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Global Fridays – Fall 2014 Film Series

Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Film

This Film Series is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Europe, Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Middle East and North African Studies, Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.

Fall 2014 Film Series

Event: Afghan Hazaras’ Perceptions on Najafi School of Thought

Our last event of the Spring 2014 semester will be a lecture by PhD candidate Melissa Chiovenda. Melissa spent eighteen months in Afghanistan researching Hazara ethnic identity in Bamyan, as well as gender among women working for NGOs in Jalalabad. She previously volunteered with the Peace Corps in Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan.

April 29, 2014

4:00-6:00 PM

152 Bay State Road; Room 101

Hazara Event


Event: Persian Symposium 2014: Translating and Teaching Premodern Persian Literature

April 24-25, 2014

2:00-4:00 PM

The Editorial Institute
143 Bay State Road

Persian Symposium-1

Schedule is available on the MLCL Website. 

Event: Protecting Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies, and Global Responsibility Sharing

April 4, 2014

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Room 920B

The International Human Rights Clinical Program at the Boston University School of Law will give a ‘report-back from the field’ on a two-year research project focusing on the legal issues and problems that are creating barriers to relief and protection for refugees fleeing Syria. This project focuses on the international and regional legal instruments that govern the rights of and obligations towards this refugee flow in the most affected states: Lebanon,
Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt. Addressing weaknesses in the existing legal framework within and among the states in which most of the Syrian refugees are seeking refuge, this research is oriented towards wider responsibility sharing of the refugee flow.

Clinical Professor Susan Akram and clinic students Aaron Lang, Sarah Bidinger and Danielle Hites will discuss the preliminary findings and recommendations based on their research.

Protecting Syrian Refugees April4

Event: The Struggle of Iraq’s Future

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
4:30 PM

BU Trustee Lounge
School of Management Building, 9th Floor
Enter at 1 Silber Way

The Institute for Iraqi Studies is pleased to invite Zaid  Al-Ali to lead a discussion at Boston University on Iraq’s future and political landscape. Mr. Al-Ali’s new book, The Struggle for Iraq’s Future, was recently published.

 Zaid Al-Ali_Flyer

Event: A Room of One’s Own: Creating and Crafting Muslim Women’s Autobiographical Writing in South Asia

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

4:00-5:30 PM

745 Commonwealth Ave; STH Room 636

Join us as Dr. Lambert-Hurley explores how geographical, literary, and linguistic contexts shape the stories South Asian Women write about their lives. Dr. Lambert-Hurley serves as Senior Lecturer in Modern history at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. She is currently acting as Visiting Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of British Columbia.

Lambert-Hurley Flyer (1)

Event: Binding the Pages of the Heart

Friday, January 17th

3:00 PM

745 Commonwealth Ave; STH Room 636

Join us this Friday for a presentation by Professors Paul E. Losensky of Indiana University who will discuss “Metaphors of the Arts of the Book in the Poetry of Sa’eb Tabrizi.” Dr. Losensky is an Associate Pro

fessor of Comparative Literature and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. His research primarily focuses on 16th and 17th century Persian literature and literary history in Iran, India, and Central Asia. The event is cosponsored by Boston University Center for the Humanities, the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations.




The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Report Published

April 8th, 2014 in News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University (IIS) is pleased to announce the completion of the January 2014 workshop report, “The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Contiguous States.” The workshop, of the same name, was sponsored by IIS and the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies (BCARS), with support from SMSC and the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA). The January 31, 2014 workshop focused on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the contiguous states, including Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.  In addition, there were presentations on international law, sexual violence and the implications for Palestinian refugees.

The workshop report has been published on Amazon. Alternatively, you may download the report here.

By Amy Ringquist

Upcoming Event: The Struggle for Iraq’s Future

March 19th, 2014 in Events, News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University is pleased to invite Zaid Al-Ali to present on his new book ” “The Struggle for Iraq’s Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy.” The event is open to the public and will commence at 4:30 with tea and cookies. A reception will follow the Q&A.

Please RSVP to Mikaela Ringquist at mikaelar@bu.edu.


Zaid Al-Ali_Flyer

By Amy Ringquist

Upcoming Event: A Conversation with the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN

February 5th, 2014 in Events, News

The Institute for Iraqi Studies at Boston University is pleased to host “A Conversation with the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN” this coming Tuesday, February 11 at 5 pm (tea served at 4:30). This is a unique opportunity to converse directly with the Ambassador during a transformative period for Iraq and the greater Middle East. Free and open to the public (students *highly* encouraged to attend!). More details on the flyer below.



By Amy Ringquist

Arab Uprisings Conference Report Published

January 27th, 2014 in News

The final report from our November 15, 2013 conference Arab Uprisings: Accomplishments, Failures, and Prospects has been published. The report provides a lucid synopsis of the conference proceedings. To view the report, please click here.


The Arab Uprisings conference was sponsored by the Boston University Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations, the Boston University Center for International Relations, and the Trans-Arab Research Institute (TARI), with support from the Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies.


By Amy Ringquist

Spring 2014 Film Series: Imagining the Middle East

January 21st, 2014 in Events, News

We hope you will join us as we explore the Muslim and Arab culture throughout various locations in the Middle East. Our film series features five incredible films which will be screened from January 21 through March 18. For more information on each film, please visit our Upcoming Events Calendar



By Amy Ringquist

New Major! BA in Middle East and North Africa Studies

October 29th, 2013 in News

On October 2nd the University Council approved Boston University’s newest Bachelor of Arts program, the Interdisciplinary Major in Middle East and North Africa Studies.  The result of a three-year planning effort by a group of faculty specialized in the region, the new major capitalizes on BU’s unusually strong existing offerings in four Middle Eastern languages and many aspects of Middle Eastern and North African culture.

Available to students starting with the class of 2014, the major offers BU undergraduates a coherent grounding in the history, cultures, artistic production, and one or more of the languages of the Middle East and North Africa region (defined for our purposes as comprising the Arabic-, Hebrew-, Persian-, and Turkish-speaking areas of the world).  Requiring three years of language study as well as courses in both humanities and social sciences, this rigorous 11-course major is designed to prepare students for graduate study and for careers in government, international non-governmental organizations, and the private sector by building marketable skills (cultural competence and real linguistic proficiency) as well as intellectual sophistication.  It also fills a gap in BU’s area studies programs, which until now offered majors in European, Asian, and Latin American studies, but not in Middle East and North Africa.

Students interested in declaring the MENA major are encouraged to register for the 1-credit seminar course CAS ME 101: Issues in Middle East and North Africa Studies for Spring 2014.

The major is housed in the CAS Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.  Learn more here!

Additional questions? Please contact Professor Margaret Litvin, mlitvin@bu.edu.

By Amy Ringquist

Spring 2014 SMSC Courses!

October 28th, 2013 in News

The Spring 2014 SMSC Courses are now posted on our website! You can view them here.

By Erin Shibley

Upcoming Event: Chasing “Empty Signifiers”

October 15th, 2013 in Events

Please Join the SMSC Institute, the Modern Languages and Comparative Literature Department, and the African Studies Center as we welcome Dr. Hazem Amzy, visiting Assistant Professor at the department of Drama and Theatre Criticism of Ain Shams University and Co-Convener of the Arabic Theater Group of the International Federation for Theater Research. He will be discussing Egyptian Theatre, Before and After the Arab Spring, primarily analyzing three different Egyptian productions all by key figures of the “Free” Theatre Movement.


Tuesday, October 22,2013

4 PM – 5:30 PM

232 Bay State Road, Room 505


By arjonam

Upcoming Event: Book Talk with Kirk Johnson

October 8th, 2013 in Events, News

Join the SMSC Institute, the Center of International Relations, and the Institute for Iraqi Studies as we sit down with founder of The List Project and author Kirk W. Johnson to discuss his book:

To Be a Friend is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans stepped forward to assist U.S. soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers over the past decade of war, acting as interpreters, engineers, and advisors to America’s reconstruction efforts.  As the U.S. development program foundered and counter-insurgency tactics alienated the Iraqi and Afghan public, though, they were increasingly viewed as traitors to their country.  Despite their immense value to America’s interests, as soon as they began to petition the U.S. government for refuge, they were met by a bureaucracy that viewed them as potential terrorists.  With the war in Iraq a distant memory and the withdrawal from Afghanistan gathering speed, the Iraqis and Afghans are now tarred with a stigma that is both lethal and generational.  Johnson will discuss the efforts of the List Project to confront both Republican and Democratic resistance in Washington and bring Iraqi and Afghan allies to safety, the state of humanitarianism in an America-in-withdrawal, and a brief history of bureaucratic abandonment in past wars.

We hope you can join us! Please RSVP Mikaela at smscinst@bu.edu

Kirk Flyer 10.16.13 new copy

By arjonam

Upcoming Event: The Politics of Neutrality

September 23rd, 2013 in Events, News

Tanielian flyer 9.26.13

By Amy Ringquist