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Conference Program


Monday, 7 January


13:00 – 17:00

Registration, Gefinor Rotana Hotel,  Foyer area, Level C, Clemenceau Street


17:00 – 17:30*

Opening Ceremony, Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Rotana B, Level C. 


Dr. Patrick McGreevy, Director of CASAR., Opening comments


Dr. Peter Heath, Provost of AUB, Welcome


Ms. Latifa Al Busseir, Representative of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Comments


Dr. Patrick McGreevy, Brief logistical comments




Plenary Session: America and the Middle East: Where Are We Now? Rotana B, Level C.



Moderator: Patrick McGreevy




Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University


Stanley Katz, Princeton University


Rami Khouri, American University of Beirut


Scott Lucas, Birmingham University


Melani McAlister, George Washington University




19:30 – 21:00*



Cocktail reception (featuring Lebanese hot and cold mezza). Rotana A, Level C.




Tuesday, 8 January

All paper sessions will take place on the AUB Campus in West Hall.


Late registration will be available at West Hall, Ground Floor.



Auditorium B

Session 1: Traveling Ideas: US Cultures and the Multiplicities of the MENA



Chair: Ethan J. Kytle, California State University, Fresno


Blain Roberts, California State University, Fresno, USA: “The New Face of American Imperialism? Politics, Power, and the Female beauty Parlor"


Brian Edwards, Northwestern University, USA: "Moroccan Engagements with American Culture in Circulation"


William McClenahan, American University of Beirut: “An American Sport in Lebanon: From Play to Politics”


Rami Khouri, American University of Beirut, "Free at Last, Free at Last, Allahu Akbar, We're free at Last"



8:30 – 10:30

Room 204                                                    

Session 2: Islamic Conceptions of Justice


Chair: David Wrisley, American University of Beirut.


Fahad A. Alhomoudi, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia: “Islamic Law and the Modern State: Conflict or Coexistence"


Zohreh Nosrat Kharazami, University of Tehran, Iran: “Discursive Differences in Defining the Humanitarian Concept of Liberty: American and Shiite Definitions”


Mohammad Dajani Daoudi and Munther Dajani, Al-Quds University, Palestine: “Western and Islamic Conceptions of Justice”


Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University, USA: "Wasatiyya Notions of Justice and Liberty in the Age of American Empire"



8:30 – 10:30

Room 301

Session 3: Literary Identities, Literary Negotiations



Chair: Kenneth Seigneurie, Lebanese American University


Hani Ismaeal Elayyan, University of Jordan, Jordan: “Taha Hussein and American Literature: Culture and Justice"


Iman Al-Ghafari, Tishreen University, Syria: “Queering the Migrant Female Body in Etel Adnan's In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country”


Osama Abd El-Fattah Madany, Menoufiya University, Egypt: “Collision or Coalition: Cultural Indeterminacy in Diana Abu Jaber's Arabian Jazz (1993) and Crescent (2003)"


Jonathan Hall, University of Balamand, Lebanon: “Infinite Justice: Ethics, Politics, and Transcendence in Post-9/11 Novels"



10:30 – 11:00

Coffee Break, West Hall, 2nd floor



11:00 – 12:30

Auditorium B

Session 4: Fear and Freedom



Chair: Fahad A. Alhomoudi, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia


Andrew Vincent, Macquarie University, Australia (currently Visiting Professor at American University of Beirut): “A Hidden Agenda behind the War Against Terrorism"


Stanley N. Katz, Princeton University, USA: “Constitution Day and the Uses of American History"



11:00 -12:30

Room 204

Session 5: International Justice


Chair: Heshmat Sadat Moinifar, University of Tehran


Eileen Lundy, American Center for Oriental Research, Jordan: “The Power of the People, By the People and For the People: Transnational Grassroots Movements for Justice"


Kathleen Hamill, Tufts University, USA: "Cluster Munitions, International law, and Perceptions of Justice"



11:00- 12:30

Room 301

Session 6: Writing Justice


Chair: Djelal Kadir, Pennsylvania State University


Rajai Rashead Al-Khanji, University of Jordan, Jordan: "How Three Moral Problems in Anglo-American Fiction Enter into Teaching American Studies to Arab Students"


Edward Lundy, American Center for Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan: "Hector Saint John de Crevecoeur: Liberty and Justice?"


Allen Hibbard, Middle Tennessee State University, USA: “Our Ideals/Their Ideals, Our realities/their realities: US and Arab Writers Confront Injustice"



12:30 – 14:00

Lunch Break – See program booklet for restaurant suggestions



14:00 – 15:30

Auditorium B

Session 7: The Haunting of US Domestic Space


Chair: John Meloy, American University of Beirut.


Zalfa Feghali, American University of Beirut: “Another Brick in the Wall: The US-Mexico and Israeli-West Bank Borders" 


Alex Lubin, University of New Mexico, USA: "Colonial Comparisons: Internal Colonies and America's 'Empire of Liberty'"


Timothy Marr, University of North Carolina, USA: "The Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania"



14:00 – 15:30

Room 204

Session 8: Danger's Within? Middle Easterners and Other Threats to the Homeland



Chair: Sirene Harb, American University of Beirut.


Keith Feldman, University of Washington, USA: "America's Last Taboo: Rethinking Orientalism and the End(s) of Civil Rights"


Keith Guzik, Bloomfield College, USA: "Discrimination by Design: Data Mining in the US Government's 'War on Terror'"



14:00 – 15:30

Room 301

Session 9: Context Matters: American Studies at Three Middle Eastern Locations



Chair: Brian Edwards, Northwestern University, USA


Tawfiq Yousef, University of Jordan, Jordan: "Freedom and Justice and the Teaching of American Studies in the Middle East"


Seyed Mohammad Marandi, University of Tehran, Iran: "Iranian Perspectives and American Studies"


Zeina Mouneer Barakat, Al-Quds University, Palestine: "Studying American Studies in a Hostile Environment"



15:30 – 16:00

Coffee Break, West Hall 2nd floor



16:00 – 18:00

Bathish Auditorium

Session 10: Plenary Session: The Engine of Empire


Chair: Melani McAlister, George Washington University, USA


Norman Finkelstein, Independent Scholar, "The Real Roots of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East"


Comments: Melani McAlister




Bathish Auditorium


Session 11: Performance followed by Discussion: "Brooklyn Beats to Beirut Streets: Hip Hop and the Language of Liberation,"  The Human Writes Project: Mark Gonzales, Nizar Wattad and Omar Chakaki


Wednesday, 9 January

All paper sessions will take place on the AUB campus in West Hall.




Late registration will be available at West Hall, Ground floor

8:30 – 10:30

Auditorium B

Session 12: Philosophical Explorations: Secularism, Religion, and Freedom



Chair: Joshua Andresen, American University of Beirut


Mara Kolesas, University of California, Davis, USA: "Possibilities, Obstacles and Paradoxes of Hannah Arendt's Notion of Political Freedom: From the American Revolution to the Post-Colonial Middle East"


Paul Jahshan, Notre Dame University, Lebanon: "Secularism and Freethought in the Middle East: The American Model"


Ali Hocine Dimerdji, American University of Beirut: "Can Islam and Democracy Work?"




Room 204 

Session 13: Student Images: Empirical and Ideological Investigations


Chair: Sawsan Abdulrahim, American University of Beirut.


Ghazi-Walid Falah, The University of Akron, USA: "'Vying for America?" Perceptions of American Lifestyle and Democracy among Kuwaiti and Lebanese University Students"


Patricia Velde Pederson, American University of Beirut: "Views on United States Culture and Foreign Policy: Lebanese Adolescents Speak Out"


Mohammad Mousavi, University of Tehran, Iran: "American Liberty and Justice: A Perspective from students of American Studies in the Middle East"


Marcy Newman, Boise State University, USA: "'I Want to Go Back': Educating American Children about Al Awda"



8:30 – 10:30

Room 301

Session 14: Soft Machine: Propaganda or Cosmopolitanism?



Chair: Julia Kent, American University of Beirut.


Javad Asghari Rad, University of Tehran, Iran: "US Public Diplomacy: The Case Towards Iran from the Cold War to the Present"


Ozlem Altan-Olcay, Koc University, Turkey: "Locating the Cosmopolitan: Meanings of American Education in Beirut, Cairo, and Istanbul"


Betty Anderson, Boston University, USA: "The Influence of Liberal Education on the Intellectual and Political Movements at the American University of Beirut"


Susanne Wiedemann, Saint Louis University, USA: "You Can't Beat a Man Walking on Air': USIS Beirut Propaganda and the Emergence of a Science-Based Value Rhetoric, 1960-1965"



10:30 – 11:00

Coffee Break, West Hall, 2nd floor



11:00 – 13:00

Auditorium B

Session 15: US Policies, Justice, and the Middle East


Chair: Bashshar Haydar, American University of Beirut.


Mitra Naeimi and Mohammad Ali Mousavi, University of Tehran, Iran: "Clash of Exceptionalisms: How American Neo-Conservatives and Al Qaeda Terrorists Interpret Liberty"


Markha Valenta, Free University, Netherlands: "Can There Be a Just Form of Global Americanism?"


Khadija Fritsch-El Alaoui, Technical University of Dresden, Germany: "Encountering Liberty and Justice: The Old New Move of Constructing the MENA"


Scott Lucas, Birmingham University, UK: "Illusions of Coherence, Illusions of Preponderance: The Bush Administration's Foreign Policy Before and After 11 September 2001"



11:00 – 13:00

Room 204


Session 16: Contemporary US Middle East Policies: Perspectives from Four Vantage Points


Chair: Robert Ross, American University of Beirut


Jan Asmussen, Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus: "Poppies, Pistols, and Intelligence: US Policy towards Human Rights and Democracy in Turkey"


Manar El-Shorbagy, Arab Center for Development and Future Research, Egypt: "Kefaya and the Bush Democratization Efforts"


Saied Reza Ameli, University of Tehran, Iran: "American New Middle East Policy and Islamophobia"


Waleed Hazbun, Johns Hopkins University, USA (Visiting Professor at American University of Beirut): "The Middle East, American Interests, and the Disappearing Frontier of Modernity"



11:00 – 13:00

Room 301

Session 17: Screen Connections: TV, Film, America, and the Middle East



Chair: Paul Jahshan, Notre Dame University, Lebanon


Pascale Fakhry, Paris X (Nanterre) University, France: "Religious Alienation and Salvation in Contemporary American Horror Films"


Mounira Soliman, Cairo University, Egypt: "America in Egyptian Cinema: A Socio-Political Reading"


Marwan Kraidy, The University of Pennsylvania, USA: "Liberty and Justice in the Pan-Arab Reality Television Controversies"



13:00 – 14:30

Lunch Break- See program booklet for restaurant suggestions



14:30 – 16:30

Auditorium B

Session 18: How We Got Here and Where We're Going: American Foreign Policy towards the Middle East at the End of the Bush Years: A Roundtable Discussion 


Helena Cobban, Boston Review, USA


Evan Montgomery, University of Virginia, USA


William Quandt, University of Virginia, USA


Stacie Pettyjohn, US Institute of Peace, USA


Robert P. Saldin, Johns Hopkins University, USA



14:30 – 16:30

Room 204

Session 19: Use and Abuse of the Universal



Chair: Mara Kolesas, University of California, Davis, USA


Azadeh Ghahghaei, University of Tehran, Iran: "US Cultural War in Iraq: The Case of Educational Reforms"


Bojan Preradovic, American University of Beirut: "US, the MENA, the Refugee, and the Radical Crisis of Universal Human Rights and International Law"


Lina Khatib, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK: "Mediating Liberty and Justice in the Middle East: Competing Frameworks of Legitimacy"


Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut: "Human Rights Watch: Critical Assessment of Discourse and Agenda in the Middle East"



14:30 – 16:30

Bathish Auditorium

Session 20: American Studies in the Middle East: An Open Discussion



Chair: Liam Kennedy, The Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland


John Hillis, American Studies Program, University of Bahrain


Seyed Mohammad Marandi, North American studies Program, University of Tehran, Iran


Mohammad Dajani Daoudi, American Studies Institute, Al-Quds University, Palestine


Patrick McGreevy, Center for American Studies and Research, American University of Beirut


Hani Elayyan, Department of English, University of Jordan


Osama Abd El-Fattah Madany, Department of English, Menoufiya University, Egypt


Mounira Soliman, Department of English, Cairo University, Egypt


Sirene Harb, English Department, American University of Beirut



16:30 – 17:00

Coffee Break, West Hall, 2nd floor



17:00 – 18:30

Bathish Auditorium

Closing Address, Introduction: Patrick McGreevy

Amy Kaplan, The University of Pennsylvania, "In the Name of Homeland Security"



19:30 – onward*

Closing Reception and Dinner at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Level C.*



Thursday, 10 January


9:00 -19:00*

Meeting place:

Optional all day trip.  The $50 USD fee includes transportation, lunch, guides and entrance to all sites.
Gefinor Rotana Hotel - Clemenceau Street


 * To attend these events, you need to pre-register for the conference. All paper sessions are free and open to the public.

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