Media & Communication

Different and the same, San Francisco

By Jessica L. Beyer, Postdoc.

Insight from San Francisco, U.S.A.

Last week I was in San Francisco to present at the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference.  I was presenting two […]

April 19th, 2013|Categories: North America|Tags: , , , |

Monarchy Under Construction, Bangkok

By Sara R. Curran, Professor.

Insight from Bangkok, Thailand.

A peaceful, weekday morning in the heart of Bangkok and I am actually cool and refreshed with the windows wide open, in spite of the 32°C mid morning temperature. Outside the proximity of birds chirping, the clinks and clangs of pots being washed in the downstairs apartment, the splash of water as someone hoses down a car or cleans a driveway, and the murmurs of voices between neighbors conveys a feeling of routine peacefulness. The tuk-tuks, motorcycles and bustle of Pahol Yothin Road are a very distant sound and hardly disturbing. I am back in Thailand after a three-year hiatus due to my own administrative responsibilities and time constraints (and not due to any diminished desire to remain engaged with colleagues and friends in Thailand).

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March 29th, 2013|Categories: Southeast Asia|Tags: , , |

Navigation, Amman

By Lisa Lester, B.A. student.

Insight from Amman, Jordan.

I smiled hesitantly at the petite girl, her arm extended expectantly, offering me a piece of cherry gum. Only her eyes were visible behind voluminous folds of thin black cloth that shielded her entire form, from her toes to the top of her head. She even wore fitted black gloves. The girl had plopped down next to me at a coffee shop I sometimes worked at, despite the copious empty cushions surrounding me. It was hard to tell if she was smiling, but her sweet, musical voice seemed the epitome of cheerfulness.

In this moment I appreciated the special privilege afforded to Western women in the Middle East, basking in the glow Jordanian hospitality in public, unexpectedly, from a woman who would almost certainly never have addressed my male friends.  She barely spoke to me after, busily typing on her laptop, frequently interrupted by her constantly ringing cellphone, blasting Rihanna’s latest single.

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September 5th, 2012|Categories: Middle East & North Africa|Tags: , , |