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Conference on Middle East Studies

Program Committee Chair

Sasan Fayazmanesh, Ph.D.
Program Committee Chair and Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
California State University, Fresno
5245 North Backer Avenue M/S 20
Fresno, California 93740-8001

Conference Coordinator Assistant

Virginia Solorzano
College of Arts and Humanities
Office of the Dean
2380 E. Keats Avenue, M/S MB 99
Fresno, CA 93740
Telephone: 559/278-3056
Fax: 559/278-6758

Conference Program

Time: Event: Location:
3-6 pmh On-Site Registration

University Business Center(UBC)-

Gottschalk Gallery (GG)

3-5 pm Business Meeting


Peters Building (PB)192

5 pm Welcome PB191
5:10-6:30 pm 

Keynote Address (Public Event)


Nancy Gallagher, University of California, Santa Barbara: Teaching about Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East



Students often come to the first lecture ready to have stereotypes confirmed. Many are sure that the history of Middle East women is a story of unrelenting oppression. They are sure that “Islamic feminism” is a contradiction of terms. They are interested in honor crimes, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and other abuses. Other students want to hear that Islam really gave women more rights than other religions. Some are interested in exotica. Few understand that they are embarking on a course of study that uses the standard tools of historical research. The historical approach means trying to understand how changing gender relations affected the course of history. Marriage patterns, gendered property transfer and distribution of revenues, urban rural patterns, and media depictions help us understand the struggle for wealth and power over time in the Middle East just as in any other region.


Dr. Gallagher is chair of the Middle East GallagherStudies program and professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently studying the representations of microfinance in Afghanistan. She visited women’s NGOs in Afghanistan in 2008 and will return in 2011. She teaches courses on women and gender in the history of the Middle East and North Africa and is interested in ways classroom discussions address misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim cultures common in the media, films, and popular literature.


6:30-8 pm Welcoming reception GG
8-8:30 am Coffee GG
Friday October 8
Time Event Location
8-8:30 am Coffee GG
8:30-10 am Session A  

A1- Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq:
Past, Present and Future Prospects


Mohammad H. Qayoumi, President, California State University, East Bay: Afghanistan in the Regional Context: A Review of the Past Decade and Prospects for Future


Alam Payind, Ohio State University: Inside Afghanistan Twenty Years After the Soviet Withdrawal


Giuseppina Massa, The Johns Hopkins University: State Effectiveness and the Role of Oil Wealth: An Analysis of Rentierism in the Islamic Republic of Iran


Matt Flannes,  University of Arizona: Neoliberalism, Creative Destruction and the Economic Reconstruction of Iraq, 2003-2004


Chair: Mohammad H. Qayoumi (, President, California State University, East Bay




A2- Palestinian American Women’s Literature


Melanie Kachadoorian, California State University, Fresno: The Inheritance of Exile: Assimilation and Individuality


Chris Souza, California State University, Fresno: A Common Thread: Connecting Across Boundaries in the Work of Naomi Shihab Nye


Kristen Freberg, California State University, Fresno: Structure and Smallness in Naomi Shihab Nye’s Poetry


Lena Zaghmouri, California State University, Fresno: Water as Fragmentation: Suheir Hammad’s Drops of This Story


Chair: Miriam Fernandez (, California State University, Fresno



10-10:30 am Break GG
10:30-12:30 Session B  

B-Symposium (Public Event)


"East" Meets "West":  Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Economics andthe Islamic Civilization


George Saliba, Columbia University:

Islam and the Transformation of Greek Science


Sasan Fayazmanesh, California State University, Fresno: Al-Khwarizmi's Algebra and the Commercial Revolution


Emma Gannage, Georgetown University: Intercultural Context of Islamic Philosophy


Mahmood Ibrahim, California Polytechnic State University, Pomona: Islamic Medicine


Moderator: Vida Samiian(, California State University, Fresno



12:30 -2 pm Lunch  
2-3:30 pm   Session C  

C1-Iran’s New Role in the Middle East: Possibilities and Limitations


Damon Navas-Howard, San Francisco State University: Iran’s Export of Islamic Revolution: The End of an Era


Alp Tuncaci, San Francisco State University: Iran-Turkish Relations: New Directions in Foreign Policy?


Mahmood Monshipouri, San Francisco State University: US-Iran Relations: Why is Making a Deal Difficult?


Jon Whooley, University of Florida: Iran’s Nuclear Program: Past, Present, and Future


Chair: Sasan Fayazmanesh

(, California State University, Fresno




C2- Academic Freedom and the Rise of Neoconservatism


Rima Kapitan, Kapitan Law Office: Academic Freedom as a Human Right and Suppression of Academic Speech about Palestine


Margo Ramlal-Nankoe, Hunter College: Persecution of Leftist/Progressive Scholar-Activists on the Middle East


Mary Husain, California State University, Fresno: Academic Freedom: Costs, Consequences, and Resistance


Manzar Foroohar, California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo: Academic Freedom and California State University System


Chair: Mary Husain

(, California State University, Fresno



3:30-4 pm Break GG
4-5:30 pm Session D  

D1-Art and Literature of Dissent


Shouleh Vatanabadi, New York University: Staging Dissent: Cultural Politics of Theatre in Contemporary Iran


Samira Yamin, University of California, Irvine: Intervening on War Photography as a Means of Interrogating the Historical Document


Taraneh Hemami, Independent Scholar: The Vocabulary of Dissent


Diana Darab, University of California, Berkeley: The Voice of Apocalypse: A Study of Shahrnoosh Parsipur’s Novels


Chair: Vida Samiian(, California State University, Fresno



D2. Walls, Alliances & Negotiations: Going Nowhere in Israel-Palestine


Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University, Pennsylvania: Boycott and Divestment : History and Rationale


Mahmood Ibrahim, California Polytechnic State University, Pomona: Peace is not at Hand: Failure of the Current Round of Negotiations


David Morse, California State University, Los Angeles: US-Israel Relation in Historical Time


Jennifer Pashley, University of Arizona: The Bounded, Shifting Frontier: How Palestinians Cope with the West Bank Barrier


Jess Ghannam, University of California, San Francisco: Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel–lAnalysis and Feasibility


Chair: Lawrence Davidson (, West Chester University, Pennsylvania


PB 192
5:30-6:30 pm

Reception: Honoring Special Guests: President Mohammad H. Qayoumi, professors George Saliba, Nancy Gallagher, and Shahrnoush
Parsipur, the author of Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran.


5:30-7 pm

Film: Women Without Men
Moderator: Mary Husain, California State University, Fresno


PB 191
Women Without Men
7 pm Dinner Smittcamp Alumni House - Whitten Conference Room
Saturday October 9
Time Event Location
8-8:30 am Coffee GG
8:30-10 am Session E  

E1- Anatolia and the Southern Caucasus in East-West Encounters Across History


Sergio La Porta, California State University, Fresno: Regional Approaches to Problems of Land Administration in Medieval Anatolia


Afshin Matin-Asgari, California State University, Los Angeles: Russia/Soviet Union as the Alternate Model of Iranian Modernity


Glenn Barnett, California State University, Los Angeles: Father and Son Invading Iraq


Karén Ter-Sarkisián, California State University, Los Angeles: Unification or Annexation? Eastern Armenia in the Midst of a Historiographical Controversy


Chair: Afshin Matin-Asgari


California State University, Los Angeles




E2 -Language Change and Language Maintenance in Persian


Negin Tahvildary, Shahid Beheshti University: Language of Silence: A Comparative Perspective on Poetic Discourse


ShahrzadMahootian, Northeastern Illinois University: Choosing Languages, Changing Languages


Vida Samiian, Califonia State University, Fresno: Language Change and Language Maintenance in Persian


Chair: Simin Karimi (, University of Arizona



10-10:30 am Break GG
10:30-12 pm Session F  

F1-The Middle East: Perspectives on Literature and Politics


Rajini Srikanth, University of Massachusetts, Boston: Why the Solidarity?: South Asian Activism for Palestine


Randa Jarrar, California State University, Fresno: Sassy Arab American Women Writers


Samina Najmi, California State University, Fresno: A Fresno Soldier in Iraq: Whiteness in Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet


Chair: Steve Adisasmito-Smith


California State University, Fresno


PB 191

F2-Visual and Performance Arts and Pursuit of Identity in the Modern Middle East


A. Sameh El-Kharbawy, California State University, Fresno: The Politics of Education: Few Observations on the Middle East (Studies)


Stéphanie Dadour, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais, France: Redefining the vernacular: eclecticism of the Lebanese Diaspora


Omar Shaukat, University of Virginia: Engagements with Art and Identity in the Middle East: The Films of Eran Riklis and the Music of Melechesh


Yasmine Nachabe, Mc Gill University: Rethinking Femininity in Mandate Lebanon through Marie el Khazen’s Photographs


Chair: A. Sameh El-Kharbawy

(, California State University, Fresno


PB 192
12noon -2 pm Lunch  
2-3:30 pm Session G  

G1- The Armenian Genocide: Literary and Historical Perspectives


Rubina Peroomian, University California, Los Angeles: The literary expressions of Armenian Genocide within the Soviet scheme of Proletkult


Barlow Der Mugrdechian, California State University, Fresno: Memory and Identity in Post Genocide Armenian-American Literature


Vahram Shemmassian, California State University, Northridge: Humanitarian Intervention by the Armenian Prelacy of Aleppo During the First Months of the Genocide


Dickran Kouymjian, California State University: The Other Genocide: The Crime against Cultural Heritage and Historical Memory


Chair: Kevork Bardakjian, University of Michigan (, Ann Arbor




G2-Teaching about Middle East


Lawrence Davidson, West Chester University: Teaching a Revisionist Interpretation of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East


Hazel Antaramian-Hofman, California State University, Fresno: Incorporating Pre-Islamic Persian Art History in Interdisciplinary Coursework


E. Thomas Ewing, Virginia Tech: Shifting Perspectives: Strategies for Teaching about the United States and the Middle East in the Digital Age


Sally Totman, Deakin University, Australia: Teaching the Politics of the Middle East Using Online Role-Play


Chair: Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi (, California State University, Fullerton




3:30-4 pm Break GG
4-5:30 pm   Session H  

H1- Music of the Middle East


James R. Grippo, University of California, Santa Barbara: T he Digital Folk Hero: Sha‘bān ‘Abd al-Raīm and New Arab Media


Philip Murphy, University of California, Santa Barbara: Islam, Sufism and World Music in Morocco


Matthew Wright, University of California, Santa Barbara: Applications of Automatic Microtiming Analysis and Visualization to Eastern Arabic Rhythms


Tess J. Popper, University of California, Santa Barbara: A Reformer in the Garb of a Singer: Music in the Discourse of National Identity the Modern Arab “Renaissance”


Chair: Partow Hooshmandrad

California State University, Fresno




H2- Women, Community, and Nation in the Modern Middle East


Nancy W. Jabbra, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles: Women, Gender, And Village: Solidarity In Lebanon, 1972-2010


Cafer Sarikaya, Bogazici University, Turkey: An Ottoman Woman Writer in the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition: Fatma Aliye Hanim


Danielle LeBlanc, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada: Cigarette and a Glass:Egyptian Modernity, Morality and Cinema Dancers of the 1950s


Nancy El Gendy, University of Oklahoma: Race as a Constructed Ideology, and Performance as a Means of Destabilization: Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North


Chair: Nancy W. Jabbra, Loyola Marymount University

(, Los Angeles



6:00-8 pm Dinner Smittcamp Alumni House - Whitten Conference Room
8:00-10 pm

Middle East Ensemble, University of California, Santa Barbara (Public Event)


Concert Hall (Music 186)
UCSB performance