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History Department
History Department

Minorities, Media, and Democratization in the Contemporary Middle East

Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, 2013
Saturday, 5 to 9 PM
Sunday, 9:30 AM to 5 PM
CPACS Building Commons (Room 132), University of Nebraska at Omaha
Keynote Address: Dr. Joshua Landis, 7 PM (Room 101)


“Minorities, Media, and Democratization” is the second scholarly workshop organized by UNO’s Middle East Project Fund (MEPF), created in 2008 to enhance community awareness of current events in the Middle East. In April 2012, responding to the year of turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East, commonly known as the “Arab Spring,” the MEPF invited numerous scholars from Nebraska and the Midwest region for our first “Arab Spring Workshop.” Building upon the success of that gathering, a second workshop will be held on April 13-14, 2013, to discuss the impact made by the "Arab Spring" on minority communities, the effect of media on social unrest across the region, and the challenges of democratization in countries ranging from Morocco to Pakistan. This year’s expanded program will include a Saturday evening session to highlight effects of the “Arab Spring” on international politics, and will culminate with a keynote address on Sunday focusing on current events in Syria.

The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Moshe Gershovich at UNO..

Schedule of Events
    Saturday, April 13, 2013
17:00-19:00 Building Commons Welcome Reception
Sponsored by UNO's College of Arts and Sciences
  Greetings Moshe Gershovich--Middle East Project Fund (UNO)
David Boocker--Dean, College of Arts and Sciences (UNO)
Charles J. Mikhail--Honorary President, Middle East Project Fund
19:00-21:00   Plenary Session: Crisis and International Politics in the Middle East
Sponsored by International Studies and Programs (UNO)
Chair: Moshe Gershovich--Middle East Project Fund (UNO)
  Presenters John Calvert--Creighton University (CU)
"The Salafi Challenge In Egypt and Tunisia"
James Le Sueur--University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL)
"Mali: The Next Afghanistan?"
Tom Gouttierre--International Studies(UNO)
"The War on Terror: The Future of US Relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan"
    Sunday, April 14, 2013
9:30-10:00 Building Commons Coffee
10:00-11:30   Panel I Minority Communities in the Middle East
Sponsored by Religious Studies
Chair: Rory Conces, Religious Studies Department (UNO)
  Presenters Orit Bashkin--University of Chicago
"Arab Jews, Mirazhis, and Israeli Citizens: Jews as Minorites in the Middle East"
Paul Williams--Religious Studies(UNO)
"Moroccan Exceptionalism? Protest, Palace, and the Politics of Reform"
Ara Sanjian--University of Michigan
"Preserving Old Aleppo or Creating a 'New Aleppo'?: The Transnational Debate about Armenians in War-Torn Syria, 2011-2013"
11:30-11:45   Coffee Break
11:45-13:15   Panel II Media and Democracy: From Violence to Elections
Sponsored by the History Department
Chair: Mark Scherer, History Department, (UNO)
  Presenters Megan Reif--University of Colorado, Denver
"The Role of Flawed Elections in Democratic 'Springtimes', 'Waves', and Reversals: Arab Revolutions in Comparative-Historical Perspective"
Moshe Gershovich--Middle East Project Fund (UNO)
"Too Much Freedom, Too Little Rage?: The Moroccan Media Before and During the Arab Spring"
Andrea Stanton--University of Denver
"Portraying Syrians: User-Generated News Content and Relief Appeals"
13:15-14:00   Lunch (On your own)
14:00-15:30   Panel III Minority Groups in Israel and Palestine
Sponsored by the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies
Chair: Charles Mikhail, Honorary President, Middle East Project Fund
  Presenters Yakir Englander--Northwestern University
"The Defended Haredi Body: The City of God and the City of Man"
Bedross Der Matossian (UNL)
"The Christian Minority in Israel-Palestine and the Arab Spring"
Curtis Hutt--(UNO)
"One Hundred Years of Pilgrimage to the Holy Land"
15:30-15:45   Coffee Break
15:45-17:00   Panel IV Minority Groups in Turkey
Sponsored by the Political Science Department
Chair: Jonathon Benjamin Alvarado, Political Science Department, (UNO)
  Presenters Jens Kreinath--Wichita State University
"Politics of Representation: The Civil War in Syria and its Effect on Religious Minorities in Hatay"
Yusuf Sarfati--Illinois State University
"Transnationalism, Nationalism, and Ethnic Identity: Turkish Jews and the Politics of Language Loss"
Ramazan Klinc--(UNO)
"International Pressure, Domestic Politics, and Dynamics of Religious Freedoms: Christians in Turkey"
17:00-19:00   Dinner (On your own)
19:00-20:30 Room 101 Keynote Address
  Greetings and Introduction Moshe Gershovich--Director, Middle East Project Fund (UNO)
Charles J. Mikhail--Honorary President, Middle East Project Fund (UNO)
Curtis Hutt--(UNO)
  Presenter Joshua Landis--Director, Center for Middle East Studies; Associate Professor of Middle East Studies--Unoversity of Oklahoma
"Syria: What's Next?"