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Fall 2014

Richard Bulliet
(Professor of Middle Eastern History, Columbia University)


Monday, February 2 / 5:00PM / HSSB 4080

From the Bronze Age to the era of petroleum, the Middle East has experienced a succession of energy profiles that helps to explain its political and cultural efflorescences and stagnations. This presentation will discuss the ways in which chariots, camels, and crude oil have shaped the region and distinguished it from the surrounding lands of Europe, India, and Africa.

RICHARD W. BULLIET is Professor of Middle Eastern History at Columbia University where he also directed the Middle East Institute of the School of International and Public Affairs for twelve years. Born in Rockford, Illinois, in 1940, he came to Columbia in 1976 after undergraduate and graduate work at Harvard and eight years as a faculty member at Harvard and Berkeley. He is a specialist on Iran, the social history of the Islamic Middle East, the 20th century resurgence of Islam, and the history of transportation.

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies, R. Stephen Humphreys Distinguished Lecture Series


The Iranian Studies Initiative will provide 3 travel grants, each for around $350. Students wishing to travel to conferences to present a paper, to organize a session, or to undertake library research or fieldwork in Iranian Studies may apply.  Ph.D. students have preference, but applications from M.A. students may also be considered.  This grant may be used in conjunction with any other travel grant.

The deadline is Monday, February 2, 2015.
More details can be found at the Iranian Studies Initiative Website.


Dr. Kathleen Collins (University of Minnesota)

"Understanding the Emergence and Trajectory of Political Islam in Tajikistan, 1973-1997"

February 5th / Lane Room - Ellison Hall / 4:00pm

Kathleen A. Collins is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (New York: Cambridge University Press, February 2006), which won the Central Eurasia Studies Society Book Award for Social Sciences. She is currently writing two books, tentatively titled: The Rise of Islamist Movements: Islam and State in Central Asia and the Caucasus (under contract, Cambridge University Press), and Muslim Politics: Religion, Politics, and Public Opinion in Post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan. Her work on clan politics, political Islam, democratization, identity politics, regional cooperation, and violence in Central Asia has appeared in journals and edited volumes.


Film Series: “Dreaming Palestine: Occupation, Exile, and Return”

When I Saw You (2012)
7:00 PM, Thursday, February 12
Pollock Theater, UCSB

To be preceded by a video introduction recorded specifically for this occasion by writer-director Annemarie Jacir.

The Time that Remains (2009)
7:00 PM, Wednesday, February 18
Pollock Theater, UCSB

To be followed by a discussion about the film and about the theme of the film series: “what does it mean to dream in Palestine?”

Panelists: Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights
              Sherene Seikaly, Assistant Professor of History, UCSB
Moderator: Maryam Griffin, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, UCSB
My Love Awaits Me by the Sea (2013)
7:00 PM, Thursday, February 26
Pollock Theater, UCSB

Followed by a live discussion and a reception with director Mais Darwazah.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies


The Musical Heritage of Moorish Spain
Concert and Symposium, Feb. 21 & 22, 2015

CONCERT: Echoes of the Alhambra: Jewish & Muslim Music from Medieval  
Moorish Spain

  MultiCultural Center Theater
  Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 / 8:00 PM

  The concert is free, but seating is limited--ticket reservations are
  recommended. For ticket info visit: www.cmes.ucsb.edu

A unique concert of shared Jewish and Muslim musical traditions from medieval Spain, modern Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Israel, and Yemen, presented by performers and researchers who have learned these repertories from traditional practitioners throughout the modern Middle East.

SYMPOSIUM: Intertwined Traditions: The Untold Tale of Jewish-Muslim  
Musical Traditions from Medieval Moorish Spain

Sunday, February 22, 2015 / 3:00 PM
McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB

An international panel of scholars and musicians presents lectures on how Jewish and Muslim communities across the Middle East have adopted and shared musical traditions whose origins lie in medieval "Moorish Spain" - known in Arabic as al-Andalus and in Hebrew as Sepharad - (illustrated with videos and recordings).

Sponsored by the Center for Middle East Studies, College of Letter & Sciences, Division of Humanities & Fine Arts Division, Department of Music, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, Multicultural Center, and the UC Institute for Research in the Arts.


Zareena Grewal (Yale University)

American Muslims and the Reform of Islam

Tuesday, February 24, 6:00pm
MCC Theatre

Zareena A Grewal is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at Yale University and Director for the Center for the Study of American Muslims at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. She is a historical anthropologist and documentary filmmaker and has directed and produced a film about the scrutiny of American Muslims’ patriotism (By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam (2004)) featured on the Documentary Channel. She is also the author of Islam is a Foreign Country, a book on the global dimensions of Islam’s “crisis of authority,” specifically on transnational pedagogical networks that connect American mosques to the intellectual centers of the Middle East, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Cairo, Egypt, Damascus, Syria, and Amman, Jordan. She teaches courses on Muslim in America, US cultural and political interests in the Middle East, and ethnographic and documentary film.





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