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From Hip Hop To The Queen Of Cities

From Hip Hop To The Queen Of Cities

Contemporary urban Maghrebi music, Fez's 1200th anniversary, highlight rich Fall program

Every quarter the Center for Near Eastern Studies sponsors a rich academic program that aims to inform campus audiences and the broader public about the Middle East beyond the headlines. Through lectures, book discussions, conferences, films, exhibitions, and music, the Center's programs are designed to shed light on Middle Eastern societies and give meaning and nuance to the cycles of life and history in this pivotal region.

DJ Brownfingaz handing out flyers

The Fall 2008 program highlights several themes the Center plans to explore throughout the academic year. CNES screens I Love Hip Hop in Morocco (USA/Morocco 2007) on October 29, with directors Joshua Asen and Jennifer Needleman present for the screening and discussion. Their feature-length documentary follows a determined group of young Moroccan Hip Hop artists as they band together to create the country's first Hip Hop fest. Reflecting ideas and aspirations of Moroccan youth, the film features artists such as DJ Key, H-Kayne, Brownfingaz, and Fatishow. This event is part of a year-long series of collaborations between CNES and the Anthropology Department's Working Group on Hip Hop, which is researching contemporary youth music of the Middle East and North Africa.

Leslie Thornton filming in Algeria

Filmmaker-ethnographer Leslie Thornton presents her work on October 16. Titled From Algeria to Indio, the program features a series of short documentaries and excerpts from Thornton's cinematic project on relations between Orientalism and Americana. The Great Invisible, her experimental docudrama about 19th-century adventurer Isabelle Eberhardt, is the centerpiece of the event. On October 22, the Center co-sponsors a free screening of Samira's Garden (Morocco, 2007) in conjunction with the Arab Film Festival. The drama by noted director Latif Lalouh explores tensions between individual freedom and North African cultural strictures.

CNES Research Associate Nayereh Tohidi, Professor and Chair of Women's Studies at CSU-Northridge, heads the popular Bilingual Lecture Series on Iran. The series includes presentations by Akbar Ganji on The Quest for Democracy in Iran (October 19, in Persian), Pardis Mahdavi (Pomona College) on Changing Youth and Changing Sexual Identities in the Wake of Iran's Sexual Revolution (November 16, in Persian; November 19, in English), and Arzoo Osanloo (University of Washington-Seattle) on The Politics and Practice of Women's Rights in Iran Today.

Presentations by Hugh Gusterson (George Mason University) on Project Minerva and the Militarization of Anthropology (October 2) and by Vincent Crapanzano (City University of New York, Graduate Center) on The Harki Case: History's Forgotten / "History's Forgotten" (November 18) are part of the series on Anthropology in the Islamic World which engages two campus working groups researching culture, power and social change, and mind, medicine and culture.

Susan Kerr van de Ven

Presentations by Matteo Legrenzi (University of Ottawa) on the role of NATO in the Gulf: Who Is Doing Whom a Favor? (October 13), and by Susan Kerr van de Ven on her book, One Family's Response to Terrorism: A Daughter's Memoir (November 17), a talk co-sponsored by the Fulbright Program, complete a busy lecture program.

Gabriel Piterberg

The Returns of Zionism, by UCLA history professor Gabi Piterberg, is the subject of a book discussion on October 30 with the author and historians Joel Beinin of Stanford University and David Myers of UCLA as commentators. The event is co-sponsored by CNES, the History Department, and the Center for Jewish Studies.

Bāb Sgmā, Fez, Morocco

Fez, the Queen of Cities, the legendary metropolis founded 1,200 years ago, is the focus of an international conference and a musical celebration November 14-15. To commemorate the anniversary and the city's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, local scholars meet with colleagues from Morocco, Europe, Canada, and around the US to explore new cross-fertilizations of ideas about urban space and social relations. A concert featuring Fassi music, co-sponsored by the Moroccan American Cultural Center-Los Angeles, follows the conference. Fez, Morocco: Crossroads of Knowledge and Power is co-organized by Susan Slyomovics and Susan Ossman, and co-hosted by CNES and UC-Riverside. For the complete schedule, go to Fez.

For more details about the Fall program, visit our Events page.


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