Undergraduates Present at Middle East Studies Research Conference, Dec 4

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies invites students to take part in a regional Undergraduate Research Conference in Middle East Studies from noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the Arkansas Union, rooms 509-511. Individual sessions will last 60 minutes and lunch will be provided.

The conference will provide undergraduate students performing research on topics related to the Middle East and North Africa with a forum in which to present their work and collaborate with peers, and aims to advance undergraduate scholarship at the University of Arkansas, as well as encourage interest in the geopolitical region. The conference will welcome topics in all disciplines relating to the Middle East and North Africa covering aspects of culture, history, politics, religion, geography, etc. 

Attendance is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Nani Verzon at hverzon@uark.edu, 479-575-2175.

Conference Schedule

Noon – Welcome and Conference Opening (ARKU509)
Tom Paradise, director of the King Fahd Center; Lynda Coon, dean of the Honors College

12:30 p.m. – Lunch (ARKU510)

1-3 p.m. – Israel/Palestine Project (ARKU 509)
Facilitator: Sanket Desai, History

1-2 p.m. – Gender and Sexuality in Islam and Christianity (ARKU511)
Facilitator: Sarwar Alam, Middle East Studies

  • For the Love of Allah: Comparing Gender and Sexuality in Islam and Christianity (Kayla Cahill, University of Arkansas)
  • "Women, Oh Women! When Will You Learn Your Places?" (Claire Williamson, University of Arkansas)

2-3 p.m. – Religion in the Middle East (ARKU511)
Facilitator:  Spencer Allen, Middle East Studies

  • My Blood, My Brother, My Rival, My Ruin:  Brotherhood in Christianity and Islam (Meagan Mosier, University of Arkansas)
  • A Walk in the Fires of Love: Show Love to All, Love Only One (Jacob McCrary, University of Arkansas)
  • Karnak & Luxor Temples and the Procession of the Opet Festival (Christopher Bryant, University of Arkansas)

3-4 p.m. – Geopolitics of Afghanistan (ARKU509)
Facilitator:  Sanket Desai, History

  • Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (Nicholas Kahmann, University of Arkansas)
  • The New Great Game (Christopher Cowan, University of Arkansas)

3-4 p.m. – Media and Imperialism in the Middle East (ARKU511)
Facilitator: Matt Parnell, History

  • Judging a Country by its Cover (Story): Examining the Framing of the Syrian Conflict in Middle Eastern and US Media Coverage (Ghada ElHaffar, Drury University)
  • Paper, Ink and Blood: How the Sykes-Picot Agreement Shaped the Middle East (Meg Austin, University of Arkansas)
  • ISIS Gaining Support from Central Asia?  An Analysis of Geopolitical Power Struggle Increasingly Becoming Borderless (Joseph Largent, University of Arkansas)

4-5 p.m. – Youth, Revolt and the Arab Spring (ARKU509)
Facilitator:  Dan Brown, Political Science

  • The Young and the Restless: Egyptian Youth and the January 25th Revolution (Abigail Witty, University of Arkansas)
  • Students and Eslahaat in Modern Iran: A Comparative Analysis of Student Activism during the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the 2009 Green Movement (Meghan Shrewsbury, University of Arkansas)
  • What Sparked the Arab Spring: Unearthing Egyptians' Motivations (Christina Faoro, Drury University)

About the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies: The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies is an academic and research unit in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. An interdisciplinary and interdepartmental area studies center that offers diverse cultural, intellectual, and educational opportunities for the University of Arkansas community, the Center promotes research and teaching in interdisciplinary Middle East studies. The center offers an undergraduate major in Middle East Studies through the Middle East Studies (MEST) Program and supports graduate studies in related departments with graduate assistantships, as well as summer language study, field research grants, and teaching and research by visiting scholars from affiliated universities and programs.  More information about the King Fahd Center can be found at mest.uark.edu. For ongoing news, follow the Center on Facebook and Twitter.


Nani Verzon, HEI Program coordinator
Middle East Studies Program
479-575-2175, hverzon@uark.edu


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