Events

Middle East Urbanism Beyond Conflict: Current Research, Ongoing Debates, and Next Directions

General Programming

February 16–17, 2023 Buell Hall, East Gallery (Maison Française), Columbia UniversityPlease see the description for Zoom access information. Virtual Event
Cosponsors
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Graduate School for Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
  • Middle East Institute
  • Columbia Maison Française
Organizer
  • Post-Conflict Cities Lab
Notes
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
Middle East Cityscape

Middle East Urbanism Beyond Conflict: Current Research and Debates is an interdisciplinary conference that seeks to bring together doctoral students and scholars working on issues related to urbanism and the production of space in Middle Eastern and North African cities (MENA). The MENA region has been mainly discussed and narrated from the perspective of conflict and delineated as a space from which theory cannot emerge. However, the critical research coming out from the Middle East and North African cities is providing cutting-edge scholarly contributions on how urban space is shaped by a range of actors (including political parties, international aid organizations, religious groups, and NGOs) and a variety of geopolitical flows (such as capital, migration, labor, revolutionary solidarities, and militarization) that produce space and the built environment from housing and infrastructure to borders and refugee camps. This emerging body of urban scholarship is contributing to theorizing about the urban condition from the Global South at large.

In coming together for this conference, the organizers look forward to providing the space to push the conversation on urbanism and spatial production in Middle Eastern and North African cities, and the theoretical implications of theorizing about the urban from the MENA region.

The conference will also be live streamed over Zoom. Register individually for each day below:
Day 1

Day 2

Program

February 16, 2023  Thursday

9:30am - 10:00am EST

Opening Remarks

Hiba Bou Akar

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Columbia University

10:00am - 11:45am EST

Ruinations and Rebuilding
Against Ruination: Space, Creativity, and Political Identities in Beirut and Aleppo

Dina Yunis

PhD candidate, Middle Eastern Studies

Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at King's College London

A Polycrisis and an Absent State: Implications of Post-Disaster Urban Recovery in Beirut, Lebanon

Hayfaa Abou Ibrahim and Rand Mekaram

PhD Student, Community and Regional Planning - University of British Columbia; and PhD Student, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Slow Violence in Sheikh Jarrah

Thayer Hastings

PhD candidate, Anthropology

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Utopia in the Ghost City: Competing Visions for Varosha

Nikolas Michael

MS student, Urban Planning, GSAPP

Columbia University

The Politics of Urban Identity in Diyarbakir

Idil Onen

PhD student, Human Geography

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

DISCUSSANT

Claire Panetta

Term Assistant Professor of Urban Studies

Barnard University

1:00pm - 2:45pm EST

Resistances and (Imagined) Urban Futures
Qiddiya’s Journey: A Case Study in Urban Imagineering and Image Laundering

Andres Ramirez

PhD Student, Urban Planning

University of California, Los Angeles

Parallax Haifa

Lama Suleiman

PhD Student, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Columbia University

Reading Urban Futures: Urban Imaginations in "Palestine +100"

Mekarem Eljamal

PhD Student, Urban Planning

Columbia University

Means of Environmental Manipulation in Sliwan

Mahdi Sabbagh

PhD Student, Architecture, GSAPP

Columbia University

Urban Collective Action in Damascus, Aleppo, and Hama

Motasem Abuzaid

PhD Student, Politics

University of Oxford

DISCUSSANT

Rosie Bsheer

Associate Professor of History

Harvard University

3:00pm - 4:45pm EST

Encampments and Informalities
Border Securitization and Human Mobility on Samos

Eric Raimondi

MA Student, Near Eastern Studies, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies

New York University

Urban Encampment in Yarmouk

Matthew DeMaio

PhD Candidate, Anthropology

George Washington University

Self-help and Mutual Aid in Hay al-Tanak

Marylin Chahine

MS Student, Public and Urban Policy

The New School

Placemaking in Tehran: Enghelab Street and Spatialities of Changing Perceptions

Amir Khaghani

PhD candidate, Global and Sociocultural Studies

Florida International University

Soon-To-Be But Not Quite Yet: Migration, Urban Transformation, and Extended Transiency in Fikirtepe, Istanbul

Francesco Pasta

PhD Student, Urban Planning, Design and Policy, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies

Politecnico di Milano

DISCUSSANT

Berna Turam

Professor of Sociology

Northeastern University

5:30pm - 7:15pm EST

Faculty Roundtable

Hiba Bou Akar

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Columbia University

Claire Panetta

Assistant Professor of Urban Studies

Barnard University

Rosie Bsheer

Associate Professor of History

Harvard University

Berna Turam

Professor of Sociology

Northeastern University

Arang Keshavarzian

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

New York University

Ziad Abu Rish

Associate Professor of Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies

Bard College

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Bard College

MODERATOR

Calvin Harrison

Columbia University

February 17, 2023  Friday

10:00am - 11:45am EST

Environments and Infrastructures
The Jordan River: Memory, Displacement, and Return

Megan Awwad

PhD Student, American Studies and Ethnicity

University of Southern California

Constructing Water: The Infrastructure and Politics of Desalination in Kuwait

Rawan Alsaffar

Ddes Candidate, Graduate School of Design

Harvard University

Dashed Line: A Deconstruction of Wadi Gaza’s Reality

Anas Al-Khatib & Raneem Ayyad

MA Students, Human Rights and the Arts

Bard College

Building Lebanon's National Electricity Headquarters as Infrastructure

Alice Kezhaya

PhD Student, Global Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara

The Contentious Ring Road: The Politics of Urban Mobility (In)Justice in Cairo

Ingy Higazy

PhD Candidate in Politics

University of California, Santa Cruz

DISCUSSANT

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Bard College

1:00pm - 2:45pm EST

Political Economies of Land
State and Religious Institutions Relations in Governing Urban Change and Tackling Urban Inequalities: Insights From Iran, Tehran

Azadeh Mashayekhi

Lecturer, Bartlett Development Planning Unit

University College London

Uneven Housing Development under Syria’s Ba’ath Party

John Jamil Kallas

MA Student, Near Eastern Studies, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies

New York University

Negotiating the Legal Landscape on Cairo's Periphery

Ibrahim Abdou

PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture

University of Cambridge

Baltaga, Maslaha, and the Political Economy of Violence in Boulaq Abule’lla

Omnia Khalil

PhD candidate, Anthropology

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

The Slaughterhouse of the Year 2000: Labor Struggles and the Production of Space

Diala Lteif

Postodoctoral Fellow, Faculty of History

University of Cambridge

DISCUSSANT

Arang Keshavarzian

Associate Professor and Department Chair of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies

New York University

3:00pm - 4:45pm EST

Urban Histories
Resisting Dispossession: A History of Ramallah’s Shopkeepers

Nadia Tadros

PhD Candidate , Middle East History

Brown University

Planning as Risk Management: Soldiers, Land Agents and Spies in Colonial Morocco

Asmaa Elgamal

PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Solidere’s Predecessors: Class and Urban Planning in Downtown Beirut, 1958-1975

Jan Altaner

PhD Student, Faculty of History at the

University of Cambridge

Beyond Oil and the State: New Histories for Kuwait City

Rawan Hayat

MA Student in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Columbia University

Nighttime in the City: Infrastructures of Popular Culture in Beirut (1940s-1950s)

Janina Shirin Santer

PhD Student, History Department

Columbia University

DISCUSSANT

Ziad Abu-Rish

Associate Professor of Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies

Bard College

4:45pm - 5:00pm EST

Closing Remarks

Hiba Bou Akar

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Columbia University