British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Anti-Israel Conference

07.07.21

Editorial Note

The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is currently holding its’ annual conference. BRISMES was founded in 1973 to provide a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies.

The annual conference is taking place between 5-9 July 2021 on Zoom. One person who helped the organizers is Prof. Neve Gordon, a former Ben Gurion University scholar who called for the boycott of Israel on the pages of the Los Angeles Times in 2009, currently at Queen Mary University of London. BRISMES, as can be seen from its homepage, is mainly concerned with Israel/Palestine.    

There are several sessions at the current BRISMES annual conference dealing with Israel and Palestine: “Settler colonialism, power and resistance in Israel-Palestine”; “The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel”; “Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel-Palestine.” And then, session 11 on July 7, is titled “BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial Education,” with one speaker, Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and another speaker is Marcy Newman from the Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.  

Neve Gordon chairs a session titled “Geographies of war-care.” Gordon also presents a paper, “Legal Exceptions and the Killability of the Wounded Body.” Revital Madar presenting a paper titled “Repression and Repetition: The Construction of Palestinian Death(s) as an Exceptional Repetition in Israeli Military Courts.”  

BRISMES is also highly active in PR.  Three notices on its front page are indicative in this respect.

The first notice states that on June 9, 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Professor Daniel Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University, expressing deep concerns about the events on May 11, 2021, on and near the University campus in Beer Sheva. These events, as detailed in the letter, “appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students, and that on May 11, the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security.” As proof of their allegations, the BRISMES letter cited a Haaretz article on this topic.  

However, BRISMES neglected to include the Ben Gurion University response in the Haaretz article, stating: “The incident described occurred outside the university and the dorms. We regret the incident deteriorated into violence, due to people who are not part of the university community, on both sides.” A review of guards’ conduct did not find any suspicion of misdeeds. ‘The security staff of the university acted, while putting themselves at risk, to protect the students by bringing them into the dormitory compound. Everyone who identified as a student was let in, and non-students were prevented from entering,’ said the university. As for the student arrested at the protest, he was brought onto campus by security staff for his own protection. The police later instructed he be released. ‘The university has acted tirelessly to preserve students’ safety and sense of security. We are now in difficult times in all of Israel, but there is zero tolerance for violence, from any side, while we allow for opinions to be exchanged openly and safely.’ The university said it will hold activities to help heal the rifts.” 

The second notice states that on May 26, 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Michelle Donelan MP, the UK Minister of State for Universities, to express deep concerns about the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism. Their letter urged the Minister to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism onto universities. BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom demands “full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities.” In other words, anti-Semitic behavior should be considered part of academic freedom, according to the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom.

The third notice stated that the BRISMES Council published a statement on the latest escalation in Israel/Palestine viewing with grave concern the latest escalation, noting that yet again, “Palestinians are paying a disproportionate price.” As educators, we are acutely aware of the “long history of Palestinian dispossession.” BRISMES added a link to the online petition “Palestine and Praxis: Open Letter and Call to Action,” which begins by expressing support for the Palestinians by stating: 

“As scholars, we affirm the Palestinian struggle as an indigenous liberation movement confronting a settler colonial state. The pitched battle in Sheikh Jarrah is the most recent flashpoint in the ongoing Nakba that is the Palestinian condition. Israel has expanded and entrenched its settler sovereignty through warfare, expulsion, tenuous residency rights, and discriminatory planning policies. The ostensible peace process has perpetuated its land grabs and violent displacement under the fictions of temporality and military necessity. Together these policies constitute apartheid, bolstered by a brute force that enshrines territorial theft and the racial supremacy of Jewish-Zionist nationals. And now, as has been the case for over a century, Palestinians continue to resist their removal and erasure.” 

As for the last escalation between Israel and Gaza on May 10-21, 2021, BRISMES does not mention that during the Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip launched 4,360 rockets at Israel. Some 680 of the rockets fell inside the Gaza Strip, killing Gazans. An analysis report published by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Center on June 22, 2021, found that of the 236 published names of Palestinian killed in the attacks, at least 114 of them belonged to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Mujahedeen Brigades and Popular Resistance Committees.

BRISMES then moves on to remind its members that a resolution passed at the BRISMES Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2019, which “expressed support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in occupation and settler colonialism.” 

BRISMES also notes that the 2020 BRISMES AGM resolved to establish the “BRISMES Campaigns Limited” advocating for the “boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” This Campaign is being held during the BRISMES Annual Conference on July 7, 2021. 

Clearly, the BRISMES organization has been hijacked by Palestinians and their supporters.  This position reflects a more general trend in Middle East Studies, singularly focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a pro-Palestinian perspective. For instance, the American-based Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has hosted endless panels on the subject.   

The study of the Middle East is highly complex and essential.  The Middle East is the home to repressive regimes and hosts brutal Islamist terror groups.  Scholars and students should profit from BRISMES research into these and other urgent issues. 


www.brismes.ac.uk/component/content/article/1-home/1-home

BRISMES Logo

About BRISMES

Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We work to promote interest in Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle East Studies is a diverse field, which encompasses all the humanities and social sciences and reaches from the present back to classical antiquity. …Read more

NewsProgramme for 2021 BRISMES Annual ConferenceWe are delighted to share the programme for the upcoming BRISMES Annual Conference Knowledge, Power and Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to eminent keynote speakers Pinar Bilgin (Bilkent University, Ankara), Caroline Rooney (University of Kent, Canterbury) and amina wadud (National Islamic University in Jogjakarta), the conference programme includes a plenary roundtable addressing the conference theme, a graduate section event and over 80 sessions. Registration will be open until midnight on 20 June 2021. For more information about the conference and how to register, please visit the conference website.
– 20 April 2021Letter to Ben-Gurion University of the NegevOn 9 June 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Aacdemic Freedom sent a letter to Professor Chamovitz, President of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, expressing our deep concerns about the events that took place on 11 May 2021 on and near the University campus in Beer Shava. These events, as detailed in the letter, appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students, and that on 11th May the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security.
– 9 June 2021Letter to the UK Minister of State for UniversitiesOn 26 May 2021, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom sent a letter to Michelle Donelan MP, the Minister of State for Univesties, to express deep concerns about comments that were made during the Education Select Committee on 27 April 2021, regarding the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the autonomy of universities. The letter urges the Minister to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism onto universities and to make clear their full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities.
– 27 May 2021Statement from BRISMES Council on the latest escalation in Israel/PalestineBRISMES views with grave concern the latest escalation in Israel/Palestine, noting that yet again Palestinians are paying a disproportionate price. As educators, we are acutely aware of the long history of Palestinian dispossession, and of the ways in which rounds of violence are predictable without a just and comprehensive peace. We would like to:Offer our solidarity to all members who are directly or indirectly affected by what is happening;Circulate this collective letter, in support of the dignity of Palestinians as a foundational principle of academic integrity, in case members would like to sign: https://palestineandpraxis.weebly.com/;Remind members of the resolution passed at the BRISMES AGM of 2019, which expressed support for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions that are complicit in occupation and settler colonialism: Read the resolution;Remind members that the 2020 BRISMES AGM resolved to establish BRISMES Campaigns Limited to advocate for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The public launch of BRISMES Campaigns will be held during the forthcoming BRISMES Annual Conference (7 July 2021, 3.15 – 5.15 pm). If you would like to be involved with BRISMES Campaigns, please email the Secretary, Dr Jamie Allinson, at jamieallinson@googlemail.com.– BRISMES Council, 20 May 2021
ContactIf you need to contact BRISMES, please do so by emailing  administrator@brismes.org.  As advised by the government, we are currently working from home and are unable to pick up any post.
The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES)
Department of Politics & International Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7ALadministrator@brismes.org

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Brismes Conference 2021

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BRISMES 2021

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About Kent
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The Programme

Please find the final programme here:

BRISMES 2021 Conference Download

Minor changes may be made to the programme – for example we will be announcing several exciting events hosted by publishers over the coming weeks!

________________________________

BRISMES expresses its huge gratitude to the following individuals for their service to the Conference Programme Committee for the 2021 conference:
1. Reem Abou-El-Fadl
2. Mo Afshary
3. Nadje Al-Ali
4. Feras Alkabani
5. Orit Bashkin
6. Kirsty Bennett
7. Marianna Charountaki
8. Katerina Dalacoura
9. James Dickins
10. Hoda Elsadda
11. Pascale Ghazaleh
12. Neve Gordon
13. Anthony Gorman
14. Sarah Irving
15. Islah Jad
16. Laleh Khalili
17. Diane King
18. Nesreen Hussein
19. Michelle Obeid
20. Nicola Pratt
21. Dina Rezk
22. Sophie Richter-Devroe
23. Sara Salem
24. Afshin Shahi
25. Nimer Sultany
26. Adam Talib
27. Zahra Tizro
28. Yaniv Voller
29. Rafeef Ziadah

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BRISMES 2021

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KNOWLEDGE,
POWER AND
MIDDLE EASTERN
STUDIES
BRISMES CONFERENCE 2021
5 JULY – 9 JULY 2021
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
WELCOME 3
ABOUT BRISMES 4
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES 6
LIST OF PANELS 7
DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY 7
DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY 8
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY 10
DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY 12
DAY 5, FRIDAY, 9TH JULY 13
PANEL DETAILS 16
DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY 16
DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY 25
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY 37
DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY 48
DAY 5, FRIDAY, 9TH JULY 55
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
3
WELCOME
The 2021 BRISMES Annual Conference: Knowledge, Power and
Middle Eastern Studies
With great pleasure, BRISMES warmly welcomes you to the annual conference of the
British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), which, for the first time, is being
held on-line due to COVID-19 restrictions. The annual BRISMES conference is the largest
and most prestigious annual UK gathering of scholars and practitioners focussed on the
Middle East and North Africa region. We are grateful to the University of Kent for cohosting
this virtual conference and to Ms Louisa Harvey (Senior Events Coordinator), Dr
Yaniv Voller (School of Politics and International Relations) and Dr Mohammad Afshary
(Law School) for their assistance in organising the event.
With this change of setting in mind, we have created an expansive programme containing
speakers situated across the world. This year’s conference theme encourages
participants to engage with the implications of global calls for decolonizing academia,
including the field of Middle East studies. In addition, we have dozens of panels and
presentations representing the full range of subjects and disciplines making up
the field. We are also honoured to welcome eminent keynote speakers, Pinar Bilgin
(Bilkent University, Ankara), Caroline Rooney (University of Kent, Canterbury) and amina
wadud (National Islamic University in Jogjakarta), a plenary roundtable addressing the
conference theme and a graduate section mentoring event. With events hosted by the
newly-launched BRISMES Campaigns and the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom,
we also invite you to see behind the scenes at some of the projects BRISMES teams
are working on and encourage you to get more involved. As well as attending some book
launches, be sure to visit the curated exhibition hall to discover more about some of the
leading publishers across academic fields.
Finally, and particularly in these challenging times, we thank all participants for
contributing and for making the BRISMES conference the stimulating event that it always
is.
Enjoy!
Nicola Pratt, BRISMES Vice President
Bronwen Mehta, BRISMES Conference Coordinator
Kirsty Bennett, BRISMES Conference Coordinator
On behalf of the BRISMES Council
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
4
ABOUT BRISMES
Founded in 1973, BRISMES provides a forum for educators and researchers in Middle East
Studies. Membership is open to all regardless of nationality or country of residence. We
currently have more than 400 members drawn from all over the world and are governed
by a Council of trustees elected from the membership. We work to promote interest in
Middle East Studies and to raise awareness of the region and how it is connected to
other parts of the world, including the UK. Middle Eastern Studies is a diverse field, which
encompasses all the humanities and social sciences and reaches from the present back
to classical antiquity.
The long history of our field of study has made us particularly aware of the connections
between knowledge and power. We see connections between research, education,
teaching and fundamental questions of social change. We do not believe that research
and education should be divorced from the wider social and political context nor that
it should exist to serve elites. We believe that a commitment to promote research and
education in Middle Eastern Studies involves a duty to consider the conditions under
which knowledge is produced and disseminated, and if necessary, to speak out against
power structures and interests that prevent the flourishing of research and education in
our field.
Database of Academic Expertise
We are continuing to expand our interactive database of academic expertise worldwide.
Our aim is to offer a one-stop shop for access to other sites of interest, information on
courses, job opportunities, new publications and forthcoming events.
Publications
Since 1974, we have published the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies – now
issuing 5 editions a year through Taylor and Francis – which is free to members.
Scholarships and Awards
We offer a number of funding opportunities and prizes to support and recognize the best
research, to which all BRISMES members are eligible to apply.
Events
We also organise public annual lectures and the BRISMES Annual Conference, which
draws participants from all over the world and attracts the latest research on all aspects
of Middle East Studies in Britain and beyond. Members enjoy a reduced attendance rate
here, too.
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
5
ABOUT BRISMES (CONT)
Graduate Section
The BRISMES Graduate Section is a hub for students and early career researchers to
have an active voice in the organisation. The BRISMES Graduate Section provides support
and advice to current and prospective graduate students; hosts events and workshops;
raises awareness of academic resources, funding opportunities and career opportunities;
and plays a vital role in making BRISMES more representative and better equipped to
promote Middle Eastern studies.
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
6
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN
STUDIES
The colonial origins of the term Middle East and the historical imbrications of area studies
with the exercise of colonial and imperialist power were highlighted many decades ago
in the work of Edward Said, amongst others. More recently, the Arab uprisings provoked
calls among some scholars and activists to fundamentally rethink prevalent approaches,
derived from so-called universal paradigms, particularly in the social sciences. We
have asked participants to reflect on the concept of decoloniality and practice of
decolonization of knowledge and pedagogy in relation to the study and teaching of the
Middle East.
Within this conference, we are particularly interested in providing space for scholars
to reflect on their experiences and challenges of writing about the Middle East while
adhering to the disciplinary/academic/institutional requirements of their universities.
The movement to decolonize academia also raises questions around the boundaries
between activism and scholarship. Hence, BRISMES 2021 provides an opportunity to
discuss the ethics and practicalities of professional and political solidarity and activism
and their relevance to academic work. In this light, we ask:
• In what ways can activism inform the study and teaching of the Middle East and vice
versa?
• What are the relationships between decolonization as a political project and as an
intellectual project?
• What are the possible dangers of linking activism and scholarship?
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
7
DAY 1, MONDAY 5TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
1A) Decolonising Methodology: Rethinking Approach, Tools and Technique
1B) Theological institutions and actors: Roles and Reforms
1C) The British Influence in the Gulf: Production, Protection, Partnership
1D) Narrating Upheaval in North Africa
1E) Roundtable: The city and al madina: A bilingual conversation
SESSION 1
10am – 12pm
2A) Plenary Keynote – Professor Caroline Rooney: ‘The Revolution is a Woman’: From
Woke Culture to the Arab Awakening
SESSION 2
1pm – 3pm
3A) The role of Academia in Activism and Critical Pedagogy
3B) Exclusion, Sectarianism and Marginalisation
3C) Settler colonialism, power and resistance in Israel-Palestine
3D) Decolonizing Middle Eastern Film and Media Studies
3E) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 1: Revolutionary Pasts and
Revolutionary Presents
SESSION 3
3:15pm – 5:15pm
4A) Cultural Imaginings: Narrating through novels
4B) BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom
4C) Islam Calling: Muslim minorities and da’wa
4D) Reflecting on constitution-making: Looking at North Africa after 2011
SESSION 4
5:30pm – 7:30pm
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
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8
DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
5A) Statelessness, self-determination and the struggle for sovereignty
5B) Islamic networks and Islamist movements
5C) The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: To thrive, or merely survive, that is the
question
5D) Memory and National(ist) Pasts in Turkey: Reflections Through Oral History
5E) Roundtable: Unlearning/Re-learning Middle East Studies: Challenging
Exclusions Through Ally-ship, Connection and Collaboration
SESSION 5
10am-12pm
SESSION 6
1pm – 3pm
6A) Creating dissenting narratives through Film and Art
6B) Colonial legacies: Borders and Institutions
6C) Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Comparative Perspectives from the
Arab World
6D) On Arab Urbanism Session 1
6E) Book Launch: The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus. Art, Faith and Empire in Early
Islam by Alain George
SESSION 7
3:15pm-5:15pm
7A) Plenary Roundtable: Disrupting, Refusing and Transgressing Knowledge
Production in Middle East Studies
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
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DAY 2, TUESDAY 6TH JULY (CONTINUED)
LIST OF PANELS
SESSION 8
5:30pm-7:30pm
8A) Questioning the Decolonisation of Middle Eastern Studies
8B) New Frontiers of Political Struggle: Popular Culture and Media
8C) Challenging the domestic/international dichotomy
8D) In the shadow of border control. Reconsidering humanitarianism as
containment in the Middle East and North Africa
8E) Feminist politics in revolutionary times: past struggles and radical futurities
8F) The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel
8G) Roundtable: Perils of our field: discrimination, censorship, and intimidation
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
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10
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
9A) Plenary Keynote – Dr amina wadud: Islamic Feminism: What’s in a Name?
SESSION 9
10am-12pm
SESSION 10
1pm – 3pm
10A) Exploring Memory through Art and Popular Culture
10B) Conceptualising Revolution
10C) Colonial legacies in education: historic and present
10D) Cultural Interactions in Arab Diasporic and Globalized Spaces
10E) Roundtable: Decolonising heritage in the Middle East
SESSION 11
3:15pm-5:15pm
11A) Decolonizing Feminism: Knowledge and Activism
11B) Rethinking militaries, militias and non-state armed actors in politics
11C) “The Century of Camps” – Imagining Encampment and Containment in the
Middle East
11D) Historiography and the Politics of Memory: Jews from the Muslim World
between Assimilation and Self-determination
11E) BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and Anti-Colonial
Education
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
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11
DAY 3, WEDNESDAY 7TH JULY (CONTINUED)
LIST OF PANELS
SESSION 12
5:30pm-7:30pm
12A) Academic Freedom and Knowledge Production: The relationship between
state and scholarship
12B) Identities and narratives of the displaced and the diaspora
12C) New Perspectives on an Elusive Conflict: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the
Conflict in Yemen
12D) Sufism and Modernity: Alternative Takes on the 19th and 20th Century in
Muslim Thought
12E) Geographies of war-care
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
12
DAY 4, THURSDAY 8TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
13A) Rethinking Gender and Islam: Comparative Perspectives
13B) Conserving heritage and constructing histories
13C) Decolonial critique and the limits of international law
13D) How to get published panel
13E) Roundtable: Decolonizing Islamicate Manuscript Studies
SESSION 13
10am-12pm
14A) Plenary Student Section Session: Writing within and beyond academia
SESSION 14
1pm-3pm
15A) Modes, considerations and consequences of International Intervention
15B) “What is to be done?”: The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 1:
Counter-hegemony and Legacies for a radical critique of the present
15C) On Arab Urbanism Session 2
15D) Analysing activism, resistance and resilience in the everyday
15E) Roundtable: Innovating and decolonising Arabic language teaching the UK
higher education sector
SESSION 15
3:15pm – 5:15pm
16A) Deconstructing orientalism through Queer and Feminist theories
16B) The Politics of Economic Reform, Resource Management and Financial
Governance
16C) Mechanics of Authoritarian Coercion
16D) Matters of space in the Middle East
16E) Roundtable: Decolonising Arabic Literary Studies
SESSION 16
5:30pm – 7:30pm
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
13
DAY 5, FRIDAY 9TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
17A) Self-determination and the (re)formation of national identity
17B) Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel-Palestine
17C) Beyond oil fields and the desert: orientalism, decoloniality and the Gulf
17D) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 2: Radical Knowledge Cultivation
across Space and Time
17E: Balancing power: challenges to the Middle East regional system past and
present
SESSION 17
10am-12pm
18A) Diversifying Research on the Arab World: Multi-local Perspectives on Twelver
Shi’ism in Iraq
18B) The Politics of Translation: Understanding Gender and Sexuality in Arabicspeaking
Countries – Language, Power and Hegemony (Session conducted in
Arabic)
18C) Reinterpretations of the Gulf: Time for a decolonization of Gulf studies?
18D) Challenging Western-Centrism, Orientalism and Colonial Narratives
SESSION 18
1pm – 3pm
SESSION 19
3:15pm – 5:15pm
19A) Plenary Keynote – Professor Pinar Bilgin: Nowhere to run? Decolonising the
study of the Middle East between Area Studies and International Relations
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
14
DAY 5, FRIDAY 9TH JULY
LIST OF PANELS
20A) A journey through literary history
20B) Women’s movements and agency across time and space
20C) Critical perspectives on Palestine, Western Sahara and the International
Community
20D) Palestine through the lens of decolonial epistemologies
20E) Power, Knowledge and “Oriental” Studies in Europe. Interrogating National
Traditions of Middle East Studies
20F) “What is to be done?” – The Arab New Left in the ‘long 1960s’ – Session 2:
Investigating Transnational Entanglements
SESSION 20
5:30pm-7:30pm
End of Conference
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KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
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SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
1A) Decolonising Methodology: Rethinking Approach, Tools
and Technique
Chaired by Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, New Jersey Institute of Technology/Rutgers –
Newark
Interviewing outside the “interview-society”. Limits and challenges of the Westernborn
qualitative approach – Odetta Pizzingrilli, Luiss Guido Carli
Knowledge production about Iran and Iranians: beyond inclusion as exclusion – M.
Stella Morgana, Leiden University
Co-production and co-analysis: the value of academic-artistic collaboration with
young people in Lebanon and Jordan – Zoe Jordan, Oxford Brookes; Alexandra Kassir,
Centre for Lebanese Studies; Oroub El-Abed, Centre for Lebanese Studies, Jordan
Decolonising Inquiry: Knowledge Production and the Pursuit of “Arab Public Opinion”
– Kiran Phull, King’s College London
Radical pedagogy and transformative tools for researchers and educators – Kanwal
Tareq Hameed Abdulhameed, Exeter University; Amal Khalaf, Serpentine Gallery;
Katie Natanel, Exeter University
1B) Theological institutions and actors: Roles and Reforms
Chaired by Irwan Saidin, National University of Malaysia
Brothers Behind Bars: Examining the History of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Prison
Ordeals, 1948-75 – Mathias Ghyoot, University of Copenhagen
An Informal Political Actor: The Influence of Ayatollah Sistani In Contemporary Iraq –
Yousif Al-Hilli, University of Birmingham
The Battle of the Grand Imam and the President: The Right to Islamic Legitimacy in
Contemporary Egypt – Andreas Nabil Younan, University of Copenhagen
The Islamic Face of a Pro-western Arab Monarchy, Jordan: An Analysis of Works of
Its Royal Hashemite Family – Fukiko Ikehata, Japan Society for the Promotion of
Science
Al-Shawkānī debates on Christian-Muslim relationships: Accounts, interfaith
dialogue and lawful existence of Christians – Awad Nahee, Najran University – Saudi
Arabia
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SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
1D) Narrating Upheaval in North Africa
Chaired by Hana Natour, Freie Universität Berlin
Romancing Autocracy: Tunisian Women Writers Yearning for the Dictator – Douja
Mamelouk, Le Moyne College
On the Vernacular (Re)turn: The Poetics and Politics of Writing al-Dārija in Tunisia,
2010-2020 – Ben Koerber, Rutgers University
Narrating the Past: Tunisian Prose and the Uprisings of 2010/11 – Hanan Natour,
Freie Universität Berlin
Upheavals of Self and Centre: Rethinking Animal Studies through Libya, and World
Literature through Animals – Charis Olszok, University of Cambridge
Renewing the Left’s project through Culture: Leftist Poetics, Memory and
Mobilisation in Moroccan literature – Karima Laachir, Australian National University
1C) The British Influence in the Gulf: Production, Protection,
Partnership
Chaired by Abdullah Baabood, Waseda University
Gulf History and Colonial Archives: The Case of Britain and India – James Onley,
Qatar National Library
The British, the Advisers and the Institutional Foundations of the State of Kuwait –
Claire Beaugrand, University of Exeter
The ‘Scripts’ of the British Diplomat in the Gulf: Human Agency and National
Interests – Clemens Chay
Orientalism and The Myth of the Reforming Monarch – David Wearing, SOAS
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SESSION 1 (MON 5TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
1E) Roundtable: The city and al madina: A bilingual conversation
Chaired by Aya Nassar, Durham University
Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge
Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge
Omar Jabary Salamanca, Ghent University
Deen Sharp, London School of Economics
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SESSION 2 (MON 5TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
2A) Plenary Keynote: Professor Caroline Rooney
‘The Revolution is a Woman’: From Woke Culture to the
Arab Wakening
This presentation will begin with a consideration of the manifesto
launched last year by French scholars that makes the case
that woke culture is responsible for extremist terror and that
postcolonial studies is responsible for this in its promotion
of identity politics. What will be maintained is that extremism
and revolutionary radicalism are different formations, and the
presentation will further clarify key differences between woke
culture and the awakening of the Arab uprisings, particularly with
respect to how women were at the forefront of these uprisings,
hence the slogan: ‘The revolution is a woman.’
Biography
Caroline Rooney is Professor of African and Middle Eastern Studies at the University
of Kent. She was born in Zimbabwe and studied at the University of Cape Town before
taking up a Beit Fellowship to undertake doctoral research at the University of Oxford.
She works and publishes mainly in the areas of postcolonial studies and Arab cultural
studies, focusing on the cultural expression of liberation struggles and their aftermaths
in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. She is the author of African
Literature, Animism and Politics (2000), Decolonising Gender: Literature and a Poetics
of the Real (2007), and Creative Radicalism in the Middle East: Culture and the Arab Left
After the Uprisings (2020). Her co-edited publications include: ‘Egyptian Literary Culture
and Egyptian Modernity’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 7:4 (2011) and The Ethics of
Representation in Literature, Art and Journalism: Transnational Responses to the Siege
of Beirut (2013). Her research by practice includes theatre productions and documentary
films. From 2009-12 she was a Global Uncertainties Fellow with a programme entitled
‘Radical Distrust: A Cultural Analysis of the Emotional, Psychological and Linguistic
Formations of Political and Religious Extremism.’ From 2012-2015, she held a PaCCS
Leadership Fellowship with a programme entitled ‘Imagining the Common Ground: Utopian
Thinking and the Overcoming of Resentment and Distrust’. She acted as UK PI of ‘Egypt’s
Living Heritage’ (Newton, 2016), and is currently the Co-I of ‘The Crime-Terror Nexus
from Below: Criminal and Extremist Practices, Networks and Narratives in Deprived
Neighbourhoods of Tripoli’ (ESRC).
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SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
3A) The role of Academia in Activism and Critical Pedagogy
Chaired by Denis V. Volkov, National Research University Higher School of
Economics
Reflections on conducting research with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon – Perla
Issa, Institute for Palestine studies
Are there boundaries between academia and activism in the Arab region? – Sara
Jeffar, University of Milan; Amel Hammami, College of Europe-Natolin; Malaka
Shwaikh, University of St Andrews
Public Pedagogy in Egypt as Postcolonial Practice – Alaa Badr, European University
Institute
Mizrahi Scholar Activism and the Global Middle East: An Asian Americanist Critique –
Nancy Ko, Columbia University
3B) Exclusion, Sectarianism and Marginalisation
Chaired by M. Stella Morgana, Leiden University
Football and the Contestation of Iranian Identity – Ehsan Kashfi, University of
Alberta
Hezbollah’s challenged Leadership over Baalbek: Independents’ Political Contest
facing the ‘Resistance’ since the 2016 Municipal Elections – Jean-Baptiste
Allegrini, University College London
Itineraries of Opposition. The National Pact and Maronite Opinion in Lebanon (1943-
1976) – Borja Wladimiro González Fernández, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
How are the young voting in Tunisia? An approach to the electoral disaffection
of the youth in the 2018 Municipal elections – Bosco Govante Pablo de Olavide
University; Miguel Hernando de Larramendi, Castilla La Mancha University
Security Vetting and Disposable Citizenship in Turkey – Seckin Sertdemir Ozdemir,
University of Turku
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SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
3C) Settler Colonialism, power and resistance in Israel-
Palestine
Chaired by Alice Panepinto, Queen’s University BelfastEconomics
The Functioning of Law in Israeli Settler Colonialism – Michael Samuel, Emory
University
Narratives of Human Rights in Israel Palestine: The Construction of Truth – Ibrahim
Saïd, Centre on Conflict Development and Peace-building, the Graduate Institute,
Geneva
Bringing Class into Indigeneity: Palestine, Rawabi, and the Politics of Recognition –
Francesco Amoruso, University of Exeter
The Long 1960s and the Contemporary Palestinian Discourse: The Local versus the
Global – Manar Makhoul, Tel-Aviv University
Under Ah Al Ard eyes[i]: settler colonialism and decolonisation in Palestine – Maisa
Shquier
3D) Decolonizing Middle Eastern Film and Media Studies
Chaired by Terri Ginsberg, The American University in Cairo
Governing through Documentary in the Middle East: Binational University & USIA
Contracts during the Early Cold War: The Case of Syracuse Audio-Visual Center –
Hadi Gharabaghi, Drew University
Legacies of USIA Information Centers within Contemporary Spaces for Cultural
Diplomacy in the Middle East – Bret Vukoder, University of Delaware
Towards a Petro-economy of Arab Film Studies – Terri Ginsberg, The American
University in Cairo
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SESSION 3 (MON 5TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
3E) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 1: Revolutionary
Pasts and Revolutionary Presents
Chaired by Sara Salem, London School of Economics
‘Impossible People’ in an Impossible Revolution: When Nonviolent and Radical
Politics Is Met with Violence – Birgit Poopuu, Aberystwyth University
Decolonial memories, colonial circulations? – Omar Al-Ghazzi, London School of
Economics
Cuban-Palestinian Women’s Entanglements – Sorcha Thomson, Roskilde University
Anticolonialism, Third Worldism, and the Cold War: Writing Transnational Decolonial
Histories from Dhufar to Tehran – Marral Shamshiri-Fard, London School of
Economics
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SESSION 4 (MON 5TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
4A) Cultural Imaginings: Narrating through novels
Chaired by Feras Alkabani, University of Sussex
Islamism in modern Arabic literature: a neglected history – Alessandro Columbu, The
University of Westminster
Unsettling Stories: The Worldiness of Horror in Post-2003 Iraqi Fiction – Tasnim
Qutait, SOAS
Amman in the “post-Arab spring” novel in Jordan – Ismael Abder-rahman Gil, Ca’
Foscari University of Venice
Female Narratives and (Im)mobilities in English – Modern Literature from the Arab
Gulf – Alice Königstetter, University of Vienna
The Complexity of Arab Identity in Fiction and Theory: A look through the Lens of
Immigrants’ Education and Activism – Eman Alamri, University of Manchester
4B) BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom
Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick
Lewis Turner, Newcastle University
John Chalcraft, London School of Economics
Matthew Hedges, Durham University
Zahra Tizro, University of East London
Stephen Wordsworth, Cara (Council for At-Risk Academics)
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SESSION 4 (MON 5TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
4C) Islam Calling – Muslim minorities and da’wa
Chaired by Antonella Straface, University of Naples “L’Orientale”
When the minority is responsible for the majority: the duty of da’wa in Europe –
Chiara Anna Cascino, University of Naples “L’Orientale”
Migration Aimed at da’wa in Salafi Juridical Thought – Carlo De Angelo, University of
Naples “L’Orientale”
Da’wa as Contention. The Islamic Invitation among the Moroccans Abroad – Nicola
Di Mauro, University of Naples “L’Orientale”
Proselytism and caution: the da’wa in the Ismaili context – Antonella Straface,
University of Naples “L’Orientale”
4D) Reflecting on constitution-making: Looking at North
Africa after 2011
Chaired by Tereza Jermanová, Charles University
The constitution as the battleground for Sudan’s unfinished revolution – Sara
Abbas, Freie Universität Berlin
The Constitutional Question at the Heart of Algeria’s Political Crisis – Rayane Anser,
University of Warwick
There was no alternative: Explaining the cross-partisan constitutional agreement in
Tunisia after the 2010/11 uprising – Tereza Jermanová, Charles University
Democracy by ‘undemocratic’ means? Assessing the role of guiding principles in
Tunisia’s and Egypt’s constitutional processes – Nedra Cherif, European University
Institute
Is constitution-making necessarily about regime change? Egypt 2012 Constitution
and alternatives to democratization theory – Alexis Blouët, University of Edinburgh
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SESSION 5 (TUE 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
5A) Statelessness, self-determination and the struggle for
sovereignty
Chaired by Irene Fernandez-Molina, University of Exeter
A Tale of Two Regions: What explains the great divergence between Iraq and the
KRG? – Shwan Azeez, University of Kent; Josh P Hill, Montana State University
Billings
Bargaining Statehood: Unrecognised States and The Question of Sovereignty –
Dilara Ozbek, University of Kent
Syria’s Changing Statelessness Landscape: From Protracted Situations to “Ticking
time bombs” – Thomas McGee, University of Melbourne
“Decontestation of the essentially contestable”: Biopolitics, Ideology and Fantasy
in Kurdish Conflict – Recep Onursal, University of Kent
Syria’s Assyrian Identity and the Political Discourse of Constructing ‘Rojava’ –
Madonna Kalousian, Lancaster University
5B) Islamic networks and Islamist movements
Chaired by Zeina Dowidar, University of Cambridge
The Arab Uprisings and Malaysia’s Islamist Movements: Influence, Impact and
Lesson – Irwan Saidin, National University of Malaysia
British Salafism and the Middle Eastern Connection: Past, Present, and Future –
Iman Dawood, London School of Economics and Political Science
Framing Identities, Shifting the Tactics: Exploring shared perceptions and tactical
decisions by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine during the Second Intifada
(2000-2005) – Antonella Acinapura, Queen’s University of Belfast
Sufi orders and their political commitment in contemporary Turkey – Angelo
Francesco Carlucci, İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi
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SESSION 5 (TUES 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
5C) The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan: To thrive, or merely
survive, that is the question
Chaired by Rana Sweis, Wishbox Media
Missed Opportunities for Reform and Development in Jordan – Rana Sweis, Wishbox
Media
Jordan’s Decentralization After 2015: Central control under weak intermediaries –
Shun Watanabe, University of Oxford
The Limits of Selective Reformism: Economic neoliberalism and public dissent in
Jordan – Imad El-Anis, Nottingham Trent University
Moral Economy, Social Control and Popular Protest in Modern Jordan – Tariq Tell,
American University of Beirut
5D) Memory and National(ist) Pasts in Turkey: Reflections
Through Oral History
Chaired by Roger Deal, University of South Carolina Aiken
Menemen, 1930: Event, History, Memory – Hale Yilmaz, Southern Illinois University,
Carbondale
Thinking about the Past, Belonging, and the Armenian Citizens of Turkey – Yesim
Bayar, St. Lawrence University
Taş Plak Memories: Reconsidering Social His tory in a Turkish Jewish Community –
Maureen Barbara Jackson, Independent scholar
Oral History as a Way of Understanding Reactions to the Reforms in Hatay – Esra
Demirci, Bilkent University
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SESSION 5 (TUE 6TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
5E) Roundtable: Unlearning/Re-learning Middle East Studies:
Challenging Exclusions Through Ally-ship, Connection and
Collaboration
Chaired by: Lewis Turner, Newcastle University
Sharri Plonski, Queen Mary, University of London
Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths, University of London
Elian Weizman, London South Bank University
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SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
6A) Creating dissenting narratives through Film and Art
Chaired by Thomas Richard, ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille
The City in Alternative Arab Film – Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill
Nationalism after Decolonization in Egyptian Cinema – Mariam Waheed, Faculty of
Economics and Political Science, Cairo University
Queer Heavens: Articulating Gender Fluidity Through Garden Imagery in
Contemporary Middle Eastern Art – Charlotte Bank, Independent scholar
Queer Cinema in the Arab World-Changing Trends – Iris Fruchter-Ronen, University of
Haifa
Resisting (neo)colonialism in Egyptian cinema – Claire Begbie, AUC
6B) Colonial legacies: Borders and Institutions
Chaired by Yasmine Zarhloule, University of Oxford
The construction of smallness in the British discourse regarding the Gulf region and
its effects on state identity – Máté Szalai, Corvinus University of Budapest
Towards a Decolonial History of Islamic Law in the Arabian Peninsula – Alexandre
Caeiro, Hamad Bin Khalifa University
“No Mines, No Borders”: The Experience of the Nakba in South Lebanese Frontier
Communities – Susann Kassem, University of Oxford
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SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
6C) Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Comparative
Perspectives from the Arab World
Chaired by Thomas Demmelhuber, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-
Nürnberg
Formal participation vs informal leverage? Situating institutional petitions in the
politics of local Morocco – Francesco Colin, International Institute of Social Studies,
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Decentralization under Neopatrimonialism: Conceptual Reflections – Thomas
Demmelhuber, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, (Co-authored by
Roland Strum)
The role of elite networks in decentralization: a comparative perspective – Miriam
Bohn, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Decentralization and fiscal policy: a comparative perspective – Erik Vollmann,
Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
Discussant: Irene Fernandez-Molina, University of Exeter
6D) On Arab Urbanism Session 1
Chaired by: Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge
Architecture, the State and the Capital City: Investigating the Muqata’a and
Arafat’s memorial site in Ramallah, Palestine – Anwar Jaber, University of Waterloo
Reasserting Regionalism: The Arab Exhibition in Mandate Jerusalem, 1931- 33 –
Nadi Abusaada, University of Cambridge
An ‘Arab Urbanism’? On regional categories and the articulation of Local Knowledge
– Ibrahim Abdou, University of Cambridge
The Increasing Urbanization of Egypt’s Nile Delta villages and the Shifting Social
Value of Land – Nada El-Kouny, Rutgers University
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SESSION 6 (TUE 6TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
6E) Book Launch: The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus. Art,
Faith and Empire in Early Islam by Alain George
Author Alain George in conversation with Series Editor Melanie Gibson
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SESSION 7 (TUE 6TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
7A) Plenary Roundtable: Disrupting, Refusing and
Transgressing Knowledge Production in Middle East Studies
Chaired by Sara Salem, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
As scholars of the ‘Middle East,’ living in a colonial metropole, working in
neoliberalised universities, we must confront difficult, challenging, and oftentimes
personal questions about our responsibilities and positionalities as producers
and disseminators of knowledge. How do we produce scholarship that is neither
extractive, nor ordered or disciplined by colonial concepts and categories (including
the concept of ‘the Middle East’)? How do we produce knowledge that is faithful,
relevant and accountable to lived experiences of people in the region and to all
those we teach? How do we navigate neoliberalised structures of research funding,
fieldwork, and academic hierarchies to produce knowledge that is relevant for
struggles for liberation and justice? And how do we mobilise and be(come) political
– in our classrooms, our universities, our ‘field sites’, and the wider world. Building
on Steven Salaita, how then do we research, write, and teach in these conditions of
exploitation?
This roundtable will ask participants to critically reflect on their scholarship and
professional practice, as shaped by global and political forces, and to do so in
conversation with, and learning from, experts in other disciplines and fields. Aimed
at a radical rethinking/redoing of knowledge production in our field(s), it poses
questions and challenges for BRISMES members, and BRISMES as an institution.
How can we learn and improve when we think through coloniality, racialised
capitalisms and other structures and practices of domination, as well as the
struggles that challenge the silencing, erasure and replacement of indigenous and
racialised others.
Kelly-Jo Bluen, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Jasmine Gani, University of St Andrews
Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action
Olivia U. Rutazibwa, University of Portsmouth
Goldie Osuri, University of Warwick
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SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
8A) Questioning the Decolonisation of Middle Eastern Studies
Chaired by Kiran Phull, LSE
Decolonising the library, its implications and the role of Middle East librarians –
Waseem Farooq, Aga Khan Library
The Rise of the “Global” and Return of Eurocentrism – Mohamed Gamal-Eldin, New
Jersey Institute of Technology/ Rutgers – Newark
Knowledge Production and International Relations in the Arab Middle East – Mekia
Nedjar, Mohamed Benahmed Oran 2 University
Knowledge Decolonization or Critical Epistemology: A Comparative Perspective
between Development Studies in the Middle East and Latin America – Shimaa
Hatab, Cairo University
Pious Agency: Post-Secularist Approaches to Decolonising Middle Eastern Studies
– Suraina Pasha, University of Sydney
8B) New Frontiers of Political Struggle: Popular Culture and
Media
Chaired by Claire Begbie, AUC
Hegemonic Masculinities and Political Authoritarianism in Turkish Popular Culture –
Deniz Zorlu, Izmir University of Economics
Al-Akhbar as a Platform for Interaction between Secularity and Religion: The
Resistance as a Synthesis – Abed Kanaaneh, Tel Aviv University
Techno-Islam, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse – Joel W.
Abdelmoez, Stockholm University
The female gaze in Syrian Documentary – Josepha Wessels, Malmö University
Sweden
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SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
8C) Challenging the domestic/international dichotomy
Chaired by Sam Mace, University of Leeds
Transnational Communist Networks in the Post-WWI Middle East: Anti-colonialism,
internationalism and itinerant militancy – Burak Sayim, Graduate Institute Geneva
Border-Crossing Collective Action Repertoires: Palestine Activism in a Global
Justice Context – Suzanne Morrison, Zayed University
Development: Examining Tunisia’s Multiple Horizontalities – Matt Gordner,
University of Toronto
Revisiting Khatami’s Dialogue among Civilisations: domestic and international
political order – Shabnam Holliday, University of Plymouth; Edward Wastnidge, Open
University
The State between the Domestic and the External: Algeria, Syria, and Yemen –
Francesco Belcastro, University of Derby
8D) In the shadow of border control. Reconsidering
humanitarianism as containment in the Middle East and North
Africa
Chaired by Elisa Pascucci, University of Helsinki
Humanitarian aspirations “stuck between two chairs”: Managing migration on behalf
of the EU in south-east Tunisia – Valentina Zagaria, LSE
Resettlement as Containment. Iraqi and Syrian Refugees and the Politics of
Accountability – Giulia El Dardiry, Beirut School of Critical Security Studies, Arab
Council for the Social Sciences
Vulnerable or Resilient?: Care, control, & containment in Jordan’s Syrian refugee
camps – Melissa Gatter, University of Sheffield
The left hand of the border. Death, humanitarianism and exception in the North-
East Moroccan borderlands – Lorena Gazzotti, Lucy Cavendish College and CRASSH,
University of Cambridge
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SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
8E) Feminist politics in revolutionary times: past struggles
and radical futurities
Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick
Radical Futures, Haunted Pasts: A Reading of Arwa Salih’s The Stillborn – Sara
Salem, LSE
What Can Queer and Feminist IR Tell us about the Syrian War? – Razan Ghazzawi,
University of Sussex
Right Wing Sisterhood: The everyday politics of Hindu Nationalist women in India –
Akanksha Mehta, Goldsmiths
8F) The Politics of Childhood in Palestine/Israel
Chaired by James Eastwood, Queen Mary, University of London
Childhood, Race, and Medicine in the Forced Removal of Mizrahi Children from their
Families in Israel – James Eastwood, Queen Mary, University of London
Child Rights in the Service of State Violence: Lessons from Israel/Palestine – Hedi
Viterbo, Queen Mary, University of London
Archival Irretrievabilities: Childhood in Exile, Jordan 1948 -1967 – Mezna Qato,
University of Cambridge
Childbearing and raising children in the context of military occupation: experiences
of Palestinians living on the margins of Jerusalem – Doaa Hammoudeh, University of
Oxford
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SESSION 8 (TUE 6TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
8G) Roundtable: Perils of our field: discrimination, censorship,
and intimidation
Chaired by Miriyam Aouragh, University of Westminster
Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge
Ray Bush, University of Leeds
Neve Gordon, QMUL
Ala’a Shehabi, UCL
Mandy Turner, University of Manchester
Lena Salaymeh, University of Oxford
Established in 2002 and based in London, AKU-ISMC
promotes scholarship that opens new perspectives
on Muslim heritage, modernity, culture, religion,
and society. With a focus on research, outreach,
education and publications, AKU-ISMC’s scholarship is
interdisciplinary and diverse and includes anthropology,
archaeology, economics, history, law, literary studies,
sociology, international relations and political sciences.
Our popular MA in Muslim Cultures is also offered as
a dual degree with Columbia University.
10 Handyside Street, London, N1C 4DN
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SESSION 9 (WED 7TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
9A) Plenary Session: Keynote Speaker – Dr amina wadud:
Islamic Feminism: What’s in a Name?
This presentation will provide a overview of the historical
development of a hybrid Islam combined with an intersectional
feminism: Islamic Feminism. Islamic Feminism is a conflation
of several factors impacting discourse, research and activism
by and about Muslim women. Islamic Feminism is distinct from
Muslim Feminism as a critical hermeneutical approach to texts in
deference to contexts. It creates alternative readings to those
canonized throughout Muslim history in order to remove Islam
from the centuries long privileging of patriarchy.
Biography
Dr amina wadud is a world renown scholar and activist with a focus on Islam, justice,
gender, and sexuality. After achieving Full Professor, she retired from US academia—
except as Visiting Researcher to the Starr King School for the Ministry, California, USA.
After 15 years in retirement, she has recently returned as Visiting Professor at the
National Islamic University in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. She migrated to Indonesia in 2018
to avoid the chaos of US politics and ethics first-hand. Author of Qur’an and Woman:
Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective (1999), a classic that helped
towards the development of epistemology and methodology in Islamic feminism, which
is the most dynamic outcome of Islamic reform today. It is 3 decades old and translated
over 10 times, most recently into French. Her second manuscript, Inside the Gender
Jihad: Women’s Reform in Islam (2006), then moved the discussion further and aligned
with the mandate for ethics and activism to be in collaboration. After completing a 3-year
research grant investigating 500 years of Islamic classical discourse on sexual diversity
and human dignity, funded by the Arcus Foundation, she is organizing an International
Center for Queer Islamic Theology: the first in the world. Mother of five and Nana to six,
she is best known as The Lady Imam.
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SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
10A) Exploring Memory through Art and Popular Culture
Chaired by Nadia Yaqub, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
From Mass Media to Social Media: Exploring the multiple co-productions of the
nation and its pasts Egyptian Facebook – Nermin Elsherif, University of Amsterdam
The chanted memory of the Tunisian Left: protest songs as a dissenting archive –
Alessia Carnevale, La Sapienza University, Rome
Memory Activism in Palestinian Performative Arts and Scholarship – Farah Aboubakr,
The University of Edinburgh
Redrawing Palestine: Visibility, Humanity, and Counter-Narratives in Joe Sacco’s
Graphic Novel. – Holly May Treadwell, University of Kent
Colonial imagery and Middle Eastern visual culture: Napoleon in Egyptian eyes –
Thomas Richard, ESPOL, Université Catholique de Lille
10B) Conceptualising Revolution
Chaired by Recep Onursal, University of Kent
Decolonising revolutions after the Arab Uprisings – Sandra Pogodda, University of
Manchester
Throwing the touchstone into the Nile: Reflections on Reorienting and Decolonising
the Study of the Revolution in Egypt – Mohammad Afshary, University of Kent
Gramsci in Palebystine: Reflections on beginnings, and theorizing counterhegemony
through the praxis of the single democratic state intellectual in Palestine
– Cherine Hussein, The Institute of International Relations in Prague
Re-visiting Palestinian Revolutionary Knowledge – Klaudia Wieser, Department of
Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna; Noura Salah Aldeen,
Institute for Social Anthropology at the Austrian Academy of Science
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SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
10C) Colonial legacies in education: historic and present
Chaired by Alessandro Columbu, The University of Westminster
International Law and the Middle East: The Challenge of Decolonization – Dina
Hadad, Kuwait International Law School
British Women and the Agency of Children in Mandate Palestine – Charlotte Kelsted,
European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter
Do we only have a history as long as we are colonised? The History/Memory Nexus
and the challenges of uncovering the postcolonial state in Morocco. – Yasmine
Zarhloule, University of Oxford
Authenticity and Exceptionalism in Teaching Middle Eastern Languages – Jona Fras,
The University of Edinburgh
10D) Cultural Interactions in Arab Diasporic and Globalized
Spaces
Chaired by Ala Al-Hamarneh, Orient Institute Beirut (OIB)
Multilingualism in “The Bullet Collection”: Contact Zones, Checkpoints, and Liminal
Points – Syrine Hout, American University in Beirut
Glocalized linguistic landscapes: (In)visible linguistic borders and identities within
institutions of higher education in the UAE – Afaf Bataineh, Zayed University
Arab Refugee Aid: What divides Diaspora donors and diminishes the dividend? –
Shelley Deane, Brehon Advisory
Lost Compatriots? “Western” Diasporic Spaces in Egyptian Cinema – Ala Al-
Hamarneh, Orient Institute Beirut
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SESSION 10 (WED 7TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
10E) Roundtable: Decolonising heritage in the Middle East
Chaired by Eleanor Robson, UCL & Nahrein Network
Lina Tahan, Nahrein Network
Bijan Rouhani, Oxford University
Isber Sabrine, Heritage for Peace
Mehiyar Kathem, UCL & Nahrein Network
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SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
11A) Decolonizing Feminism: Knowledge and Activism
Chaired by Sara Tafakori, London School of Economics
Decolonizing feminism? A transnational feminist analysis of Jineolojî – Nadje Al-Ali,
Brown University; Isabel Käser, SOAS & University of Bern
Decolonial Feminism and Internationalization of Gender Injustices in the Middle
East – Jihan Zakarriya, AIAS
“No Free Homeland Without Free Women” The case of Tali’at – Federica Stagni,
Scuola Normale Superiore
Majnūna: Women’s Madness and the Professionalization of Psychiatry in Egypt
Under British Rule – Yasmin Shafei, American University of Beirut
Reproductive Governance & The Migrant Subject: An Ethnographic Critique –
Morgen Chalmiers, University of California San Diego
11B) Rethinking militaries, militias and non-state armed
actors in politics
Chaired by Burak Sayim, Graduate Institute Geneva
The rise of militiatocracies in the Middle East – Yaniv Voller, University of Kent
What is the role conscription played in producing sustained systematic violence
and its employment to support authoritarianism and conflict in post-colonial Egypt?
A Case study of conscription of the Central Security Forces (CSF) at the Egyptian
Police. – Hussein Salahaldin, University of Bradford
EU diplomacy and the 2013 military coup in Egypt – Ragnar Weilandt, KU Leuven
International Relations and Foreign Policy of State-like Actors (SLA) in the Middle
East: PLO and Hezbollah – Zakia Aqra, University of Peloponnese
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SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
11C) “The Century of Camps” – Imagining Encampment and
Containment in the Middle East
Chaired by Are John Knudsen, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)
Aerial photography and the image of the refugee camp in the Middle East from
Baquba to Zaatari, 1918-2018 – Benjamin Thomas White, University of Glasgow
UNRWA, the Refugee and the Camp: Imageries, Representations and Practice –
Kjersti Berg, Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)
The Ghettoization and Densification of Beddawi Refugee camp, Lebanon – Ismail
Cheikh Hassan, Independent Researcher
Visualizing the Evolution of Refugees’ Housing in the Zaatari Camp, Jordan – Kamel
Doraï, Institut français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo-Beirut)
Gaza Buildings: Spatial Archives of Displacement in Sabra, Beirut – Are John
Knudsen, Chr. Michelsen Insitute (CMI)
11D) Historiography and the Politics of Memory: Jews
from the Muslim World between Assimilation and Selfdetermination
Chaired by Neophytos Loizides, University of Kent
Iranian Jewish emigration to Israel: an experience between the “East” and the
“West” – Alessandra Cecolin, University of Aberdeen
Oriental Jews – European Religiosity? Religious Orthodoxy among Iranian Jewish
Communities – Ariane Sadjed, Austrian Academy of Science, Institute for Iranian
Studies
Different Perspectives on Jewish and Muslim Relations in Yemen: Between the
Jews of Yemen and the Yemenite Diaspora in Israel – Menashe Anzi, Ben Gurion
University of the Negev
Remembering Jews in Post-Authoritarian Tunisia – Achim Rohde, Free University of
Berlin
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SESSION 11 (WED 7TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
11E) BRISMES Campaigns: Middle East Studies in Practice and
Anti-Colonial Education
Chaired by Hicham Safieddine, King’s College London; Jamie Allinson, University of
Edinburgh
Omar Barghouti, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of
Israel
Sara Salem, LSE
John Chalcraft, LSE
Marcy Newman, Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
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SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
12A) Academic Freedom and Knowledge Production: The
relationship between state and scholarship
Chaired by Matthew Hedges, Durham University
Dancing in the Minefield: Feminism and Critical Pedagogy in Jordanian Academia –
Amani Al-Serhan, University of Jordan/Center for Women’s Studies
The Death of Critical Pedagogy in Jordanian Universities – Tayseer Abu Odeh, Al-
Ahliyya Amman University
Power/Knowledge, the Habitus and the Field: Russian Emigré Orientalists during
the Interwar Period – Denis V. Volkov, National Research University Higher School of
Economics
State-sponsored academic narratives on Muslims and migration in Hungary – Daniel
Vekony, Corvinus University of Budapest
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SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
12B) Identities and narratives of the displaced and the
diaspora
Chaired by Syrine Hout, American University in Beirut
Diasporic identity and religion: the case of second generation Iraqi youth in
London and their transnational spaces of belonging – Oula Kadhum, University of
Birmingham
Continuum of forced displacement narratives among Palestinian refugees from
Syria in Germany – Isis Nusair, Denison University
Remembering the Syrian civil war through the lens of motherhood – Magdalena
Suerbaum, Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Societal changes in the Syrian national identity during conflict and displacement –
Kathrin Bachleitner, University of Oxford
Cypriots in the island and abroad: reunification attitudes and peace prospects –
Neophytos Loizides, University of Kent; Isik Kuscu, METU
Disqualified Knowledges in the Refugee and Humanitarian Regimes: War,
Displacement and Relief through the Narratives of Syrian Aid Workers – Nadine
Hassouneh, Centre for British Research in the Levant; Elisa Pascucci, University of
Helsinki
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SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
12C) New Perspectives on an Elusive Conflict: A
Multidisciplinary Approach to the Conflict in Yemen
Chaired by Alexander Weissenburger, Austrian Academy of Sciences
From Periphery to the Core: an analysis of the Huthi local governance system – Luca
Nevola, University of Sussex
An ‘Empty’ Battle Zone: Insights from the Yemeni-Saudi Border – Lisa Lenz-Ayoob,
Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Hustle of Yemeni State Diplomacy: Material Constraint and Austerity in a
Moment of Crisis – Judit Kuschnitzki, University of Cambridge
Between Alignment, Imitation and Autonomy: The Huthi Movement’s Ambiguous
Relationship with Iran from an Ideological Angle – Alexander Weissenburger,
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Social Anthropology
12D) Sufism and Modernity: Alternative Takes on the 19th and
20th Century in Muslim Thought
Chaired by Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen
Bosnian Hajj and Political Propaganda – Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen
Reading Rumi at the University: Abdülbaki Gölpinarlı and the Transformation of Sufi
Literature – Micah Hughes, UNC Chapel Hill
The Hikam in 1970s Syria: a Call to Political Action – Nadirah Mansour, Princeton
University
Mawlids in 19th Century Egypt – Ida Nitter, University of Pennsylvania
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SESSION 12 (WED 7TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
12E) Geographies of war-care
Chaired by Neve Gordon, Queen Mary University of London
The meaning of death: ballistic science and search for ‘militarily acceptable
wounds’ – Nisha Shah, University of Ottawa
Legal Exceptions and the Killability of the Wounded Body – Neve Gordon, Queen
Mary University of London
Revealed in the Wound – Omar Dewachi, Rutgers University
Repression and Repetition: The Construction of Palestinian Death(s) as an
Exceptional Repetition in Israeli Military Courts – Revital Madar
Decolonizing Humanitarian Medicine – a Gazan Perspective – Osama Tanous, Emory
University
Key Titles in Middle Eastern Studies
Visit eurospanbookstore.com/brismes2021 to browse more Middle Eastern Studies titles,
and use the code BRISMES21 at checkout for a 20% discount and free shipping.
Brookings Institution Press
The Iranian Revolution at Forty Edited by Suzanne Maloney 2020 200pp 9780815737933 Hardback £29.50 / €33.00 Re-Engaging the Middle East Edited by Dafna H. Rand & Andrew P. Miller 2020 330pp 9780815737407 Paperback £33.95 / €39.00 Lynne Rienner Publishers
Understanding the Contemporary Middle East, Fifth Edition Edited by Jillian Schwedler 2019 461pp 9781626378414 Paperback £22.50 / €28.00 University of Michigan Press
Fragile but Resilient? Ali Çarkoğlu & Ersin Kalaycıoğlu Apr 2021 360pp 9780472132430 Hardback £62.95 / €70.00 The University of North Carolina Press
Realizing Islam Zachary Valentine Wright 2020 326pp 9781469660820 Paperback £29.95 / €33.00 University of Oklahoma Press
The Campaigns of Sargon II Sarah C. Melville Jul 2021 320pp 9780806169071 Paperback £17.50 / €20.00 Syracuse University Press
Readings in Syrian Prison Literature R. Shareah Taleghani Apr 2021 296pp 9780815637158 Paperback £27.50 / €31.00
Solitaire Hassouna Mosbahi Sep 2021 256pp 9780815611431 Paperback £19.95 / €23.00
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SESSION 13 (THUR 8TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
13A) Rethinking Gender and Islam: Comparative Perspectives
Chaired by Demet Gülçiçek, University of Warwick
Grounding Saudi women’s rights in local terms of reference: Islamic feminism as a tool for reform – Nora Jaber, King’s College London
Self-appointed Saviors: Post-9/11 Muslim Women Memoirs – Sepideh Sami, Macquarie University
Post-Islamist Young Women and the Reconfiguration of the Public Sphere – Dina Hosni, Frankfurt University Goethe
The Postcolonial Assemblage of ISIS Brides: The Case of Shamima Begum – Shehnoor Khurram, York University; Fardosa Warsame, York University
13B) Conserving heritage and constructing histories
Chaired by Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester
The use of past as part of Colonial discourse – a case study of the Jerusalem Archaeological Museum. – Chloe Emmott, University of Greenwich
Historian’s Craft Between Empire and Nation: The Emergence of Historical Professionalism in the Ottoman Realm between the 1910s and 1920s – Yeliz Cavus, The Ohio State University
Amplifying Local voices: narrating hidden pasts through museums in Jordan – Maria Elena Ronza, Sela for Vocational Training and Protection of Cultural Heritage; Arwa Badran, Independent consultant and researcher
Imagining the Past in the Age of Reform: Ottoman Historical Writing in the Nineteenth Century – Erdem Sönmez, Social Sciences University of Ankara
The Legacy of Enslavement: Representations and Discussions on Slavery and Racism in Qatar – Ameen Omar, Hamad Bin Khalifa University
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SESSION 13 (THUR 8TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
13C) Decolonial critique and the limits of international law
Chaired by Teodora Todorova, University of Warwick
The Question of Indigeneity in Israel-Palestine – Lana Tatour, Columbia University
Theorizing the “Force of Law” in Palestine/Israel – Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal
University
Civilians and victims in Palestine: legal terminology shaping realities – Maayan Geva,
University of Roehampton, London
‘Un-lawyering’ international law to see its role in settler-colonialism in Israel-
Palestine – Alice Panepinto, Queen’s University Belfast
13D) How to get published panel
Chaired by Giulia Guariento, Taylor & Francis Group
Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen
Nora Parr, Freie Universitat Berlin
13E) Roundtable: Decolonizing Islamicate Manuscript Studies
Chaired by Davidson MacLaren, The Islamic Manuscript Association
Sumayya Ahmed, Simmons University
Alya Karame, American University of Beirut
Dženita Karić, University of Tübingen
N.A. Mansour, Princeton University
Torsten Wollina, Trinity College Dublin
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SESSION 14 (THUR 8TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
14A) Plenary Student Section Session – Writing within and
beyond academia
Chaired by Zahra Tizro, University of East London
Have you thought about writing beyond the dissertation and academic audiences?
In this event, we bring together a number of academics from an array of disciplines
who use their academic research and expertise to engage with public and wider
audiences. The event offers an opportunity for graduate students and ECRs
interested in pursuing an academic or related career in Middle East studies to
engage with established scholars and learn about different writing practices for
multiple and varied audiences: engagements with the media; writing in more than
one language; accountability to the communities we write for or about; and ethics
in writing practices. We invite students to come with questions relating to writing
practices beyond academia.
Each panellist will speak for 7-10 minutes on their experiences and expertise.
The event will touch upon on a range of themes, including: (1) how to make your
research accessible for different audiences; (2) writing in more than one language
(3) accountability and ethics in writing for the communities we research; and (4)
writing practices broadly.
Dina Rezk, University of Reading
Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut
Adam Hanieh, University of Exeter
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SESSION 15 (THUR 8TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
15A) Modes, considerations and consequences of
International Intervention
Chaired by Kathrin Bachleitner, University of Oxford
When the wrong side wins: What history tells us about the prospect of a US-Syrian
reconciliation after civil war – Christopher Phillips, Queen Mary, University of London
No Engagement without Recognition? Forms, Causal Mechanisms and Dilemmas
of Transnational Recognition in the Libyan Civil War – Irene Fernandez-Molina,
University of Exeter
State, Capital and Class in Iran: An Appraisal of Nuclear Sanctions and Their Impact –
Gulriz Sen, TOBB University of Economics and Technology
The US Responsiveness towards the Kurdish Strategic Framing of fighting ISIS in
Syria during the Obama Administration – Turgay Demir, University of Leeds, School
of Politics and International Studies
15B) “What is to be done?”: The Arab New Left in the ‘long
1960s’ – Session 1: Counter-hegemony and Legacies for a
radical critique of the present
Chaired by Rossana Tufaro, Italian Institute of Oriental Studies, “Sapienza”
University of Rome, and Lebanon Support, Civil Society Knowledge Center (Beirut)
An Egyptian 1968? The Season of Students’ Discontent – Gennaro Gervasio,
University Roma Tre
Plural Perspectives on Revolutionary Hopes: the Multiple Lives of the 1977 Uprising
in Egypt – Mélanie Henry-Morin, IIAC & EHESS and member of the ERC-DREAM
The “Che Guevara of the Middle East”: The Remembrance of Khalid Ahmad Zaki’s
failed uprising in Southern Iraq – Philipp Winkler, Friedrich-Alexander-University
Erlangen-Nuremberg
Strangers on the Only Road: Epistemological Hegemony from Egypt’s Long 1960s
to the Neoliberal Present – Walter Armbrust, University of Oxford
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SESSION 15 (THUR 8TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
15C) On Arab Urbanism Session 2
Chaired by Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge
Beyond Quiet Encroachment: Politicising Informality and Infrastructure in Cairo’s
Districts – Noura Wahby, University of Cambridge
Tafseela: Building in the Arab Region – Wesam Al Asali, University of Cambridge
Political Economy of Light in fin-de-siecle Beirut – Ayse Polat, University of
Cambridge
Rewiring Sovereignty – Omar Jabary Salamanca, Ghent University
15D) Analysing activism, resistance and resilience in the
everyday
Chaired by Borja Wladimiro González Fernández, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Activism in Dead Time: Politics and the Anticipation of Failure in Lebanon – Sophie
Chamas, SOAS, Centre for Gender Studies
Law, settlements and Palestinian resilience in East Jerusalem – Sonia Najjar,
Queens University Belfast
“Resilience through place-making” as a model for decolonization: The West Bank
case of Battir – Elisa Ferrato, School of Architecture Oxford Brookes University
Resilience in Greater Khartoum and the Sudanese Revolution of 2019 – Josepha
Wessels, Schools of Arts and Communication
On Indigenous Resistance against Western-Imposed Models in Historic Palestine –
Itxaso Domínguez de Olazábal, Fundación Alternativas
15E) Roundtable: Innovating and decolonising Arabic language
teaching the UK higher education sector
Chaired by: Alessandro Columbu, The University of Westminster
Rasha Soliman, University of Leeds
Safaa Radoan, The University of Exeter
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SESSION 16 (THUR 8TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
16A) Deconstructing orientalism through Queer and Feminist
theories
Chaired by Tayseer Abu Odeh, Al-Ahliyya Amman University
Decolonial Feminist Possibilities and Responsibilities in Teaching and Learning –
Nadine El-Nabli, Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo
The Queer State in the Middle East: Using Queer Theory to Understand Post-
Colonial Statehood – Andrew Delatolla, University of Leeds
Decolonial Orientations in Research: Thinking Palestine – Hazal Dolek, University of
Sheffield
The State’s “Attention to Motherhood” in Twentieth-Century Egypt – Marianne
Dhenin, The American University in Cairo
The political economy of research on women and media in Saudi Arabia – Naomi
Sakr, University of Westminster
16B) The Politics of Economic Reform, Resource Management
and Financial Governance
Chaired by Imad El-Anis, Nottingham Trent University
Algeria’s Liberalizing Decade: Debtor-Creditors Relations Reassessed. – Francesco
Saverio Leopardi, University of Bologna
The City also Vanishes? Climate Politics & Engaged Scholarship in Alexandria – Dina
Zayed, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Oman’s Experience of Islamic Banking – A Juristic Approach to Tackling the Crisis of
Miscommunication – Al Muatasim Al Maawali, Sultan Qaboos University
Redefining Natural Resources in the Context of the MENA Region – Ahmed
Badreldin, University of Marburg
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SESSION 16 (THUR 8TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
16C) Mechanics of Authoritarian Coercion
Chaired by Hussein Salahaldin, University of Bradford
The Justification of Punishment in Authoritarian States – Hend Hanafy, University
of Cambridge
‘Refolutionary’ Resistance and Regime Response in a Transitioning Tunisia: The
Case of Jendouba’s Agrarian Protests – Matt Gordner, University of Toronto
It’s not postcolonial, stupid! Genealogy of State Aggression, Counterterrorism and
Human Rights violations in Egypt – Ahmed Abozaid, University of St Andrews
The friend enemy distinction in coup proofing – Sam Mace, University of Leeds
In Search of “Effective” Elections: The Establishment of the Electoral Amendment
1925 in Iran – Yoshiaki Tokunaga, The University of Tokyo
16D) Matters of space in the Middle East
Chaired by Deen Sharp, LSE
Rethinking place, movement and lines through a walk on the Jordan Trail – Olivia
Mason, Newcastle University
Searching for a Place in a Map: War, Urban Space, and the Postcolonial Syrian State
– Gabriel Garroum Pla, King’s College London
A History of Cairo’s Rubbish Hills – Shehab Ismail, Max Planck
Material Geographies, Geopoetic Entanglements and the Space of the Middle East –
Aya Nassar, Durham University
16E) Roundtable: Decolonising Arabic Literary Studies
Chaired by Nora Parr, Freie Universitat Berlin
Tasnim Qutait, SOAS
Ruth Abou Rached, University of Southampton
Annie Webster, SOAS
Ouissal Harize, Durham University
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SESSION 17 (FRI 9TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
17A) Self-determination and the (re)formation of national
identity
Chaired by Dilara Ozbek, University of Kent
An Egyptian Victory: Ottoman-Greek War of 1897 and “Ottoman Consciousness” in
Egypt – Doğa Öztürk, Ohio State University
State Policies, Minorities and Nationalism: Armenian Citizens of Turkey – Yesim
Bayar, St. Lawrence University
‘Arabisation’ in Morocco: the myth(s) of origins – Kaoutar Ghilani, University of
Oxford
Dis-claiming the Orient? Imagined Geographies of cultural Identities between Taha
Hussein and Carl Heinrich Becker – Abdalla Iskandar, FU Berlin
17B) Forms and Dynamics of Violence and Justice in Israel-
Palestine
Chaired by Michael Samuel, Emory University
Israeli Blockade, Hamas and International Dimensions: Deconstructing Gaza’s
Politics – Yaser Alashqar, Trinity College Dublin-Ireland
Israeli Green Colonialism and the Path to Environmental Justice – Ghada Sasa,
McMaster University
Securitization and Victimhood: Israeli Identity in the Shadow of the Second Intifada
– Esther Garcia Monreal, Durham University
Revisiting the Conflict over Sacred Places from Social and Economic Perspectives:
What Does al-Haram al-Sharif Mean to Palestinians? – Kensuke Yamamoto, Japan
Society for the Promotion of Science
Football, politics and identity. The case of Israel and Palestine – Francesco
Belcastro, University of Derby
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SESSION 17 (FRI 9TH JULY: 10AM-12PM)
PANEL DETAILS
17C) Beyond oil fields and the desert: orientalism,
decoloniality and the Gulf
Chaired by Ahmed Dailami, University of Exeter
Let a thousand consultants bloom: neoliberalism and stagist economic theory in
the Arab Gulf states – Ashraf El-Taher, SOAS
Kuwait’s Anticolonial and Progressive Agenda in the Gulf: The Case of Bahrain
(1960s-1970s) – Wafa Alsayed, Gulf University for Science and Technology
Between postcolonialism and decoloniality in the Khaleeji cultural sphere – Maia
Holtermann Entwistle, SOAS
17D) Recovering Radical Knowledge Session 2: Radical
Knowledge Cultivation across Space and Time
Chaired by Omar Al-Ghazzi, London School of Economics
The Arab Apocalypse: a queer feminist critique of masculinized politics and disaster
– Andrew Delatolla, University of Leeds
Radical understandings of past, present and future: Imagination and anticolonialism
in the Islamicate – Jasmine Gani, University of St Andrews
Centering the “south” in “decolonizing the university” debates – Aya Musmar,
University of Sheffield
17E) Balancing power: challenges to the Middle East regional
system past and present
Chaired by Yaniv Voller, University of Kent
Sectarianism vs pragmatism and interest: Turkey and Iran’s foreign policy during the
Qatar crisis – Olivia Glombitza, Autonomous University of Barcelona
Onward to Jerusalem?: Iran’s Decision to Continue the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) –
Annie Tracy Samuel, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Federalism in the Middle East: Past Failures and Prospects – Neophytos Loizides,
University of Kent
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SESSION 18 (FRI 9TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
18A) Diversifying Research on the Arab World: Multi-local
Perspectives on Twelver Shi’ism in Iraq
Chaired by TBC
The Genesis and Influence of Shi’a Islamism within Transnational Networks of
Political Islam: Clerical Activism and Ideological Discourses in Republican Iraq
(1958-1979) – Oliver Scharbrodt, University of Birmingham
Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr on Islam and Social Justic – Chris Razavian, University of
Birmingham
The International Community in the Eyes of Ayatollah Sistani: Attitudes towards
the United Nations and the USA Post-2003 – Yousif Al-Hilli, University of
Birmingham
Unpacking the Role of Religion in Political Transnationalism: The Case of the Shi’a
Iraqi Diaspora Post-2003 – Oula Kadhum, University of Birmingham
18B) The Politics of Translation: Understanding Gender and
Sexuality in Arabic-speaking Countries – Language, Power and
Hegemony (Session conducted in Arabic)
Chaired by Nof Nasser-Eddin, Centre for Transnational Development and
Collaboration
Translating Queer: Colonial Histories and Discourse Creation – Nour Abu-Assab,
Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration
Queer Reading of Fuṣḥā: A Case for Decolonising Language Practices in Knowledge
Production – Musa al-Shadeedi, Masaha (Accessible Feminist Knowledge)
Escaping NGOization through Queering Language – Roula Seghaier, Masaha-
Accessible Feminist Knowledge
Centralising Kuwaiti-Arabic Articulations of Queerness: Towards Decolonizing
Epistemologies – Nour al-Mazidi, London School of Economics
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SESSION 18 (FRI 9TH JULY: 1PM-3PM)
PANEL DETAILS
18C) Reinterpretations of the Gulf: Time for a decolonization
of Gulf studies?
Chaired by Marc Owen Jones, Hamad bin Khalifa University
An Empirical Survey of the State of Gulf Studies – Marc Owen Jones, Hamad bin
Khalifa University
Rentier State Resilience: What the Qatar Crisis Can Teach Us About Rentierism –
Hend Al Sulaiti, University of Southern Denmark
Visa to the world: Egyptian expatriate workers in Qatar and second passports – Mari
Norbakk, Chr. Michelsen Institute
Are there really no refugees in Saudi Arabia? A history of refugees in a state not
party to the Refugee Convention – Charlotte Lysa, University of Oslo
18D) Challenging Western-Centrism, Orientalism and Colonial
Narratives
Chaired by Erdem Sönmez, Social Sciences University of Ankara
Narratives of Ottoman anti-colonialism and imperialism in Southeast Asia – Michael
Talbot, University of Greenwich
Decolonizing Middle East Economic History – Ryan Smith, Independent Scholar
Decolonising Lebanon’s History – Youssef Choueiri, University of Manchester
Professionalized Remedies of Early Orientalist Middle Eastern Studies: Colonialist,
Patriotic, and Historians’ Images of Egypt’s Nationalist Party – Ahmed Ali Salem,
Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
The Spirit of the Revolt against the West: Anti-Western Political Thought in Turkey –
Oguzhan Goksel, Istanbul 29 Mayis University
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
59
SESSION 19 (FRI 9TH JULY: 3:15PM-5:15PM)
PANEL DETAILS
19A) Plenary Keynote: Professor Pinar Bilgin: Nowhere to
run? Decolonising the study of the Middle East between Area
Studies and International Relations
For years, we have come to think of the knowledge/power
relationship in Middle East Studies in terms of the ways in
which knowledge has served power via Oriental or Area Studies.
More recently, we have come to understand the ways in which
International Relations, too, has been shaped by concerns with
ordering the world not only in terms of policy advice but also
the shaping of concepts and theories. What does it take to
decolonise the study of the Middle East when we are caught
between two fields that are deeply implicated in concerns with
ordering the world?
Biography
Pinar Bilgin is Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University, Ankara, and an
Associate Member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. She has held visiting positions at
the Woodrow Wilson International Center (Washington, DC), King’s College London, Centre
for the Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen,
Centre for Contemporary Middle East Studies at the University of Southern Denmark,
Amsterdam Centre for European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and The
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). She is the author of many
journal articles and books in the field of Critical Security Studies, including Regional
Security in the Middle East: A Critical Perspective (2005; 2nd ed. 2019), The International
in Security, Security in the International (2016) and is co-editor of Routledge Handbook
of International Political Sociology (with Xavier Guillaume, 2017), and Asia in International
Relations: Unthinking Imperial Power Relations (with L.H.M. Ling, 2017). She is an
Associate Editor of International Studies Quarterly (2019- ) and previously served
as Associate Editor of Security Dialogue (2008-2013) and of International Political
Sociology (2012-2017), an editorial board member of the journals ID:International
Dialogue, Global Discourse, Security Dialogue, Contexto Internacional, International
Studies Quarterly, Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, Foreign Policy Analysis,
International Political Sociology and Geopolitics, and an international editorial advisory
board member of the journals Millennium: Journal of International Relations, Perceptions,
and Uluslararasi Lliskiler. She is the co-editor (with Monica Herz) of the Palgrave book
series, Critical Security Studies in the Global South.
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
60
SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
20A) A journey through literary history
Chaired by Tasnim Qutait, SOAS
Adab and Formation of Canon in Modern Arabic Societies – Nuha Alshaar, The
American University of Sharjah/the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Immoral Polemics and Moral Politics: Clashing Politico-Moral Visions of the Late
Ottoman Period – Melis Hafez, Virginia Commonwealth University
The Reconfiguration of the Arabic Literary Canon at the Fin de siècle: Orientalism,
Sexuality and the Nahda – Feras Alkabani, University of Sussex
De-colonizing Travel Narratives – Sally Abed, Alexandria University (Egypt)
Cultural Decolonization: The Case of Egyptian Nubia – Faten Morsy, Ain Shams
University, Cairo, Egypt
20B) Women’s movements and agency across time and space
Chaired by Nicola Pratt, University of Warwick
Decolonizing Geographies of Affect: Iranian women’s rights and the politics of
solidarity – Sara Tafakori, London School of Economics
‘Mood of Commitment’: Strategic Discourses of Motherhood in Ottoman Muslim
Women’s Movements – Demet Gülçiçek, University of Warwick
Women, Agency, and the Muslim Brotherhood: Dissecting Dichotomies of Dissent
and Delusion – Zeina Dowidar, University of Cambridge
Threads of Resistance and Preservation: Embroidery and the Making of Informal
Politics in Women’s Spaces – Rasmieyh Abdelnabi, George Mason University
Whose Issues? The Jordanian Women’s Movement, Intersectionality, and the Battle
over Defining Women’s Issues in Jordan – Sara Ababneh, Jordan University
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
61
SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
20C) Critical perspectives on Palestine, Western Sahara and
the International Community
Chaired by Suzanne Morrison, Zayed University
The European Parliament and the Western Sahara conflict – Ragnar Weilandt, KU
Leuven
“Can Palestinian Non-Violence Win Over the International Community?”: The Case of
Britain and the First Intifada – Colter Louwerse, University of Exeter
The European Union, Morocco and the Western Sahara Natural Resources – Ángela
Suarez-Collado, University of Salamanca; Raquel Ojeda-García, University of
Granada
20D) Palestine through the lens of decolonial epistemologies
Chaired by Mark Ayyash, Mount Royal University
Toward a decolonial approach in researching human suffering: On hunger strike in
Israeli Prisons – Ashjan Ajour, Leicester University
“Freedom or Death”: Hunger Striking through Necroresistance – Malaka Shwaikh,
University of St Andrews
Land, Dispossession, and Rights – Heba Youssef, University of Brighton
BDS as decolonial praxis – Teodora Todorova, University of Warwick
BRISMES 2021 CONFERENCE
KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES
PAGE
62
SESSION 20 (FRI 9TH JULY: 5:30PM-7:30PM)
PANEL DETAILS
20E) Power, Knowledge and “Oriental” Studies in Europe.
Interrogating National Traditions of Middle East Studies
Chaired by Paola Rivetti, Dublin City University
Spanish North Africa and Middle East Studies: An analysis of top-ranked
publications in Spain and by Spanish scholars (1998-2018) – Beatriz Tomé-Alonso,
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Between Orientalism and Security Studies: the struggle for the development
of contemporary North Africa and Middle East studies in Spain – Ana Planet
Contreras, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Alfonso Casani Herranz, Universidad
Complutense de Madrid
Being a Swedish female dissident voice in a male-Finnish dominated academia: The
case of Hilma Granqvist (1890-1972) – Rosanna Sirignano, University of Heidelberg
20F) “What is to be done?” – The Arab New Left in the
‘long 1960s’ – Session 2: Investigating Transnational
Entanglements
Chaired by Gennaro Gervasio, University Roma Tre
Entangled Histories of the Cuban and Palestinian Revolutions: Trajectories of
Transnational Revolutionaries – Sorcha Thomson, Roskilde University
Scandinavian Entanglement in the Palestinian Revolution – Sune Haugbølle,
Roskilde University
Towards a New Political Geography of the Global 1960s: Algeria, France, Italy, 1957-1975 – Andrea Brazzoduro, University of Oxford
Local Magazines/Global Cultures: Internationalism, Third Worldism and Solidarity in
1960’s Journals of the Arab World – Chana Morgenstern, University of Cambridge, CRASSH
The “paper comrade”: Nidal al-‘Ummal and the making of new radical subjectivities
in Lebanon’s long-1960s (1970-1975) – Rossana Tufaro, Italian Institute of
Oriental Studies, “Sapienza” University of Rome, and Lebanon Support, Civil Society Knowledge Center (Beirut)

==============================================================

https://www.brismes.ac.uk/images/CAF_Ben-Gurion_University_09062021.pdf

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E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.ukBRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7ALRegistered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer AdministratorBaroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill
Professor Daniel Chamovitz
President
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev P.O.B. 653 Beer-Sheva 8410501 Israel
By Email: president@bgu.ac.il
9 June 2021
Dear Professor Chamovitz,
I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) to express our deep concerns about the events that took place on 11th May 2021 on and near your campus in Beer Sheva. These events, as we detail below, appear to demonstrate a hostile and discriminatory environment for your Palestinian and Arab students, and that on 11th May the University was unable and/or unwilling to provide them with safety and security.
Founded in 1973, BRISMES aims to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East region, and to provide a forum for educators and researchers working in Middle East Studies. As part of our remit, we are committed to supporting academic freedom in the Middle East, for scholars and students alike. It is precisely in relation to our remit that we write to express our grave concerns about your University’s treatment of its students who were exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
According to footage that is available online,1 and according to reports in Haaretz,2 students from your University gathered in Beer Sheva for a protest against Israeli government policies and practices in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The students report that they
1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&fbclid=IwAR0Q2Bud9YjguO2yOunvm-s-kWYgFb6YuXdnSLfU-yGoFIPSAbUgVTvInyw&v=GMPCO5RgaBY&feature=youtu.be&has_verified=1
2 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-facing-attacks-and-incitement-arab-students-flee-israeli-campuses-1.9823987
E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk
BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90
President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator
Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill
had in advance sought and received a permit from the relevant authorities for their protest. Despite the presence of police officers, the students were subject to racist and violent behaviours, and the police did not assist them. Reports indicate that numerous students were arrested and continue to be detained.
Furthermore, we are gravely concerned that the students involved have reported that they were subject to police brutality and beatings, and that they received no assistance from the University’s security officers who were present. Students who had not been arrested at the demonstration went to University Dormitory D and were followed by counter-protesters who clearly sought to harm and abuse them, yet the University security did not allow the students to enter the accommodation.
Subsequently, a group of students attempted to return to their accommodation in Dormitory C. There they found the presence of those who had harassed and threatened them at the protest, as well as police officers and the University’s security units. As the aforementioned online footage appears to show with some clarity, they were subject to beatings and violence from the police, and were attacked with sound bombs and tear gas while on University accommodation premises.
The reported treatment of these students, who were exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly, and in particular the University’s failure to protect or assist them, is chilling. Such events create a hostile and discriminatory environment for Palestinian and Arab students at your University. They indicate that the University is not able and/or willing to create an environment where Palestinian and Arab students receive equal treatment, nor at which they can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. As Haaretz reported,3 many Palestinian and Arab students have fled Israeli campuses – including yours – because of the violence and discrimination they have faced in the past weeks.
We call upon you to investigate thoroughly and impartially the events that took place on 11th May 2021, to hold accountable those university employees who failed to act to protect your students, to support any students who have been detained (including those released under draconian conditions), and to ensure that you uphold the rights of all your students to freedom of expression and assembly on campus. Furthermore, we call upon you to work actively to combat racism against Palestinian and Arab students in your University and to ensure that
3 https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-facing-attacks-and-incitement-arab-students-flee-israeli-campuses-1.9823987
E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk
BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90
President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator
Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill
those students who have left are safe to return to campus. We believe that you have a responsibility to guarantee their security, safety and rights on your campus.
Yours sincerely,
Professor The Baroness Afshar OBE
President, BRISMES
On behalf of the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom

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https://www.brismes.ac.uk/images/BRISMES-Donelan-26052021.pdf

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E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.ukBRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7ALRegistered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer AdministratorBaroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy BrickhillMichelle Donelan MP
Minister of State for Universities
Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street
Westminster
London SW1P 3BT
By Email: michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk
26 May 2021
Dear Ms Donelan, Minister of State for Universities,
I write on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) to express our deep concerns about comments that were made during the Education Select Committee on 27 April 2021, regarding the IHRA definition of antisemitism and the autonomy of universities.
Founded in 1973, BRISMES aims to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East region, and to provide a forum for educators and researchers working in Middle East Studies. As part of our remit, we are committed to supporting academic freedom, particularly in relation to issues involving discussions of the region. It is precisely in relation to our remit that we write to express grave concerns about the ongoing pressure being exerted on universities to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as evidenced in the Education Select Committee meeting of 27 April 2021.
With respect to our mission, we condemn without reservation antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism and support UK universities’ efforts in this regard. At the same time, we wish to bring to your attention the concerns of our members that the IHRA definition (specifically its examples) is undermining the ability of academics to pursue legitimate academic activities, including research, teaching and wider public discussion of the history and current situation in occupied Palestine and Israel as well as the nature of Zionism, without fear of being accused of antisemitism.
In reaching our stance on the IHRA definition, we have given due regard to the views of legal experts. For instance, Geoffrey Robertson QC issued an opinion on 31 August 2017 stating that ‘the definition does not cover the most insidious forms of hostility to Jewish people and the looseness of the definition is liable to chill legitimate criticisms of the state of Israel and coverage of human rights abuses against Palestinians’.1
1 https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/ihra-definition-antisemitism-not-fit-purpose
E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk
BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90
President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator
Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill
Our view is also informed by widely-recognised authorities on antisemitism. For example, Kenneth Stern, the lead drafter of the IHRA definition and the Director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, has made clear that the definition was “never intended to be a campus hate speech code.” The definition, he explained, was “created primarily so that European data collectors could know what to include and exclude,” but political groups have “weaponized” the definition in ways that threaten freedom of speech.2
More recently, in March, hundreds of scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies and Middle East studies wrote that the IHRA working definition is not fit for purpose and, instead, proposed the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism as a more precise definition that provides more helpful guidance for combatting antisemitism.3
Meanwhile, the adoption of the IHRA definition does not add any substantive content that might help reduce racist speech and hate crimes on campuses. As the UCL’s Academic Board Working Group on Racism and Prejudice report found, “The IHRA working definition is unhelpful in identifying cases of harassment … the core definition itself is too vague and narrow, and the 11 examples often do not match experience.”4 Based on this report, the university’s academic board recommended retracting the adoption of the definition and replacing it with one “fit for purpose.”
We are above all concerned that the IHRA definition is creating a chilling atmosphere for many of our members who teach and research on matters concerning Israel and Palestine, as well as their students, and that this will have a negative impact on pedagogy and knowledge production. Academics employed on temporary contracts (who constitute a significant proportion of university teaching staff), as well as students, are particularly susceptible to self-censorship out of fear that any sort of accusations, even if not upheld, could jeopardize their future ability to obtain permanent employment. In some cases, there is evidence that the IHRA definition is being deployed to suppress lawful speech that is critical of Israel, its actions and its supporters.
Furthermore, we are alarmed that in the course of discussions of the IHRA definition at the Education Select Committee meeting, MP Jonathan Gullis called for the summary dismissal of Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, and two other academics at the same university, in relation to unsubstantiated allegations of antisemitism. Whilst you explained to Mr Gullis that it is not possible for government ministers to “sack” VCs or academics, you then went on to say, “I agree with you, certain universities do need to go further on this area”, while Robert Halfon suggested that universities were “hiding behind employment law” in failing to sack academics.
2 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/antisemitism-executive-order-trump-chilling-effect
3 https://jerusalemdeclaration.org/
4 https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucu/sites/ucu/files/wg-racism-and-prejudice-report.pdf , p. 4.
E-mail: administrator@brismes.org Website: www.brismes.ac.uk
BRISMES Administrative Office, Department of PAIS, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
Registered Charity Number 289804 VAT Registration Number 828 5681 90
President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Administrator
Baroness Afshar Dr Nicola Pratt Prof John Chalcraft Prof Tim Jacoby Ms Amy Brickhill
Academic freedom and freedom of speech are essential pillars of democracy. A cornerstone of academic freedom is the independence of universities and the freedom of academics to research and teach free from government interference. This is underlined in a 2018 report on Freedom of Speech in Universities by the House of Commons-House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights. It states:
Everyone has the right to free speech within the law. This can include the right to say things which, though lawful, others may find disturbing, upsetting or offensive. This right is a foundation for democracy. It is important in all settings, but especially in universities, where education and learning are advanced through dialogue and debate. It underpins academic freedom. This right extends to all forms of expression.5 (Our emphasis). We urge you, as Minister for Universities, to reconsider the Government’s policy of imposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism onto universities and to make clear your full and unequivocal support for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities.
Yours sincerely,
Professor The Baroness Afshar OBE
President, BRISMES
on behalf of the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom
CC:
Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, President, Universities UK Dr Vicky Blake, President, UCU
Mr Matt Western, Shadow Universities Minister
5 House of Commons-House of Lords Joint Committee on Human Rights report on Freedom of Speech in Universities (HC 859/HL PAPER 111) (2018) https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201719/jtselect/jtrights/589/589.pdf, p. 48.

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https://www.brismes.ac.uk/images/AB2019/resolution%204%20june%202019.pdf

Stuart Laing
President,
British Society for Middle Eastern Studies
Cc. Vice President, Zahia Smail Salhi; Executive Director, Robert Lowe; Secretary, Louise Haysey
4 June 2019
Dear Stuart,
We, the undersigned BRISMES members, believe that it is time for our Society to resolve to endorse the long-standing call to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
We wish therefore to bring a resolution to this effect to the Society’s Annual General Meeting of 24 June 2019.
In accordance with BRISMES’ procedure, we hereby submit the below resolution at least 14 days in advance of the AGM for inclusion on the agenda.
The resolution is proposed by Professor John Chalcraft (LSE) and seconded by Dr Rafeef Ziadah (SOAS).
The text of the resolution is as follows:
Resolution to Endorse the Call to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions
Whereas, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) is committed to encouraging and promoting the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom and, specifically, to bring together teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East;
Whereas, in the occupied West Bank, the continued construction of the Wall, illegal settlement enterprise and a network of military checkpoints are creating an irreversible reality of permanent military occupation, while Israel’s siege of Gaza has condemned its inhabitants, who live in a vast open air prison, to poverty and the constant threat of military force;
Whereas, Israel has obstructed Palestinians’ right to education by destroying Palestinian universities and schools, arresting students, raiding and forcing Palestinian universities to close, and restricting Palestinians’ movement;
Whereas, Israel has restricted international academics from accessing Palestinian universities, including long-term travel bans to the occupied Palestinian territories;
Whereas, Israeli universities are playing a key role in planning, implementing and justifying Israel’s illegal military occupation and are maintaining a close and supportive relationship with the Israeli military, including involvement in developing weapon
systems, providing justification for military actions and extra-judicial killings, rewarding students serving in the occupation forces, designing and delivering special programmes for soldiers and officers, building on occupied land, and systematically discriminating against non-Jewish students;
Whereas, Palestinian civil society, including the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees, has called on people of conscience around the world to join them in carrying out campaigns of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as a form of non-violent pressure on Israel until it complies with international law.
Be it resolved that:
BRISMES will show solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues living under military occupation and siege by endorsing the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions until these institutions publicly end their support and complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law;
BRISMES will facilitate educational events, discussions and debates among its membership on the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, including through its publications, conferences and relevant events;
BRISMES will educate its members about ways to apply the boycott of Israeli academic institutions in their own professional practice, and encourage them to do so. This boycott pertains to Israeli academic institutions only and not to individual scholars.
BRISMES will support the rights of scholars to engage in research about, to publish work about, and to speak publicly in support of, the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
Maha Abdelrahman, Reader in Development Studies and Middle East Politics, University of Cambridge
Reem Abou-El-Fadl, Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East, SOAS, University of London
Marta Agosti Pinilla, PhD, SOAS, University of London
Sabrien Amrov, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Geography, University of Toronto
Raymond Bush, Professor of African Studies, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds
John Chalcraft, Professor of Middle East History and Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Fabio Cristiano, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Political Science, Lund University
Marwan Darweish, Principal lecturer in Peace Studies, Coventry University
James Dickins, Professor of Arabic, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds
Sai Englert, Visiting Lecturer in Politics & International Relations, New College of the Humanities, London
Khaled Fahmy, Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa’id Professor of Modern Arabic Studies, University of Cambridge
Neve Gordon, Marie Curie Fellow and Professor of International Law, Queen Mary, University of London
Adam Hanieh, Reader in Development Studies, SOAS, University of London
Aula Hariri, Research Officer, Middle East Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Tim Jacoby, Professor, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
Laleh Khalili, Professor in Middle Eastern Politics, SOAS, University of London
Dina Matar, Reader in Arab Media and Political Communication, SOAS, University of London
Vivienne Matthies-Boon, Assistant Professor in the International Relations of the Middle East, Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam
Martha Mundy, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Jacob Norris, Senior Lecturer in Middle East History, University of Sussex
Hussein Omar, Lecturer in Modern Global History, University College Dublin
Nicola Perugini, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh
Sharri Plonski, Lecturer in International Politics, Queen Mary, University of London
Nicola Pratt, Reader in International Politics of the Middle East, University of Warwick
Mezna Qato, Junior Research Fellow, King’s College, University of Cambridge
Ruba Salih, Reader in Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London
David Seddon, Professor, Department of Geography, University College London
Patricia Sellick, Associate Professor, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University
Andrea Teti, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Aberdeen
Teodora Todorova, Teaching Fellow in Sociology, University of Warwick
Lewis Turner, Postdoctoral Researcher, Arnold Bergstraesser Institute, University of Freiburg
Elian Weizman, Lecturer in Middle East Politics, SOAS, University of London
Mark Zeitoun, Professor of Water Security and Policy, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Rafeef Ziadah, Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East, SOAS, University of London
Signatures of BRISMES Members added since 4 June 2019
Lucia Ardovini, Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
Erika Biagini, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dublin City University
Marilyn Booth, Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, University of Oxford
Catherine Cobham, Lecturer, Head of Department of Arabic and Persian, University of St Andrews
José Ciro Martínez, Research Fellow, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
John Moreton, Part-Time Tutor, Arabic and Turkish, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds
Dalia Mostafa, Lecturer in Arabic and Comparative Literature, University of Manchester
Bill V. Mullen, Professor of American Studies, Purdue University
Aya Nassar, Teaching Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Sussex
Katie Natanel, Lecturer in Gender Studies, University of Exeter
Paola Rivetti, Assistant Professor in the Politics of the Middle East and International Relations, Dublin City University
Janet Watson, Professor, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds
Endorsements by Potential Members of BRISMES since 4 June 2019
Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, SOAS, University of London
Jamie Allinson, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh
Omar Al-Shehabi, Director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies, Associate Professor in Political Economy at the Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait
Mona Baker, Professor Emerita of Translation Studies, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester
Luke Bhatia, Lecturer in International Politics, University of Manchester
Haim Bresheeth, Professor, SOAS, University of London
Stephanie Cronin, Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Fawaz Gerges, Professor of International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Vahideh Golzard, Lecturer in Persian Language and Audio-Visual Culture, University of Leeds
Rebecca Ruth Gould, Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, University of Birmingham
Tajul Islam, Lecturer in Islamic Studies, University of Leeds
Ruba Khamam, Lecturer in Arabic, University of Leeds
Nur Masalha, Professor, Centre of Palestine Studies, SOAS, University of London
Mazen Masri, Senior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London
Professor Ilan Pappé, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies
Hicham Safieddine, Lecturer in the History of the Modern Middle East, King’s College, London
Myriam Salama-Carr, Honorary Research Fellow, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester
John Sidel, Sir Patrick Gillam Chair in International and Comparative Politics, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Rasha Soliman, Lecturer in Arabic Language, University of Leeds
Lucia Sorbrera, Senior Lecturer, Chair of Arabic Studies Department, University of Sydney

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