Discussants

Faiz Ahmed
Assistant Professor of History, Brown University
Faiz Ahmed is Assistant Professor of History at Brown University and a specialist in the legal and constitutional history of the modern Middle East. Trained as a lawyer and social historian, Dr. Ahmed’s primary research explores the intersection of student and scholarly networks, constitutional movements, and “rule of law” ideology in the late Ottoman Empire, Afghanistan, and Iran during the long nineteenth century.

Beshara Doumani

Beshara Doumani is the Joukowsky Family Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University. He works on the social, economic, and legal history of Eastern Mediterranean.

Doumani is also a public intellectual who writes on current events in the Middle East, on the ethics of knowledge production, and on the relationship between culture and politics. He led a team that produced a strategic plan for the establishment of a Palestinian museum, and recently received the Sawyer Seminar award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for his proposal, “Displacement and the Making of the Modern World: Histories, Ecologies, and Subjectivities.”

Doumani joined Brown after fourteen years at the University of California, Berkeley, but he is no stranger to the East Coast. He received his PhD from Georgetown University, and was first tenured at the University of Pennsylvania. Doumani was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Ian Straughn
Joukowsky Family Middle East Studies Librarian
Ian Straughn’s research and teaching interests focus on the emerging study of the archaeology of the Muslim World and the production of heritage in the Middle East. More specifically my work has concentrated on understanding how Muslim societies have conceptualized and constructed landscapes as cultural engagements with the material world. To this effort I have sought to develop a methodology for bringing the archaeological and textual records into a productive dialogue about past societies. As an anthropologist this then informs my work on heritage as cultural practice and the ways in which it constitutes forms of argumentation about religious, national, and cosmopolitan identities.

Sarah Tobin
Associate Director of Middle East Studies, Brown University
Dr. Sarah Tobin is an anthropologist with expertise in Islam, economic anthropology, and gender in the Middle East. Her work explores transformations in religious and economic life, identity construction, and personal piety at the intersections with gender, Islamic authority and normative Islam, public ethics, and Islamic authenticity. Ethnographically, her work focuses on Islamic piety in the economy, especially Islamic Banking and Finance, Ramadan, and in contested fields of consumption such as the hijab, and the Arab Spring. Her latest research project focuses on security and resilience in Syrian Refugee Camps in Jordan. Most recently, Dr. Tobin published “Security and Resilience Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan” inMERIP (http://www.merip.org/mero/mero101414; co-authored with Dr. Denis Sullivan).

Vazira Zamindar
Associate Professor of History, Brown University
Vazira Zamindar joined Brown’s History Department in 2006, and works at the intersection of anthropology and history with an interest in cross-border histories for rethinking a divided South Asia, as well as the politics of violence and its impact on history-writing itself. Her book, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories, was published by Columbia University Press in 2007, and Indian and Pakistani editions of the book came out in 2008. She is presently working on a second book on the history of archaeology and war on the northwest frontier of British India, on the borderlands with Afghanistan, and has received the International Institute of Asian Studies Fellowship, the Fulbright, and the National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship, amongst others, for this project. She has also started working on a parallel project following a single death that occurred during her fieldwork in Pakistan.

With a commitment to public engagement, in addition to giving academic talks, she has been involved in the organization of large public teach-ins on campus, on the floods in Pakistan in 2010, and on the Occupy movement in 2011. She has also worked with Primary Source and the Choices program, FirstWorks Providence, the RISD Museum, as well as more recently with the Lahore Museum. On campus, she remains active in organizing and supporting an array of South Asia related events, including the South Asia Documentary Film Festival in 2011 and the Questioning Marginality conference in 2013.

Sheila Bonde (replaced by Beshara Doumani)
Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World, Chair of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
Sheila Bonde is Professor of History of Art and Architecture, and Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown.  She is currently Chair of History of Art and Architecture.

Sheila Bonde’s research and teaching combines archaeology and architectural history of the medieval world. She specializes in the architecture of monasticism, and currently co-directs the MonArch excavation and research project which looks at a regional group of three monasteries in northern France. Her books includeFortress-Churches of Languedoc, Saint-Jean-des-Vignes: Approaches to Monasticism, and Re-Presenting the Past, a co-edited book with Steve Houston.

 

 

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