27th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference (May 4-5, 2012)

27th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference

May 4-5, 2012

Ida Noyes Hall, The University of Chicago

The MEHAT (http://cas.uchicago.edu/workshops/mehat/) Conference is celebrating its twenty-seventh year as a leading forum for emerging scholars in Middle East studies. The conference welcomes a broad range of graduate students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Participants represent a truly interdisciplinary array of disciplines (including, but not limited to, anthropology, art history, cinema and media studies, history, literature, sociology, and religion).  The conference has grown into one of the nation’s premier forums for academic research on the Middle East from the 7th century onwards.

Conference Program

Friday, May 4

Breakfast (8:15-9:00 AM)

Session 1 (9:00-10:30):

Print Culture and Nationalism
Moderator: Ekin Enacar, University of Chicago

Andrea Brown, University of Chicago:                                                                                           Saʿdī’s Gülistān in 19th Century Ottoman Educational Institutions: Tradition and Innovation

Nathaniel Heisler, University of Toronto:
‘Fiery Orator’ meets Modernist: publics, affect, and popularism in the journalistic work of ‘Abd Allah al‐Nadim

Esra Taşdelen, University of Chicago:
Nationalism in fiction: The uses of history in Ahmet Hikmet Müftüoğlu’s “Gönül Hanım” and Jurji Zaydan’s “Fath al-Andalus”

Transmission of Knowledge
Moderator: Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago

Shatha Almutawa, University of Chicago:
Isma’ili, Sufi or Sunni? Ikhwan Al-Safa and the Debates over their Affiliation

Fachrizal Halim, McGill University:
The Canonization of the Shāfiʿī School of law: Legacy and Contribution of al-Nawawī (d. 631-76/1233-77)

Timothy Gutmann, University of Chicago:
Ibn Taymiya and Orthodoxy

Elizabeth Sartell, University of Chicago:
Theological discussions surrounding the concept of al-aslah

Issues in Urban Space and Architectural Form
Moderator: Laura Holzweg, University of Chicago

Mae H. Al-Ansari, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
Direct Esthetic Experiences of the Real’: Explorations into the Kuwaiti narrative

Caitlin McKenna, Brooklyn Museum:
Rethinking Austerity and ‘Plane’ Almohad Architecture

Session 2 (10:45-12:15 PM):

Politics, Rhetoric, and the Arab Spring
Moderator: Lori Allen, University of Cambridge

Tom Maguire, University of Chicago:
Salafi Cafe: Charting An Islamist Public Sphere in Revolutionary Egypt

James Rumsey-Merlan, Princeton University:
Dissimulation in Doubt: The Rhetoric of Syria’s Civil Unrest

Jessica Winegar, Northwestern University:                                                                            Sitting on Rusty Old Chairs or Filling in Excel Spreadsheets: Boredom, Cynicism, and the Political Re-enchantment of Egypt’s Culture Workers

Aaron Y. Zelin, Brandeis University:
Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ansar al-Shari‘ah: New Forms of Islamist Activism in Tunisia

Islamic State and Empire After 1500
Moderator: John Woods, University of Chicago

Tahir Abdullah, University of Chicago:
Cosmic Order and Islamic State formation within the Sokoto Caliphate

Hani Khafipour, University of Chicago:
Political Patronage and Clientelism in the Early Safavid State

Maja Petrović, Princeton University:
Distance, Boorishness and Supremacy: Ottoman and Mughal Hegemonic Narratives

Lunch (12:15-1:30)

Session 3 (1:30-3:00):

Language and Modernity
Moderator: Jessica Winegar, Northwestern University

Anthony Edwards, University of Texas at Austin:
Emergence of MSA: Language Performance and Critique during the Nahḍah

Candace B. Lukasik, Columbia University:
National Unity and Persecution Discourse: ‘Sectarianism’ in Egypt and Iraq as a Practice of Modernity?

Alon Tam, University of Pennsylvania:
Between French Culture and Judeo-Arabic Culture: Navigating (Linguistic) Identity among the Jews of Tangier, Morocco

Literature in the Medieval Mediterranean
Moderator: Sabahat Adil, University of Chicago

Mustafa Binmayaba, Indiana University at Bloomington:
The Anxiety of Guilt in Abraham ibn Ezra’s Elegy on Islamic Spain

Danilo Marino, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, INALCO of Paris :
Humor and Comic literature in Mamlūk Egypt: Ḥashīsh and luxury food in Ibn Sūdūn al-Bašbuġāwī’s (d. 868/1464) Nuzhat al-nufūs

Nathaniel Miller, University of Chicago:
Waters of Abundant Kawtharian Springs: Arabic Poetry in Roger II’s Court

Minorities and Ottoman Identity
Moderator: Harry Bastermajian

Melahat Fındık, Sabancı University:
Local Reactions to Central Practices: The Barzan Case

Emma Harper, University of Chicago:
An examination of the Greek-language newspaper ‘The Light’ (Το Φως): The Istanbul Greek community’s perspective on the Turkish state experiment in 1926

Ohannes Kılıçdağı, Istanbul Bilgi University:
Ottomanism Among the Anatolian Armenians After the 1908 Revolution

Session 4 (3:15-4:45):

Shifting Identities, Shifting Power Structures, Shifting Paradigms: Four Approaches to Modern Middle East Studies
Moderator: Iza Hussin, University of Chicago

Douglas H. Garrison, University of Denver:
Ibn Khaldun, Political Theory, and the ‘Arab Spring’: a Comparative Exploration of Modern Revolution

Kara Kingma, University of Denver:
Analyzing Theories of Democratic Transition in Iraq

Clifton Martin, University of Denver:
State and Society Dynamics in the Social Movements of Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen

Catherine Orsborn, University of Denver:
The Politics of Religious Identity: Egypt’s Religious Groups in Historical Perspective

Writing Early Islam
Moderator: Tahera Qutbuddin, University of Chicago

Kevin Blankinship, University of Chicago:
No Sympathy For the Devil: Righteous Indignation against Iblīs in the Works of al-Farazdaq, Abū Nuwās, and Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī

Süleyman Dost, University of Chicago:
Nāmūs: Law or Gabriel? or What Early Muslim Scholars Forgot

Ulrika Mårtensson, NTNU-The Norwegian University of Science and Technology:
How can al-Tabari’s History be used for a historical understanding of the ‘origins’ of the Qur’an?

Maher Abu-Munshar, Qatar University:
The Christians of Jerusalem between the ‘ahd and ‘uhda of Caliph ‘Umar

Russo-Ottoman Encounters
Moderator: Toygun Altıntaş

İbrahim Köremezli, Bilkent University:
Russian Prisoners of War in the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War (1853-56)

Valeriy Morkva, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University:
The Alliance of the Cross and the Crescent

Oğuzhan Mutluer, Bilkent University:
Historical Discourse of the Contemporary Russian Cinema: Turetskii Gambit and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78

Mustafa Sarı, Sakarya University:
The Russo-Ottoman Rivalry on Batum

Berat Yıldız, Bilkent University :
From Caucasus to Syrian Deserts: The Settlement of the Circassians in Syria

Coffee Break (4:45-5:00)

Conference Convocation: Roundtable Discussion (5:00-6:30):

Picturing Prophecy: The Falnama (Book of Omens) in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Iran and Turkey

Professor Kathryn Babayan                                                                                                Department of History, University of Michigan

Professor Serpil Bağcı
Department of Art History, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Massumeh Farhad
Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution

Professor Cornell Fleischer
Kanuni Suleyman Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies, University of Chicago

Middle East Music Ensemble Performance (6:45-7:15)

Light Reception (7:15-8:00)

Saturday, May 5

Breakfast: 8:15-9:00 AM

Session 1 (9:00-10:30)

Constructing Iraq in the Mandate Period
Moderator: Yasar Tolga Cora, University of Chicago

Andrew Alger, University of Chicago:
Sending the Nation to School: The Plans and Ideals of Iraqi Education, 1927 – 1941

Güldem Baykal Büyüksaraç, George Washington University:
Revisiting the Mosul Dispute: The Question of Self-Determination in the Iraqi Mandate

Carl Shook, University of Chicago:
The Constructive Role of Treason Law in Mandate Iraq

Anny Gaul, Georgetown University:
Murder and Mandate in Mesopotamia: Public British Policies and Private British Lives

Historical Perceptions of Architecture
Moderator: Mick Bechtel, University of Chicago

Gül Cephanecigil, Istanbul Technical University:
Between Inventory and Story: The Emergence of Architectural History in the Late Ottoman/Early Republican Turkey

Till Grallert, Freie Universität Berlin:
Late imaginations of an ancien régime? The social space of Damascus as perceived by late nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers

Wollina Torsten, Freie Universität Berlin:
What is the city? Perceptions of architectural and social order in 15th-century Damascus

Moain Sadeq, Qatar University:
History of Human Settlement in Qatar in Light of Archaeological Evidence

The Poetry and Politics of Mysticism in the Late Middle Period
Moderator: Ed Hayes, University of Chicago

Izzet Coban, University of Chicago:
A Mystic Poet in Grief: Love, Transformation, and Death

Carlos Grenier, University of Chicago:
Qasim-i Anvar: Caliph of the Unseen World

Mustafa Kaya, University of Chicago:
The Scholars and Sufis in Bursa in the Fifteenth Century

Maryam Sabbaghi, University of Chicago:
Introducing the Mystical Poetry of Shaykh Bahai

Session 2 (10:45-12:15 PM)

Building the New Society: The Republic of Turkey, Past and Present                      Moderator: Holly Shissler, University of Chicago

Begum Adalet, University of Pennsylvania:
Questions of Modernization: Survey Research and Turkish-American Encounters, 1950-1968

Hayrunnisa Goksel, Northwestern University:
Negotiated and Contested Identities: Women’s Narratives of Peace and Violence in Turkey

James Ryan, University of Pennsylvania:                                                                                  Turkey’s ‘Lost Generation’: Western Educated Thinkers, Popular Culture and the Press in the Early Republic

Evren Savci, Northwestern University:
Subjects of Rights and Subjects of Cruelty

Defining Minorities in Persia, Italy, and the Levant
Moderator: Carlos Grenier, University of Chicago

Michel Andraos, Catholic Theological Union (Chicago):
Christian communities in the Near East: the formation of sectarian identities during the European colonial period

Ayse Baltacioglu-Brammer, Ohio State University:
“Mi Faccio Turco:” An Examination of Muslims in the Roman Inquisition and the Ottoman Reaction

Alberto Tiburcio Urquiola, McGill University:
Between the Letter of the Law and the Spirit of Reality: conflicting images of Zoroastrians in Late Safavid Iran

Arabs and Muslims in Transit: Islam, Belonging and Exile in Arab-Anglophone and Modern Arabic Literature
Moderator: Farouk Mustafa, University of Chicago

Reem Hilal, University of Wisconsin at Madison:
Between Constructions: Tracing a Narrative of Self in Muslim American Writing

Ammar Naji, University of Wisconsin at Madison:
Exile, Dignity and the Revolution of Diasporic Imagination in the Arab World

Ziad Suidan, University of Wisconsin at Madison:
In, through, and Across Darwish’s Palestinian-Arab Diasporatic Rhythms: Rereading “Here, We Are Near There”

Lunch (12:15-1:30)

Session 3 (1:30-3:00)

Interpreting the Qur’an
Moderator: Süleyman Dost, University of Chicago

Cathy Bronson, University of Chicago:
Locating the shari’a in Surat al-nūr 24:31 “wa lā yubdīna zīnatahunna illā mā zahara minhā”

Hamza Mahmood, Cornell University:
God’s Dye: Metaphor and Mediation in Qurʾānic Polemics

Feryal Salem, University of Chicago:
Qadar, Freewill and Kasb in the Qur’an

Jeremy Vecchi, University of Chicago:
Method and Masjid: a Critical Reflection on Q 9:107, Asbāb al-Nuzūl and Historiography

Politics and Rhetoric in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Moderator: Cameron Cross, University of Chicago

Soroush Aslani, Northwestern University:
Framing, Resonance, and Micro-Mobilization: Shall We Say What We Are For, or What We Are Against?

Navid Hassanzadeh, Georgetown University:
Abandoning the Political: A Critique of Post-Revolutionary Theoretical Trajectories in Iran

Mahnia Nematollahi Mahani, Leiden University:
Legitimization of Political Violence, Iran’s Twentieth Century War (1980-88) Poetry

Saba Sulaiman, University of Chicago:                                                                                 Reading Parsipur Through the Eyes of Hedayat’s Blind Owl: Tracing the Origins of Magical Realism in Modern Persian Prose 

Fashioning the Polity in the Middle Periods
Moderator: Christopher Markiewicz, University of Chicago

Mohamad Ballan, University of Chicago:
Re-Imagining “al-Ghālib bi-llāh”: Lisān al-Dīn ibn al-Khaṭīb and the Construction of Naṣrid Dynastic Legitimacy in Fourteenth-Century Granada

Niko Banac, University of California, Los Angeles:
Poetry and the Historical Imagination in Post-‘Abbasid Historiography: A Close Reading of Two marthiyyas on the Fall of Baghdad

Theo Beers, University of Chicago:
Political Versus Personal Agency in the Shahnameh

Malika Dekkiche, University of Chicago:
New Source, New Debate: Reevaluation of the Mamluk-Timurid Relationships (Paris, BnF ms. ar. 4440)

Session 4 (3:15-4:45):

Social Mobility in the Ottoman Empire, 1700 to 1850
Moderator: Ahmet Tunç Şen, University of Chicago

Aykut Mustak, Sabancı University:
In Through the Out Door: Muhsinzade Abdullah Pasha’s Provincial Career

Efe Balikcioglu, Harvard University:
A Travel Guide to India for Ottoman Merchants: On Mehmed Emin Efendi’s Takrîr

Basil Salem, University of Chicago:
The Mufti of Damascus: Social and Political Realities of the Post of Hanafi Mufti in Eighteenth Century Ottoman Damascus

Secil Uluisik, University of Arizona:
Sarrafs as Intermediaries in the Ottoman Empire: The Case of Mıgırdıç Cezayirliyan

Continuing the Tradition: Transmission and Dissemination of Religious Knowledge
Moderator: Rahaf Kalaaji, University of Chicago

Garrett Davidson, University of Chicago:
Children Should Hear and Be Heard: Hadith Attendance Registers and the Role of Children in Medieval Hadith Transmission

Farhad Dokhani, University of Chicago:
Jamal al-Din al-Afghani: The Shi’i Founder of Enlightened Salafism?  

Matthew Gillman, University of Chicago:                                                                              Hating Yusuf?: Subversive and Subservient Rewriting in Nazım Hikmet’s Yusuf ile Menofis

Lauren Osborne, University of Chicago:                                                                                Textual and Paratextual Meaning in the Recited Qur’an: Analysis of a Performance of Surat al-Furqan by Sheikh Mishary bin Rashid al-Afasy

Coffee Break (4:45-5:00)

Keynote Address (5:00-6:30):

Cultures of Literacy and Social Practice in Early Modern Isfahan

Professor Kathryn Babayan
Deptartment of History, University of Michigan

Lamb Roast Dinner (6:30-8:30)

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