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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February 2020

Krasno Global Events Lecture Series: “Ambassadors Forum- On the Brink of War?: Conflict and Rivalry in the Middle East”

February 25, 2020 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Wilson Library, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  Join the Krasno Global Events series for a talk & discussion with two former U.S. ambassadors based in the Middle East; Ambassador David Litt (U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, 1995-1998), and and Ambassador Marc Sievers (U.S. ambassador to Oman, 2016-2019). The event will be moderated by Klaus Larres (UNC-Chapel Hill). ​The Krasno Events Series is a series of regular lectures, talks and discussions at UNC-Chapel Hill to enhance our understanding and comprehension of global affairs, past and…

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Wednesdays at the Center: “Istanbul: The Beloved City” with Professors Selim Kuru (UW Seattle) and Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano (U. Penn)

February 26, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
John Hope Franklin Center Durham, NC United States + Google Map

  Speakers Selim Kuru and Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano will introduce the culture and gendered contexts of early modern Ottoman Istanbul through poetry and literature. Prof. Kuru received his Ph.D. degree in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from Harvard University. Selim Kuru′s work focuses on Ottoman 14th-16th centuries Anatolian literary history, genres with respect to the topic of love and its place in the elite Ottoman society. Prof. Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano studies early modern Ottoman intellectual history, and its connections to literature, poetry,…

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March 2020

Lunch Talk: Professor Kecia Ali (Boston University)

March 2, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Duke University NC United States + Google Map

  Join the Center for Muslim Life and the Women's Center for lunch with Professor Kecia Ali, scholar of religion, gender, and ethics. Professor Ali's scholarship focuses on the study of Islamic Jurisprudence and Women in Early and Modern Islam. She is currently a Professor of Religion at Boston University, and her books include Sexual Ethics in Islam (2006), The Lives of Muhammad (2014), and Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam (2010). Duke undergraduate Sarah Chaoui '21 will lead a…

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KF Sephardic Studies Lecture: “Forging Ties, Forging Passports: Migration and the Modern Sephardi Diaspora” with Devi Mays (University of Michigan)

March 2, 2020 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
UNC-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map

  Devi Mays received her BA in Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia in 2006 and her PhD in History and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2013.  Dr. Mays works on transnational Jewish networks in the Mediterranean and global contexts, with a focus on Sephardic Jews.   Her dissertation, “Transplanting Cosmopolitans: The Migrations of Sephardic Jews to Mexico, 1900-1934,” deals with Sephardic migrants between the Ottoman Empire, its successor states, and Mexico, studying the transnational identities,…

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Lecture: “Muslim Women: Unity & Diversity in A Global Tradition” with Professor Kecia Ali (Boston University)

March 2, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Durham, NC United States
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  Though 'the Muslim Woman' has often been portrayed one-dimensionally, Muslim women and girls defy easy generalizatiaons. Nearly one of every eight people on the planet is a Muslim woman or girl, and Islam is only one facet of their lives. Drawing from global examples, but emphasizing the United States, this talk explores how ideas about women are central to debates over Muslim identity and religious authority-and to outsiders' negative stereotypes about Islam.   Kecia Ali (Ph.D., Religion, Duke University)…

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Nowruz Celebration

March 19, 2020 | 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Wilson Library, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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  Student Research Forum at 1:00 p.m. Reception at 2:00 p.m. Lecture at 3:00 p.m.   Enjoy traditional refreshments in recognition of the Persian New Year. Program will feature student presentations and a talk, “The Last Iranian Americans? Bans, Sanctions, and Immigrant Disintegration,” by Neda Maghbouleh, University of Toronto.   Sponsored by the UNC Libraries, co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies.   Wilson Library, Pleasants Family Assembly Room UNC Chapel Hill

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Carolina Seminar: Varieties of Esoteric Islam in Post-Soviet Tatarstan with Agnes Kefili (Arizona State University)

March 19, 2020 | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC United States
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After the collapse of the USSR, intellectuals from traditionally Soviet Muslim ethnicities began the complicated process of rethinking their religious identities, political philosophies, and worldviews. Although Western scholars often present this process as an unproblematic “return to Islam,” the newly religious thinkers of the 1990s engaged the rich philosophical universe of their time, incorporating and rejecting elements of New Age, occult, and esoteric systems in their efforts to formulate answers for the contemporary world. My paper focuses on the Tatars (the largest…

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