Past Events

Past Events

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The Centre of Middle East and North African Studies, The Department of Critical and Cultural Studies and the Innovative Universities European Union Centre present a one-day symposium
Relational Dis/locations: Mediterranean Cultures in translocal and Transnational contexts

Date: Friday 28 November 2008 Time: 9.00am-6.00pm Venue: Whiteley Room, U@Macquarie building, Macquarie University

The Department of Critical and Cultural Studies, the Innovative Universities European Union Centre and the Centre of Middle East and North African Studies present a one-day symposium concerned with work that conceptualises the Mediterranean not as a fixed geographical locus mapped and regulated by a series of longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates but, rather, in terms of a dispersed spatio-temporal and geopolitical phenomenon that is not identical to itself. This is not the Mediterranean of the imperial mare nostrum ; rather, it is a transmediterranean marked by lines of contestation, dissemination and reconfiguration. This symposium brings together scholars working on Mediterranean cultures, their multiple dispersions and embodiments. The symposium examines how Mediterranean cultures are engaged in flows of transnational cultural exchange that are reconstituting local cultures and identities and translocating these things in the context of national/ist cultures. The symposium will also focus on the phenomenon of diaspora, both transmediterranean and transnational (with a particular focus on Australian diasporic cultures and their Middle Eastern, North African and European affiliations and connections), refugees and the undocumented, the "war on terror," media representations, colonial and imperial histories, tourism, and aesthetic visions.

The Macquarie University Centre for Middle East and North African Studies presents an open guest lectur eby Dr Sara Roy, ( Harvard University ) "Beyond Occupation? Examining the New Reality in Israel and Palestine "

Tuesday 14 October 2-4 PM

Macquarie University , Building E6A, Room 133

The Sydney Democracy Forum - "Democracy, Israel and the Arab World:Western Perceptions and Local Realities"

Listen to the talk HERE

When: Friday 29 August, 2008
Time: 3:00 - 5:00pm
Venue:Professorial Board Room, Quadrangle Building A14, University of Sydney 2006

Gennaro Gervasio
(Macquarie University)
Gil Merom
(University of Sydney)
Chair David Pritchard
(University of Queensland)

The nature of contemporary Jihadism: Motivations of suicide bombers by Farhad Khosrokhavar
co-hosted by the Centre for Middle East and North African Studies and the Innovative Universities European Union Centre

Free Public lecture: Tuesday 2 September, 7pm.Theatre I, Building 5A (please see campus map).
The lecture is free, but booking prior to 29 August is essential: or 02 9850-7915

Beyond Occupation? Examining the New Reality in Israel and Palestine

In the last eight years, the transformations in land, labor, economy, and demography in Israel and the Occupied Territories have been stunning. Palestinians have suffered losses not seen since the beginning of Israeli occupation in 1967, and arguably, since the losses of 1948. The current context has many dimensions but is defined primarily by Israels continued occupation of Palestinian lands, perhaps most vividly expressed in the widespread expansion of Israeli settlements, the isolation of the West Bank and Gaza , the internal cantonization of the West Bank and the bureaucratization of Israeli control. The current context is also defined by rapid socioeconomic decline, the total fragmentation of the geographical base of the Palestinian economy, the humanitarianization of the Palestinian people, and the destruction of political life.
The intensification and institutionalization of these and other conditions have led to some critical paradigmatic shifts in the way the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict is conceptualized, understood and addressed.

The presentation will examine these paradigmatic shifts at the political, social and economic levels and argue that they collectively undermine the possibility of achieving a meaningful and politically and economically sustainable resolution of the conflict. In the absence of immediate redress in which the international donor community has a vital role to play, the transformations described will preclude any viable outcome for years if not decades to come.

For Dr Roy's Bio see:

Dr Lisa Wynn, Research Fellow of the Centre for Middle East and North African Studies presents
"I'll buy your daughter for a thousand camels': Mimesis, mockery, and a postcolonial Middle Eastern tourist economy"

When: Thursday 29 May 10:30-12:30

Where:Anthropology Meeting Room, Building C3A-630

Ali Abunimah
"Should Israel and Palestine be one secular, democratic state?"

ALI ABUNIMAH: Author of the recently published "One Country: A Bold Proposal to Endthe Israeli/Palestine Impasse" (Metropolitan, 2006).
Ali Abunimah is a research Fellow with the Palestine Center inWashington DC and the Editor of Electronic Intifada, the world's primary
website on information about Palestine. He lives in Chicago and writes regularly for The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times,
among other publications.

Ali Abunimah was born in Washington DC in 1971 to Palestinian parents.His mother was a refugee from her village in 1948 when Israel was
created. His father is from a village on the West Bank.Ali attended Princeton University and the University of Chicago.
The website of Electronic Intifada is:

Time, date and location:The lecture will be held on Monday May 12, at 7:30pm in C5C T2

The Macquarie University Centre for Middle East and African Studies is hosting a public lecture at its North Ryde campus on March 12.

The main speakers are Hon. Abbas Lel Hasham, MP, Free Patriotic Movement party, Parliament of Lebanon and
Dr Pierre Raffoul of the American University of Beirut, Adviser to the Free Patriotic Movement Party, Lebanon.

They will be discussing " Contemporary Issues in Lebanon's Politics". The event coincides with the build up to upcoming elections in Lebanon.

The lecture will be held on Wednesday 12 March from 7:00pm-8:30pm, in W5A T2.

The event is free, but donations on the night are welcome. For more information contact

Centre for Middle East & North African Studies, Macquarie University.
Ph: +61 2 9850 8854

Centre for Middle East and North Africa Studies and Department of Politics present:
Dr Ghada Karmi

12 pm Wednesday 10 October in E7B BT4

Title: "Israel's Dilemma in Palestine": The process, failures and prospects for a just and workable solution.

Dr Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian-British author, academic and political commentator and is an honorary research fellow and assistant lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom .

A well known international commentator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Dr Karmi appears widely in the British and Arab media and frequently has articles on the Middle East published in The Guardian (UK), The Nation (US) and Journal of Palestine Studies .

Although born in Jerusalem , Dr Karmi has spent most of her life in Britain , where she studied medicine and initially practised as a physician, specialising in the health and social conditions of ethnic minorities, migrants and asylum seekers.

In her 2002 autobiography, In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story , she describes growing up in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Katamon, with its mixture of Christian and Muslim Palestinians. With her family she was forced to flee in 1948 and settled in London , where her father worked for the BBC Arabic service.

A year before his death Edward Said described Dr Karmi's autobiography as "a stunning memoir ..extraordinarily well written and amazingly honest." "Hers is a story of exile and in detail and human experience. Karmi is excellent on the quality of family and even communal life in Mandatory Palestine ...she also has a wonderfully subtle way of showing how in thousands of different ways the political and the personal intermesh, and this she does with a skill and insight that could be a novelist's envy," Said wrote.

Last July, Dr Karmi released her new book, Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine . She borrows her title from a phrase from a cable sent by Vienna 's rabbis who visited Palestine in the 19 th century which said, " The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man. " Karmi makes a sharp distinction between binationalism and secular democracy in advocating a binational state. "The binational solution permitted a degree of communal autonomy and identity but also of separation. In that sense it was another way of preserving for Jewish Israelis the concept on which the whole Zionist enterprise was founded." She argues that "In a secular democratic state, on the other hand, citizens would have rights not derived from membership in an ethnic or religious group.... Unlike the binationalist state, a secular democracy was likely to be conducive towards helping its citizens develop a common national identity."

For further Information:

9th Conference of the International Centre for Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies
The Muslim World and the West: Emerging Avenues for Convergence and Cooperation

In association with the International Centre for Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Victoria, and the University of Calgary.

28-30 March 2008, Victoria , British Columbia , Canada

Not since the Crusades has the relationship between the Muslim world and the West been fraught with such negative tension. Focusing on the clash of civilizations, contemporary discourse has largely focused on the confrontational dimension of relations between the Muslim world and the West. This conference will provide an interdisciplinary forum to examine the other side of the coin with an emphasis on exploring emerging patterns of interactions and the synergies they generate.

To this end, papers will be sought under the framework of the following four themes:

  1. Cultural interaction between the Muslim and Christian worlds: dimensions and issues;
  2. Fundamentalism and terrorism: strange attractors in foreign policy;
  3. Muslim communities in the West: the politics of difference; and
  4. Areas of research not included in the above, which represent the state of the art on Islam and the West.

All those that wish to present a paper at the conference must do the following:

  1. Submit an abstract of 500 to 1,000 words on the topic of their paper and a short bio by no later than 8 October 2007 so that it may go through an anonymous peer review process that will be complete by 22 October 2007 ;

  2. Register for the conference by no later than 1 November.

(For those organizing their own panels, 3 to 4 presenters per panel is desired, and are subject to the same requirements as detailed above.) All documents submitted must be in MS Word file and bear the name of the presenter, their affiliation, and the theme under which the paper would be most appropriate.  Send abstracts and questions to the conference programme committee at .

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