Recent Events

​​Fall 2019​​

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PANEL: "20​19 Rugby World Cup: Rugby in the US & the Middle East"
​John Harris, ​Professor for Cultural Business & Associate Dean Research (Glasgow School for Business and Society)
Danyel Reiche, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics (AUB)
Axel Maugendre, PhD student (University of Strasbourg)
​Steve Wrigglesworth, Coach of the Lebanese National Rugby Union men's team
Wednesday, Sept 11 2019 | 4:30 PM | West Hall, Auditorium B

This panel discusses the global development of rugby union from a historical, sociological, and political perspective. On a global scale, rugby has been primarily driven by Commonwealth countries. We discuss its potential to globally spread across countries, social classes and gender. ​

Spring 2019

LECTURE:"US Policy in Transition in the Middle East"
Mara Karlin, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution
Thursday, June 20 2019 | 2:00 PM | Issam Fares Institute (IFI)​

Mara Karlin discusses ideas put forward in her recent article in Foreign Affairs, "America's Middle East Purgatory​", Mara Karlin will give a talk on looking at the big picture of the United States policy in transition in the Middle East. ​Karlin was also an U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development from 2015 to 2016.​ Co-sponsored by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI). 

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​BO​OK LAUNCH: Two Critical Anthologies of Levantine Theater​
Robert MyersProfessor of English, Director of CASAR, Co-Director of the Theater Initiative at AUB
Nada Saab, Associate Professor of Arabic Studies in the Department of Humanities at LAU
Monday, April 15 2019 | 5:00 PM | LAU, Adnan Kassar School of Business, Room 904 | Facebook Event​

A decade-long collaboration between Nada Saab of LAU and Robert Myers of AU​B, involving research, translation and production of plays from the Levant, culminated in the​ publication of two major new books:  Modern and Contemporary Political Theater from the Levant: A Critical Anthology (Brill) and Sentence to Hope: A Sa’dallah Wannous Reader (Yale University Press). Saab and Myers present their work, show clips of productions of the plays, and professional actors will read selected scenes.​ Read a recent review published in the New York Review of Books on Sentence to Hope: A Sa'adallah Wannous Reader​ here.​​ Co-sponsored by the Department of Humanities at LAU​, the Center for Arts and Humanities at AUB, and the Theater Initiative at AUB ​​.


LECTURE: ​Shifting Ground in the Contemporary Marketplace: a New York Director’s Experience
Kirsten Sanderson, New York-based stage director
Thursday, April 11 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37 | Event Poster​

Kirsten Sanderson discusses the juxtaposition of her work as a New York-based stage director with the work she does in American network news and sports television. Drawing from direct experience, she illuminates issues such as how contemporary media technology is dissolving barriers between broadcast, online, and live entertainment, as well as how working in TV news production informs her perspective as an artist. Co-sponsored by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and the Media Studies Program at American University of Beirut (AUB).​


IFI x CASAR LECTURE SERIES: Arabs, Americans, and Global '58
Salim Yaqub, Professor of UCSB, Director of the Center for Cold War Studies & Int'l History
Friday, March 22 2019 | 5:00 PM | IFI Auditorium (Level B) | Facebook Event​

As part of the international conference, The Middle East in 1958: Reimagining a Revolutionary Year , Salim Yaqub presents a keynote address entitled "Arabs, Americans, and Global '58." This talk is also the inaugural lecture in a new initiative being undertaken by CASAR and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI), entitled Policy and Politics of the AmericasCo-sponsored by AUB's Center for Arab and Middle Easter Studies (CAMES),  the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI). 


​LECTURE: America's Wars and Refugees' Lives: Vulnerability and Health on the Margins​
Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs and The MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University
Thursday, March 21 2019 | 5:00 PM | West Hall, Auditorium A | Facebook Event​

Tracing the history of Middle Eastern wars—and especially the US military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan—to the current refugee crisis, Marcia C. Inhorn examines how refugees fare once resettled in the United States. Iraqi refugees struggle to find employment and to rebuild lives after all that has been lost. Iraqi refugees who have fled from war zones also face serious health challenges. Uncovering the depths of these challenges, Inhorn questions America’s responsibility for, and commitment to, Arab refugees, mounting a powerful call for US accountability.​ Co-sponsored by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR), the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Media Studies (SOAM) and the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS).

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LECTURE: Read for the Unfinished
Suzanne Enzerink, Ph.D. candidate in American Studies from Brown University
Tuesday, March 12 2019 | 5:00 PM | West Hall, Auditorium C

Suzanne Enzerink proposes that as a method, reading for the unfinished - unfinished art, from film to painting - in its earliest, most incipient forms allows us to bring into view alternate expressions of racial and sexual identity in U.S. film that have been​ erased from mainstream narratives about cultural production. As a case study, Enzerink will discuss No Strings, a proposed 1962 film adaptation of the eponymous Broadway musical with a screenplay by queer writer Arthur Laurents. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the Media Studies Program. 

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LECTURE: Football or Soccer: What's in a word?
Stefan Szymansk​i, Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan

Monday, March 11 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37

The most popular sport on the planet is almost everywhere called “football”, or some variant of this word. In a few countries the game is called “soccer”, most notably in the USA. Yet in fact, the word “soccer” was invented in Oxford, England, in the 1890s and was a commonly used word in the UK until the 1970s. Stefan Szymanski discusses the strange tale of this linguistic exile and how it betrays a deeper contest over cultural hegemony in the modern world. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the department of Political Studies and Public Administration.

LECTURE: Re-Reading 'Bad Biography'
Oline Eaton, Professor at the Department of English in the University of Memphis, Tennessee
Wednesday, March 6 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37

When academics have examined popular forms of print biography, they almost exclusively evaluate them in terms of genre rather than mass culture, evaluating these works against the “good,” “serious,” “real” biographies produced by academics in order condemn them as overly commercial, too gossipy, too “bad.” Oline Eaton destabilizes the notion of the “bad biography.” Recognizing the integral role these works played within the broader ecosystem of celebrity throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Eaton approaches them specifically in relation to their appeal to a mass market. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the Media Studies Program.


PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP: How to Think Like an Actor who Thinks like a Da​ncer who Thinks like a Writer who Thinks like a Sculptor

Rinde Eckert, a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer and director
Wednesday, March 6 2019 | 12-5:00 PM | West Hall, Auditorium B​ | Event poster | Facebook Event

This workshop will focus on how to use storytelling to generate text, then manipulate the way the story is told, adding physical, musical, and architectural elements and analyzing how our interpretation of the story (how we read it) changes when we do. We often discover stories hidden within stories, meanings masked by conventional conceits. In this process we are practicing modes of witness that are often neglected by more traditional ways of looking and listening. We are, it is hoped, enlarging our capacity to see, hear, and understand.

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LECTURE: Troublesome Women: Feminist Vision & Greek Drama
Ellen​​ McLaughlin​, a playwright, performer, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Barnard College
Tuesday, March 5 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37 | Event poster | Facebook Event​

Ellen McLaughlin, a renowned playwright and performer best known as the Angel in the original Broadway production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, discusses her lifelong attraction to the Greeks, especially to the women in classic Greek plays. Beyond walking us through her motivations and methods for adapting classic Greek plays, Mclaughlin will also weave performance into the talk.​ Co-sponsored by the Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and The Women and Gender Studies Initiative at AUB.


LECTURE: Dual Citizenship in an Age of G​lobalization
Peter J. SpiroCharles Weiner Professor of Law at Temple University School of Law
Monday, March 4 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37​ | Facebook Event​

Dual nationality was once reviled as a moral abomination. More recently, it has garnered growing acceptance and even been embraced. What explains this dramatic shift, the endpoint of which has been to make dual citizenship a commonplace of globalization? Peter J. Spiro's lecture charts the historical trajectory of the status as well as suggest a future in which dual citizenship increasingly challenges equality values. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the department of Political Studies and Public Administration.

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CONFERENCE: ​Double Helix: The film essay as form, ruminations ​​​around the essay film
Wednesday, February 27 & Thursday, February 28 2019 | Building 37​ | Event Page​

​What is a film essay today, in our contemporary moment of fleeting images? Is it a portrait, a conversation, a political statement, a question? To ponder this we look at frames made by four generations of moving-image makers—born in years ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s—this constellation of artists aims to challenge the traditional notion of the essay film in spaces ranging from Beirut to Cairo, Namibia to Detroit. Of the thirteen participants who will lead sessions throughout the Conference, CASAR was proud to sponsor Lee Anne Schmitt. Schmitt is a writer and director of essay films and performances, work that exists in the juncture between fiction and documentary. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the Center for Arts and Humanities at AUB. 

LECTURE: From Selma to Moscow: How Human Rights Activists Transformed U.S. Foreign Policy
Sarah Snyder, Associate Professor of International Service at the American University 
Wednesday, February 27 2019 | 5:00 PM | IFI Conference Room, 4th Floor | Facebook Event​

The 1960s marked a transformation of human rights activism in the United States which fundamentally altered U.S. foreign policy in a way that has been overlooked by previous accounts. Snyder shows how transnational connections and social movements spurred American activism that achieved legislation which curbed military and economic assistance to repressive governments, create​d institutions to ​monitor human rights around the world, and enshrined human rights in U.S. foreign policy making for years to come. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the Department of Political Studies and Public Administration at AUB. Attendance is free and open to the public. ​

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LECTURE: Making Theater and Changing Society: How Tectonic Transformed​ Performance and Rewrote the Law
Philipe AbiYouness, a playwright, performer, and Moment Work teaching artist
Thursday, February 21 2019 | 5:00 PM | West Hall, Auditorium B

Philipe AbiYouness discusses the history and impact of Tectonic Theater Project. This award-winning, Manhattan-based theater company is behind such rigorous, form-breaking plays as​ The Laramie Project, 33 Variations, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and I Am My Own Wife. Through their trademarked method of theatre-making, Moment Work, Tectonic is challenging the traditional text-centric approach to play-making by providing an inherently theatrical language and methodology for writing performance. This lecture will take up the philosophy, history, and process of Tectonic Theater Project in dialogue with their sprawling socio-economic impact. Co-sponsored by CASAR and the Theater Initiative at AUB.

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WORKSHOP: Mome​​nt Work: From Text-Base​d Theater to an Egalitarian Theatrical Language
Philipe AbiYouness, a playwright, performer, and Moment Work teaching artist
February 23 & 24 2019   

With co-sponsorship from CASAR and the AUB Theater Initiative, Philipe AbiYouness of Tectonic Theater Project offers a two-day intensive workshop on the process and methodology of Moment Work, Tectonic Theatre Project's trademarked technique of writing performance. In this focused workshop, we will utilize Moment Work to give us a theatrical language and method that delves into and develops Sahar Assaf's harrowing, interview-based play, No Demand, No Supply, which tells the stories of young Syrian women kidnapped and forced into a sex trafficking ring in Lebanon. Moment Work provides us with an egalitarian and theatrical process by which we can create visceral work and break open the theatrical life of existing works; a process where actors, directors, designers, stage managers, etc. work in collaboration as storytellers and theatre-makers. ​Invite-only. ​​​

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​​​LECTURE: Radical Protocols: Designing Digital Tools in Social Movements from Tahrir to Occupy Wall Street to République
Jessica Feldman, Professor of Global Communications at the American University of Paris
Wednesday, February 6 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37

Starting in 2010, an upsurge of publicly-sited, assembly-ba​sed social movements, broadly termed “the movements of the squares," attempted to solve the problems of democratic deliberation, public speaking, and group listening, while simultaneously struggling with routine surveillance and shut-downs of state- and corporate-owned telecommunications infrastructures and platforms.This talk draws on a multi-sited ethnography in Cairo, Istanbul, Madrid, Paris, and New York City, coupled with an analysis of the social and digital codes underlying the communication protocols designed and developed by these movements.

​​Fall 2018

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PLAY: Meursault's Labyrinth, a multi-media play uniting The Stranger, The Battle of Algiers, and the Lebanes​e civil war

Written and Directed by American screenwriter and AUB literature professor, Doyle Avant 
Produced ​by Sahar Assaf
Cast: Basma Baydoun, Doyle Avant, Elie Youssef, Jawad Rizkallah, Pascale Chnaiss, Sahar Assaf, Sany Abdul Baki
Thursday - Sunday, Nov 29 - Dec 2 2018 | 8:30 PM | The Station, Jesr al-Wati

The Battle of Algiers blows up Albert Camus’ l’Etranger with the Lebanese Civil War watching and waiting in the wings. A play of memory, time, time-bombs and other man-made earthquakes. A purifying wave of almost true stories about beautiful bombers, tortured torturers, fallen men and rising women. Presented by the AUB Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) Mellon Grant, the Center for American Studies and Research at AUB (CASAR), and the AUB Theater Initiative.

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PANEL: U.S. ​Mid-term Elections: What the Results Mean for the U.S. and the World

Tim Raphael, Associate Professor of Arts, Culture, and Media and Founding Director of the Center for Migration and the Global City (Rutgers University – Newark)
Kouross Esmaeli, Visiting Professor of Media Studies and American Studies (AUB)
Juli Carson Jabre, Visiting Professor in Art History and Curating (AUB)
Karim Makdisi, Associate Professor of International Politics (AUB)
Danyel Reiche, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics (AUB)
Monday November 12 2018 | 5:00 PM | Building 37

This interdisciplinary panel of scholars will come together to discuss the results of the 2016 American mid-term elections. On November 6th, during a time of intense strife between progressive and conservative forces in the country, the American people had a chance to shift the balance of power on local, state, and federal levels. But did this happen? Join us for what promises to be an intriguing discussion about the current political climate in the U.S. and its implications worldwide.


​FILM SCREENING: Border Questions: ​A film s​creening and discussion
Ernie Larsen & Sherry Millner, co-creators of State of Emergency, Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power, Rock the Cradle (2011) 
Friday November 9 2018 | 1:00-2:30 PM | Building 37

Millner and Larsen's archive aims to represent historically and aesthetically distinct challenges to power—power as signified by the imposition of boundaries and borders, challenges that emerge from previously colonized peoples caught in the midst of struggle.​


LECTURE: Effective/Defective: James Baldwin
Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at ​​Harvard University

Thursday, November 8 2019 | 5:00 PM | Building 37 | ​Event Poster

James Baldwin was an American novelist and social critic who wrote many novels and collections of essays, including Go Tell it on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, and Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. Robert Reid-Pharr comes to AUB to deliver a talk about his forthcoming book on James Baldwin that will make use of newly-available archive. Reid-Pharr is a founder and leader of the field of black queer studies, known for incisive and original literary close readings, wide-ranging cultural analyses, bold personal engagement, and challenging provocations.


​​LECTURE: Current Issues in Comparative and World Literature
Galin Tahinov,  Professor of comparative literature at the Queen Mary School of London
Thursday, November 8 2018 | 9:30-10:45 AM | 204A Fisk Hall

​​Galin Tahinov​ will visit AUB professor Dr. David Currell's course on world literature and speak to a mixed audience of undergraduate and graduate students in literary studies about current issues in comparative and world literature. Tihanov has published widely on German, Russian, and East-European cultural and intellectual history. He is the author of four books and (co)editor of nine volumes of scholarly essays. His new book, Regimes of Relevance, will be published by Stanford University Press in 2019.


​LECTURE: W. E. B. Du Bois at the Center: From Science, Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter
Aldon Morris​​, Professor of Sociology at the Northwestern University
Wednesday, November 7 2018 | 5:00 PM | West Hall Auditorium B | Event Poster​

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of a handful of scholars of the 20th century with a sustained global impact on sociological, literary, and political knowledge. Professor Morris will draw on evidence from his recent multiple award-winning book, The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology to demonstrate that Du Bois was the founding father of scientific sociology in the United States; that is, American scientific sociology was founded in a segregated black university by a black man. The talk will also explore the relevance of activism for modern social science more broadly.​ Co-sponsored by CASAR and the department of Socciology, Anthropology, and Media Studies.

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LECTURE: Newest Americans: Stories From The Global City
Timothy Raphael, Founding Director of the Center for Migration and the Global City ​Thursday, November 15 2018 | 5PM | Building 37 | Event Poster​

When President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1965 Immigrant and Naturalization Act into law he downplayed its significance, stating that it “is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power.” Tim Raphael will use media produced by the project to demonstrate how a unique collaboration between university students, research faculty, and professional journalists and media makers has created a new and replicable model for engaging contemporary issues and documenting complex histories.

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​​LECTURE: When the Bars Were Put Up: Immigration Restriction in 19th Century America and its Effect on Syrian/Lebanese Immigrants
Dr. Linda Jacobs, New York-based independent scholar and author
Thursday, November 1 2018 | 5:00-7:00 PM | Issam Fares Institute, Auditorium | ​Event Poster

As the granddaughter of four Lebanese immigrants who settled in New York City, Jacobs is currently at work on a study of all the nineteenth-century Syrian/Lebanese colonies in the United States. Dr. Jacobs sits on the boards of several Middle Eastern organizations and is committed to promoting knowledge of Middle Eastern culture and heritage in the United States.​ Co-sponsored by CASAR and ​the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs.​​

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LECTURE & SCREENING: Theatrical Realism and August Wilson's Century Cycle
David Shumway, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and the Founding Director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy
​Week of October 15 | Building 37

David Shumway discusses his current research on realism across media in 20th century America, focusing on playwright August Wilson. He argues that Wilson's “century cycle," a series of 10 plays that chart the experience of black Americans throughout the twentieth century, is fundamentally a work of realism, both in its formal conventions—despite such elements as ghosts and clairvoyance—and in its explicit intention to represent African-American life. Cosponsored by CASAR and the Theater Initiative at AUB.

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LECTURE: New Media and Other Dramaturgi​es
Peter Eckersall, Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Theatre and Performance at CUNY
Frank Hentschker, Program Director of the CUNY Graduate Center's Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
Thursday, October 11 2018 | 5:00 PM | Building 37​

​Eckersall will discuss the book as it illuminates the shift in approaches to the uses of theatre and performance technology in the past twenty-five years, developing an account of new media dramaturgy (NMD), an approach to theatre informed by what the technology itself seems to want to say. Hentschker will give a brief presentation about the Segal Center and how it acts as a home to theatre artists, scholars, students, performing arts managers, and the local and international performance communities​​​.​ Cosponsored by CASAR and the Media Studies program at AUB.

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PANEL: My Name is Rachel Corrie
Rachel Valentine Smith, Filmmaker and Theater Director
Sahar Assaf, Co-director of the Theater Initiative at AUB
Sari Hanafi, Professor of Sociology at AUB
Friday, October 5 2018 | 4:00 PM | Building 37

The panel discusses the Beirut premiere of the controversial American play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie. This play is based on the diary entries and emails of a young American activist, Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli soldier while protesting the razing of a Gazan home by the IDF during the Second Intifada. Please join as we come together with Valentine Smith, Assaf, and Hanafi to discuss the significance of the play's newest production, which will take place so close to the site of Rachel Corrie's death. Co-sponsored by CASAR, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies, and the Theater Initiative at AUB.​


LECTURE & STAGED-READING: Oh-Oh, Fables Sweeter than Facts: History, Culture, and Revisionism
Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, professor, litterateur, poet, and playwright
Monday, September 10 2018 | 11:00 AM | Assembly Hall, AUB | Event poster​

Soyinka received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986, making him the first African Nobel laureate in the category of literature. The lecture, "Oh-Oh, Fables Sweeter than Facts: History, Culture, and Revisionism," will be directly followed by a staged-reading of Soyinka's play, Death and the King's Horsemen. Co-sponsored by the Theater Initiative at AUB, The Anis Makdisi Program in Literature and the Office of the President.​​