Past MESP Events


3/18/24  Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins (Bard College): Siege Creep: Waste, Airbnb, and Speculation between Israel/Palestine and Athens (video recording)

2/26/24  Jessica Barnes (University of South Carolina): Staple Security: Bread and Wheat in Egypt  (video recording)

2/14/2024 Jeannie Sowers (University of New Hampshire): War, Environment, and Infrastructure: Lessons From Middle East and North African Conflicts



11/6/23 Teresa Pepe (University of Oslo): Climate Change and the Future of the City in Contemporary Arabic Dystopian Fiction

10/30/23 Leila Zakhirova (Concordia College): Rise, Decline, and Ultimate Demise of the Middle East: 15,000 Years of Recurring Climate Crises

10/16/23 Nevine El Nossery (UW Madison): Arab Women’s Revolutionary Art: Between Singularities and Multitudes (video recording)

9/18/23 Karen Rignall (University of Kentucky): Afterlives of Extraction in Morocco’s Renewable Energy Transition (video recording)

4/21/23 Jillian Schwedler (City University of New York): Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent

4/12/23 Mona Tajali (Agnes Scott College): Women’s Political Representation in Iran and Turkey: Demanding a Seat at the Table (video recording)

4/7/23 Atef Moatamed (Cairo University): Place and Placelessness in the Novels of Najib Mahfouz (video recording)

3/24/23 Olivia C. Harrison (University of Southern California): Natives Against Nativism: Palestine and the Movement for Migrant Rights in Postcolonial France

3/3/23 Hamit Bozarslan (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales): Iran, Russia, Turkey:
The Anti-Democracies of the 21st Centur
(video recording)

2/17/23 Aimee Genell (University of West Georgia): Sovereignty and Autonomy in the Late Ottoman Empire

2/3/22 Chouki El Hamel (Arizona State University): Race and Islam in Historical Perspective 



12/2/22 Rosie Bsheer (Harvard University): Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia 

11/11/22 Ellen Lust (University of Gothenburg): Everyday Choices: The Role of Competing Authorities and Social Institutions in Politics and Development (video recording)

11/4/22 Adam Stern (University of Wisconsin-Madison): “‘All culture is originally colonial’: Derrida, Algeria, and the Latin Empire”

10/28/22 Chihab El Khachab (University of Oxford): Cultural Administration in Postcolonial Egypt: The Case of the Mass Culture Institute (video recording)

10/14/22 Hanan Hammad (Texas Christian University): Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt (video recording)

9/30/22 Nazita Lajevardi (Michigan State University): Perceived Discrimination and the Integration Paradox in Stigmatized Neighborhoods

4/18/22 Mazen Hassan (Cairo University): Using Discourse to Incentivize Cooperation in Arab-Muslim Culture: Experimental Evidence from Egypt (video recording)

3/7/22 Hoda El Sadda (Cairo University): From Erasure to Remembrance: Affective Memories of Egyptian Feminists (video recording)

2/28/22 J. R. Osborn (Georgetown University): The Ottoman Transition to Print: Technology, Aesthetics, and Textual Administration (video recording)

2/23/22 Nevine El Nossery (UW-Madison): When Comics Dismantle Taboos in Morocco

2/7/2022 Daniel Williford (UW-Madison): Moral Matter: Property, Piety, and the Politics of Repair in Protectorate-Era Casablanca


12/6/2021  Katrina Daly Thompson (UW-Madison): Queer-Jewish-Muslim: Constructing Hyphenated Religious Identities through Tactics of Intersubjectivity (video recording)

11/22/2021  Nadje Al-Ali (Brown University): Gendering Protest and Revolutionary Moments: the significance of body politics in the Middle East (video recording)

11/16/2021  Dina Heshmat: “Egypt 1919: The Revolution in Literature and Film”(video recording)

10/25/2021  Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins (Bard College): Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (video recording)

10/11/2021  Stéphane Lacroix (Sciences Po): The struggle for Salafism in the Egyptian Transition (2011-2013) (video recording)

9/27/2021  Adam Spanos (University of Chicago): Time Will Be the Judge: Tawfiq al-Hakim, Taha Husayn, and the Competing Factions of 1930s Egypt(video recording)

9/13/2021  Comedian and Professor Amer Zahr (University of Detroit): Arab Americans: We’re Not White (video recording)

5/10/2021  Aaron Rock-Singer: Egypt’s Struggle with the Role of Islam in Contemporary Society (video recording)

4/19/2021  Steven Brooke: “Mosques and Islamist Activism: Spatial Evidence from Interwar Cairo” (video recording)

3/29/2021  Marwa Shalaby: “The Adverse Effects of the Pandemic on MENA Research” (video recording)

3/8/2021  Nadine Naber: “Joint Struggle: A Decolonial, Abolitionist Approach to Middle East Studies” (video recording)

2/22/2021  Nilay Özok-Gündoğan: “A Gordian Knot in the Ottoman East: Kurdish Nobility, the Ottoman State, and the Question of Fiscal Autonomy in the Long Nineteenth Century” (video recording)

2/1/2021  Walid El Khachab: “Mystical Patriotism: Palestine and the Politics of the National Dress” (video recording)


11/30/2020  Christopher Livanos: “Biblicist Bias in Qur’anic Studies from the Middle Ages to the Present” (video recording)

 10/5/2020  Nicola Pratt: “Embodying Geopolitics Generations of Women’s Activism in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon” (video recording)

9/14/2020  Sahar Khamis: “Arab Women’s Shifting Identities, Ongoing Activism(s) and Parallel Struggles”(video recording)

3/9/2020  Miral Al-Tahawy: “Desert Melodies: Bedouin Women’s Oral Ghazal Poetry”

3/6/2020  Mohamad Hafez keynote lecture:  “HOMELAND inSECURITY”

2/10/2020  On Barak: “Powering Empire: “How Coal Made the Middle East and Sparked Global Carbonization”

1/27/2020  Aaron Rock-Singer: “The Salafi Mystique: The Rise of Gender Segregation in the 20th Century Middle East”


11/11/2019  Daniel Stolz: “The Ramadan Debates”

11/5/2019   Traveling Statuettes and Traveling Aristocrats? Networks of Acquisition in the Statuary Collection at the Late Antique Villa at Séviac (France)

10/28/2019   Yael Zerubavel: “Desert in the Promised Land”

10/24/2019   Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh: The Missing Pages: The Modern Life of a Medieval Manuscript from Genocide to Justice

4/8/2019   Aziza Khazzoom: “A Jewish history of Orientalism and its effect on hierarchies in Israel”

3/27/2019   MENA Heritage Month Keynote: Noor Ali

3/25/2019   Ghenwa Hayek: “Abu Salim in Africa: Cinema and the Lebanese Emigrant Experience”


11/19/2018   Irfan A. Omar: Prophet al-Khidr

10/29/2018   Nell Gabiam: Stay in Turkey or Continue Toward Europe?

10/15/2018  Susan Friedman:  A Clash of Civilizations?

9/24/2018  Dorks H. Gray: “Transitional Justice in Tunisia: The Forgotten Victims”

4/30/2018  Ahmed El Shamsy: “Islamic reform and print, 1880-1920” 

4/24/2018  Hoda Katebi: “On the Politics of Fashion”

4/16/2018  Katrina Thompson: “Categorizing Muslims: Tactics of Intersubjectivity in a Progressive Muslim Community of Practice”

4/2/2018   Geoffrey Levin: “The Palestinianization of American Jewish Anti-Zionism, 1942-1977”

3/19/2018   Jennifer Pruitt: “Rebuilding Islamic Jerusalem, ca 1035”

3/5/2018  Bican Sahin: “An Assessment of Democracy in Turkey from A Liberal Perspective”

2/19/2018  Philip Hollander: “Postmodernism Doesn’t Equal Post-Zionism: Hanokh Bartov and the Advent of Israeli Postmodernist Fiction”

2/16/2018  Nevine El Nossery: “The ‘mal d’archives’ and Tunisian Women Revolutionary Art”

2/5/2018  Aili Mari Tripp: “Women’s Rights Reform in Algeria: Why the Maghreb Differs from the Middle East”