Scholars’ Convocation: Noon Wed., Nov. 28
Consul General: 7:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 28
— both in Rosenfield Center Room 101
Interest in the Arab world continues to grow after last year’s events, says Caleb Elfenbien, assistant professor of history and religious studies. This Wednesday, Nov. 28, two visiting speakers will add to the campus discussion about the Egyptian revolution.
- At noon, Charles Hirschkind, an expert in religious practices, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community, will present the Scholars’ Convocation “Salafi Islam, Online Ethics and the Future of the Egyptian Revolution.”
- At 7:30 p.m., the Honorable Maged Refaat Aboulmagd, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Chicago, will address “Prospects for future American-Egyptian Relations,” in a talk sponsored by the Rosenfield Program and the Center for International Studies. A diplomat with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry since 1988, he held positions in Belgium, Bahrain, Russia, and Nigeria as well as with the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations. Mr. Aboulmagd’s special assignments and UN-related experience includes serving as an alternate representative to the UN Security Council and as an observer with the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa.
Both events are open to the public and will be held in Rosenfield Center Room 101.
Their talks are part of the wider campus discussion surrounding 2010-11’s Arab Spring, says Elfenbein, who partnered with Assistant Professor of Arabic Mervat Youssef— a native of Cairo — to offer a three week course, Revolution in Egypt?
“We assembled newspaper accounts from the 1919 and 2011 events and paired them with scholarly sources,” Elfenbein explains. “We had a conversation with students about what a revolution is and how to evaluate events of the last couple of years — to think through what it takes to become a real revolution that provides liberation, freedom and opportunity for people.”
Their short course grew out of a faculty development trip to Egypt shortly after the revolution. The trip also resulted in two additional short courses to be offered in the spring:
- Performing Culture in Contemporary Egypt: Identity, Place, and Memory, taught by Kathryn Kamp, Earl D. Strong Professor in Social Studies and professor of anthropology, and Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre and dance. The interdisciplinary course will explore the ways that identities are expressed through formal and informal cultural performances, and the role of the revolution in changing the nature of cultural performances. Students will examine videos of demonstrations, recent street art, and performances as well as explore dress, architecture and public space, art, literature, and daily behaviors.
- Representations of Gender in Contemporary Films from the Middle East and North Africa, taught by Susan Ireland, Orville & Mary Patterson Routt Professor of Literature and professor of French. The course will address topics such as gender roles, tradition and modernity, love and marriage, mother-daughter relations, and women and war.
The opportunity to study contemporary events in the Middle East is very appealing to students, Elfenbein says, noting he and Youssef had to turn away nearly four times as many students as they had room for in the course. “Between the short courses and co-curricular events such as this week’s speakers, students have a chance to really reflect on the topic.”
Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the Campus Accessibility Map. Requests for accommodations may be made to conference operations at 641-269-3235 or email@example.com.