Live with ASI is a new monthly broadcast program that showcases recently published content from the Arab Studies Institute’s various branches. This content includes articles, reviews, pedagogical resources, podcasts, and more. Also featured in the broadcast are brand new interviews and discussions with authors and contributors. In this episode, hosts Bassam Haddad and MK Smith discussed themes such as politics and culture, pedagogy, and covered books from the New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) series. This episode featured recurring segments from Adel Iskandar, Carly A. Krakow, and Cat Haseman, and included engaging interviews with Jacob Bessen and Mekarem Eljamal of the MESPI team, Maya Mikdashi, Sherene Seikaly, Owain Lawson, Huma Gupta, and Hatem Bazian.

All of the materials mentioned in the broadcast are listed here, categorized by their themes. Also listed are additional recent materials that we highly recommend. Pieces that are relevant to multiple themes are listed under each applicable theme below.

Politics and Culture (2:35)

In her piece titled, “Cultural Colonialism: The Slippery Domain of Integration,” Sadaf Javdani addresses the implications of holding social and cultural integration as markers of “successful” immigration. Instead of fostering a dynamic process where the receiving society works together with the immigrants to build vibrant and cohesive spaces, Javdani argues that “integration” has become synonymous with “assimilation” into European norms and values.

Writing on the response to the United States’s assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Sara Tafakori addresses the role of gender in forming conceptions of honor and nationalism in her piece “(Trans)national Mourning and the Politics of Grievability.”

Palestinian singer Faraj Suleiman has released an album in collaboration with the novelist and songwriter Majd Kayyal titled, “Better than Berlin.” In his article “The Palestinian City, the Song, and Settler Colonial Gentrification,” Hashem Abu Shama هاشم أبو شمعة takes a deeper look at the album’s wide range of topics grappling with the complexities undergirding Palestinian realities in contemporary Haifa.

In “Hajj as Metaphor,” Mahdi Chowdhury dissects Iranian intellectual Ali Shariʿati’s book “Analysis of the Rituals of Hajj,” paying special attention to the use of metaphor, which is used to deconstruct religious symbols and illustrate the hajj as a transformative, revolutionary experience.

H.A. Hellyer’s article titled “Powerful Scholars and Clerics of Power: Remembering Shaykh Emad Effat” reflects on the life and legacy of Shaykh al-Thawra, as Effat is known. He has been immortalized as an Egyptian revolutionary since his murder in 2011.

Beyond Old / New Media with Adel Iskander (4:08)

Adel Iskander joined LWA to lead his recurring segment on media goings-on in the Arab World. This month Adel discussed commemorative moments and looked at “spectacular spectacles” of the Arab Uprisings. 

Pedagogy (14:55)

Jacob Bessen and Mekarem Eljamal discuss the process, goals, and pedagogical impact of MESPI Essential Readings (ER). Jacob shared a couple of his favorite ER’s of the year: Politics and Popular Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (by Nicola Pratt) and Land, Water, and the Environment in Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territories (by Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins).

The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brought us the fourteenth in a series of “Peer-Reviewed Articles Reviews” in which the team, led by Shakeela Omar, present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. The series is published seasonally, and last month, MESPI posted Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Fall 2020 Peer-Reviewed Articles Review.

Feature: Top-100 Most Read Articles on Jadaliyya in 2020 (26:06)

Maya Mikadshi speaks about her Top-100 Jadaliyya article titled “How Not to Study Gender in the Middle East,” which she wrote in 2012. Maya explains that if she were to update the piece today, she would ground it in an intersectional transnational Middle East approach. 

In this segment, co-hosts Bassam and MK discussed the “Top-100 Most Read Articles on Jadaliyya in 2020.” They also spoke live with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi, author of an article on studying gender that has made the top 100 list nine years in a row, regarding the origins of her piece and any revisions or developments that may have been made over the past decade.

The Catch-Up: International Current Affairs with Carly A. Krakow (42:00)

Carly A. Krakow, Jadaliyya’s Managing Editor for Special Projects, was on the show to discuss international current affairs for her new recurring segment. This month she discussed the aftermath of the Trump administration’s Middle East policies; the Biden administration’s latest actions regarding Yemen, Palestine, and the climate crisis; and the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol. She concluded with some comments about Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration (complete with a variety of Bernie Sanders mittens memes), and thoughts regarding the future of the progressive wing of the US Democratic Party.


Feature: Ten Years On: Reflections on Mass Protests & Uprisings in the Arab World (50:35)

Sherene Seikaly discusses her upcoming panel in March on “Archives and Uprisings” with Rosie Bsheer. She also shared her experience living and teaching in Cairo during the revolution and the importance of looking to the younger generation for leadership.

Last month, we covered the new, year-long project that aims to produce much-needed knowledge through critical, collaborative reflection on the past ten years since the Arab Uprisings began. And since we don’t want anyone to miss out on these incredible discussions, we’re integrating the Ten Years On project into our LWA broadcasts as a recurring segment in which we highlight the panels and contributions of that month.

Each of the panels addresses reflections by the speakers on the politics and knowledge production related to the uprisings during the past ten years. Last month we hosted a two-part panel as part of a series by the collective project “Ten Years On: Mass Protests and Uprisings in the Arab World.”

Be sure to keep an eye out for the next event in this series this month on teaching the Arab Uprisings.

Call for Submissions: Environment Page (1:02:10)

Carly A. Krakow spoke with fellow Co-Editors of Jadaliyya’s Environment Page, Owain Lawson and Huma Gupta, to discuss the Environment Page’s mission and the goals for their new Call for Submissions. The page is seeking contributions that address connections between environmental questions and the Arab Uprisings.

Ten years since the beginning of the events that have come to be understood as the Arab Uprisings, the Jadaliyya Environment Page, which was founded last year as a forum for innovative, critical, and incisive analysis and reporting on environmental questions in the Middle East, is calling for article submissions that provide critical analyses of the relationship between the uprisings and environmental questions in the Middle East and North Africa.

Feature: A Conversation on A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa (1:08:40)

Bassam Haddad spoke with Hatem Bazian regarding the newly published volume, A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East, as well as Berkeley’s Islamophobia Studies Center.

Hatem Bazian from UC Berkeley hosted an online discussion with Bassam Haddad, Sherene Seikaly, and Joel Beinin regarding the recently published volume, A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East. This volume contains contributions from leading scholars, representing several disciplines. Their writings critically examine major issues in political economy, ranging from the mutual constitution of state and class, the intricacies of race, gender, and class in the formulation of identity, to the relation between local, regional, and global forms of capital, race, and class.

NEWTONs (1:16:40)

In Nazanin Shahrokni’s NEWTON interview, she discusses the deeply personal and political nature of her new book Women in Place: The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran, which examines gender segregation policies and women’s rights in contemporary Iran.

Bashir Bashir and Leila Farsakh are the editors of The Arab and Jewish Questions: Geographies of Engagement in Palestine and Beyond, which is a product of a series of international dialoguing workshops that explore Jewish Engagements with the Arab Question and Arab Engagements with Jewish Questions.

A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Latest Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia, edited by Jade Saab, pushes the conversation surrounding the Arab Uprisings far past the mainstream reductionist conversation, offers in-depth discussions of the history and economic conditions of each affected country.

Judith Surkis’s book Sex, Law, and Sovereignty in French Algeria, 1830-1930 traces how colonial authorities constructed Muslim legal difference and used it to deny Algerian Muslims full citizenship.

Joel Beinin, who is a co-editor of the new volume, A Critical Political Economy of the Modern Middle East, also wrote the introductory chapter and a chapter titled, “The US-Israeli Alliance,” which he discusses in his NEWTON.

In her book Coups and Revolutions: Mass Mobilization, the Egyptian Military, and the United States from Mubarak to Sisi, Amy Austin Holmes highlights a wide spectrum of activist groups during what she sees as three waves of revolutionary uprisings followed by two waves of counterrevolution.

Grad Student Corner with Cat Haseman (1:19:45)

In her recurring segment, Cat Haseman points graduate students to helpful resources produced in the previous month. 

With the publication of the Top-100 Most Read Articles on Jadaliyya in 2020, Cat pointed to three of the articles she believes are of particular interest to graduate students:

Don’t forget to check out this month’s Media Roundups:

Must-Reads (1:23:40)

In “Karama: An Immigrant Neighborhood Transformed,” Bhoomika Ghaghada describes how Karama, an historically significant neighborhood of Dubai home to many immigrants, is changing, as space for economic participation diminishes and the neighborhood becomes a more affluent space, built around consumer choice.

In “How Arab Americans Helped Decide the U.S. Election” Gabriel Davis looks at the numbers as well as the variety of push and pull factors that persuaded Arab Americans to vote for President Joe Biden in November.

Ella Shohat writes on the highly contentious narrative regarding the mass exodus of Iraqi Jews in the 1950s in her piece, “Sant al-Tasqit”: Seventy Years since the Departure of Iraqi Jews,” where she unpacks the effects of 20th Century political and historical forces on Arab Jewish narrative and identity.