Fall Programme 2017

SEP 18 The State of Israel: Atop Foundations of Non-Territorial Jewish Nationhood

Lecture with Naftali Greenwood, born in 1953 in New York, raised mainly in Arizona, and residing in Israel permanently since September 1977.

About the talk: Israel is commonly described as being founded on Zionism—the Jewish national movement. On what, however, is Zionism founded, and where is the evidence of these foundations in today’s Israel? In the lecture, the condition of European and, in large part, Eastern Jewry before the Enlightenment and the Jewish Emancipation is viewed through the prism of characteristics that I shall define, perhaps counterintuitively, as national: religion, language, literature, proper names, attire, diet, music, and a homeland concurrently imagined and tangible. The new nineteenth-century conditions fractured this unity of characteristics and pushed the Jewish leaderships and masses in two general directions. In one, religious identity was maintained and Jewishness as nationhood was forsworn. In the other, the opposite occurred, giving birth at the end of the century to Zionism.
CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16 15:00 - 17:00
SEP 20 New visions and old problems. How will the Arab Gulf countries cope with reduced incomes from oil?

Lecture with Martin Hvidt, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Southern Denmark

The Arab Gulf states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia, UAE) have built their states and societies around plentiful incomes from oil and gas. A social contract between the rulers and the population is in play, where the rulers distribute oil money to the citizens in exchange for loyalty. With increasing economic stress, due to low oil prices and rapidly growing populations, the rulers now face a situation where they must cut back on the benefits and even make the population pay for basic services. The presentation will discuss the challenges this present to the social contract.
CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16 16:00 - 18:00
OCT 5 Russian muftiates and the problem of Islamic authority in modern Russia

Lecture with Renat Bekkin, PhD student within the frame of the project "Islamophobia in Germany, Poland and Russia, with Particular Attention to Its Christian Dimension", Södertörns University.

In modern Russia, Muslim spiritual administrations (muftiates) position themselves as the most suitable representatives of Muslim believers before authorities (both federal and regional).
The very idea of the muftiates originates from the end of the 18th century. Catherine the Great established the Orenburg Mohammedan Spiritual Assembly in 1788 as an instrument to implement state policy through Muslim clergymen.
The positive role of the muftiates in preserving Islamic religion is appreciated by Muslims themselves, even by those who oppose some Russian muftis.
In modern Russia there are altogether more than 80 different muftiates at federal and local level. What role do they play in inter-confessional relations in Russia? Do they really represent Muslims? Who is the real authority in the Muslim community of Russia? How can the state manipulate muftiates (and even create new ones)? And, finally, is there an alternative to them?
CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16 14:00 - 16:00
OCT 16 Shaping a way forward: Higher education futures for the Middle East

Workshop with Helen Avery, researcher, CMES.

A series of armed conflicts and political crises in the Middle East have in recent years fuelled mass displacement and exodus from the concerned areas. The situation has serious implications for higher education: brain drain of qualified academics and professionals, interrupted study pathways and a ‘lost’ generation of upper secondary students with reduced access to higher education, difficulties recognising qualifications and the need for supplementary courses to match requirements in host countries.

Importantly, ongoing conflicts and post-conflict settings call for new types of capacity in higher education, to achieve socially and environmentally sustainable recovery and reconstruction. Profound rethinking of agendas and strategies not only concerns the region itself – there is a need to reconsider the ways higher education in Sweden or other European countries address the new political and demographic dynamics.

You are welcome to participate in a visioning workshop, to collectively reflect on possible higher education futures and strategies to address these developments.
CMES seminar room, Finngatan 16 15:00 - 17:00
OCT 25 Private and public lives of Iranian women, a generational perspective

Lecture with Masserat Amirebrahimi, Ph.D
Independent Social Science Researcher.

This paper will discuss transformations which occurred in the public and private lives of middle-class, urban Iranian women from the mid 20th century until present day. My focus will be on different generations of women’s and their increasing significance as social and economic actors since the Revolution in 1979; and how different generations of urban middle class women managed / learned / invented different strategies to change their situation despite multiple limitations and segregation imposed by the traditional society or the state and religious authorities.

CMES seminar room 16:00 - 18:00
OCT 25 The EU as a force for good in human rights issues? The case of the EU-Turkey deal

The EU as a force for good in human rights issues? The case of the EU-Turkey deal. Is the EU losing its legitimacy as a normative power and promoter of human rights? The Association of Foreign Affairs (UPF) and Raoul Wallenberg Institute present Professor Michelle Pace

Is the EU losing its legitimacy as a normative power and promoter of human rights? At the end of May 2016 humanitarian groups revealed that children as young as nine were risking their lives in desperate attempts to reach Europe as the number of unaccompanied child refugees arriving on smugglers' boats soared (HRW, 2015). This lecture focuses on the EU-Turkey deal and specifically on its impact on refugee children. I acknowledge that the EU finds itself in a long lasting moral conundrum when dealing with, on the one hand, what has been the most pressing issue for European citizens since the first half of 2016 (migration) and, on the other hand, its ethical and legal obligations - and those of its member states - under the UN convention on the rights of the child. This conundrum is getting even more challenging to resolve with the attempted July 2016 coup in Turkey and Erdogan’s authoritarian responses to his opponents ever since the coup attempt. The overarching question we are left to discuss is thus whether the EU is about to lose its legitimacy as a normative power and as a promoter of human rights in our contemporary times.

Tonight's event is part of a series of human rights related lectures which is organised jointly by the UPF and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Tonight's event is also co-organised in collaboration with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
Palaestra et Odeum 19:30 - 21:30
NOV 8 "Arazel Owbash" – Criminalization of Working-class Masculinity in Iran

Lecture with Shahram Khosravi, Stockholm University The policy of ‘governing through crime’ has been operating during the past three decades in Iran. It creates criminals to be able to punish them. Redefining a social issue as crime, and categorizing an affected group as criminals, is a political strategy to legitimate further intervention into matters not previously regarded as criminal. ‘Govern through crime’ makes crime and punishment the institutional context whereby a criminal population is constructed and excluded. One of the most recent category of ‘criminals’ is arazel owbash (thugs and ruffians), who are generally young men from a low-income background. Many of them are immigrants or children of immigrants who has moved from rural areas to big cities. In contrast to the ideal citizen, arazel owbash is represented as an individual who is believed to exist outside the ordinary regulatory system, one who violates established norms and who constitutes a risk to the wellbeing, virtue, values and norms of society. In this paper Khosravi will explain how representation of arazel owbash as a part of the current technologies of citizenship in Iran.
CMES seminar room 16:00 - 18:00
NOV 15 Syria's Disappeared: The Case Against Assad (2017)

Film screening + conversation with the film director and survivors of the Assad regime.
A documentary about the Syrian regime's detention centres by Sara Afshar. This documentary tells the hidden story of tens of thousands of men, women and children disappeared by the regime of President Bashar al Assad into a network of clandestine detention centres. The film weaves together the powerful personal stories of three Syrians with evidence gathered from regime documentation smuggled out of Syria. With unprecedented access, we follow survivors of detention, families of detainees, regime defectors and international war crimes investigators as they fight to bring the perpetrators to justice and desperately campaign for the release of the disappeared. The film screening followed by a conversation with Sara Afshar, film director Omar al Shogre, ex-prisoner of the infamous Saydnaya prison and Faraj Bayrakdar, Syrian poet and journalist. Moderator: Joshka Wessels, researcher and film maker, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
LUX aula övre 17:00 - 19:00
NOV 16 Recasting Gendered Paradigms: An Indonesian Cleric and Muslim Women in the Malay World

Lecture with Khairudin Aljunied, currently the Malaysia Chair of Islam in Southeast Asia, Georgetown University, USA.
This talk examines the ideas of a prominent Indonesian cleric, Haji Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah (Hamka), about the place of women in Islam and in Southeast Asian Muslim societies. I argue that Hamka was engaged in the project of “recasting gendered paradigms,” which involves reinterpreting, reconceptualizing and reconfiguring various dominant understandings about the roles, functions and responsibilities of women in Islam as reflected not only in the Qur’an and the adat (traditional customs), but also in modern discourses about women’s empowerment. I show that Hamka’s commitment to advocating for women’s rights and critiquing prevailing ideas about the place of women in religion and society was a product both of his personal experiences and of the profound social and intellectual shifts that characterized his day and age.
CMES seminar room 16:00 - 18:00
DEC 4 Contested Pasts, Uncertain Presents: A Historical Look into Statehood, Sovereignty and Identity in the Middle East

Round table talk followed by mingle and refreshments. Contested Pasts, Uncertain Presents: A Historical Look into Statehood, Sovereignty and Identity in the Middle East
LUX aula övre 17:00 - 19:00