2017 Conference Schedule

Final schedule. Click here to see the final program (PDF format) for MEHAT 2017. You can find all relevant information there. You will also find the list of panels below. Should any discrepancies remain, give preference to the final program.

Online Schedule

  *Friday, May 5, 2017*
All panel sessions will be held in Stuart Hall

Registration: Begins at 1:00 p.m.

Session I — 1:30 – 2:50 p.m.

Mysticism and Philosophy in al-Andalus  — Stuart 101
Mohamad Ballan (University of Chicago), Discussant

Daniel Watling (University of Chicago),  “Averroes’ Doctrines of Creation”

Jawad Anwar Qureshi (University of Chicago),  “Notes on the Mawlid attributed to Muhyi al-Din ibn al-‘Arabi (d. 1240)”

Justin Benavidez (University of Chicago),  “An Examination of Ibn Juzayy’s Tafsir”

 Women’s Roles and Identities in the Middle East and Islam —  Stuart 102
Rachel Schine (University of Chicago), Discussant

Grace Bickers (University of Chicago) “Wailing Women in the Streets of Kūfa: Mourning Ritual and the Origins of Twelver Shī’ī Identity”

Mariel Colbert (University of Chicago), “Making the Modern Turkish Woman: Revisiting the Women’s Question from the Perspective of Women Ottoman Intellectuals”

Shehnaz Haqqani (University of Texas Austin), “A Feminist Analysis of the Prohibition on Women’s Interfaith Marriage in Islam”

Jordan, Israel, and Palestine: New Perspectives —  Stuart 105
Orit Bashkin (University of Chicago), Discussant

Fredrik Meiton (Northwestern University),  “Organic Compound: Zionism & Science”

Hanna Alshaikh (University of Chicago),  “The Early US-Palestinian Encounter, Social Mobility and Village Life through the Eyes of a Child: On The Diaries of Khalil Totah”

Michael Peddycoart (University of Chicago),  “Abdullah al-Tal: Competing Nationalisms in the Arab Legion during the 1948 War”

Marshall Watson (Yale University),  “When the Walls Came Crumblin’ Down: Destruction, Humanitarianism, and Propaganda in Mandate Palestine”


Session II — 3:00 – 4:20 p.m.

Administering Ottoman and Central Eurasian Spheres of Power    Stuart 101
Hripsime Haroutunian (University of Chicago), Discussant

Armen Akbarian (University of Chicago), “Life in Mongol Armenia”

Amir Toft (University of Chicago), “Registered Silence: The Institutional Logic of the Ottoman Sicils”

Bijaoui Mahjouba (Lycee Lurcat Paris), “The Synergy Between the Barbary States and the Ottoman Empire : Asymmetric Relations at the End of 18th and the Middle 19th Century”


Modes of Dramatic Performance: Cinema and Shadow Puppets —  Stuart 102
Kara Peruccio (University of Chicago), Discussant

Esra Cimencioglu (Northwestern University), “ ‘The New Taşra’: Representation of Province in New Turkish Cinema”

Daria Kovaleva (Harvard University), “Shadow Theater in the Early Modern Ottoman Imperial Center: Historicizing the Elusive, Allusive, and Illusive”

Azadeh Safaeian (Northwestern University), “The Experience of Deterritorialization in Kurdish Cinema: Drunken Horses Beholding the Porous Borders”

Travel, Learning, and Scholarship in the Medieval and Modern Middle East—  Stuart 105
Jessica Mutter (University of Chicago), Discussant

Xiaoyue Li (University of Michigan), “Connecting Peripheries to the Center: Imaginations of Railways in the Late Nineteenth-Century Egypt”

Arafat A. Razzaque (Harvard University), “A Nubian Mawlā in Umayyad Egypt: Yazīd ibn Abī Ḥabīb and the Social Context of Early Islamic Scholarship”

Kyle Wynter-Stoner (University of Chicago), “ ‘All Sciences Complement Each Other’: The ordering of knowledge in Taşköprüzade’s Miftāḥ al-saʻādah wa miṣbāḥ al-siyādah fī mawḍūʻāt al-ʻulūm


Keynote Address — 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
May 5th
Oriental Institute, Breasted Hall

The Middle East History and Theory Conference presents

Benjamin Fortna
Director & Professor, History of Modern Middle East and Ottoman Empire, The University of Arizona

Inside Out: The Life of an Ottoman Officer at Empire’s End

The keynote address will be followed by a reception in the Galleries of the Oriental Institute

This lecture is free and open to the public


*Saturday, May 6, 2017*
All panel sessions will be held in Stuart Hall


Breakfast (Stuart Hall and Cox Lounge) —  8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Sponsored by The Committee on Central Eurasian Studies


Session III — 9:00 – 10:20 a.m.

Sources for the Study of Centers and Peripheries of Safavid Iran —  Stuart 101
Theodore Beers (University of Chicago), Discussant

Craig Breckenridge (University of Chicago),  “Stringing Pearls from the Coast to the Court: Bahraini Scholars and their Relationship to the Safavid Center”

Shaahin Pishbin (University of Chicago),  “Contesting the Centre: Safavid and Mughal Literary Taẕkirah Writing in the 1670s-1680s”

Zachary Schuyler (University of Chicago),  “New Julfan Merchants: Taking Stock of a Diaspora Population that Moved from Periphery to the Center and Set Up a Global Trade Network”

Zeynep Tezer (University of Chicago),  “Turkish Historiography on the Ṣafawīds”

One Man’s Center is Another Woman’s Periphery: A Re-Centering  —  Stuart 102
Golriz Farshi (University of Michigan), Discussant

Isabel Lachenauer (University of Chicago), “That Full Moon Took the Javelin into Her Hand: Warrior Women and Gender in Yūsuf-i Meddāḥ’s Varqa ve Gülşāh”

Daniel Jacobius Morgan (University of Chicago), “Magic in an Age of Print: Shah Wali Allah and ‘Islamic Reform’ in South Asia”

Annie Greene (University of Chicago), “Between Liberty and Justice: Ottoman Frontier Constitutionalism”

August “Auggie” Samie (University of Chicago), “What’s in a name?: Perceptions and Realities of Central Eurasian Reformers”

Parties, Factions, and Reformers Across the Modern Middle East —  Stuart 104
Holly Shissler (University of Chicago), Discussant

Mustafa Caner (Sakarya University), “America, JCPOA, and Identity in Iran: Moderate/Reformist Bloc’s Struggle for Counter-Hegemony”

Thomas Fugler (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), “Unifying the Turkish Left: Reimagining the Nation from a Socialist Perspective (1960-1971)”

Jared Szuba (University of Chicago), “Sufism as Religious Individualism in Post-Revolution Cairo”

Pious Writing in Ottoman and Indian Contexts  —  Stuart 105
Cornell Fleischer (University of Chicago), Discussant

Muhammad U Faruque (University of California, Berkeley), “Between the Center and Periphery: Ashraf ʿAlī Thanvī, Modernity and the Problem of the Selfhood”

Carlos Grenier (University of Chicago), “Solomon, His Temple, and Ottoman Imperial Anxieties”

Betul Yavuz (Independent), “From the Periphery to the Center: Melamis in the Seventeenth-Century Ottoman Capital”

Session IV — 10:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Searching for the Sub-Royal in Qajar Iran: Visual, Literary, and Historical Representations  —  Stuart 101
Zach Winters (University of Chicago), Discussant

Belle Cheves (Harvard University), “Positions of Servitude, Places of Power: Female Domestics in Late Nineteenth Century Qajar Iran”

Gwendolyn Collaço (Harvard University), “Sub-Royal Artists and their Portrayals of Modernity: Crafting Time through Dress”

Mira Xenia Schwerda (Harvard University), “Beyond Palace Walls and Other Borders: Non-Royal Photography in Nineteenth-Century Iran”

Islamic Archaeology and Landscapes  —  Stuart 102
Donald Whitcomb (University of Chicago), Discussant

Emily Boak (University of Chicago- Oriental Institute), “Militarized Landscapes and Cultural Heritage in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2001-2014”

Rebecca Seifried (University of Chicago), “Living in the Ottoman “Periphery”: The Impact of Imperial Expansion on Rural Communities in Greece”

Gwendolyn Kristy (University of Chicago), “Rural to Urban Migration in Afghanistan: Herat and Its Cultural Heritage”

Anthony Lauricella (University of Chicago), “The Continuity of the Qusur Landscape in Bilad al-Sham”

From Africa to the Indian Subcontinent: Towards a Global Islam —  Stuart 104
Daniel Morgan (University of Chicago), Discussant

John Chen (Columbia University), “Islam’s Loneliest Cosmopolitan: Badr al-Dīn Hai Weiliang, the Lucknow-Cairo Connection, and the Circumscription of Islamic Transnationalism”

Joshua Donovan (Columbia University), “The Muslim Brothers at the Birth of the UN: Rethinking Islam and International Liberalism”

Darren Wan (University of Chicago), “Muslim Imaginings of an Oceanic World: Mapping and Cataloguing Maritime Southeast Asia, 1250–1350 CE”

Challenges and Opportunities in the Modern Arab Gulf  —  Stuart 105
Matthew Barber (University of Chicago), Discussant

Abdullah F. Alrebh (Grand Valley State University), “The Orientalistic Perception of the Emergent Saudi Monarchy 1932-1953”

Scott Thomas Erich (CUNY Graduate Center), “Peripheral Politics in a Peripheral Empire: Opposition Movements in Oman’s Overseas Holdings 1957-2017”

Cara Piraino (University of Chicago), “ ‘Omanis being Omanis, there aren’t going to be any problems’: Youth in Muscat and the Aging Renaissance”

Lunch with Round Table Discussion: 12:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Cox Lounge (Basement of Stuart Hall)

Diaspora, Trans-Regionalism, and Multilingualism


Orit Bashkin (University of Chicago), Ghenwa Hayek (University of Chicago) & Na’ama Rokem (University of Chicago)

Session V — 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Haunted Readings: Supernatural Beings in Medieval Islamic Culture  —  Stuart 101
Kağan Arık (University of Chicago), Discussant

Samantha Pellegrino (University of Chicago), “Gender and the Occult in the Sirat Sayf Ben Dhi Yazan”

Samuel Lasman (University of Chicago), “Contrary Claws: Contending with the Div in Islamic Iranian Mythic History”

Ramzi Nimr (University of Chicago), “An Epidemiology of Madness: Possession and Mental Illness in the Medieval Muslim Imagination”


Devotional Spaces and JourneysStuart 102
Franklin Lewis (University of Chicago), Discussant

Erin Atwell (University of Chicago), “Thinking about Circumambulation in Selections from Ibn ʿArabī’s Writings”

Peyman Eshagi (University of Chicago), “One Imam and Many Imamzadehs: Mobility of Center and Periphery at the Sacred Shrines of Khorasan, Iran”

Mavlyda Yusupova (Fine Arts Research Institute), “Memorial-cult Architecture of Central Asia in the Epoch of Amir Temur”

Politics and Society in Middle East Art and Media Stuart 104
Thomas Maguire (University of Chicago), Discussant

María Marcos Cobaleda (Instituto de Estudos Medievais, Lisbon), “New Centers and Peripheries in Medieval Islamic Art: The Creations of Western Islamic Societies”

Madeleine Elfenbein (University of Chicago), “A Flood of Ink: The Late Ottoman Press at the Center and Periphery of Global Power”

Arran Robert Walshe (New York University), “ ‘They’ll Clap When You’re Dead’: New Media & Martyrdom in the Iraqi & Syrian Civil Wars”

Individual and National Identity Formation in the Modern Middle East  —  Stuart 105
Carl Shook (University of Chicago), Discussant

Sara Farhan (York University), “Venereal Disease Eradication Campaigns and the Establishment of the Royal Medical College of Baghdad, 1914 – 1927”

Rima Farah (Brandeis University), Reviving an Aramaic Identity in Israel: Maronites’ Continued Rejection of Arabism by Resurrecting a Christian Politics of Identity

Tarek Shagosh (University of Chicago), “Nationalism at Home and Abroad: The Impact of Expatriate Libyan Opposition on the Development of a National Identity”

Concluding Events

Film Screening of Tickling Giants — 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Stuart 105

Lamb Roast Dinner — 7 – 10 p.m.
McCormick Lounge, Reynolds Club

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