20th Annual Meeting (2005)

The Middle East History and Theory Conference is organized in collaboration with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. It is held annually and provides a forum for students and faculty in the social sciences and humanities to present papers treating Middle Eastern and Central Asian art/architecture, literature, society, history and politics from the 7th century to the present. This year, through the organization of the panels and the keynote address by Professor Marilyn Booth (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), the discussion will focus on the role of literature and literary imagination in the writing of history. The conference will also feature a plenary session with Professor Hugh Kennedy (The University of St. Andrew’s, Scotland), author of The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphate.

In addition, there are a number of special events taking place in conjunction with the conference. On Saturday afternoon, guest musicians from Turkey Şehvar Beşiroğlu, Songül Ata, and Nermin Kaygusu will give a workshop on Turkish classical music. Later that evening they will perform with the University of Chicago’s Middle East Music Ensemble, directed by Issa Boulos. Throughout the conference, two artists will be exhibiting photographs of Turkey in Ida Noyes (Library Lounge). Ayşen Nergis’ Travel into GAP features pictures taken in the Southeast of Turkey in Harran and Şanlıurfa. Aziza Khatoon’s Backstreets of Turkey provides another view on everyday life in various parts of the country.

Toufoul Abou-Hodeib
Maria T. Green Mercado
Alidost Numan

Download a copy of the program here.


Professor HUGH KENNEDY (University of St. Andrews, Scotland)
Medieval History and the Origins of Military Dictatorship in the Middle East


Professor MARILYN BOOTH (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Literature as History, Histories of Literature: Egypt ‘Before the Arabic Novel’

al-Mutannabi: Discourses in ‘Abbasid Poetry
Moderator: Tahera Qutbuddin
(Pick Hall 218)

Kevin Garvey (University of Chicago)
“Don’t Blame the Lover for Longing…”: An Analysis of Two Panegyrics of Sayf al-Dalwah

Lyall Armstrong (University of Chicago)
The Wind and the Warrior: al-Mutannabi’s Poem on the Fall of the Tent

Sean W. Anthony (University of Chicago)
The Eunuch’s Body: Mutanabbi’s Invectives against Kafur

Ted Cohen (University of Chicago)
The Retreat from Harshana

Mehmetcan Akpınar (University of Chicago)
al-Mutanabbi’s Marthiyah for Muhammad b. Ishaq: Of Loss and Victory

Frontiers and Frontier Societies in the Islamic World
Moderator: Colin Heywood
(Ida Noyes Library)

Alyssa Gabbay (University of Chicago)
The Influence of the Frontier on Cultural Production in Medieval India: Amir Khosrow and New Systems of Meaning

Asa Eger (University of Chicago)
Dar al-Islam, Dar al-Harb: The Discourse of Islamic Frontiers, Real or Imagined

Mark Luce (University of Chicago)
The Process of Frontier: Khurasan From the 8th to the 11th Centuries

Choukri Heddouchi (University of Chicago)
The Exchange Between Islamic Egypt and West Africa: An Archaeological Perspective

State, Society, and Modernization in Turkey
Moderator: Martin Stokes
(Ida Noyes 216/217)

Cem Emrence (SUNY Binghamton)
From Elite Circles to Power Networks: Turkish Soccer Clubs in a Global Age, 1903-2005

Şener Aktürk (UC Berkeley)
Turkey’s “Imperial Nationhood”, its Historical Evolution, and the European Union

Yigit Akın (Ohio State University)
Petitions, Public Opinion, and the Kemalist Regime, 1923-1950

Celile Eren Argıt (Yildiz Technical University)
Turkish Grammar Books of Non-Muslim Ottoman Instructors

Metin Yüksel (University of Chicago)
Revisiting the Kurdish Issue in Turkey

Armenia on the Crossroads from the 7th to the 21st C., Continuity & Change
Moderator: Hripsime Haroutunian
(Ida Noyes Library)

Hripsime Haroutunian (University of Chicago)
Keeping the Historic Tradition: Cult of Ancestry and Funerary Rites Among Armenians

Daniel Larison (University of Chicago)
Byzantine Monotheletism: Church Union in late 7th c. Armenia

Alla Mirzoyan (Florida International University)
Public Use of History: Continuity and Discontinuity in Armenia’s Political Thinking

Politics and Religious Idealism

Moderator: Meir Hatina

(Ida Noyes 216/217)

Sarah Hirschhorn (University of Chicago)
(Re)constructing Kahane: Zionism, Democracy, and the Discourse of Rabbi Meir Kahane

Alexander van der Haven (University of Chicago)
The Jerusalem Syndrome: Israel’s Foreigners on a Religious Mission

Kim Searcy (Oberlin College)
European Media Versus Sudanese Mahdist Literary Self-Perception in the Pre-Colonial Period

“Traveling Literature”: Cultural and Literary Transmission

Moderator: Cornell Fleischer
(Ida Noyes 216/217)

Elias Muhanna (University of Pennsylvania)
Imagining the New World: Ilyas al-Mawsili’s 17th Century Voyage to the Americas

Ailin Qian (University of Pennsylvania)
Dreams and Morals: A Study of “Ma’ruf the Cobbler” and “The Governor of the Southern Tributary State”

Labor and Economic History in the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey
Moderator: Hakan Özoğlu
(Ida Noyes Library)

Mustafa Erdem Kabadayı (University of Munich/Trier)
Working Conditions in Ottoman State Factories in the 19th century

Joseph Yackley (University of Chicago)
“Turkey’s Liberal Age”: Memory, Ideology and Reality in Economic Policy 1923 to 1929

Emek Yilmaz (Middle East Technical University)
Exploitation of Turkish Women in the Informal Sector: The Case of Beypazari Kilim Weaving Workshop

Intellectuals Between Ambivalence and Ideology
Moderator: Orit Bashkin
(Ida Noyes East Lounge)

Maha Nassar (University of Chicago)
“Know Your Heritage”: Communism, Nationalism, and the Appropriation of Islamic History Among Palestinian Israeli Intellectuals, c.1953-1960

Eylem Akdeniz (Bilkent University)
‘Representations’ of the Early Republican Turkish Intellectual in Two Major Canonized Literary Works: ‘Yaban’ (The Stranger) and ‘Ateşten Gömlek’ (Shirt of Flame)

Seth Abelson (Princeton University)
“This Could be an Instructive Conversation…”: Zionism, Orientalism, and Violence in Short Stories by Yizhar, Orpaz, and Kanafani

Ottoman Imperial Ideology in Discourse and in Practice
Moderator: Daniel Goffman
(Ida Noyes West Lounge)

Betül Başaran (University of Chicago)
Policing Istanbul at the End of the Eighteenth Century: Selim III (r. 1789-1807) and His Urban Policies

Nükhet Varlık Akarsu (University of Chicago)
The Issue of Contagion in the Ottoman Plague Treatises of the Sixteenth Century

Ebru Turan (University of Chicago)
The Belgrade Campaign (1521) in Ottoman Histories

Hiroyuki Ogasawara (University of Tokyo)
The Formation of Official Historians under the Ottoman Empire

Sources and Study of Islamic Thought
Moderator: Umar Faruq Abd-Allah
(Ida Noyes Library)

Mohammad Hasan Khalil (University of Michigan)
Source-Criticism and Considerations of History, Exegesis, and Law in Early Islamic Scholarly Discourse

Jonathan Brown (University of Chicago)
Why the Sahihayn? The Formation of the Hadith Canon

Ahmed Hashim (University of Chicago)
Abrogation in Hadith

James Gustafson (University of Chicago)
Political and Doctrinal Elements of the Usuli/Akhbari Debate in 17th-19th C. Iran

Historians or Litterateurs?

Moderator: Fred Donner
(Ida Noyes West Lounge)

Ghada Jayyusi-Lehn (York University)
Writing and Political History Under the ‘Abbasids: al-Jahiz on “The Merits of the Turks”

Adrian Degifis (University of Chicago)
Using al-Jahiz’s “Risala fi Hakimayn wa-Taswid Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib fi fi’dhihi” as a Source for Early Islamic History

Michael Cooperson (UC Los Angeles)
al-Jahiz, the Misers, and the Hadith-men

Politics of Natural Resources in the Middle East
Moderator: Salim Yaqub
(Ida Noyes 216/217)

Frank Wallis
The Persian Gulf and United States Energy Policy, 1967-2003

Josh Ellis (University of Chicago)
Filling in the GAP: Realities of Water-Resource Development in Turkey

Women’s Voices in the Middle East
Moderator: Noha Forster
(Ida Noyes Library)

Suzie Abdou (UC Riverside)
Coptic Women, Muslim Women, and the Makings of a Social Movement in Egypt

Esra Birinci (University of Chicago)
Turkish and Egyptian Feminisms Compared: The Cases of Adalet Ağaoğlu and Nawal al-Saadawi

Fatemeh Masjedi (Illinois State University)
Feminist Historiography of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in 1905-1911

The Woman in Arab Literature

Moderator: Farouk Mustafa
(Ida Noyes West Lounge)

Karina Eileraas (Carleton College)
Dismembering the Gaze: Genealogy, Sexuality, Countermemory in Assia Djebar’s ‘L’amour, la fantasia’

Georges Montillet (University of Notre Dame)
The Voice and Silence of the Female Body in Modern Arabic Literature

Segregation, Contested Space, and Identity Formation
Moderator: Daniel Monterescu
(Ida Noyes 216/217)

Yuval Ben-Bassat (University of Chicago)
Local Feuds or Premonitions of a Bi-National Conflict? A Reexamination of Early Jewish-Arab Encounter in Palestine, 1882-1903

Petra Kuppinger (Monmouth College)
De-territorializing Spaces: The Case of Cairo

Music Workshop on Turkish Classical Music

With guest musicians:

Şehvar Beşiroğlu
Songül Ata
Nermin Kaygusu

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