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Important note: Please note that this page only serves as an online archive of past events and not a listing of present or future NELC events to come. For a list of current events, please check the NELC Events Calendar page.


PAST EVENTS 2012-2013 (Click to open or close)



September 2012
October 2012

October 8: Josie Hendrickson presents, Muslims Under non-Muslim Rule: A Mufti, His Fatwas and the Myth of Iberian Exceptionalism. 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 2012 in Smith Hall 205.

October 16, 2012

"IRAN AND CENTRAL ASIA" Enayatollah Yazdani (Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Isfahan)

Articles in PDF format:


October 22: Therese Saliba presents, Arab Diaspora Studies & Gendered Narratives of Detention After 9/11. 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2012 in Smith Hall 205.

November 2012

November 1: Saba Mahmood presents, Partisans of Azazeel: Reading a Novel in Sectarian Times*. Thursday, November 1, 2012, 3:30 p.m. in Smith Hall 205.
*This event is co-sponsored by the Comparative Literature Department and the Middle East Center. The Middle East Center's sponsorship of this event does not imply that the Center endorses the content of the event.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"IMPRESSIONS FROM A SUMMER IN TAJIKISTAN" Sohrab Aslamy (UW NELC and Political Science major) & Katie MacDonald (UW NELC and International Relations major)

November 26: Therese Saliba presents, Arab Diaspora Studies & Gendered Narratives of Detention After 9/11. Monday, November 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. in Smith Hall 205.

December 2012  
January 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013: Dr. Elizabeth A. Waraksa (Loyola Marymount University) presents, "FEMALE FIGURINES AS RITUAL OBJECTS: RECENT EVIDENCE FROM THE MUT PRECINCT AT KARNAK," in Gowen Hall 201 at 7:00 p.m. Event flier (pdf file).

Sunday, January 27, 2013: An evening of Persian music and poetry. Speakers and presenters include history professor and director of the Persian and Iranian Studies Program, Joel Walker, Persian lecturer, Shahrzad Shams, as well as several of Shahrzad's students. Presented at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at the Presbyterian Church of Bellevue (Room 150), 1717 Bellevue way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004.

February 2013

Tuesday, February 19, 2013: Dr. Thomas Schneider presents, "Egypt Under the Nazis," a lecture by the American Research Center in Egypt – Northwest Chapter. More information can be found on ARCE's website, or on the Program Flier (pdf file).

March 2013

March 7: Dr. Donald Malcolm Reid presents, "Egypt at a Turning Point: the Impact of the 2011 Revolution on Culuture, Toursim, and Antiquities." Presented 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2013, in Smith Hall 205 (pdf flier).

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"SINGING FOR BEAUTIFUL BOYS IN THE CITY: TWO GENRES IN PERSIAN AND OTTOMAN LITERATURES" Selim Kuru (Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization)

Afrassiabi Lecture 2013

This year's Afrassiabi Lecture features Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz, the Roshan Professor of Persian Studies and director of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, and Ahmet T. Karamustafa, professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Friday, March 8, 2013: Ahmet T. Karamustafa presents, "Vernacular Islam in Medieval Iran and Anatolia." Even though an abundance of religious texts in Arabic, Persian and Turkish were composed in medieval Iran and Anatolia, our knowledge of the everday religious lives of Muslims in these regions remains surprisingly (and disappointingly) meagre. In this lecture, Karamustafa will take stock of the existing scholarship on the topic of quotidian religiosity among Persian and Turkish speakers, assess the significance of the relevant historical sources for the study of this topic, and point the way forward for researchers working on "vernacular Islam."

To find out more about the scheduled talk, please see the Program Flier (pdf file).

Saturday, March 9, 2013: Fatemeh Keshavarz presents, "Do the Stars in Heaven Speak?" The lecture will explore classical Persian poetry, not as an exotic work of art, but as a creative mode of engaging life’s daily challenges. Using examples from Rumi’s dynamic and down to earth poetry, the lecture presents his work as an imaginative struggle with simple questions of life while emphasizing the ideal of listening to one’s inner voice. This promise of infusing the daily strife with deeper meaning is at the heart of Rumi’s popularity in the 21st century.

To find out more about the scheduled talk, please see the Program Flier (pdf file).

April 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"BEAUTY AND NARRATIVES OF CONQUEST IN EARLY OTTOMAN EPICS AND THEIR PERSIAN ANTECEDENTS," Oscar Aguirre Mandujano (Ph.D. student, Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies)

  • Available reading for the lecture: Battalname (pdf file)

Thursday, April 11, 2013: The American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), Northwest Chapter, presents "Giovanni Belzoni: A Giant of Early Egyptology,"by Dr. Donald Ryan. Presented Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in Gowen Hall 201. Program flier (pdf file).


Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture in Arab and Islamic Studies:

April 29, 2013, at 7 p.m. Fred Donner presents, "How Ecumenical Was Early Islam?" as part of the Ziadeh Lecture series. Location: Kane Hall 210. Program flier (pdf file). Free and open to the public, no tickets or reservations required. Reception to follow in Kane 225.

The traditional Islamic origins narrative offers a clear account of how Islam began, focused on the life of the prophet Muhammad (d. 632 CE) and his mission to bring monotheism to Arabia, and the expansion of the community he founded after his death. According to this traditional narrative, Islam was a sharply-defined religious confession from the very beginning. We know, however, that this is not how religions usually begin; rather, they pass through an initial phase during which the new faith is attempting to define itself and still has unclear boundaries, which only gradually become more sharply defined over a generation or two. Recent work suggests that a similar evolution can be traced for the early “community of Believers” (mu’minun) established by Muhammad. Drawing on various kinds of evidence, the talk will explore the degree of fluidity or “softness” in the communal boundaries of the earliest Believers’ movement, from the career of the prophet until the time, around 700 CE, when the community seems to have established firm boundaries that distinguished it sharply, as Islam, from other monotheisms.

May 2013

May 9, 2013: Jason Thompson present, Edward William lane, Egyptologist and Orientals: A Biographical Perspective. Presented in Smith Hall 205, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Event flier (pdf file).

PERSIAN STUDIES SEMINAR (PDF Flier - See previous months for earlier events in the seminar series)

All meetings will be held on Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in Smith Hall 306, unless otherwise announced. Faculty, graduate students, and other visitors are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Friday, May 31, 2013: The NELC Graduate Program presents its first student symposium. The Arabic word 'Majlis' refers to a place where guests are received and entertained, an entertainment that involves conversations on intellectual topics. Four papers in our First Majlis cover a variety of topics that reflect graduate students' research: Muslim youth, architecture, Quranic Surahs, and the performing arts. Join us for the first majlis to enjoy presentations and to take part in a discussion session (pdf flier).

  • Presented 11:30-2:00, Friday, May 31, 2013 in CMU 202. Free and open to all. Please send any questions you may have to Missy Daniels.



New weekly lectures and program available from the Central/Inner Asian Studies Seminar. Please check the Program Schedule for events that will occur during Spring Quarter 2013.

All meetings will be held in Denny Hall 123, unless otherwise announced. Faculty, graduate students, and other visitors are welcome to attend.


June 2013





PAST EVENTS 2011-2012 (Click to open or close)



September 2011
October 2011

October 27: Jere L. Bacharach presents, "Coins as a Source for Egyptian History," a lecture by the American Research Center in Egypt – Northwest Chapter; 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2011 in Gowen Hall 201. Free and Open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Middle East Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. The Middle East Center's sponsorship of this event does not imply that the Center endorses the content of the event. To request disability accommodation, please contact the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: (206) 543-6450/V, (206) 543-6452/TTY, (206) 685-7264 (FAX), or

JERE L. BACHARACH taught Middle East history at the University of Washington from 1967 to 2007 and served as Chair, Department of History; Director, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; and Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. He also served as Director, American Research Center in Egypt in Cairo in 2002-03 and ARCE Treasurer 1979-1987 and 2003-2004.

The holder of numerous fellowships and awards, Bacharach just completed a two-year Mellon Foundation Emeritus Faculty Fellowship during which he worked on 15th Century Egyptian coinage.Currently Bacharach splits his time between Seattle and Cairo.

For more information about the AMERICAN RESEARCH CENTER IN EGYPT NORTHWEST and this event contact us via email at or visit our website at

November 2011

November 17: Shaun Lopez presents, "Race, Place, and Football: Egypt's African Identity in the Competition to Host the 2010 FIFA World Cup," 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, 2011 in Smith 205.

This talk examines the legitimizing narratives that emerged around the bids of Egypt, South Africa, and Morocco to host the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. FIFA's decision to place the cup finals on African soil for the first time forced Egypt and the other bidding nations to navigate between narratives of modernity on the one hand, and the geographic, cultural, historical, and racial imaginary of "Africa" on the other. For Egyptians, this meant reconciling and re-packaging its own real and imagined historical relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa.

Friday, November 18, 12:30-2:00 p.m.:

Murat Inan (Ph.D. candidate, Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies) "Writing a Grammatical Commentary on Hafez of Shiraz: A Sixteenth-century Ottoman Scholar on the Ghazals of Hafez".


December 2011
January 2012

January 26: Joel Walker presents, "Cleopatra's Pearls: Trade and Adornment in Roman Egypt," a Lecture by the American Research Center in Egypt (Northwest Chapter); Co-sponsored by the UW Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization. Thursday, 26 January 2012, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Gowen Hall, room 201. Printable flier (pdf file).

Pearls, the only gem created by a living animal, were widely prized in the Roman world as markers of status and beauty. Stories about their mysterious origin in India and display at the courts of Alexandria and Rome enhanced their appeal through the Mediterranean world. Cleopatra, in particular, was reputed to be a great lover of pearls.In his talk, Professor Walker will explore Egypt's role in the ancient pearl trade and the story of the world's most famous pair of pearl earrings.

February 2012

February 25: Dr. Abbas Milani presents, "Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Arab Awakening: Ruptures or Continuities?," as part of the Afrassiabi Distinguished Lecture in Persian and Iranian Studies. Printable flier (pdf file). Presented 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, 2012, in Kane Hall 210. Reception to follow in Kane 225.

Much has been written about the nature of Arab Awakening. Is it a continuation of the Islamic revolution or more akin to the 2009 democratic movement in Iran? Are we already in a post-Khamenei/Khomeini Middle East? Is the Iranian regime strengthened or weakened by the Arab democratic wave?


The Mummy, the Book, and the Tomb: Rereading Early Egyptian Christianity through its Artifacts
Nicola Denzey Lewis
Wednesday, February 29 in Communications Hall 226 at 7:00 p.m.

A Lecture by the American Research Center in Egypt – Northwest Chapter; Co-sponsored by the UW Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, and the Comparative Religion Program of the Jackson School of International Studies. Printable flier (pdf file).

March 2012

Poems for Libya, and a Conversation

Khaled Mattawa
Monday, April 2 in Savery 260 at 7:00 p.m. Printable flier (pdf file)

Khaled Mattawa is the author of four books of poetry and the translator of nine volumes of contemporary Arabic poetry. Mattawa’s latest volume of poetry Tocqueville won the 2011 San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award and the Arab American National Book Award. His translation of Adonis’s Selected Poems won the PEN USA Center annual poetry in translation prize. Mattawa is the recipient of the 2010 Academy of American Poets Fellowship Prize and a Ford/United States artist for 2011. An associate professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mattawa is a native of Benghazi, Libya. This event is co-sponsored by Creative Writing and the Dean of Arts & Sciences.

April 2012

Friday, April 13 in Smith Hall 306 from 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Alyssa Gabbay (Affiliate Professor, NELC)"'Inspired by the Sacred Breath of Jesus': Persian Poets and Prophetic Revelation" Printable flier (pdf file).

The 20th Century Polictics of King Tut

Donald Reid (University of Washington)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in Smith Hall 105, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Printable flier (pdf file).

Who owns Antiquity? Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun only months after Britain had declared Egypt independent in 1922. After forty years of British occupation and sixty-four of French control of its Antiquities Service, Egypt won the battle to keep the Tut treasures. But full independence did not come until 1956, and only then could Egypt consider lending Tutankhamun objects for exhibition abroad. Cold War and other politics influenced the cities chosen for these exhibitions, which began in Washington, D.C. in 1961 and reached Paris in 1967 and London in 1972.

Kasideye Medhiye

Tuesday, April 27, 2012 in Istanbul Sehir University Printable flier (jpg file).

The Eight annual Classical Turkish Literature (Eski Türk Edebiyatı Çalışmaları) series organized by four Turkish scholars and Prof. Selim S. Kuru is being held in Sehir University in Istanbul on April 27. This year's topic is kaside form in Ottoman Turkish literature. Here is the poster for the event. The proceedings of last year's workshop, Mecmua: Osmanlı'nın Kırk Ambarı, on Ottoman miscellanies will appear with an introduction by Prof. Kuru this month as well. The book is going to be published by Turkuaz Publishing as the previous titles in the series. 

Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture in Arab and Islamic Studies

Authorizing Moral Crusades to Save Muslim Women: Literary Trafficking and Rights Talk in the Public Sphere
Lila Abu-Lughod (Columbia University)
Monday, April 30, 2012 in Kane 210 at 7:00 p.m. Printable flier (pdf file).

What lies behind the new American common-sense that we should go to war for global women’s rights? This lecture will show how two industries that we rarely think of together are authorizing the current moral crusade to save Muslim women: the international human rights regime and mass-market publishing, which has brought us a sordid genre of pulp non-fiction about Muslim women’s bondage and oppression. Drawing on her experiences in rural Egypt over the past thirty years and urging us to think carefully about our own lives, Professor Abu-Lughod offers an alternative way to think about the key terms of this crusade—choice versus force, freedom versus bondage.

May 2012

Brown Bag Lecture Series in Persian and Iranian Studies

Friday, May 11 in Smith Hall 306 from 12:30-2:00 p.m.

Bryan Averbuch (Ph.D. candidate, Harvard) "Luxury and Commerce in the Sasanian and Islamic Empires, 6th-10th Centuries C.E." Printable flier (pdf file).

Passages for above talk:

Were Egyptian Tomb Stelae the Original Facebook?

Cynthia L. Smith
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in Smith Hall 105. Printable flier (pdf file).
A Lecture by the American Research Center in Egypt – Northwest Chapter
Co-sponsored by the UW Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization

Ancient Egyptian stelae served many different purposes: boundary markers, commemorative monuments and tomb markers. Tomb stelae first appeared during the 1st Dynasty around 3000 BCE and continued through the Coptic period in the 7th century CE. The original purpose was the perpetuation of the name of the deceased. Over time, tomb stelae became much more expressive. In this lecture we will explore the information these stelae contain and how that information may relate to our modern social networking websites by looking at several examples of stelae.


24th Annual Nicholas Poppe Symposium on Central/Inner Asian Studies

Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm in Denny Hall 215 A

Papers and/or Round Table Discussion Topics on "Spiritual Ecology in Central/Inner Asia and Other Parts of the World" are being solicited for our First Symposium on this topic. The emphasis will be on Literary Expressions of Spiritual Relationships to Nature and the Environment.

Organizers: The Central/Inner Asian Studies Seminar-University of Washington; The Association of Central Asian Students –University of Washington Sponsors: The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization; The Herbert Ellison Center for Russian , East European and Central Asian Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, UW.

June 2012

The Art of Interior design for the Afterlife: the Private Tomb of Menna on the West Bank of Luxor

Dr. Melinda Hartwig
Tuesday, June 12, 2012, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in
Gowen Hall 201
Printable pdf flier

The tomb chapel of Menna (TT 69) is one of the finest painted tombs in Egypt and underwent extensive non-invasive analysis and documentation in a joint ARCE-Georgia State University USAID project. This talk will focus on the different methods used and their results which relay important information about the tomb owner and the time in which he lived as well as artistic methods, work process, and status materials used in this extraordinary tomb chapel.




PAST EVENTS 2010-2011 (Click to open or close)



September 2010

Please check the Central Asia Studies Seminar Program (CASS) schedule for events that occured during Fall quarter 2010.

September 21: W. Benson Harer, MD, presents, "OB/GYN in Ancient Egypt." Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Denny Hall 205. Free and open to the public. Event flier. (pdf file)

October 2010

October 28: "The Architecture of Power in Islamic Cairo from the 7th Century to the 20th" by Jere L. Bacharach. Thursday, October 28, 2010, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Savery Hall 131. Free and open to the public. pdf Event flier. (pdf file)


November 2010

November 18: The NW Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt presents, "The Life of Meresemun: A Temple Singer in Ancient Egypt," a lecture by Emily Teeter. Gowen Hall 201 on Thursday, November 18, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. pdf Event flier. (pdf file)


December 2010


January 2011


February 2011

February 14: Rabbi Mark Glickman presents, "Sacred Treasure: The Cairo Genizah," Monday, February 14, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Communications 202. pdf Event flier. (pdf file)


March 2011

March 1: The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization presents, "Imperialism and Nationalism in Egyptian Archaeology from World War I to Sadat," a lecture by Donald M. Reid. Presented Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. in Gowen 201. pdf Event flier. (pdf file)


April 2011

April 5: Olcay Akyıldız (Boğaziçi University, İstanbul) presents, "Wavering between two worlds?: The Ambiguity of ‘East-West’ & ‘Self-Other’ in Orhan Pamuk’s Books." Presented on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. in CMU 202. pdf Event flier (pdf file).

In this talk, Olcay Akyıldız presents the playful and ambivalent position of the author Orhan Pamuk between two worlds. Pamuk has been accused of being an orientalist or looking at his own culture with western eyes both of which Akyıldız challenges. Using the methodology of Orhan Pamuk’s analysis of Turkish author Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar`s novel A Mind at Peace, Akyıldız discusses two novels by Pamuk - White Castle and My Name is Red - to demonstrate the author’s undecided position between two cultures. Through a close reading of the novels the talk presents how Pamuk actually deconstructs the binary opposition of East and West through his characters.

April 13: Dr. Aidan Dodson, from the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), presents, "Animals of Saqqara," on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, from 7:00–8:30 p.m. in Smith Hall 205. pdf Event flier (pdf file).

April 28: Dr. Caroline William (College of William and Mary), from the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE), presents, "Islamic Ornament: Its Spiritual Dimension," on Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 7:00–8:30 p.m. in Gowen Hall 201. pdf Event flier (pdf file).

Admission is free and open to the public.

Islamic religious ornament, unlike much western religious art, is non-figural and non-iconic. It is based on abstract patterns (arabesque and geometric designs) and calligraphy. It nevertheless conveys deep spiritual meaning. Caroline Williams, with graduate degrees in Islamic history and art, has contemplated the varieties of Islamic ornament in all major Muslim countries except Indonesia. Her publications include Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide (Cairo and New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2008).


May 2011

mottahedeh(Click image to enlarge)

May 2: Roy Mottahedeh (Harvard University) presents, "The Duties and Limitations of Following a Religious Guide in Contemporary Shi‘ite Law," as part of the Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture in Arab and Islamic Studies. Presented on Monday, May 2, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in Fishery Sciences (FSH) 102. Free and open to the public. pdf Event flier (pdf file).

Parking will be available in W-35 can be purchased for $5 (cash or Visa/Mastercard) at any Gatehouse on campus. Please mention to the parking attendant that you have arranged parking under "Shi'ite Law."

The “liberal” view of Twelver Shi'ite jurisprudence holds that the leading mujtahids (or jurisconsults), who are few in number, have the right to command while the ordinary believer has a choice as to which mujtahid he or she should obey. In fact, the situation of the believer is much more complex, and the question of choosing one mujtahid as the believer’s highest “source of emulation” has become a question of national importance in Shi'ite-majority countries such as Iraq, Iran and Bahrain.

Manuals for Islamic conduct have been issued by all of the high-ranking mujtahids. Each manual opens with a discussion on choosing a mujtahid and the legal consequences of this choice. These discussions include consideration of the possibility of following a deceased mujtahid, such as Khomeini or Montazeri, his more liberal pupil. They also include consideration of which people have the experience to guide the ordinary believer toward choosing an appropriate mujtahid to follow. Furthermore, they consider the question as to whether the leading mujtahids should have the ability to be politically effective as well as possess the required learning.

This lecture is concerned primarily with the Arab world although some reference will be made to the Iranian example.

May 12: Dr. John Shearman, ARCE Associate Director – Luxor, Egypt, presents, "The American Research Center in Egypt: Contributions to Preserving Egypt’ Ancient Past," on Thursday, May 12, 2011, from 7:00–8:30 p.m. in Gowen Hall 201.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Luxor is one of the most iconic antiquities sites in Egypt and the world. ARCE supports not only excavation but, just as importantly, the conservation of the antiquities that have already been discovered. The vast and unique temple complex of Karnak has been in existence for over 4,000 years. Like so many other antiquity sites in Egypt, the conditions have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Without intervention, it and many other sites would continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate. ARCE, with funding from the American people through USAID, is a major player in the conservation of these sites. The Ground Water Lowering Response Project is a complex series of programs that ARCE administers in the Luxor area. John Shearman, who directs ARCE’s work in Luxor, will discuss these programs during his presentation. These projects include the conservation of damaged pylons, walls and columns in Luxor and Karnak Temples; conservation of a side chapel and installation of walkways in Khonsu Temple; the preservation and documentation of Talatat blocks from the reign of Akhenaten; the cleaning and maintenance of sacred lakes; and the training of Egyptian conservators. These projects are bringing to light new knowledge that will impact our understanding of these iconic sites.


May 26: UW graduate and undergraduate students present: "Third Annual UW Interdisciplinary Student Conference in Near and Middle Eastern Studies," a conference featuring several panels organized by topic or discipline throughout the day. This conference offers student presenters at both graduate and undergraduate levels a friendly forum to present a paper and the opportunity to meet faculty and peers who are specialists in their respective fields. Scheduled 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in the Smith Room of Suzzallo Library, University of Washington. Contact email:

(Sponsored by the Middle East Center (Jackson School) and the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization. Note: Sponsorship of this event does not imply that the Middle East Center and/or NELC endorse the content of the event.)


June 2011  
July 2011  
August 2011  




PAST EVENTS 2009-2010 (Click to open or close)



September 2009
October 2009

October 22: "For Those Who Sail to Heaven," a film about a Muslim saint's festival in contemporary Egypt. To be held on Thursday, 22 October 2009, 6:30-8:00 p.m. co-sponsored by NELC and ARCE.

October 29:
Xinjiang: Behind the Violence
China Studies Program | East Asia Center | East Asia Resource Center

  • xinjiang"Chinese Demographic Politics and Language Policy in Xinjiang: Language as a Core Value of Uyghur Ethnic Identity," Talant Mawkanuli, University of Washington
  • "Han-Uyghur Ethnic Strife in China: What We Know, and the Role of Information Controls in the 2009 Events," James Millward, Georgetown University
  • "Finding the Point: a Critical Reading of Contentious Politics in Urumchi," Gardner Bovingdon, Indiana University
  • "Looking East from Turkey," Resat Kasaba, University of Washington

Moderated by David Bachman, University of Washington

Thursday, October 29, 2009, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Room 220. Sponsored by the China Studies Program and the East Asia Center.

For more information, please contact


November 2009

.November 12:
Dr. Robert Bedeski, "The Impact of the Mongol Empire on the Evolution of Russo-Asian Autocracy," 12:30, Thursday, November 12, 2009 in Denny Hall 123. (Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS). pdf Click here for CASS program.)


November 16:
Donald Reid
, "Contested Heritage: Ancient Egypt and the Paradigm of Western Civilization," Monday, November 16, 2009 in CMU 120 at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) and NELC. (pdf Click here for a pdf file of the event flier.)


November 19:
Professor Ilse Cirtautas and Central Asian students: Saodat Khakimova (Uzbekistan) and Shyngys Nurlanov (Kazakhstan)
, Recent Publications on/in Central Asia: Jeff Sahadeo and Russel G. Zanca, eds. "Everyday Life in Central Asia: Past and Present," Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007. 12:30, Thursday, November 19, 2009 in Denny Hall 123. (Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS). pdf Click here for CASS program.)


November 20:
Professor Ilse Cirtautas, Recent Publication on/in Kazakhstan: Mukhamet Shayakhmetov. "The Silent Steppe. The Memoir of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin." Translated from Russian by Jan Butler. New York: The Rookery Press, 2006. 12:30, Friday, November 20, 2009 in Denny Hall 123. (Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS). pdf Click here for CASS program.)


December 2009

December 3:

Professor Ilse Cirtautas, Recent Publications on/in Kyrgyzstan: "The Semetey of Kenje Kara. A Kyrgyz Epic Performance on Phonograph," edited by Daniel Prior. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006. 12:30-1:30 p.m., December 3, 2009 in Denny Hall 123. (Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS). pdf Click here for CASS program.)

W. Benson Harer, "An Ancient Egyptian Murder Mystery: The Pursuit of Queen Teya, Who Killed Ramses III (1186‐1155 B.C.)," Thursday, December 3, 2009; 6:30‐8:00 p.m. in Gowen Hall 201. Sponsored by American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) and NELC. (pdf Click here for a pdf file of the event flier.)

December 4:
Professor Ilse Cirtautas, Recent Publications on/in Uzbekistan: Naim Karimov, ed. "Tarixning Hasratli Sahifalari," (Tragic Pages of (our) History), Tashkent: Sharq, 2006. 12:30-1:30 p.m., Friday, December 4, 2009 in Denny Hall 123. (Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS). pdf Click here for CASS program.)


January 2010

gabbayJanuary 20: Alyssa Gabbay, "Ruling Daughters: Sultan Raḍiyya (d. 1240 C.E.) and Female Sovereignty in Medieval Islamicate Societies." Despite the emphasis on males in Islam as the primary in heritors of their parents' legacies, examples abound of famous Muslim fathers who held their daughters in high esteem and even some who regarded them as legitimate successors to their thrones. Such was the case of Sultan Iltutmish, ruler of the Delhi Sultanate in India from 1211 to 1236 C.E., who appointed his daughter, Raḍiyya, as his heir to the throne. 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 20, 2010, Denny Hall 216.


January 26: The Walker Ames Lecture Series presents: "The Science of Optics; The History of Art" by Charles Falco. Hosted by the UW Graduate School and UW Alumni Association; co-sponsored by NELC; January 26, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Kane Hall 120. exclamation IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note that advance registration is required for this lecture. In order to guarantee your seat, please contact the UW Alumni Association at 206.543.0540 or 1.800.AUW.ALUM (1.800.289.2586); pdf event poster; even flier.


February 2010

February 18: Alex Jassen (University of Minnesota), "What Happens to Prophecy after 'The Prophets'?" February 18, 2010, 6:30 p.m., CMU 120.

February 28: The Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Student Association (NELC-SA) invites you to celebrate a special evening of music, culture and community: The Reed, the Zil, and the Tambour. For the campus-wide winter event, NELC-SA is hosting a unique event highlighting instrumental, vocal and dance performances by UW students and local artists inspired by various regions of the Near East, including North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. NELC-SA hopes to bring together and engage people in an inclusive environment where they can experience the richness of Near Eastern cultures.

pdf Event flier
Date: Sunday, February 28, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Ethnic Cultural Theatre

(Click here for a map of the nearby building, the Ethnic Cultural Center)

Address: 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE, Seattle, WA


March 2010

March 1: Sarah Kampbell (Princeton University), "Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean," Monday, March 1, 2010, 3:30 p.m., SIG 224.

Winter 2010 Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS) events.
pdf Click here for CASS program of upcoming events taking place every Thursday and Friday from 12:30-1:30 throughout the quarter until March 5, 2010.

March 4: Dr. Rita Freed (Wellesley College) presents, "Uncovering Secrets of a Middle Kingdom Tomb," 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 4, 2010, Savery Hall 264. pdf Event flier.


April 2010

April 15-16: Turkish Studies Student Association at the University of Washington presents, "Turkish and Ottoman Studies Graduate Student Conference." Thursday, April 15, 2010: Keynote Address, 7 p.m.; Friday, April 16, 2010: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (all day event); Kane Hall 225. Please be sure to check the Conference Schedule page for information on specific times and descriptions of the events that will take place on Thursday and Friday. pdf Event flier.

April 20: Caroline Williams presents, "Islamic Cairo: Transforming Forces," Tuesday, April 20, 2010 in Savery Hall 130, 6:30-8:00 p.m.. Free admission. pdf Event flier.


May 2010

May 6: Yvonne Haddad (Georgetown University), "Demystifying the Orient: Arab-AmericanChristian Scholars and Study of theMiddle East." Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecturer in Arab and Islamic Studies. Dr. Haddad is an internationally recognized figure and the author of several important publications on Muslim and Christian relations. The event will take place at Savery Hall 260 (pdf please see important building and parking information), 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, 2010. pdf Event flier.



May 20: York University's Irene Markoff presents a talk and performance, Thursday, May 20, 2010, 7:30-9:30 p.m., CMU 120:

(Event poster)

Talk: Popular Sufism Reborn in Southern Bulgaria: the Music and Rituals of Village Bektashis and Babais;

Performance: The Music and Poetry of Alevi-Bektashi Minstrels
Past, Present, and more..


Spring 2010 Central Asian Studies Seminar Program (CASS) events.

pdf Click here for CASS program of upcoming events taking place every Thursday and Friday from 12:30-1:30 throughout the quarter until May 28, 2010 in Denny Hall 123.


June 2010



July 2010


August 2010





PAST EVENTS 2008-2009 (Click to open or close)



September 2008
October 2008

October 18-19: Turkfest, held at Seattle Center.

October 30: Renee Friedman, "Remembering the Ancestors: New Discoveries at Hierakonpolis." 6:30 p.m., Mueller Hall 153.


November 2008 .November 5: As part of the Centennial Lecture Series, our own Jonathan Brown will give a lecture entitled, "Islam and Sexuality: Beyond the Headlines." The event will take place in Kane Hall 120 at 7:00 p.m.. (pdf Click here for a pdf flier of the Centennial Lecture Series.)

What is the place of sexuality and gender in Islam and the Muslim world? We often associate Islam with the exotic sensuality of harems, belly-dancing and multiple wives. Or is Islam an austere faith that shrouds women in bruqas and strictly controls sexuality? Delve into the history of sexuality in Islam and the Muslim world and learn to distinguish fantasy from fact.

-Beyond the American Point of View

November 13: Benson Harer, M.D., "French Scholars on the Nile: The Genesis of the Description de l'Egypte." 6:30 p.m., Mueller Hall 153.


December 2008 ^back
January 2009
January 21: Thomas Schneider, "Egyptology in the Nazi Era." 6:30 p.m. Place CMU 226.

January 29: ARCE film night. "For Those Who Sail to Heaven," A film about a contemporary saint's festival at Luxor. 6:30 p.m.


February 2009

February: (CANCELED) Brian Hunt "The Giza Plateau Mapping Project: An Update."


March 2009


April 2009

April 16: Adina Hoffman, "Map of a Vanished Town: Recollecting the Palestinian Past through Biography." 2:00-4:30 p.m. Location: CMU 202. pdf Event flier - pdf file.

ALSO April 16: Chloe Ragazzoli, University of the Sorbonne, Paris, "When Scribes Pass By: Visitors' Graffiti in Ancient Egypt." 6:30 p.m. Location: CMU 226. (Event card.)

April 22: Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland, Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture in Arab and Islamic Studies. "Arab Public Opinion: Change and Continuity Since 9/11." 7:00 p.m. at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium. (pdf Driving and parking directions to the Henry Art Gallery - pdf file.pdf Event flier - pdf file; event card.)



May 2009

May 14: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Student Association (NELC-SA) Conference."Spanning Time and Place" is the first student-run research conference focusing on nelc-conferencethe Near and Middle East at the University of Washington. The conference features presentations by graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines. Broad in scope, the content of the conference aims to show the breadth of research that is possible within the realm of Near and Middle Eastern studies. The main goal of the research symposium is to provide a friendly forum in which students can practice presenting a conference paper to their peers, faculty members, and the wider university community. Location and time: CMU 202 from 12-3:30 and CMU 226 from 3:30-7:00. pdf Event flier; pdf Event schedule.


June 2009

June 10: NELC Convocationgrad
The annual NELC Convocation will be held on Wednesday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the UW Club until 9:30 p.m.. Graduate and undergraduate students who graduate Autumn 2008 through Summer 2009 will be honored.  Graduating students will receive invitation via email in May. Students must first complete an online survey and come to 219 Denny to confirm attendance at the convocation and pick up guest tickets. Each student can have up to four tickets, and students also need a ticket.  The NELC event is a separate event from the University’s commencement ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, June 13th.


July 2009 ^back
August 2009 ^back





PAST EVENTS 2007-2008 (Click to open or close)



September 2007


October 2007

OCT 20: Heather Rastovac (our Student Highlight this quarter) and Sonja Hinz are scheduled to perform a half hour dance set rooted in the dance traditions of Iran and Tajikistan, between 3:00-4:00 p.m., Turkfest, Seattle Center House Stage

OCT 20 - 21: Turkfest, at the Seattle Center

OCT 31: 12:30-1:30 Karam Dana, "Muslim in America: Conflicting Identities?," NELC Brown Bag lunch series (NELC lounge, 215A)


November 2007

NOV 29: Olga Borovaya, (Jewish Studies, Stanford University) "Dynamics of Ladino Literature in the Ottoman Empire, 16th-20th Centuries" 1:30-3:00, Communications 202


December 2007

DEC 4: Professor George Nickelsburg, "Books that Didn't Make It into the Bible" 1:30 p.m., Kane Hall 110

DEC 6: Professor Donald Malcolm Reid, "Claiming the Pharaohs: Imperialism, Nationalism, and Internationalism in Egyptian Archaeology" 6:30 p.m., Thomson Hall 101


January 2008

January 16: Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize and the World of Turkish Literature a Conversation with Walter G. Andrews, 7 - 8:30 p.m., Seattle Public Library - Central Branch. pdf Event poster (pdf file); mp3 recording of the event (~56 mb)

January 17 - 18: Medieval Islamic Mysticism and History in Indo-Persian Cultures, 9:45 a.m. - 5:15 p.m., Parrington Hall, the Forum and the Commons. pdf Event poster (pdf file)

January 24: Scott Noegel will talk informally at the Simpson Center for the Humanities about his recent book, Nocturnal Ciphers: The Punning Language of Dreams in the Ancient Near East (American Oriental Series 89; New Haven, CT.: American Oriental Society, 2007)


February 2008

February 1 - 2: Turkish Literature in Seattle: A Public Symposium Celebrating Turkish Literature in English, see pdf of poster for times, Kane Hall 220 and Communications 120. pdf Event poster (pdf file).


February 7: Charles Krusekopf (Executive Director, American Institute for Mongolian Studies), "Mongolia's Common Property: Resources and the Challenges of Economic Development." 3:30 p.m., Communications 120.

February 8: Charles Krusekopf (director of the American Institute for Mongolian Studies, Vancouver, Canada) "Research Opportunities in Mongolia",12:30-1:20, Denny 215A (Subject to change).

February 12: Daniel Schroeter (History, University of California at Irvine) "Who are the Jews of Morocco? The Origins and Identity of the Rural Communities." 12:00-1:30 p.m., Communications 202.

ALSO February 12: Kazim Abdullaev of the Institute of Archaeology in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) will speak on "The Imagery and Cult of Hercules in Central Asia." Location: Mary Gates Hall, room 241. Time: 3:30-5 p.m.

About the speaker: Dr. Abdullaev is a distinguished scholar of the archaeology and material culture of Central Asia. He has excavated at Dura Europos in Syria, at Merv in Turkmenistan, and at ancient Samarkand and numerous other sites in southern Uzbekistan. During his current tenure as a Fulbright scholar in Seattle and Princeton, he hopes to complete a two-volume book on the seals of pre-Islamic Central Asia.

February 14: Brian Curran (Associate Professor of Art History, Pennsylvania State University) "The Egyptian Renaissance: the Afterlife of Ancient Egypt in Early Modern Italy," 6:30 p.m., Art 317.

February 21: Professor Thomas Schneider, University of Wales, Swansea, "Doom and Deliverance: Foreign Tales in Ramesside Egypt." 6:30 p.m., Thomson Hall 101

February 23: Afrassiabi Distinguished Lecturer, Barbara Slavin, "Missed Opportunities Between Iran and the United States and the Way Ahead". 7:00 p.m., in Kane Hall 120. Barbara Slavin is the senior diplomatic Correspondent for USA Today since 1996 and the author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation.


March 2008


April 2008

. April 4: Gillian Weiss (History, Case Western University) "Redeeming Jews: Sephardic Intermediaries in the Early Modern Mediterranean" 12:00-1:30, Thomson 317.

April 13: Professors Mahmoud al-Batal and Kristen Brustad, both University of Texas at Austin, will conduct a workshop on "Teaching Near Eastern Languages."

April 25-27: The Annual Conference of the American Research Center in Egypt, Grand Hyatt, Seattle.

April 30: Joshua Schreier (History, Vassar College), "Polygamy and Empire: Civilizing the Jewish Family in Colonial Algeria," 1:30-3:00, Thomson 317.


May 2008

.May 6: Frank Vogel, Harvard Law School, "Shari`a as Law and Legal System: Changing Perceptions." Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture. 7 p.m. at the Henry Art Gallery Auditorium. pdf Driving and parking directions (pdf file) pdf Event poster (pdf file).

May 8: Yitzhak Laor, Jessie and John Danz Lecture, "The Place Where Even Jews Can Be As White As Paul Newman" 7:00PM, Kane 130.


June 2008

June 2: Professor Yair Hoffman, Tel Aviv University, "The Book of Job as a Trial: A Perspective from a Comparison to Some Relevant Ancient Near Eastern Texts." 3:30 p.m., Denny 304. Event banner.


July 2008 .^back
August 2008 .^back





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