News and Events


March 29 Guest Lecture: "Teach for Arabia: American Universities, Liberalism, and Transnational Qatar" 

Prof. Neha Vora (Lafayette College)

Friday March 29, 2019, 1:30 - 3:00 pm 

Blegen Hall 435

Neha Vora is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lafayette College. She is the author of Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora (2013) and of Teach for Arabia: American Universities, Liberalism, and Transnational Qatar  (2018). 

This event is sponsored by MENAIS; contact Sonali Pahwa at for inquiries.


October 25 Guest Lecture: "ʿĀlimāt: Female Religious Scholars of Classical Islam"

Prof. Asma Sayeed (University of California, Los Angeles)

Thursday October 25, 2018, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Heller Hall 1210

A reception will follow the lecture. 

Asma Sayeed is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at UCLA in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Her primary research interests are in early and classical Muslim social history, the history of Muslim education, the intersections of law and social history, and women and gender studies. She teaches the survey GE courses “Introduction to Islam” and “Islam in the West,” as well as seminars on research methodologies in Islamic studies and Muslim social and intellectual history. She received her PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. She has published on topics related to Muslim women and their religious participation in journals such as Studia Islamica and Islamic Law and Society and has contributed a number of encyclopedia articles on women’s history in early and classical Islam. Her current project relates to Muslim education and in particular to an examination of texts and textual practices in diverse regional and historical contexts.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Medieval Studies; contact Michelle M. Hamilton for inquiries. For further details, please refer to the relevant page on the University of Minnesota events calendar. 


October 12 Guest Lecture: "What is Settler Colonialism?"

Prof. Maya Mikdashi (Rutgers University)

Friday October 12, 2018, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Walter Library 401/402

Maya Mikdashi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and a lecturer in the program in Middle East Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is currently completing a book manuscript that examines the war on terror, sexual difference, religious and secular difference, and biopolitics from the vantage point of Lebanon. Maya is also pursuing research towards a manuscript on settler colonial affect as it is produced and circulated across family and academic archives. She is a co-founding editor of the e-zine Maya is also a filmmaker and writer. She is co-director of the feature length documentary film About Baghdad (2004), and director of Notes on The War (2006). Most recently Maya co-conceptualized, co-wrote (with director Carlos Motta), and performed in a queer historical fantasy film set in 19th century Beirut and Bogota, Deseos/رغبات.

This event is co-sponsored by the Imagine Fund; the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC); the Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexuality Studies Initiative (RIGS); and the Departments of American Indian Studies, Asian Languages and Literatures, English, and History. Contact Sima Shakhsari at for inquiries. 


October 5 Guest Lecture: "Translational Infidelities: Authorship, Sexuality and Power in the Composition of Mohamed Choukri's For Bread Alone"

Prof. Kamran Rastegar (Tufts University)

Friday October 5, 2018, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Folwell Hall 116

Kamran Rastegar is Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at Tufts University. His scholarship on film and literature has produced two books: Surviving Images: Cinema, War and Cultural Memory in the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2015) and Literary Modernity Between Europe and the Middle East: Transactions in Nineteenth-Century Arabic, Persian and English Literatures (New York: Routledge, 2007).

This event is sponsored by MENAIS; contact Sonali Pahwa at for inquiries. 


September 28 Guest Lecture: "Mobility and Migration in European Film: Cinéma-mondes and Screen Borders"

Prof. Michael Gott (University of Cincinnati) 

Friday, September 28, 2018, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Nolte Center 229

Michael Gott is Associate Professor of French and Film & Media Studies BA at the University of Cincinnati. He is author of French-language Road Cinema: Borders, Diasporas, Migration and “New Europe” (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) and co-edited Open Roads, Closed Borders: the Contemporary French-Language Road Movie (Intellect, 2013), East, West and Centre: Reframing European Cinema Since 1989 (EUP, 2014), andCinéma-monde: Decentred Perspectives on Global Filmmaking in French (EUP, 2018). 

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of French and Italian Studies and the Institute for Advanced Study; contact Hakim Abderrezak at for inquiries. For further details, please refer to the relevant page on the University of Minnesota events calendar. 


Academic Year 2017-2018 Guest Lectures: 

"Unsettling the Revolutionary Subject: The Feminist Implications of the Egyptian Revolution"

Prof. Nadine Naber (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 4:00 - 5:30 pm 

Social Sciences 710


"Simplicities: A Colonial Archive (Al-Farabi, Aristotle, Benjamin, Paul)" 

Prof. Jeffrey Sacks (University of California, Riverside)

Friday, November 3, 2017, 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Folwell Hall 113



On June 13, 2018, Patricia Lorcin spoke with Ahmed Rouaba of the BBC News Arabic radio and streaming service about the new edition of her book Imperial Identities. The interview was broadcast as part of the program ‘Alam al-Kutub. Listen to the interview here (starting at 16:00).

Additionally, in October 2018 Lorcin was interviewed by the New Books Network, about the volume French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histories (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), which she co-edited with Todd Shepard. Listen to Lorcin and Shepard’s conversation with Roxanne Panchasi, host of the “New Books in French Studies” podcast on the New Books Network, here.  



In 2019, Shaden Tageldin will hold a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship to complete a new book, provisionally titled Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Modern Comparative Literature.  The book argues that the long-nineteenth-century struggle to make language and “life” mutually translatable in Arabic, English, and French literatures —among others— informed ideologies of comparability that underpin the modern discipline of comparative literature. 

Nabil Matar received a Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences award in the category of Comparative Literature and Literary Translation. (November 2017) 


The Middle East Collaborative website is maintained by Katrien Vanpee. Please contact with inquiries about the Collaborative or this site.