(Events I've Organized 2016-2021)

When most people think of the global refugee crisis, they think of Syrians crossing the Mediterranean in flimsy boats into Europe or caravans of Central Americans arriving at the US border. Yet behind these images there is a second crisis: refuge itself has all but evaporated for millions of people fleeing persecution and violence. In this talk I argue that countries have a moral obligation to address the political structures that prevent refugees from accessing the minimum conditions of human dignity. An adequate response to the crisis must include ensuring the rights and dignity of refugees wherever they are.

Exploring the different manifestations of global apartheid, this talk traces how militarization and securitization reconfigure older forms of white supremacy and deploy them in new contexts to maintain this racialized global order. Whether using the language of security, military intervention, surveillance technologies, or detention centers and other forms of incarceration, these projects reinforce and consolidate the global north's political and economic interests at the expense of the poor, migrants, refugees, Indigenous populations, and people of color.

While calls for decolonizing science, education, and museums are becoming more prominent, knowledge practices of western academia and of present-day colonizing nation states remain largely unchanged.This talk aims to unravel how decolonization is understood, and most importantly to give attention to how decolonization is being practiced today.

While portrayals of immigrants and their descendants in France and throughout Europe often center on burning cars and radical Islam, Beaman's research paints a different picture. Through fieldwork and interviews in Paris and its banlieues, she examines middle-class and upwardly mobile children of Maghrébin, or North African immigrants. By showing how these individuals are denied cultural citizenship because of their North African origin, she puts to rest the notion of a French exceptionalism regarding cultural difference, race, and ethnicity and further centers race and ethnicity as crucial for understanding marginalization in French society.

All around the world urban, regional, and international governing bodies are grappling with a series of crises related to how we move, whether understood as a climate crisis, an urban crisis, or a migration crisis. This talk connects debates over sustainable transportation and low-carbon transitions to wider issues of unequal global mobility regimes and the governance of differential mobilities, from “climate refugees” to the over-mobilities of tourists and “kinetic elites.” A more robust and comprehensive theory of mobility justice can help us address the combined crises of climate change, sustainable urban mobility transitions, resource extraction and global migrations.

This talk explores how Iranians and other Middle Eastern Americans move across the color line. Drawing on historical and legal evidence, it captures the unique experience of an immigrant group trapped between legal racial invisibility and everyday racial hyper-visibility. Maghbouleh chronicles the compelling, often heartbreaking story of how a white American immigrant group can become brown and what such a transformation says about race in America.

Every year more and more Europeans, including Germans, are converting to Islam at a time when Islam is increasingly seen as contrary to European values. This talk explores how Germans come to Islam within this antagonistic climate, how they manage to balance their love for Islam with their society’s fear of it, how they relate to immigrant Muslims, and how they shape debates about race, religion, and belonging in today’s Europe.

Delano's multi-sited transnational ethnographic research focuses on organizations and activists across the Central America-Mexico-US migration corridor that go beyond urgent responses in the name of hospitality. In this talk, she offers a set of principles, structures and relationships to address broader questions of equality and justice that also implicate local communities.

Addressing the multiplicity of struggles and claims over the deceased body of transgender persons, this talk presents a mortuary ethnography that is formed through entanglements between Islamic notions of embodiment, familial order, gender and sexuality regimes, and legal regulations around death in Turkey. Rather than taking sex, gender, and sexual difference as given categories, I address them as a social field of constant and emergent contestation, which in turn marks the gendered and sexual limits of belonging in regimes of belief, family, kinship, and citizenship, and in practices of mourning and grief. I argue that death at the thresholds of sexual and gender regimes presents a space to discover novel connections between sovereignty and intimacy and to examine their co-constitution through the registers of violence endured by the gendered/sexed body.

Professor Beinin’s research and writing focuses on workers, peasants, and minorities in the modern Middle East and on Israel, Palestine, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has written or edited nine books, most recently Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

There is a conventional wisdom about oil—that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf is what guarantees access to this strategic resource; that the "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia is necessary to stabilize an otherwise volatile market; and that these assumptions in turn provide Washington enormous leverage over Europe and Asia. In this talk, Vitalis debunks these myths to reveal "oilcraft," a line of magical thinking closer to witchcraft than statecraft.

I am Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and Senior Fellow at the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

I am Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College and Senior Fellow at the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Middle East and North Africa Politics Section Virtual Workshop

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