Asef Bayat Lecture on Muslim Youth Conference


The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University is proud to present a major international academic research conference, “Youth in the Contemporary Muslim World.”

The conference will take place April 8 – 9, with most events taking place at the School’s administrative offices at 121 Bay State Road.

The conference is presented in partnership with the Institute for Muslim Studies, the Institute for Iraqi Studies, the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies, the Middle East and North African Studies Center, theBoston Consortium for Arab Region Studies, and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

“In recent years scholarship in the social sciences and humanities has increasingly demonstrated the problematic limits to the study of contentious politics that focuses solely on the formal political arena and electoral process,” said Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, in the abstract for the conference. “This is especially true when a few key actors and alliances monopolize the national parliamentary area in which legal political parties compete for power.”

Studying the way youth navigate these choppy waters will be the task for an all-star lineup of thinkers, artists, and academics for the two-day conference.

The conference’s keynote address will be given by Asef Bayat, Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bayat was Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern studies and held the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He was the Academic Director of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and ISIM Chair of Islam and the Modern World at Leiden University from 2003 until 2009.

Bayat has published extensively, including the book Being Young and Muslim: New Cultural Politics in the Global South and North, cowritten with Linda Herrera and published by Oxford University Press in 2010. 

Bayat will give the keynote at 5 p.m. at the Trustees Ballroom. A question and answer session, along with live music and refreshments, will follow the address. The keynote address will be branded as a part of the Pardee School’s ongoing Inaugural Year lecture series, and open to the public.

Panels planned for the conference include: “The Art and Culture of Dissent,” “Youth Activism and Cultural Movements,” “Migrant Muslim Communities,” and “Education & Activism.”

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Manal Al Dowayan, Artist, Saudi Arabia
  • Cynthia Becker, Associate Professor, Department of History of Art & Architecture, Boston University
  • Pascal Menoret, Assistant Professor Middle East Studies, NYU-Abu Dhabi,
  • Doreen Lee, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Northeastern University,
  • Asma Mustafa, Research Fellow on Muslims in Britain at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Senior Tutor and Senior Research Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford University
  • Lance Laird, Family Medicine and Division of Religious & Theological Studies, School of Medicine, Boston University
  • Qais Abkar Omar, Afghan Novelist
  • Kevan Harris, Sociologist and Associate Director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies, Princeton University
  • Linda Herrera, Associate Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, College of Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne
  • Beth Murphy, Founder/Director/Producer, Principle Pictures
  • Brian Moore, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the near east
  • Bernard Rougier, Researcher, Middle East Studies, Sciences-Po, Paris
  • Moeed Yusuf, Director, South Asia Program, United States Institute of Peace
  • Ahmet Yukleyen, Associate Professor, International Relations Department, Istanbul Commerce University; Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Studies, Croft Institute, the University of Mississippi
  • Eric Davis, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University


  • Dr. Malik Dahlan., Principal, Institution Quraysh; Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; Chairman, iPlatform
  • Margaret Litvin, Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature, Boston University
  • Betty Anderson, Associate Professor of History, Boston University
  • Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University

View the full conference schedule here.