Undergraduates to Present at Middle East Studies Research Conference

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies invites students to take part in the second annual Undergraduate Research Conference in Middle East Studies from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Donald W. Reynolds Center. 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 presentations in all disciplines relating to the Middle East and North Africa, covering aspects of culture, history, politics, religion, geography, etc. Presentations will be limited in length to approximately 15 minutes, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session.

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


10:30 a.m. – Conference Welcome and Check-In (RCED Lobby)

11:00 a.m. – Statecraft and International Relations (RCED 111)

  • The Special Relationship: Strategic Needs versus Public Desires - Andrew Czuzak, University of Mississippi
  • No More Nomads; The Marginalization of Nomads and the Rise of the Imperial State in the Ottoman Empire - Matthew Ward, University of Arkansas
  • Constructing the Jordanian Nation: Identity and Implications of the Hashemite Project in Jordan - Elizabeth Frazier, Missouri State University

11 a.m. – Language and Concepts of the Sacred (RCED 117)

  • God Who? – Claire Williamson, University of Arkansas
  • Controversy and History Surrounding the Tel Dan Stele – Grace Day, University of Arkansas

Noon – Lunch (RCED 103) – Welcome by Tom Paradise, director of the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, and Curt Rom, associate dean for international education

1 p.m. – Political Economies of Islam (RCED 111)

  • After Morsi: An Evaluation of the Muslim Brotherhood's Impact on Egyptian Islamists – Ryan Smith, University of Arkansas
  • Evolution of Political Islam in the Middle East: 1924-1996 - Nicholas Kahmann, University of Arkansas
  • Chests of Opium and Silver, Tobacco, and Shell-games: The Role of Islam in Trade, Economics, and Financial Systems from Jakarta to Timbuktu – Christopher Cowan, University of Arkansas

1 p.m. – Society in Ancient Egypt (RCED 117)

  • Women in Ancient Egyptian Grave Artifacts – Caitlin Halpin, University of Arkansas
  • Crime and Punishment in Ancient Egypt: The Evolution of Punishment and the Importance of Ma'at – Morgan Moore, University of Arkansas

2 p.m. – Syria on the World Stage (RCED 111)

  • The Little Boy of Aleppo: Understanding Current International Relations Through the Syrian Refugee Crisis – Meagan Carmack, Drury University
  • The Blowback of R2P in Syria: A Loss of Legitimacy, Damaged Reputations, and an Increasingly Deadly Civil War – Jonah Gellman, University of Oklahoma
  • An Investigation of the Integration of Education and Mental Health Treatment into the Care of Diabetes in Syrian Refugee Women – Miller Richmond, University of Mississippi

2 p.m. – Religion in a Transnational Context (RCED 117)

  • Journey of Love: Bhakti to Sufi – Amy Lyon, University of Arkansas
  • The Western World's Ignorance of the Islamic Civilizations Influence – Emilee Taber, University of Arkansas

3 p.m. – Tales from the Field: The Do's, Don'ts, and 'Wish I Would Have Known's of Undertaking Research (RCED 103)

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 http://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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