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Critical Genealogies of Middle East Studies – Fall 2017

Course number:  AMES 620S, Gateway course for the Graduate Middle East Studies Certificate

Course attributes: CCS, CZ, SS

Course description:

This graduate seminar provides a comparative analysis of foundational theoretical and intellectual texts of Middle East Studies. With an interdisciplinary focus on culture, history, politics, literature, religion, and policy, readings and presentations by experts in the field will reveal how knowledge of the Middle East is produced within the framework of specific disciplinary traditions. Secondary focus on orientalism, gender, cultural studies, literary theory, and postcolonialism.

Professors biographies:

Professor Erdağ Göknar teaches in Duke’s Asian & Middle Eastern Studies department and is the director of the Duke University Middle East Studies Center. Professor Göknar’s research focuses on the intersection of politics and culture in the Middle East; specifically, the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. He is also interested in exploring questions of Turkish and Muslim representation in literature, historiography, and popular culture/media. This includes examining tensions between city and nation at the nexus of representational and political power. Professor Göknar’s work has focused the political critiques of state ideology embedded in literary and historical tropes in the work of authors like Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and on the critical role played by writers in representations of political violence such as cultural revolution, military coups and colonial occupation (a recent project addresses the Occupation of Istanbul after WWI). More generally, he is interested in political imaginaries that emerge out of cultural productions. Areas of additional focus include world literature, the global city, and cultural translation.

Professor Fadi Bardawill teaches at the University of North Carolina’s Department of Asian Studies and Department of Global Studies. He is an anthropologist (Ph.D Columbia University, 2010) who researches the traditions of intellectual inquiry, practices of public criticism, and modalities of political engagement of contemporary Arab intellectuals, both at home and in the diaspora. In doing so, Professor Bardawil investigates theoretical discourses as anthropological objects by tracking their international circulations, translations, analytical uses, and political appropriations.

Currently, he is completing In Marxism’s Wake: The Disenchantment of Levantine Intellectuals, a book that examines the ebbing away of Marxist thought and practice through focusing on the intellectual and political trajectories of a generation – born around 1940 – of previously militant, public intellectuals. I retrace the extinction of revolutionary hopes with the rise of militant sectarian and Islamist political forces, explore the vexed relation of intellectuals to political militancy, and look into the emergence of a fork in critical agendas after the rise of postcolonial critique between diasporic Arab intellectuals, and their Marxist and liberal peers at home. I am also writing an essay on Talal Asad’s work focusing on questions of the anthropologist’s positionality, modes of intellectual inquiry, and spaces of intellectual engagement that will introduce an interview I conducted with him.

 

Iraq & Syria: Arts and Revolutions – Fall 2017

Course number: AMES 222S

Course attributes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Course description:

The course introduces the political and cultural background of the conflict and uprising in Iraq and Syria. Focusing on culture, arts, and literature especially after the Arab Spring 2011 this course uses movies, books, and guest speakers to broaden the understanding of the current war against terrorism and dictatorships.

Professor biography:

Abdul Sattar Jawad (known also as ‘Al-Mamouri’) is an Iraqi-born Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. He received a Ph.D in English Literature and Journalism, London’s City University (UK). He has been a Barksdale Fellow at the University of Mississippi Honors College; a Visiting Professor at the Department of English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University; and a scholar at the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies at Duke University. Before coming to Duke, he was Dean of College of Arts Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and edited the Baghdad Mirror. Apart from teaching Arabic and English Literature, he is an expert on the works of T. S. Eliot and those of William Shakespeare. He has translated Eliot’s “Waste Land” into Arabic. He is also an expert on Iraqi media and academia. Jawad has written 14 books on literature and media, and has edited several literary magazines and newspapers in English and Arabic.

 

 

Spring 2017 Awards, Grants, & Scholarships

The Franklin Center’s area studies programs support and administer several awards, grants, and scholarships for Duke undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. Below is a list of opportunities all with upcoming deadlines. Click the links for more information and to apply.

FEBRUARY DEADLINES

This merit-based scholarship supports full-time students in the Duke in China summer program. Preference is given to students demonstrating a strong and sustained interest in Chinese and China Studies as well as those with no other sources of financial aid. 

Faculty needing assistance to cover travel expenses for presenting on East or Southeast Asian topics at conferences and professional meetings may apply for up to $700 from APSI.

Provides graduate students working on international research topics with funding for travel to archival and research sites inside and outside the continental United States, for attendance at specialized conferences, or for foreign language & methods training. Awards range from $500 to $2,500.

Provides funding for full-time Duke undergraduate students to complement their classwork with research experience in different social and cultural settings. On average, DUCIGS makes five awards of up to $2,000 each annually.

With funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education, DUMESC invites undergraduates and graduate students to apply for the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship. The awards provide stipends of $2,500 each plus remission of tuition and registration fees up to $5,000 for one summer session. DUMESC awards FLAS fellowships for the study of Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu.

Full-time graduate and professional school students who are US citizens or permanent residents may apply to engage in language and area studies training on Latin America and Caribbean.  Priority:  Less commonly taught languages. 

MARCH DEADLINES

This program provides grants to colleges and universities to fund individual doctoral students who conduct research in other countries, in modern foreign languages and area studies for periods of six to 12 months. The student’s application must be submitted through the appropriate channels at his/her university, and transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) by the university’s Project Director.

APSI provides merit-based tuition fellowships to East Asian Studies MA students. All students applying to the program are considered for first-year funding during the application process; no separate application is needed. Students should apply for the second-year award of a $10,000, one-semester grant in the spring semester of their first year.

These awards provide opportunities for Duke undergraduates to complement class work with research experience in Latin America and the Caribbean (includes Puerto Rico and US-Mexico border region).  The awards are open to all fields and subjects.  Approximately 10 awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 each will be offered. 

This grant supports student projects with the goal of furthering Asian-American understanding, as well as funding need-based grants for students to study in Asia. Duke undergraduate and graduate students may apply.

Special consideration will be given to projects connected with Asian-American relations, Asian-American cultural or legal issues, and women’s issues, but any project designed to meet a need and which encourages student leadership initiative will be considered.

Limited funding is available to full-time Duke students who plan to go to Japan or Korea to study a language. Priority is given to students who 1) wish to continue language study after finishing Duke University’s language requirement of three semesters, 2) are majoring or minoring in Japanese, Korean, or AMES, and 3) have arranged affiliations with local institutions in Japan or Korea.

The maximum award will be $1500.

The award is not need-based; however, should the recipient be on financial aid, the amount of the scholarship will be used to reduce the self-help portion of the financial aid award. The award is given to the student(s) who best embody the ideals and interests that Sirena held. Preference for the award will be given to students who:

• Are of Asian ancestry, preferably Chinese-American
• Have made a valuable contribution in the area of East-West culture, and
• Have demonstrated academic excellence

Full-time Duke sophomores and juniors may receive up to $2,500 to conduct research in China, Japan or Korea. Priority will be given to students who 1) will conduct research for a senior thesis; 2) whose projects have a high probability of developing into a senior thesis, and 3) who have done some preliminary work and have arranged affiliations with local institutions for the research.

APRIL DEADLINES

Grants of up to $3,000 are given to support research beginning in the summer and concluding by June 30 of the following year. Priority will be given to:

• Junior faculty or those with low/no alternate funding sources

• Faculty needing to travel to conduct East or Southeast Asia research

• Faculty who have not recently received APSI funding

• Faculty who have done conspicuous service for APSI

MAY DEADLINES

APSI annually provides up to $3,000 in funding for research clusters that promote interdisciplinary and cross-cultural inquiry and collaboration among East and Southeast Asian studies faculty and students at Duke University and other Triangle area universities.

 

Rumi

s17_ames321
Course numbers: AMES 321, RELIGION 321

 

Course codes: CCI, R, ALP, CZ

 

Course Description:

Rumi is the iconic love poet of Islam, and one of the great mystical visionaries in history. This course explores Rumi’s traditional erotic love poetry, where human and Divine love mingle. All reads are in English. Open to all. No previous coursework required.

Instructor: Dr. Omid Safi

Dr. Safi is Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion. In 2009, he was recognized by the University of North Carolina for mentoring minority students in 2009, and won the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.

Omid is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, which offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious and ethnic pluralism. His works Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, and Voices of Islam: Voices of Change were published 2006. His last book, Memories of Muhammad, deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. He has forthcoming volumes on the famed mystic Rumi, contemporary Islamic debates in Iran, and American Islam.

 

 

Screening the Holocaust: Jews, WWII, and World Cinema

s17_ames341Course numbers: AMES 341A, AMI 263S, JEWISHST 266S, LIT 263S

 

Course codes: CCI, EI, ALP, CZ

 

Course description:

Screening the Holocaust surveys WWII and Jewish Holocaust films from Europe, the United States, and Israel. The course explores divergent cinematic strategies employed to represent what is commonly deemed as “beyond representation”. The class will examine the heated debate spurred by a number of Holocaust films.

Instructor: Dr. Shai Ginsburg

Dr. Ginsburg is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Duke University’s Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department. Dr. Ginsburg’s research interests include Hebrew literature, Israeli cinema, critical theory, film theory, and nationalism.  His book, Rhetoric and Nation: The Formation of Hebrew National Culture, 1880-1990 (Syracuse University Press) was released in 2014.

Poetic Cinema

Course numbers: AMES 311S, VMS 354S, AMI 266S, ICS 311S
Course codes: CCI, ALP, CZ
Course description:

Poetic Cinema will inquire into sources of “resonance” in international cinema with emphasis on films from Asia and the Middle East. The object of the course is to describe aspects of film construction which conduce to intense experience for viewers. Readings in delve into indigenous aesthetics.

Instructor: Professor Satti Khanna

Professor Khanna interprets the lives and works of contemporary Indian writers to an international audience through a series of documentary films and translations. His recent work includes a translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla’s Naukar ki Kameez (The Servant’s Shirt, Penguin India, 1999), an anthology of short fiction, His Daily Bread (Har Anand, 2000) and the series Literary Postcard on the Doordarshan national network in India.

Middle East Explained

The Duke-UNC Consortium for the Middle East Studies recently launched a new video series, “Middle East Explained” aimed to provide digital teaching tools for middle and high school teachers. Emma Harver, the Consortium for the Middle East Studies Program and Outreach Coordinator, conceived of the video series after surveying a group of North Carolina educators about teaching the Middle East last spring.

“71% (of the educators surveyed) said they would likely teach more about the Middle East if they has more resources,” said Harver. The digital pedagogy project plans to provide free, creditable, expert teaching modules with each 5-10 minute video packaged with a downloadable guides for both teachers and students. The Middle East Explained premiered its first video, “The Historical Roots of the Syrian Refugee Crisis” on September 7, 2016. In the video, Dr. miriam cooke, the Braxton Craven Professor Arab Cultures at Duke University, provides the historical context key to understanding why so many Syrians have fled their homes.

Harver plans to create more “Middle East Explained” modules throughout the academic year that align with the North Carolina curriculum. The series intends to develop modules on the Iraq War, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the Arab Spring, and more. “My hope is that this project will deepen understanding of this important region in an approachable manner by sharing the expertise of the Duke and UNC with the greater North Carolina community,” said Harver.

The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, founded in 2005, is a collaboration between the Duke University Middle East Studies Center and the Carolina Center for the Studies of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina. The “Middle East Explained” project is made possible by the support of the John Hope Franklin Center and a Title VI grant from the United States Department of Education.

 

Fazil Say visits Duke

In February 2016, Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say visited Duke University as part of the Duke Performances’ artist-in-residence program. During his stay, Say preformed a sold out show, led a student chamber music intensive, met with the Turkish student association, and spoke on a public panel about music and culture in Turkey.

Erdağ Göknar, the director of the Middle East Studies Center, sat down with Say to discuss how Say’s work acts as a bridge between traditional Anatolian folk music and today’s modern Turkish compositions. Göknar and Say also discuss the idea of music as resistance.

Say’s residency was made possible, in part, with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with support from Duke University Middle East Studies Center and the American-Turkish Association of North Carolina (ATA-NC).

More about the artist:

Fazil Say’s Website

Fazil Say’s Facebook

 

Fall 2016 Feature Courses, part 1

QUEER CHINA

with Professor Carlos Rojas

(CCI, EI, ALP, CZ)

AMES 439, AMI 439, CULANTH 439, LIT 439, VMS 439, WOMENST 439

This course examines queer discourse, cultures, and social formations in China, Greater China and the global Chinese diaspora from the late imperial period to the present. This course focuses on cultural representations, particularly literary and cinematic, but also considers a wide array of historical, anthropological, sociological, and theoretical materials.

 

WORLD OF KOREAN CINEMA

with Professor Nayoung Aimee Kwon

(CCI, EI, ALP, CZ)

AMES 471, AMI 256, CULANTH 255, LIT 212, VMS 234

The WORLD OF KOREAN CINEMA broadly defines national, generic, and theoretical boundaries, beyond conventional auteur, genre, one-way influence, and national cinema theories. This course also examines cinematic texts in local, regional, and global contexts and intersections. This course covers variable topics based in theoretical and political discourses on gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, global flows of people and cultures, and popular and “high” culture crossovers, traditional co-productions, remakes, translations and retellings. Previous knowledge of Korean language and culture is not required.

 

MIDDLE EAST AND LATIN AMERICA

with Professor Ellen McLarney 

(CCI, CZ)

AMES 375S, LATAMER 375S
This course will look at how Middle Eastern identities blend with Latin American ones, through migration, institutions, popular media, transnational political ideologies (Marxist, leftist, socialist, populist, nationalist, religious, or feminist), as well as through conversions and proselytizing. Solidarities across the Global South central to Latin American projects to “decolonize the mind,” to mutually inspired “liberation theologies,”, and to new kinds of non-Western feminisms will be covered. This course explores the creative conjuncture of Middle Eastern and Latin American politics and cultures, through immigration and assimilation, institution building, political activism, media production, feminism, and conversion.

CONTEMPORARY TURKISH COMPOSITION AND READINGS

with Professor Erdağ Göknar

(CCI, FL) Prerequisite – Turkish 70

Advanced grammar and syntax with intense composition component. Analytical readings in the original. Prerequisite: Turkish 70 or equivalent.

 

INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY LATIN AMERICA

with Professor Jocelyn Olcott


(CCI, CZ) – Gateway for Undergraduate Latin American and Caribbean Studies Certificate

LATAMER 230, HISTORY 330, ICS 327

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the peoples, cultures, and burning issues of contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a required course for students seeking the certificate in Latin American Studies.

 

 

Documenting Italy’s Refugees

On March 30th from 12:00pm – 1:00pm, storytellers and visual journalists Gabriela Arp and Andrea Patiño Contreras will share their experiences documenting the flood of refugees entering Europe through Italy during the Wednesdays at the Center series. Their most recently project, Divided by the Sea, outlines the African and Middle Eastern refugees crossing the Mediterranean to enter the EU through the small southern Italian town of Reggio Calabria.

On June 22nd, a Singaporean ship managed by the Danish shipping company TORM A/S, rescued two boats off the Libyan coast with 221 refugees mostly from West Africa and took them to the port of Reggio Calabria.

On June 22nd, a Singaporean ship managed by the Danish shipping company TORM A/S, rescued two boats off the Libyan coast with 221 refugees mostly from West Africa and took them to the port of Reggio Calabria.

Arp and Patiño Contreras are currently master’s students in the University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism. Patiño Contreras graduated from Duke’s Trinity College in 2012 and studied Cultural Anthopology. A photo from the Dvided by the Sea project won Patiño Contreras the 2015 Duke Sanford School of Public Policy #PolicyinAction photo contest.

Watch “The Story Behind the Photo: Andrea Pantiño Contreras” produced by Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy:

 

Events

Law, Dynasty, and Islam in Arab Monarchies, 1860s-1930s

Speaker: Adam Mestyan, Ph.D.

This talk focuses on the legal codification of dynasties in Arab monarchies between the 1860s and 1930s. In a sweeping survey, it compares how the succession order and the members of the ruling family were defined in laws, decrees, and constitutions in the new national kingdoms of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia with comparisons to older monarchies, equally impacted by European imperialism, such as Morocco and Oman. The argument I would advance is that constitutionalism prompted dynastic codification which rulers hastened to achieve before and within the writing of basic laws. This feature also meant that certain re-invented Islamic principles of power, such as the preference for male and sane Muslim rulers, were also codified. Thus the new and old dynasties themselves embodied a fictional core of Muslim constitutionalism in the early twentieth century.

Adam Mestyan is a historian of the Middle East. He is a graduate of CEU and ELTE, Budapest. His first monograph, Arab Patriotism – The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt, was published by Princeton University Press in 2017. Mestyan has initiated Project Jara’id – A Chronology of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals in Arabic, an online bibliography. In addition to his academic interests, he was the bass-guitarist of the legendary underground band the Galloping Coroners between 1996-2014 (VHK, Vágtázó Halottkémek) and established a number of other Hungarian bands (including Yava Folcore Punk Brigade and Dereng). Adam Mestyan also published two award-winning books of poems in Hungarian and continues to write poetry. He runs a marathon every year.

This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center and Duke University’s Center for International and Global Studies. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks. The series provides 1 hour parking vouchers to guests.