Spring Programme 2014

Spring 2014

All CMES events are posted on FB and in the LU calendar.

Please click on the event link for more information, time and location.


16 ‘I’m a weak servant’ - The Cultivation of Weakness and the Problem of Sincerity in the life of Dutch Salafi Muslims


17 Reading Praxis: Interpretations of the Makalat of Hacı Bektaş


28 | 13-15 | CMES seminar room | Research Seminar | Hossein Hashemi, PhD student in Groundwater Resources Management.


14 | 13-15 | CMES seminar room | Research Seminar | Pekka Tuominen, "Multiple Narratives of Belonging: Layers of Historical Consciousness in Contemporary Istanbul


25 | 18-20 | Pufendorf Institutet | Lecture (in Swedish) | Fredrik Meiton ”Elektrifiering i Jaffa: Icke-politikens politik”, New York University

Fredrik Meiton är doktorand i historia vid New York University där han arbetar på en avhandling om elektrifiering i det palestinska mandatet. Han har en M.Phil. i Mellanösternkunskap från Oxford University och en fil. mag. i historia från Lunds Universitet. 

Föredraget fokuserar framför allt på den sionistiske ingenjören Pinhas Rutenbergs ansträngningar att få kontroll över Palestinas energimarknad, vilket krävde omsorgsfull manövrering mellan den brittiska mandatmakten, å ena sidan, och den arabiska majoriteten, å den andra. I centrum för samtliga dessa utmaningar stod förhållandet mellan tekniska processer och politisk makt. Dynamiken som uppstod skapade mönster som gick igen under resten av mandatperioden, inte bara på elektrifieringens område. Således kom vissa avgörande strategier för exempelvis politisk mobilisering att bära med sig något av en logik sprungen ur elektrifieringens specifika omständigheter.

26 | 13-16 | Pufendorf Institute | Workshop | "Möte med mångfalden – svenska resenärer och diplomater i det Osmanska riket, 1750-1850" Panel med tre Lundaforskare: Vassilios Sabatakakis, Joachim Östlund och Gustaf Fryksén.


4 | 13-15 | CMES seminar room | Research Seminar | Umut Özkirimli & Andrea Karlsson " Understanding the Turkish Election"


10 | 15-17 | Pufendorf Institute | Daniel Varisco, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies at Hofstra University "Rebuilding Yemen after the Arab Spring:  A Cultural Anatomy of a Crisis"

Abstract: The Arab Spring that toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya eventually caught up with Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Salih, who was forced to resign in late 2011 after three decades in power.  In the aftermath of Salih’s fall, a national dialogue has taken place to rebuild Yemen as a federalist state with a new constitution and eventual election of a replacement for the current interim president, Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi.  This talk will lay out the political history of contemporary Yemen, identify the major power brokers in the rebuilding process, analyze the ongoing cultural issues including Yemen’s tribes, survey the critical economic and environmental obstacles facing Yemen’s population and put the role of “terrorism” on Yemeni soil into perspective.  I will draw on my experience as a cultural anthropologist who first conducted research in Yemen in 1978, as a development consultant in Yemen over the past three decades and as a historian. 


16 | 13-15 | CMES seminar room | Research Seminar | Nina Gren, Researcher at CMES

Being at Home by Learning Palestinian Sociality: Swedish Palestinians’ Houses in the West Bank
This chapter discusses diasporic constructions of home and belonging through a case study about physical houses in country of origin, i.e. Swedish Palestinians’ existing or planned houses in the West Bank. It builds on an ethnographic fieldwork among Swedes with a Palestinian background and with family in the West Bank. They all travel regularly to the West Bank and many of my informants have or plan to construct a house or an apartment there. There are several social, emotional as well as political reasons behind why these houses are built. I will focus on one particular reason for them, namely my informants’ experienced need for children and youth brought up in exile to learn about “Palestinian ways”. I discuss my material with inspiration from some scholarly literature on migrants’ houses, diasporic practices as well as on material culture. My argument is, first, that these houses are part of a diasporic project and, second, that children and youth, growing up in Sweden, learn Palestinian cultural values by staying in and interacting with the houses. The design of the houses, and the ways they are used, mediate a Palestinian sociality, how to relate to others, which focuses on notions of hospitality and a rich social life. I claim that this sociality is a building block in a sense of diasporic belonging to Palestine and open up for cultural side-by-side-ness. In the Palestinian case, cultural and political identities are intertwined.

22 | 7-8 | The Annual Ingmar Karlsson Lecture 2014

23 | 13-15 | CMES seminar room | Research Seminar | Reza Arjmand "Tea Houses in Iran"


3 | 7-9 | Pufendorf Institute | Public forum on human rights situation in the Arab world

Human Rights has become an increasingly central discourse to politics
around the world in the post-Cold War era, nowhere more so than in the
Arab and larger Muslim world. The pro-democracy Arab uprisings would be
unimaginable without the role played by human rights as a foundation for
political change; local, regional and international human rights
organizations played a major role in helping support, sustain and even
organize the uprisings across the region.

And yet three years after the seeming mircales of Tunisia and Egypt, the
human rights situation in the Arab world remains largely bleak.
Activists, artists, and ordinary citizens--not to mention former senior
politicians--are routinely imprisoned, tortured and even killed in
violation of the most basic human rights standards upon which the
revolutions were based, and which most governments have pledged, however
cynically to honor as they "reform" their countries' political systems.
How can a discourse and set of practices be at the same time so crucial
to the potential for change and yet so powerless and even coopted by
governments and oppressive social, political and economic forces?

This evening brings together an extremely distinguished panel of Arab and
international human rights scholars and practitioners for an
unprecedented discussion of the roots of human rights in the region, the
struggles within movements across the region and between them and their
governments, the role played by human rights in the Arab uprisings and
what potential it holds for realizing the largely thwarted democratic
moves of the last three years.

Speakers: Lisa hajjar, Amar al-Dewachi, Fateh Azzam, Alaa Ahalaby and Alaá Ahehabi 

5 | 8-10 pm | Piratensalen, Grand Hotel | Maram al-Masri and Shezar – Syrian poetry and oriental jazz

In December 2013 CMES organized 48H of Syria. Maram al-Masri and Shezar were invited but could not make it to Lund at that time. However, they are now eventually coming to Lund on June 5!

About the concert: There are some musical encounters that outlive distances and run through time, in their own special way. The story of Shezar is one of those, built on the improbable encounter of two French musicians with a Syrian exiled Oud-player and a Norwegian clarinetist. Since its creation in 2000 the group has developed an original style based on personal compositions, oriental rhythms and influences from jazz.

Maram al-Masri is a Syrian poet and considered one of the foremost female voices of her generation. She published her first collection in 1984 and has since released a number of poems and short stories. Her latest "Elle va nu la liberte" (Bruno Doucey 2013) evolves around the suffering in Syria. Maram al-Masri has been translated into 11 languages and has participated in numerous international poetry festivals.

The concert is free but number of seats are limited. If you would like to come, please sign up by e-mail to