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The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies supports events that increase awareness of the history and cultures of the Middle East and Muslim civilizations, and values diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding. Events listed here originate from a variety of campus units and community organizations. The listing of an event does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein.

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September 2020

Cultural Event: “Iranian identity in the Shahnameh of Hakim Ferdowsi” with Mr. Freydoun Naimi-Rad

September 20, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

  Join the Persian Art Center in Carolina for an event on the Shahanameh, featuring Mr. Freydoun Naimi-Rad. One of the world’s longest epic poems, the Shahnameh was written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE and is the national epic of Greater Iran. The event will include time for questions and answers, as well as poetry readings by the audience and music. This event is in Persian. Zoom link. Sponsored by Persian Art Center in…

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Virtual Lecture: “Language Learning and Social Mobility: Evidence from al-Hariri’s Maqamat” with Dr. Michael Cooperson (UCLA)

September 22, 2020 | 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

  Join us to hear distinguished Arabist, Dr. Michael Cooperson (UCLA) present on his recent NYU Press translation of Al-Hariri's Maqamat. He will also discuss the use of literature as a historical source. Register in advance. ​Sponsored and presented by Georgia State University's Middle East Studies. Co-sponsored by the Atlanta Global Studies Center, Emory University's Department of Middle East and South Asian Studies, Alif Institute, and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.    

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Virtual “Blackness in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies” Speaker Series: “Posing Slaves for the Camera: Race and Photography in 19 century Khartoum” by Eve M. Troutt Powell (U. Penn)

September 22, 2020 | 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm

  Please mark your calendars for the first event in the 2020-2021 “Blackness in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies” speaker series. On September 22, at 4:30 PM, Eve M. Troutt Powell (Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania) will present “Posing Slaves for the Camera: Race and Photography in 19 century Khartoum.” The talk will be moderated by UNC’s own Professor William Sturkey. All events will be held virtually through Zoom. Registration details forthcoming.   Eve M. Troutt…

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Virtual Discussion: War and COVID-19 in Yemen

September 24, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

  While nearly every country in the world is struggling with COVID-19, it would be easy to say that Yemen is suffering the most. The past five years of conflict have left the country's health system shattered, putting millions in vulnerable conditions since the start of the pandemic. Not only has COVID-19 left millions of Yemenis at risk, but the intentional suppression of information by authorities has impacted the reports of the real numbers of the pandemic. In many ways,…

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Virtual Lecture: “Navigating Afro-Arab Studies in Graduate School” with Razan Idris, University of Pennsylvania

September 24, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  Join Duke Alumni as they talk to the personal, intellectual, academic, and spiritual trajectory through life, Duke, and graduate school. Register in advance.   Razan Idris is a Sudanese-American third-year PhD student in History at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies histories of blackness in Afro-Arab communities on the African continent and in diaspora. For her current project, Razan has been exploring black identity at the religious institute of al-Azhar in Egypt since 1800. Razan is also the curator of…

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Virtual Seminar: Panel III – Religio-Political Dimensions of Desire in Modern Iran

September 26, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This webinar is part of the series, “Revisiting Discourses of Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Iran and Diaspora: A Symposium in a Series of Panels.” Register in advance: go.unc.edu/Iran From their mundane to their sublime forms, love and desire have played a central role in various discourses in modern Iran. From romantic epics to ghazals, and from arranged marriages to white marriages, and from companionate love to contemporary cohabitations, desire is undoubtedly one of the most important theoretical topics for…

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Virtual Kitab Talk: “Building the Digital Library of the Middle East” with Jacob Hill (Stanford Libraries)

September 29, 2020 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Join us for a Kitab Talk on the newly released Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME), which aims to become one of the world’s largest public, online archives of Middle Eastern and North African artifacts. In response to the tragic displacement of people and losses of life in conflict zones and to ongoing threats to the cultural heritage of the Middle East through destruction, looting, and illegal trade, the DLME federates Middle Eastern collections from around the world, creating…

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Virtual Book Talk: “Who is Allah Revisited” with Prof. Bruce Lawrence

September 29, 2020 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

  Over the course of his career, Bruce B. Lawrence has explored the central elements of Islamicate civilization and Muslim networks. The Bruce B. Lawrence Reader: Islam beyond Borders assembles over two dozen selections of Lawrence's key writings, which range from analyses of premodern and modern Islamic discourses, practices, and institutions to methodological reflections on the contextual study of religion. Modeling what it means to study Islam beyond political and disciplinary borders, as well as a commitment to linking empathetic imagination…

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October 2020

A Virtual Conversation with Ambassador Michael Oren

October 1, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Michael Bornstein Oren is an American-born Israeli historian, author, politician, former ambassador to the United States, and former member of the Knesset for the Kulanu party and a former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. This event is part of the AGS Focus on Israel Speaker Series. More information and register in advance here, space is limited. Sponsored by the Program in American Grand Strategy at Duke University.   Duke University

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Virtual Discussion: “Damned If You Do and Dammed If You Don’t: Troubled Waters Over the Nile” – A Discussion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam with Dr. Aaron Salzberg

October 1, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

  In 2011, Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The dam would by the largest in Africa and produce more than 6,000 MW of power. While potentially providing substantial benefits to the region, it also posed an existential threat to the two downstream countries – Egypt and Sudan. Egypt threatened to go to war. Discussions between the countries have failed to solve the dispute. The dam is now filling and a potential conflict looms. Register in advance:…

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Virtual Seminar: Roundtable Discussion: Love, Laws, and Changes

October 3, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

This webinar is part of the series, “Revisiting Discourses of Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Iran and Diaspora: A Symposium in a Series of Panels.” Register in advance: go.unc.edu/Iran From their mundane to their sublime forms, love and desire have played a central role in various discourses in modern Iran. From romantic epics to ghazals, and from arranged marriages to white marriages, and from companionate love to contemporary cohabitations, desire is undoubtedly one of the most important theoretical topics for…

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Virtual Panel Discussion: Black and Afro-Iranians in Iranian Cultural Imaginary

October 6, 2020 | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Register in advance: go.unc.edu/iranwebinar   This panel will discuss Black and Afro-Iranians in the Iranian Cultural Imaginary, featuring panelists: “Chronopolitical Assemblages: Race/ism, Desire, and Identification in Iranian Contexts” Shadee Malaklou, Chair and Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies; Founding Director, Women's and Gender Non-Conforming Center, Berea College “The Question of Race in Simin Daneshvar’s “A City Like Paradise” Amirhossein Vafa, Assistant Professor of English Literature, Shiraz University “The limitations, danger and equity regarding imagining and writing about those we are…

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Virtual Lecture: “Rednecks, White Muslims: Whiteness and Religious Normativity in the American South” with Zachary Faircloth, UNC-Chapel Hill

October 8, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  Join Duke Alumni as they talk to the personal, intellectual, academic, and spiritual trajectory through life, Duke, and graduate school. Register in advance.   Zachary Faircloth is a PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill in the Department of American Studies. Previously, he studied Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University and holds a Master's degree from the University of Florida from the Department of Religion. His work focuses on the entanglement of race and religion, rurality in the US…

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Virtual Workshop: Persian Language Pedagogy: Challenges, Obstacles, and Innovative Responses

October 15, 2020 | 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Persian Language Pedagogy: Challenges, Obstacles, and Innovative Responses is an attempt at providing innovative responses to challenges and obstacles that Persian language instructors particularly, but language instructors more broadly, encounter in their classrooms. The panelists will address topics such as the challenges in teaching heritage students vs. non-heritage ones, the difficulties of teaching morphologically complex idiomatic expressions in Persian, teaching reading in Persian to literate college-level novice readers of Persian as a second language, devising effective blended language learning experiences,…

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Virtual Lecture: “Chronopolitical Assemblages” with Dr. M. Shadee Malaklou, Berea College

October 22, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  Join Duke Alumni as they talk to the personal, intellectual, academic, and spiritual trajectory through life, Duke, and graduate school. Register in advance.   Shadee Malaklou is a critical race and gender and sexuality studies scholar with expertise in Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Her research argues that gender and sexuality are produced as identity and type through the exclusion of black people from Euro-American discourses of modernity-or, from its social and political construction of time (i.e., its…

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Virtual Lecture: “US construction of race and how to disrupt racist systems” with Kiah Glenn, Elon University (Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education)

October 29, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  Join Duke Alumni as they talk to the personal, intellectual, academic, and spiritual trajectory through life, Duke, and graduate school. Register in advance.   Kiah Glenn, Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education at Elon University will be with us for this talk on the US construction of race and how to disrupt racist systems. More information.   This event is sponsored by the Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke University Middle East Studies Center, The Department…

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