2013-14 Events

  • SGS Film Festival: The Wedding Song
    02 July 2014 at 07:00 in Braun Corner, Room 105, Building 320 (450 Serra Mall)

    (France & Tunisia, Directed by Karin Albou, 2008) The Nazi occupation of Tunisia strains the relationship between two friends. 

  • Elizabeth Lambourn: Ali Akbar's Red Horse
    22 May 2014 at 03:30 in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    Abstract: The Islamicate world has barely featured thus far in the new academic study of collecting, collectors and collections, certainly nowhere in proportion to its vast geographical and temporal extent. This research contributes to this nascent bibliography with a study of the relationships between merchant brokers and court collectors in seventeenth century India, as they emerge through the case study of ‘Ali Akbar Isfahani and his provision of “jewels and horses” to the Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan. In particular, this paper explores the ways that we might think of Shah Jahan’s acquisition and stabling of Arab horses as a collecting activity and of Shah Jahan as a collector – and indeed exhibitor - of horses. These activities are understood within the larger frame of Solomonic kingship and courtly emulations of the divan of Solomon in the Mughal, Safavid and Ottoman courts. Specifically, this paper proposes that in Islamicate cultures all Arab horses were understood to be descended from a group of magical, winged horses first tamed by Solomon; Arabs thus represented tangible, material links to this important figure and through this participated in wider Solomonic choreographies. This case study builds on, and contributes to, ongoing conversations about the centrality of equestrianism and horse-keeping in early modern European culture, in the process opening new, unexplored pathways for the history of Asian horse-keeping, court collections and connoisseurship. Ali Akbar’s red horse queries and disrupts some of Asian art’s more established taxonomies and argues for a less object-centric, more holistic view of what was collected, by whom, how and why, in early modern Eurasia.

  • Ottoman Topologies: Spatial Experience in an Early Modern Empire and Beyond
    16 May 2014 at in Lane History Corner (450 Serra Mall)

    By-invitation only. Open only to Stanford Affiliates.

  • Zahera Harb: Reporting the Arab Uprisings and its Ethical Boundaries
    13 May 2014 at 12:00 in Goldman Conference Room, Encina Hall East (616 Serra Street)

    Abstract: Arab screens along with social networks have been flooded over the past three years with words, images and videos that were meant to shed light on the revolts and uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain Libya and Syria. What started as a celebrated influx of information soon turned into means for disseminating sectarian and ethnic hatred, mainly in the cases of Syria and Egypt. Dr. Zahera Harb will discuss ethical boundaries that have been applied in Arab media coverage of the Arab revolts and uprisings, drawing on journalism epistemologies in the Arab world and focusing on recent developments in Syria and Egypt.

  • Conference on Journalism as Literary Praxis
    09 May 2014 at


  • Ara Merjian: Painting in Chains
    01 May 2014 at 05:30 in Cummings Art Building, AR2 (435 Lasuen Mall)


  • Ilham Khuri-Makdisi: The Eastern Mediterranean and the Making of Global Radicalism
    26 April 2014 at in Venue TBA


  • Chris Dole: Loss and Endurance in Post-Earthquake Turkey
    23 April 2014 at 17:30 in Building 50, Room 51A

    Abstract: This talk examines long-term experiences of loss and recovery among survivors of a series of devastating earthquakes that struck western Turkey in 1999.  It is particularly interested in exploring the question of what it means to “live on” in the wake of large-scale destruction.

  • Moroccan Sufism
    16 April 2014 at 17:00

    Please join us for a musical performance by Yassir Chadly, a lecture by Touria Boumehdi on “Sidi Abdel Rahman al Majdoub” , and a Sufi poetry recitation by Stanford Students  Forum of Darija.

  • Mike Massy on Middle Eastern Music (Solo Performance and Lecture)
    11 March 2014 at in Campbell Recital Hall and Building 300

    Lebanon's Mike Massy will be at Stanford for two free events on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Everyone is welcome to attend both events. Don't miss this great opportunity to hear and meet Lebanon's most beloved singer/composer/pianist whose 'Ya Zaman' album continues to top the Lebanese charts.

  • Rachel Donadio: Italy After Berlusconi
    24 February 2014 at 18:00 in Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall (424 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford CA 94305)

    After years dominating Italian politics and headlines, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is now under house arrest and seems to have left the world stage. How did he grow to be so powerful, and what happens to Italy now that his era is ending? Rachel Donadio, a former Rome Bureau Chief of the New York Times, will discuss the impact of Berlusconi's rise and fall and what's next for Italy and a Europe divided between technocrats and politicians.

  • Gabor Agoston: Wars and the End of Empires
    20 February 2014 at 12:00 in Lane History Corner, Room 307 (450 Serra Mall)

    Gábor Ágoston is Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. He received his M.A. from the University of Budapest and his Ph.D. from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research focuses on Ottoman military, economic and social history from the fifteenth through the late eighteenth centuries, early modern Hungarian history, and the comparative study of the Ottoman and Habsburg empires. His latest book, Guns of the Sultan: Military Power and the Weapons Industry in the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005) challenges the sweeping generalizations of Eurocentric and Orientalist scholarship regarding Ottoman and Islamic societies.

  • Martin Stokes: "Protest Soundscapes in the Middle East"
    03 December 2013 at 12:15 in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    The Tahrir and Gezi Park protests were, amongst many other things, moments of energetic artistic creativity, in the sound world as well as other domains. Though well documented, and clearly a vital component of the political energies and transformations of the moment, they have proved difficult to think about. This talk, a musicologist's perspective, will explore them in the light of some recent thinking about crowds and social movements.


  • Şener Aktürk: “Muslim Representation in Western and Post-Communist Legislatures”
    01 November 2013 at 12:00 in Encina Hall, Philippines Room (616 Serra Street)

    In this seminar, Şener Aktürk will explore Muslim minority representation in 25 Western and 20 post-communist legislatures, using descriptive and inferential statistics as well as qualitative and historical comparisons. On average, Muslims remain severely underrepresented in most Western legislatures, while they are almost proportionately represented in most post-communist ones. In explaining this variation, he will focus on forms of “consociational” power-sharing (including legacies of Communist-era affirmative action and multi-confessional power sharing), electoral systems based on proportional representation, processes of nation-building, and religious traditions. This event is open only to Stanford affiliates. RSVP is requested at https://creeesevents.wufoo.com/forms/zzeiftq1l1vuwb/

  • Şener Aktürk: "Regimes of Ethnicity and Nationhood in Germany, Russia, and Turkey"
    29 October 2013 at 17:30 in Tresidder Memorial Union, East Oak Lounge (459 Lagunita Drive)

    Germany’s ethnic citizenship law, the Soviet Union’s inscription of ethnic origins in personal identification documents, and Turkey’s prohibition on the public use of minority languages underpinned the 20th century definition of nationhood in these countries. Despite many challenges from political and social actors, these policies did not change until the turn of the 21st century, when Russia removed ethnicity from the internal passport, Germany opened the citizenship route to many immigrants, and Turkish state television began to broadcast in minority languages such as Arabic, Bosnian, Circassian, Kurdish and Zaza. How did such tremendous changes occur? In addressing this question, this lecture will identify and define ideal-types of monoethnic, multiethnic, and antiethnic regimes. This new conceptualization will connect the study of nation-building to studies of ethnic diversity and citizenship, and also provide a coherent typology of state policies on ethnicity that accommodates the full range of variation across cases. Employing this new typology and a close study of primary documents and numerous interviews, I will argue that the coincidence of three key factors – counterelites, new discourses, and hegemonic majorities – explains successful change in state policies toward ethnicity.

  • "Reforming the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Post-revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia"
    23 October 2013 at 12:00 in Encina Hall Central, CISAC Conference Room (616 Serra Mall)

    Gregory Simpson (CIPE), Lina Khatib (Stanford University), and Amr Adly (Stanford University) will discuss the entrepreneurship eco-system in the contemporary Egypt and Tunisia.


  • Summer of 2013: A Focus on Egypt and Turkey
    21 October 2013 at 18:30 in Encina Hall, Bechtel Conference Center (616 Serra Street)

    Amr Adly (Stanford University), Ayça Alemdaroğlu (Stanford University), Alexander Key (Stanford University), and Kabir Tambar (Stanford University) will discuss the contemporary political situation in the Middle East with special respect to Egypt and Turkey.

  • Karen Barkey: “Religious Pluralism and Shared Sacred Sites”
    08 October 2013 at 12:00 in Lane History Corner, Room 307 (450 Serra Mall)

    Karen Barkey, Professor of Sociology and History, and Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University, will deliver a public lecture, titled “Religious Pluralism and Shared Sacred Sites: A Legacy of the Ottoman Empire?,” as part of the Eurasian Empires Workshop Series organized by the Stanford Humanities Center.


  • "Egypt's Stalled Transition"
    03 October 2013 at 12:00 in CISAC Conference Room, Encina Hall (616 Serra Street)

    Lina Khatib (Stanford University), Amr Adly (Stanford University), Adel Iskandar, and Hesham Sallam (Stanford University) will discuss the recent developments in Egypt. This session is open only to to Stanford affiliates.