their strategies to overcome this inherent dilemma. The central argument of the present paper is that Turkey could make a bigger and more constructive impact in the region by trying to take a more detached stand and through controlled activism. Thus, Turkey could take action through the formation of coalitions and in close alignments with the United States and Europe rather than basing its policies on a self-attributed unilateral pro-activism.

  • Ziya Onis: The Political Economy of the AKP Era
    Tuesday, 13 November 2012 at 05:30 PM in Pigott Hall, Room 113

    The Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP), following its third successive electoral victory appears to be far more entrenched than its earlier center-right counterparts in Turkish politics. This article highlights the key political economy fundamentals that have rendered the AKP experience unique within the Turkish context. Accordingly, strong economic performance in context of “regulatory neo-liberalism” helped by a favorable global liquidity environment in the early parts of the decade was a key contributor to the party’s continued electoral success. The party also made effective use of a variety of formal and informal redistributive mechanisms, which is referred as “controlled neo-populism” in this article, to enlarge its electoral coalition. Furthermore, the fact that Turkey did not suffer a typical old-style economic crisis in the context of the global turmoil of 2008–2009 was important for the AKP’s electoral fortunes. Concomitantly, the AKP government was quite effective in managing the global financial crisis politically and it took advantage of its assertive “new” foreign policy approach. Finally, this study argues that the AKP also benefited from the fragmented opposition.

  • Lives Under Drones
    Friday, 09 November 2012 at 04:15 PM in Lane History Corner (Bldg. 200), Room 205

    The panel discussion will focus on the civilian consequences of the United States' drone program in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen within the broader context of how the US conducts its political and military operations in those countries. Speakers include Prof. Shahzad Bashir (Stanford Religious Studies Professor and co-editor of  Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands),  Medea Benjamin (Co-founder of Code Pink and Global Exchange and author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control), Prof. Robert Crews, (Stanford History Professor and co-editor of Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands), and Omar Shakir (3rd year Stanford Law student and co-author of the Stanford Law School report "Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from Drone Practices in Pakistan").

  • Flagg Miller: Lessons on al-Qa`ida
    Wednesday, 07 November 2012 at 07:00 PM in Building 160, Rm. 124 (160 Comstock Circle)

    The alleged fantasies of Islamic militants provide Western audiences with an ample repertoire not only for stereotyping Muslims but also for severing acts of terror from realms of human experience. With the aim of bringing Muslim militants’ narratives of violence back to the complexities of situated cultural interaction, my lecture will investigate the ways in which militant practice takes place through mediated language use. In the winter of 2002, over fifteen-hundred audiotapes from Osama Bin Laden’s former house in Kandahar, Afghanistan were acquired by the Cable News Network. My lecture will focus on the ways jihad, martyrdom, and theology are situated by speakers on the tapes through a practical ethics informed centrally by the concept of al-qa`ida, in Arabic "the rule" or "base".

  • Democratization and Freedom of Speech
    Tuesday, 30 October 2012 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall East, Goldman Conference Room (E409)

    Nuray Mert (2012-13 FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor), Lina Khatib (Stanford University), and Lucan Way (University of Toronto) will discuss the issues of democratization, democratic regression and freedom of speech in the case of Turkey, the Arab World, and Ukraine. The session will be moderated by Ali Yaycıoğlu (Stanford University).

  • Mobile Africa Conference
    Friday, 26 October 2012 at 03:00 PM in Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the movement of people and goods, the transformative nature of local and regional exchanges, and the mobilization of ideas and ideologies. Ever increasing trade, migration, and availability of technology are changing the relationships between consumers and producers, state and society, publics and politicians. We aim to examine the ways in which people interact with their fellow citizens, produce and promote ideas, share culture and knowledge, and learn and borrow concepts that continue to shape the future of political, economic, and social development on the African continent.

  • Wali Ahmadi: Reflections on 19th Century Persian Poetry in Afghanistan
    Thursday, 25 October 2012 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    The 19th century represents a major transitional period in the literary and cultural composition and unity of the Persianate sphere. Prior to this period, what conventional literary history calls the Khurasani, Iraqi, and Indian “styles/schools” referred to developments in the greater Persianate world that bespoke its overall literary-cultural cohesiveness. The bazgasht style or period, on the other hand, refers to literary developments within a specific geographic space, i.e. Iran. My presentation aims to place the bazgasht in its larger geographical and chronological context, thereby relating it to major contemporaneous shifts and movements outside Iran. More specifically, I explore the effective  assertion of a new literary style, nothing short of a significant bazgasht, in poetic compositions in Persian in the 19th century Afghanistan. Thus, by offering examples from the works of some prominent poets in Afghanistan, I seek to re-evaluate the Iran-centicity of the bazgasht movement. Furthermore, the paper will discuss some of the primarily non-literary and discursive reasons Persian literature of Afghanistan in the 19th century has been neglected, or expressively marginalized, in the Iranian literary historiography and the subsequent works of Orientalist scholars.

  • Nuray Mert ile Söyleşi
    Tuesday, 16 October 2012 at 06:00 PM in Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall

    Join us for an evening of conversation in Turkish with the renowned Turkish academic and journalist Nuray Mert (2012-13 FSI-SHC International Visitor). The event will commence with a reception at 6:00 pm, and the discussion session, moderated by Ali Yaycioglu (Stanford University), will start at 18:30 pm. RSVP is requested. The event will be conducted in Turkish. Translation will not be provided. Non-Turkish speakers are cordially invited to attend the roundtable session to be conducted in English with the participation of Nuray Mert on October 30, 2012.

  • David Wasserstein: How Islam Saved the Jews
    Friday, 12 October 2012 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    By the early seventh century Judaism was in crisis. In the Mediterranean basin it was battered by legal, social, and religious pressure, weak in numbers and culturally almost non-existent. It was also largely cut off from the Jewry of the Persian empire, in Babylon, present-day Iraq. The future seemed clear: extinction in the west, decline to obscurity in the east. Salvation came from Arabia. Islam conquered the entire Persian empire and most of the Mediterranean world. Uniting virtually all the world’s Jews in a single state, it gave them legal and religious respectability, economic and social freedoms, and linguistic and cultural conditions that made possible a major renaissance of Judaism and the Jews. The significance of Islam for Jewry has been interpreted very variously since the middle ages and is a source of controversy to this day.

  • Dominic Brookshaw: Sisters of the Pen
    Thursday, 11 October 2012 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208

    For many in nineteenth-century Iran (both female and male), women’s writing was seen as a transgressive act. However, it is also true that for a good number of women in the Qajar period, composing poetry was not only an integral part of their education in the harem, but also a favorite pastime. Some women of the period employed poetry as a means through which they left a mark on their world, and a handful of women in Qajar Iran earned a livelihood from producing poetry for wealthy patrons. This paper focuses on a key text from the 1820s, Mahmud Mirza’s anthology of women poets, Nuql-i majlis, which contains a representative selection of poetry composed by women (both royal and non-royal) in the first decades of the nineteenth century. These women were active participants in the literary salons of their day, and through the reconstruction of female-centered patronage networks and associated female-only performance venues, this paper shows how, starting in the 1820s, successive generations of women in nineteenth-century Iran were actors in the production, dissemination, and appreciation of poetry. These patronage and poetry production networks should be read as evidence of a female-centered literary tradition, one that was in dialogue with (and often intersected) the dominant one of men; a literary tradition that empowered women to create a sisterhood of poets in which their art could be passed on from mother to daughter, and from daughter to granddaughter (and occasionally from mother to son).

  • Bachir Diagne: The Postcolonial & the Universal
    Wednesday, 03 October 2012 at 05:30 PM in Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center

    [Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the Stanford Humanities Center]

  • Bachir Diagne: The Writing of Boris Diop
    Wednesday, 03 October 2012 at 12:00 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 202

    [Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the Stanford Humanities Center]

  • Beginning of the Year Reception
    Tuesday, 02 October 2012 at 03:30 PM in Galvez Modular Lawn

    Join us in celebrating the beginning of the 2012-13 Academic Year with Stanford affiliates who are interested in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. All Stanford affiliates are welcome. Refreshments will be served . For questions, please contact abbasiprogram@stanford.edu.