American Univesity of Beirut


The Druze Millennium: Celebrating a Thousand Years of ​Diversity

When:  October 30th & 31st, 2018  - All Day                  Where:  College Hall, Auditorium B1 AUB

In commemoration of this millennial anniversary, the Center of Arts and Humanities and the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages at the American University of Beirut are organizing an international conference which will bring together leading researchers who have contributed to the field of Middle Eastern Studies with particular reference to the Druze. The conference will focus on the political, social and cultural evolution and/ or role of the Druze. This two-day conference which will be held at the American University of Beirut in October 30 & 31 2018 will also feature a number of activities covering art, food and culture allowing the public to become more familiar with these socio-cultural tools which brand the Druze community.  While this millennial celebration essentially focuses on the Druze, it will certainly incorporate the stories of many of the groups which inhabited the same regions and which through conflict and often accommodation and cooperation came to define the rich history of the Druze and of the region as a whole.


Affective Atmospheres: The role of site-specific sound and music in social formation

When:  November 29th & 30th, 2018  - All Day                  Where:  Building 37, 3rd Floor, AUB

The seminar invites contributions that consider social formation including all the internal contradictions that exist in a society, all emerging and disappearing tendencies in the social relationships that comprise the ever-evolving atmosphere of a site - be it a place, a city, a nation or an area. It is therefore crucial to understand how the emergent and contingent atmosphere of a site is constituted with multiple influences, including but not limited to site-specific music and sounds that are part of the everyday ambience, which is historically transformative. Music proper in a social context usually triggers feelings and emotions rather than providing a sense of space or place (Doane 1985; Kuhn and Westwell 2014). On the other hand, everyday environmental and ambient sounds provide the specific atmosphere of a site. However, social music (LaBelle 2001), and music diffused in urban or rural environments (e.g. Azaan) can also involve site-specific elements such as emanating from and reflected within a specific street, area or a room. These elements are necessary for critical listening and investigation not only to understand the atmospherics they may create, but also to speculate their historical constituents, as well as their contribution to or influences from the processes of social formation. Often such an inclusive idea of atmosphere proliferates a sense of plurality and multiplicity embedded in the public and social life of a site engaging the social life in a more affective means. In this seminar, the various everyday iterations and social aspects of site-specific music and sound will be examined to locate how they engage with the contingent collectivity and fluid historicity of a site within a spirit of inclusion. The seminar will contribute to the studies of Ambiances.


Live Sound and Music Performance

When:  November 29th, 2018 - 20:30                                  Where:  West Hall, Auditorium B

This live performance is in collaboration with The Irtijal festival, Lebanon.

Potential performances by:
Cathy Lane, CRiSAP, University of the Arts, London
Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, Center for Arts and Humanities, American University of Beirut
Jad Saliba, Sonology, The Royal Conservatory, The Hague
Lasse-Marc Riek, Gruenrekorder, Frankfurt am Main
Maria Papadomanolaki, University of Brighton
William Joshua Hudelson , FAAS (Music), American University of Beirut.
David Toop, CRiSAP, University of the Arts, London







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