Events and Trips

The Arab Crossroads Program organizes talks, conferences, and a brown bag lunch series every year, as well as offering its student the opportunity to go on regional trips in association with the ACS classes they take. 

Thanks to the support of the NYUAD Institute, the ACS program at times sponsors an annual thematic lecture series.

Lunchtime Lecture Series

In addition to these public lectures, the ACS program hosts a luncheon lunch lecture series, where regional scholars can talk about their work in an informal setting. These talks take place between 12:00-1:00pm in A6-117 unless stated otherwise (see below).  All interested in coming to a particular lecture should, if possible, RSVP to so that we can make sure enough food will be available.  See the Talks and Events listing below.

Talks and Events 2017-18

September 13

Hatoon al-Fassi (Qatar University): "Saudi Women: the Quest for Justice and the Myth of Citizenship"

September 20

Ismail Warscheid (CRNS): “‘Islamic legal thought and practice in the early modern Sahara (Southern Algeria, Mauritania, Mali)”

October 4

Mara Leichtman (Michigan State): ""Cosmopolitanism and the Absence of Sectarianism among the Lebanese Diaspora in Senegal”

October 17

Essam Hallak (Qatar University), “Arab Postmodernism”

October 31

Ferdaous Bouhlel (Univeristy of Tours), ""In the Field": Anthropological research and experiences of peace mediation among armed groups in Azawad (Northern Mali) 2012-2017."

November 7 (Talk in A5-1139)

Sara Ababneh (University of Jordan), ""The People Want Economic Sovereignty": Lessons from Jordan's Popular Movement" 

November 27

Attiya Ahmad (George Washington University), "Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait"

December 7

Matthew Ingalls (American University of Dubai), "“From Fiqh to Sufism: Transdisciplinary Commentary as a Means of Canonization.”

Previous Lecture Series

2015-16 The Crisis In Syria: Past, Present, and Future

Joshua Landis (University of Oklahoma) -  See talk
Bassam Haddad (George Mason University) - See talk
Wendy Pearlman (Northwestern University)  - See talk

2014-15:  Religious Diversity in Islam

Tariq al-Jamil (Swarthmore College) – See talk
Najam Haider (Barnard College) – See talk
Valerie Hoffman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) – See talk
Toby Matthiesen (University of Cambridge) – See talk

2013-14:  Recent Scholarship on the Arabian Peninsula

Neha Vora (Lafayette College) – See talk
Ahmad Kanna (University of the Pacific) – See talk

Talks and Events 2016-17

Spring 2017

January 31
Talal al-Rashoud (SOAS/Kuwait University), “Modern Education and Arab Nationalism in Kuwait, 1911-1961”

February 7

Leonardo Schiocchet (Institute for Social Anthropology, Vienna), "The Austro-Palestinian Encounter: “Cause” and “Struggle” in the making of Palestinian nationhood and Post-national Activism in Austria"

February 16

Matthew Gordon (Miami University), ""Abbasid Cities and their Slave Markets."

February 22
Michael Cooperson (LAL Fellow/UCLA), "But they can't be translated" wrestling with the "rhetorical assemblies" of al-Hariri"

March 7
Abdullah Baaboud (QU – Gulf Studies Program) , "US-GCC relations under the new US administration"

March 14

Abdullah Hamidaddin (Dorba Center for Societal Transformation), "Zaydism: from Social Category to Social Identity".

March 27

David Segall (NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights), "A Flawed Model: The GCC Construction Sector and Migrant Recruitment Fees"

April 4

Joseph Lowry (LAL Fellow/UPenn), "Laws, Legal Language and Literary Structures in the Qur'an"

April 18

Hebah Fisher and Razan Alzayani (founders of the Kerning Cultures podcast), "Middle East Media and its Role in Shaping our Perceptions"

May 4
Tanya Habjouqa (Independent Photographer, NOOR IMAGES), "Challenging established hegemonies: Photography as creative Non-fiction and Nuanced Political Storytelling."


Fall 2016

September 5 (Monday)
Koray Caliskan (Bogazici University), "Civil-Military Relations in Turkey and the Reasons behind the Coup Attempt and its Failure."

September 19 (Monday)

Rebecca Gould (University of Bristol), "The Obligation to Migrate and the Stimulus to Narrate: Forced Migration from the Caucasus to the Ottoman Lands in Historical Memory and the Soviet Literary Imagination.”

September 29 (Thursday)
Raymond Farrin (American University of Kuwait), "The Composition of Medinan Suras and the Writing of the Qur’an”

October 13 (Thursday)
Fahed Al-Sumait (Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait), "Prospects and Pitfalls of Intercultural Communication in the GCC"

October 26 (Wednesday)
Abaas Yunas (Tabah Foundation, Abu Dhabi), "Contemporary Islam’s Debates, Challenges and Future Prospects"

October 27 (Thursday) (in collaboration with the History and Literature and Creative Writing Programs) [A6-117 from 5:30-7pm]

Mahnaz Yousefzadeh (Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, NYU Department of Italian Studies), "Bahr-i Omān: Ferdinand I, G.B. Vecchietti, and the Armour of Shah Abbas."

November 15 (Tuesday)
Samer Frangie (AUB), "The “Garbage Uprising” in Lebanon: Looking for Political Agency in Trash"

December 13 (Tuesday)
Matthew Melvin-Koushki (University of South Carolina), ""Picturing Islamic Ontogrammatology

Talks and Events 2015-16

Spring 2016

February 1 (Monday)
Joseph Lumbard (AUS), “Towards a Transnational Quranic Studies”

February 4 (Thursday)
Bassam Haddad (George Mason University), “Causes and Implications of the Russian Intervention in Syria”

February 11 (Thursday)
Moshe Maoz (Hebrew University (Emeritus)) , "Nationalist and Religious Radicalization in the Middle East:the Case of the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem"

February 18 (Thursday)
William Gallois (Exeter University), “The New History of Algeria”

February 22 (Monday)
Deborah Kapchan (NYUNY), "Slow Ethnography, Slow Activism: Listening, Witnessing, and the Longue Durée"

February 24 (Wednesday)
Najwa Adra (Independent Scholar), “What Does it Mean to Identify as Tribal in Yemen?”

March 8 (Tuesday)
Timothy Power (ZU Abu Dhabi), “A Newly Discovered Abbasid Site in Buraimi: The 'Lost City' of Tuwam?”

March 15 (Tuesday)
Wendy Pearlman (Northwestern),  “Meanings of Protest in Syria”

March 28 (Monday)
Edith Szanto (American University of Iraq), "Victims, Hero(in)es, and Pawns: Imagining the Syrian Uprising."

April 13 (Wednesday)
Hanan Al Fardan (al-Ramsa), “Teaching Arabic language to non-Arabic Speakers in the UAE: the Al-Ramsa Institute Experience”

April 18 (Monday)
Giuliano Garavini (NYUAD Humanities Fellow), "When Oil Prices Fall: the 1986 "Countershock" and its Lessons for Today"

April 27 (Wednesday)
Gaar Adams (Independent Journalist), "Cultural and Environmental Reporting in the Middle East & South Asia"

Fall 2015

September 13  (from 2-3:30pm)
Abdulnabi Alekry (independent journalist), "Civil Society in The Gulf, Potential and Limitations"

September 21
Marcel Kurpershoek (NYUAD Humanities Fellow), "Syria: Geopolitics and Identity following the Nuclear Accord"

September 28
Benny Hary (NYU-Tel Aviv), "Judeo-Arabic: The Language of Arabic-Speaking Jews"

October 8
Taneli Kukkonen (NYUAD), "Al-Ghazali on Ethics"

October 12
Joshua Landis (U. of Oklahoma), "Syria, What's Next?"

October 14
Laura Kasinof (author/journalist), "Yemen Before the War: An American Journalist in Change Square"

October 22
Dale Eickelman (Dartmouth College), “The Modern Face of Identity in Oman.”

October 28
Waleed Hazbun (AUB), "The Eclipse of the US ‘Empire of the Air’ and the Challenge of Gulf Airlines"

November 5
Daniel Varisco (QU, Director of the American Institute of Yemeni Studies),  "Beyond the Failed State: What might the future of Yemen look like"

November 11
Fawzia Gilani-Williams (Author), "Western Islamic Children’s Literature: Religious-Cultural Hybridization and Empowerment"

November 15  (2-3:30pm)
Bader Ibrahim (Journalist)," متطلبات التحول الديمقراطي في العالم العربي"

November 24
Ahmed al Mukhaini  (Chairman, SASLO Legal Training Center), ""Evolution of Oman's National Identity, Prospects of post-Qaboos Mutations"

December 9 
Alexandre Caeiro (Hamid Bin Khalifa University), "Moral Knowledge in Abnormal Times: Islamic law, Social Science, and the Demands of Realism"

Talks and Events 2014-15

Fall 2014

September 18
Rogaia Abusharaf (Georgetown-Qatar), “Migration in Pre-Oil Qatar”

September 23
Elizabeth Dickinson (Independent Journalist), “Humanitarian Aid in Syria”

October 23
Tariq al-Jamil (Swarthmore College), “Bodily Transactions: The Economy of Marriage, Slavery, and Divorce in Shi’i and Sunni Law”

October 28
Ali Alraouf (University of Qatar), “Doha is not Dubai: From Dubaization to Dohaization, A Critical Narrative of Gulf Urbanity”

November 5
Helga Tawil-Souri (NYUNY), “Digital Occupation”

November 11
Sabrina Joseph (Zayed University), “Law, Society, and the Management of Land and Water Resources in 17th and 18th Century Syria)

November 18
Michele Bambling (Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation), “ “Lest we Forget”: Structures of Memory in the UAE”

November 25
Mona Abaza (AUC), “The Cotton Plantation Remembered: An Egyptian Family Story”

December 4
Mark Cohen (Princeton Emeritus/NYUAD), “Maimonides, Commercial Law, and the Jewish Maghribi Merchants as Portrayed in the Eleventh and Twelfth-Century Documents from the Cairo Geniza”

December 11
Najam Haider (Barnard College), “Variations of Resistance: Musa al-Kazim and the Role of Rhetoric in Shii Historiography”

Spring 2015

February 4 (A6 1159)
Justin Stearns (NYUAD), "Rational Sciences in Islamic Thought: “Science” in the work of Sufis, Jurists, and Theologians in 17th Century Morocco"

February 8 (Institute Lecture)
Valerie Hoffman (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), "Ibadi Islam: Its origins and place in Islamic Thought)
Register here

February 9 (A6 1159)
Valerie Hoffman (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), "Ibadism and Mysticism: Thought, Practice and Controversy in Modern Oman”

February 11 (A6 1159)
Tareq al-Rabei (SOAS), "The Cameleers of the National Spirit: Bidun (stateless) poets and Kuwaiti Literary History."

February 26 (A6 1159)
Zachary Valentine Wright (Northwestern University in Qatar), "The Tariqa Muhammadiyya in the 18th Century Islamic World"  (co-sponsored by Africana Studies)

March 9 (A6 1159)
Ghazi al-Mulaifi (New York University) - "Al-Kout and the Sea: An inquiry into the Production of Kuwaiti Maritime Heritage"

April 2 (A6 008)
Sultan Al Qassemi (Barjeel Foundation),"Politics in Modern Arab Art"

April 9 (A6 1159)
Judith Tucker (Georgetown University in Qatar), "Mediterranean Pirates, Rule Breakers or Makers?"

April 15 (A6 1159)
Bill Spindle (Wall Street Journal), "From 9-11 to ISIS: A personal reporting journey through the Middle East"

April 22 (A6 1159)
Feras Hamza (Wollongong University in Dubai)-  "Anti-Sectarianism in the Early Muslim Community"

April 23 (A6 1159)
Ella Shohat (NYUNY), "The Question of Judeo-Arabic(s)'"

April 29 (A6 1159)
Rosemary Admiral (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), "Dramatizing Divorce: Gendered Approaches to the Dissolution of Marriage in Marinid Morocco"

May 6 (A6 1159)
Matt Maclean (New York University), ""A Spatial History of the UAE: Flows, Infrastructures, and the Emergence of a National Identity"

May 11 (Institute Public Lecture)
Toby Matthiesen (Cambridge University), "The Politics of Sectarianism in the Middle East"

May 12 (A6 1159)
Toby Matthiesen (Cambridge University), "The Gulf in the Global Cold War: The History of Arab Nationalists and Leftists in the Gulf States".

Talks and Events Fall 2013

September 16 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Maurice Pomerantz (NYUAD): The Verbal Trade: Maqāmāt, Arabic Literature, and the New Comparatism (Note: this talk will be in Sama 426)

September 30 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Ilana Webster-Kogen (NYUAD):Music in the Wake of the "Arab Spring": a Politics of Prudence

October 8 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Karen Young (AUS): The Emerging Interventionists of the GCC

October 10
Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Translating Akhbar al-Sin wa-l-Hind (In conjunction with NYUAD Institute)

October 22
Akbar Keshodkar (ZU-Dubai): The fight for civilization: Tourism and Islamic Discourse in Zanzibar

October 28 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Margaret Scott (NYU-Wagner, Freelance Journalist): "Islam and Democracy: A Tale of Two Countries."

October 29
Research Seminar, "Why is the UAE a Federation?" (Frauke Heard-Bey, Abu Dhabi) (In conjunction with the History Program)

November 11 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Justin Stearns (NYUAD), "Plague treatises, Public Health, and Contagion in the pre-modern Muslim Middle East."

November 26 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Neha Vora: Branch Campuses in the Gulf

November 26
Neha Vora, "Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora" (In conjunction with the NYUAD Institute)

November 27
Opening of the "Shadows and Skyscrapers" Exhibition on Migrant Labor in Doha, Qatar.
Roundtable Dicussion with exhibition organizers anthropologist Andrew Gardner and documentary photographer Kristin Giordano in the MPR on the Downtown Campus at 6pm.

December 3 [Brown Bag Lunch]
Mohammad Masad (ZU-Dubai): Between Magic and Divination: 'Ilm al-Huruf in Medieval Islamic Literature

Talks and Events 2013-14

Spring 2014

February 3  [Luncheon Lecture]
Nahyan Fancy (DePauw University) : Scientific and Religious Discussions of Generation during the Mamluk period

February 4 [History Program Research Seminar]
Masha Kirasirova (NYUAD) : "Arab Communists, Stalinist Subjects: Student Life in Moscow, 1922-33" (at the DTC S037 from 5:30-7pm)

February 9 (In conjunction with the NYUAD Institute)
Ahmed Kanna (University of the Pacific): "Gulf Urbanism: The Semantic Field of a Category of Space"

February 10 [Luncheon Lecture]
Ahmed Kanna (University of the Pacific) : "The Imperial Encounter and the Production of Everyday Space in Dubai"

February 18 [Luncheon Lecture]
Steve Caton (Harvard University) : Oasis, Coast, and Highland: anthropology of water sustainability in the UAE and Oman

February 25 [Luncheon Lecture]
Tim Power (ZU - Abu Dhabi): "Qattara Oasis: La Longue Durée in al-Ain, UAE."

March 4 [History Department Research Seminar]
S. Irfan Habib (National University of Educational Planning and Education, New Delhi): "Jihad or Ijtihad: Religious Orthodoxy and Modern Science in Contemporary Islam."

March 10 [Luncheon Lecture]
Gokce Gunel (Columbia University): “Learning from Masdar City: The Global Horizons of Abu Dhabi’s Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Projects”

March 12 [Luncheon Lecture]
Roger Allen (University of Pennsylvania): Muwaylihi, Author of an early 20th Century Arabic Classic

March 13 [Institute Event]
Roger Allen in conversation with the Moroccan novelist Bensalem Himmich about the latter's more recent novel A Muslim Suicide

March 31 [Luncheon Lecture]
Richard Gauvain (American University in Dubai): “'Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion': preliminary observations on the nature of Muslim-Christian encounters in Dubai."

April 1 [History Department Research Seminar]
Lansine Kaba (Carnagie Mellon University, Doha): 1591 and 2013: The Trans-Saharan Invasions of the Western Sudan

April 7 [Luncheon Lecture]
Eric Staples (Director of Maritime Heritage Projects at The Sultanate of Oman): "Preserving Maritime Heritage in Oman"

April 22 (Tuesday) [Luncheon Lecture]
Jim Toth (NYUAD):  Sayyid Qutb

April 28 [Luncheon Lecture]
Jane Bristol Rhys (ZU - Abu Dhabi): Too Close for Comfort? Stereotyping Tales of Sorcery, Seduction, and Secrecy in Abu Dhabi.

May 5 [Luncheon Lecture]
Karen Exell (UCL-Qatar): "Museums, memory and modernity in the GCC"