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Duke hosts “Dimensions of the Middle East”

Summer Institute provides professional development for 6-12 grade educators.

by Catherine Angst

The Duke Islamic Studies Center and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center with support from the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) hosted forty 6-12 grade educators for a five-day summer institute from June 24-29, 2018.

“This institute will completely shift your perspective,” said Jennifer McKinney, a high school history teacher from Fort Smith, Arkansas, “It’s one of those life-changing institutes.”

Professor lectures classroom

Professor Erdağ Göknar, Ph.D. lectures on teaching the Ottoman Empire.

Throughout the week teachers engaged with university experts on a variety of topics to expand their understanding of the cultures, histories, and geopolitics of the Middle East. Lecture titles included:

  • “Religious Diversity of the Middle East” with Professor Carl Ernest, Ph.D.
  • “Women and Leadership in the Arab World” with Professor Nadia Yaqub, Ph.D
  • “Contemporary Turkey from Ataürk to the AKP” with Professor Erdağ Göknar, Ph.D.
  • “An End – Or A Beginning?: The Arab Uprisings of 2011 as History” with Professor James Gelvin, Ph.D.

“We have designed the institute’s program of study around common themes in state curricula, as well as frequently asked questions about the region,” said Emma Harver, a partner on the program from the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies. Beyond lectures, the educators participated in specialty breakout sessions, curriculum building workshops, and a panel discussion on Islamophobia with local Muslim community members.

Institute participants partook in several extracurricular cultural experiences. Teachers donned their chef hats and prepared a Middle Eastern feast as part of a cooking enrichment class. They also traveled to the Islamic Center of Raleigh and observed prayer.

Chopping

Preparing the chicken tagine.

“One of the biggest things I’ll bring back to my classroom is a comparison between of world religions,” said Kevin Wagner, a world history teacher from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, “There are so many things that the Islamic faith shares with Judaism and Christianity.”

A review committee selected this year’s participants through a competitive, nation-wide application. The educators represented 21 different states and a variety of teaching disciplines from social sciences, language arts, and more.  “The committee was quite impressed with the number and quality of applications to this program,” Harver noted.

Duke and QFI piloted this summer institute in June 2017 with the theme “The Middle East and Islam: New perspectives of Islamic History from the 16th century to the present”. The pilot institute was quite successful, so the program grew to double the size of its teacher cohort this summer.

Duke Undergraduate Working Group on MENA

 

Highlights from students in Duke’s Undergraduate Working Group in MENA at the John Hope Franklin Center’s weekly Wednesdays at the Center series.

Josh Curtis and Bryan Rusch will lead a roundtable discussion with six students who participated in DukeEngage in Lebanon, and Duke in the Arab World (Morocco) in the summer of 2017. A moderated discussion will include topics such as classroom study vs. real-life experience, the people of MENA, cultural encounters, food, and lessons upon returning home. These rich and diverse experiences make Duke a unique hub of learning and engagement in the affairs of the MENA region.

Bryan Rusch is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering and International Comparative Studies with a focus in the Middle East. Rusch was part of the Middle East and Islam in the Global Context Focus group his freshman year and participated in Duke in the Arab World this past summer. He plans on continuing his engagement with the region his entire life and is hoping to work in the region after college.

Josh Curtis is a junior studying Economics and Arabic. Curtis spent every college summer at Duke in the Middle East as he aspired to devote his life to working in the region. Josh is the co-president of J Street U Duke, an Israel/Palestine advocacy group on campus, and a former senator in Duke Student Government.

inTransit Workshop looks at Art and Migration around Europe

On February 1st, 2018, academics and artists from around the globe gathered at Duke University for the inTransit: Arts & Migration around Europe workshop. The workshop focused on two themes, “Reversible Patterns: Historical and Contemporary Views from Spain, Northern African and the Middle East” and “Northwards across the Grain of Time: France, Flanders and the Lowlands, West Africa”.

James Amelang, Ph.D. and E. Michael Gerli, Ph.D. presented on the 16th-century expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain. In the videos below, both professors comment on how Spanish history can plan a role in the migration crisis happening in Spain today. Amelang is Professor of History in the Department of Early Modern History at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. His research focuses on early modern urban social history with a specialization on Barcelona. Gerli is Common Wealth Professor of Spanish at the University of Virginia. Gerli’s research explores medieval and renaissance literature and linguistics.

The inTransit research group strives to bridge ideological divides and contribute to current debates on migration in major regions of the globe where Romance languages are spoken.

 

 

 

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.

 

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