Conference Schedule


4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Special Session
Fouad Ajami Annual Roundtable: Legacy & Memory
Ms. Michelle Ajami, Prof. Franck Salameh, Ms. Hanin Ghaddar and Prof. Bernard Haykel

5:30 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.
Student Poster Competition

6:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Welcome & Networking Cocktail Reception


7:30 A.M. – 8:15 A.M.

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Roundtable Discussion: Israel’s War with Hamas
Prof. Mark Clark
Dr. Harel Chorev
Prof. Jeffrey Herf
Prof. Noam Stillman

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 1
Africa: Economics and Conflict

Rethinking the Transition to Malawi's Second Wave of Democracy: National and Transnational Forces
Dr. Paul Banda, Tarleton State University

Scrapping-By: Farmer-Miner Conflicts and Threats to Customary Land Tenure in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe
Dr. Passmore Chishaka, Kent State University

Terrorism and Resilience in the Lake Chad Basin: How At-Risk Communities Protect Themselves
Dr. Obasesam Okoi, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Harnessing Women’s Productive Capacities for Inclusive Economic Growth in Africa: The Case of Rwanda and Tanzania
Prof. Steve Onyeiwu, Allegheny College

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 2
Power and Identity in Turkish States

Visualizing TRT World's Agenda: Analyzing Turkey's Public Diplomacy on Instagram
Dr. Senem Cevik, Woodbury University

Commanders in Chain: Electoral Dynamics and Diversionary Use of Force
Ms. Eunsun Jin, Seoul National University

A Cry from the Earthquake Zone: Turkish State Capacity in Question
Prof. Kivanc Ulusoy, Istanbul University

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 3
Politics and In/Stability

Why Do Some Small States Try to Change the World? Role of Weak Nationalism and Revolutionary Foreign Policy
Dr. Joshua Arsenault, University of Haifa

The Nexus of Migration, Energy Development, Climate Change, and Political (In)stability in Algeria
Dr. Beth Nelson, Montana State University

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 4
Bernard Lewis Prize Panel
Recent Antisemitism in Thought and Deed

Anti-Semitism and Fascism in Africa: The Danger of Oromumma in Ethiopia
Mr. Mengesha Endalew, Texas Tech University

The Islamist Component in the Igbo Genocide in Nigeria and Biafra
Mr. Remy Ilona, University of California, Riverside

Anti-Jewish Hate-Speech under Mubarak Reexamined
Dr. Limor Lavie, Bar-Ilan University

Worse than Jahiliyya? The Jew as the Muslim’s Nemesis in Sayyid Qutb’s Thought
Dr. Halil Yenigun, Stanford University

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 5
The Cairo Genizah: A Crossroads of Jewish-Muslim Cultures and Histories

An Entangled History and Memory: Jewish Celebration of Abrahamic Tradition and Longing for Jerusalem in Arabic Poetry from the Cairo Genizah
Dr. Ahmed Sheir, Trinity College Dublin

Bilingualism and Script-switching in a Poet's Notebook from the Genizah
Prof. Mohamed Ahmed, Trinity College Dublin

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 6
Education and Technology in Africa

Understanding AI Adoption in African Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities for Policy, Practice, and Content Delivery
Mr. Samba Bah, Ohio University

By the Numbers and from their Own Voices: Identifying and Explaining Pathways to Students' Thriving at a Public University in Benin
Mr. Oumarou Abdoulaye Balarabe, Ohio University

From Auschwitz to Biafra and Beyond: Africanization of the Holocaust, With a Focus on Nigeria and Cameroon
Prof. William Miles, Northeastern University

The Impact of Non-Contextualized Technology Upon Self-Learning and System Management in Zambia, Africa
Dr. Ann-Perry Witmer, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 7
Politics and Legitimacy in Afghanistan

The Challenge of Legitimacy and Governance in Afghanistan
Mr. Ahmad Partaw, University of South Florida

Pluralism and Crisis of Democracy in Afghanistan (2001-2021)
Dr. Omar Sadr, University of Pittsburgh

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 8
Palestinians: Conflict and Change

What Should We Do with the Gaza Strip? Proposals and Plans, 1949-1957
Prof. Arnon Golan, University of Haifa

Abu Mazen's Presidency: A Mix of Transactional and Transformational Leadership
Dr. Gadi Hitman, Ariel University

Explaining a State Status Quo and Non-State Revisionist Dynamic: The Case of the Conflict Between Hamas and Israel 2007 - 2019
Dr. Gadi Hitman Ariel University

The Al Aqsa Intifada in Perspective
Prof. Joseph Spoerl, Saint Anselm College

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 9
Bernard Lewis Prize Panel
The Middle East and the Holocaust

An Age of Hate—The Tunisian Jews During the Holocaust
Dr. Shaul Bartal, Bar-Ilan University and University of Lisbon

After the Holocaust
Prof. Monty Penkower, Machon Lander Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Banquet & Awards Luncheon
Israeli Policy and American Interests in the Middle East
Keynote Presentation: Prof. Walter Russell Mead, Hudson Institute

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Roundtable Discussion: Saudi-Israeli Relations
Dr. Cole Bunzel
Prof. Bernard Haykel
Mr. Hussain Abdul Hussain

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 10
Perspectives on East African Politics

Institutions, Discourse, and Violence: The “Amhara Settler” Trope in Ethiopia's Ethnic Federalism
Dr. Kaleb Demerew, West Texas A&M University

Forging Ethno-nationalism in Tigray (1943 - 1975)
Mr. Mengesha Endalew, Texas Tech University

The Recent Wave of Military Coups in West Africa. Three Causes. Two Consequences.
Dr. Felipe Pathe Duarte, Nova School of Law

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 11
Rethinking Religion and Nation

Change in Religious Practice Within the Context of an Alevi-Bektashi Tradition
Dr. Hakki Gurkas, Kennesaw State University

Re-Patriating a Nation? The Paradigm of the “Soldier-Hero”
Ms. Sasha Krugman, University of Pennsylvania

An Overview of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi's Understanding of Tyranny
Mr. Thomas Messick, Melbourne School of Theology

Mosque Construction as Nation-Building: The Case of Turkey
Prof. Umut Uzer, Istanbul Technical University

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 12
Religious Beliefs and Perceptions of the Self in Africa

Addressing Teenage Pregnancy and Related Public Health Issues in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlements in Uganda
Dr. Robert Kagabo, Utah Tech University

History from the Margin: Indigenous African Women as Missionaries, Preachers, Evangelists, and Receivers of Christianity in the Interactions of Niger Missions in the Middle Belt States of Nigeria from 1860-1930
Mr. Kefas Lamak, University of Iowa

Religion and Public Health in Africa
Dr. Robert Lloyd, Palm Beach Atlantic University

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 13
Bernard Lewis Panel
Sources of Contemporary Antisemitism

Islamist Antisemitism in the United States
Ms. Yehudit Barsky, Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy

Mainstreaming Antisemitism On Turkey’s Public Broadcaster TRT: Examining Payitaht Abdülhamid
Dr. Senem B. Çevik, Woodbury University

Can "The Whole World" be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism and Global Jihad
Prof. Richard Landes, Boston University

Constructing the Zionist Fiend at Counterpunch
Prof. Ernest Sternberg, University at Buffalo

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Panel 14
BDS and the Occupation of Western Academia

Mission Creep and Politicization in Middle East National Resource Centers
Ms. Neetu Arnold, National Association of Scholars

Edward Said and the Arab Colonization of Middle Eastern Studies
Prof. Richard Landes, Boston University

Strategic Culture and Ivory Spies: Iranian and Chinese Influence Operations in Academia
Dr. Ian Oxnevad, National Association of Scholars

Higher Ed Support for Hamas Exposes Disdain for America in Top Colleges
Dr. Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Panel 15
Africa: Politics, Governance, and Violence

Civil-Military Relations and the Politics of the Personalist Coup: The Sierra Leone Experience, 1971
Dr. Festus Cole, Bowie State University

The Biopolitics of Material Cultures: Unearthing the Artistic Traditions of Representing Female Agency in the Smithsonian Collection of Luba Tribal Objects
Mrs. Murielle Sandra Tiako Djomatchoua, Princeton University

Is Governance Through Reconstruction and Development, a New Paradigm Shift in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)?
Prof. Patrick Milabyo Kyamusugulwa, Institut Superieur des Techniques Medicales de Bukavu

Uganda, Invisible Children Inc. and the United States' Role in Countering the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
Dr. Curthberth Onek, Millersville University

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Panel 16
Money, Politics, and Language

Rethinking Money: How Bitcoin Could Transform Lebanon's Post-Crisis Financial System
Prof. Seth Cantey, Washington and Lee University

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Panel 17
Other Voices from Iran

Analyzing Iran's Minoritized National Communities Through the Framework of the Security-Development Nexus and the Jina Mahsa Amini Protests
Dr. Eric Lob, Florida International University

Iran, Religious Agents, and the People: Voices from Khuzestan
Dr. Elisheva Machlis, Bar-Ilan University

Ressentiment Politics and Emancipation Discourses of National Minorities in Iran: Analyzing the Discourses of Azerbaijanis from a Critical Perspective
Mr. Sina Mirzaei, Northern Arizona University

4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Panel 18
New Perspectives on Middle Eastern Cities

Redefining the North African City: Villes Nouvelles in Algiers and Tunis
Mr. Tyson Luneau, University at Albany

The Rooftop: A Culture-Specific Feminine Space in Morocco
Dr. Rita Nezami, State University of New York at Stony Brook

5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Editorial Board Meeting – Journal of the Middle East and Africa (Invite only)

6:30 P.M. – 7:45 P.M.
2023 Bernard Lewis Prize Awards Announcement and Reception

8:00 P.M.
Film Screening & Discussion
No Bears (2022)


7:30 A.M. – 8:15 A.M.

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 19
Perspectives on Arabian Religion and Politics

The Concept of al-ʿudhr bi-l-jahl in Salafī Islam
Dr. Cole Bunzel, Stanford University

The Fine Art of Popularization: Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb as a Reader of Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya
Dr. Daniel Lav, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The 1834 Assassination of Saudi Imām Turkī, As Told by Ibn Bishr
Dr. Jeffrey Macris, U.S. Naval Academy History Department

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 20
Ethnic Movements and Their Opponents

What do the Kurds in Turkey Want Now? Public and Private Perceptions on Autonomy and Secession in Istanbul and the Southeast
Mr. Aslam Kakar, Rutgers University-Newark

Between Separatism and Integration: Examining the Persistence and Moderation of Self-Determination Movements in Yemen and Turkey
Mr. Ala Mohsen, University of Utah

Revisiting the Kurdish Opening in Turkey: Dual State Strategy and Territorial Control
Dr. Dilan Okcuoglu, Abersywyth University and University of Sussex

Newroz (New Day)? Saddam Hussein's Arabization of Iraqi Kurdistan, 1975-1979
Prof. Larry Simpson, High Point University (ret.)

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 21
Israel: Normalization and Integration

Public Opinion Toward Normalization with Israel: The View from the Arab World
Dr. Lindsay Benstead, Portland State University

From Arab-Israeli Conflict to Arab-Israeli Integration: A New Textbook for Understanding the Contemporary Middle East
Dr. Jason Olson, Brigham Young University – Hawaii

The Future of the US-Israel Relations: Less Emotional, More Strategic—and Durable?
Dr. Ziv Rubinovitz, University of Haifa 

Israel in the Middle East - From the Margins to the Center
Prof. Eyal Zisser, Tel Aviv University

8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
Panel 22
Africa: Politics and Security

Presidential Candidate Policy Preferences in Cote d'Ivoire and Senegal
Dr. Nathaniel Cogley, Tarleton State University

"The Democracy of the Stomach": Historicizing Soldier Complaints and National Security in Colonial Nigeria (1944-1960)
Ms. Ngozi Edeagu, University of Bayreuth

"Destruction of Noxious Beast": Conservation, Ox-Plowing, and Late British Colonial Rule in The Gambia, West Africa
Mr. Sana Saidykhan, Ohio University

10:15 A.M.
Coffee Break

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Roundtable Discussion: Twenty Years After the War in Iraq
Mr. Michael Eisenstadt
Dr. Martin Kramer
Dr. Jeffrey Macris
Prof. Joseph Skelly

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 24
Lebanon in the 1950s

The Early Years of Rashid Karami: East or West? From Accession as Za'im to Lebanon's 1958 Civil War
Mr. Zach Battat, Ariel University

The Myth of “Zaim”/ “Zuema”: Revisiting the Lebanese Elite Terminology in 1950s
Mr. Taylan Paksoy, Bilkent University

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 25
Rethinking Military Conquests

The Challenges and Opportunities of Religious Diaspora Advocacy: The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Community in North America as a Case Study
Mrs. Lilian Estafanous, Queen's University

How to Think About the Muslim/Arab Conquests
Dr. Douglas Streusand, Marine Corps Command & Staff College

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 26
Finding Allies, Making Enemies in the Middle East

In Search of a Strategic Ally—Saudi Arabia—China Rapprochement and its Foundations
Prof. Alexander Bligh, University of Haifa

Operation AJAX Revisited: US-Iran Relations in Light of Recently Declassified CIA Sources
Ms. Janan Iranbomy, Harvard University

The United States, the Middle East, and the Language of Force
Dr. Cindy May, Lancaster University

The Impact of the Saudi-Iranian Rapprochement on the United States Interests in the Middle East
Dr. Ahmed Zohny, Coppin State University

10:30 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Panel 27
Ethnic Politics in Israel

The 2023 Constitutional-Judicial Discourse in Israel as Another Occurrence of the Liberal-Republican Ethos Clash in Israeli Society
Dr. Eyal Lewin, Ariel University

The Rise and Fall of Israel's Anti-Apartheid Policy: The Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) and its Relations with Israel During the 1960s
Dr. Asher Lubotzky, University of Houston

Ethnicity in Israeli Foreign Policy Opinion
Dr. Hannah Ridge, Chapman University

The Young generation in the Arab society in Israel - (The Arab Woman in Israel in a Tight Spot: Academia and Career Versus Marriage and Family)
Mr. Igal Shiri, Ariel University

12:15 P.M.
Boxed Lunch

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Panel 28
Military Matters in the Middle East and Africa

North Korean Support to Iran's Proxy Partners
Prof. Bruce Bechtol, Angelo State University

The Role of Proxy Warfare and Missile Proliferation in Iran's Shia Imamate Project
Dr. Anthony Celso, Angelo State University

The Role of Disease in French Colonial Warfare in Africa 1830-1914
Dr. William Dean, U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Panel 29
From Terrorism to Normalization

The Ideological Foundation of the African Jihadist Group Boko Haram
Dr. Abdel Salam Aretouyap, University of Buea

Normalization as Strategic Hedging. Explaining the Recent Wave of Rapprochements in the MENA Region
Prof. Laszlo Csicsmann, Corvinus University of Budapest

The Tripartite Motivational Structure for Violent Extremism and Terrorism
Dr. Randall Rogan, Wake Forest University

An In-Depth Exploration of the Utilization of Emerging Neurotechnologies in Terrorist Rehabilitation Programs
Mr. Christopher Senn, Rice University

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Panel 30
Iran: Policies, Interests, and War

Ending a War with No End: Revisiting Khomeini's Decision to Finish the War with Iraq
Mr. Omer Carmi, Tel Aviv University

What Do We Mean by Sharia Government?
Mr. Caleb Griffin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Iran’s Foreign Policy in Central Asia: Pragmatism Over Ideology
Dr. Edward Lynch and Ms. Sylvia Adongo, Hollins University

The Question of the Financial Reform of Iran—Geopolitical Interests and Modernization During the Late Qajar Era
Mr. István Vácz, Eötvös Loránd University

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Panel 31
Religion, Community, and Discourse

Hashtags & Holy Texts: A Social Network Analysis of Anti-Feminist Discourses and the Religious Rhetoric Silencing Arab Women
Dr. Shoaa Almalki, University of Texas at Austin

The Protection of Women from Cyber Blackmail in Arab Countries in the Light of International Human Rights Law
Dr. Mohammed Elshobake, International Islamic University Malaysia

Boundaries of Ethnic and Diasporic Identities: Armenian Communities in New York and Toronto
Dr. Nazlı Önder, Atatürk University

12:30 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Panel 32
Movement and Formation in the Middle Twentieth Century

European Jewish Refugees in Shanghai Between 1933 and 1939
Prof. Banu Eligur, Baskent University

Jewish Emigration from Shanghai to Israel in the Post-WWII Period
Prof. Banu Eligur, Baskent University

For the Homeland: Army Formation in the Haganah through the Israeli War of Independence
Mr. Ido Levy, American University

The Question of Palestine in the Context of State-Ulema Relations in Iran, 1947 - 1949
Prof. Soli Shahvar, University of Haifa

2:15 P.M.
Coffee Break

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 33
Trade and Geopolitics in Africa and the Middle East

The US Trade Capacity Building Assistance and Its Impact on Recipients Capacity Building: The Case of Middle East and African Countries
Mr. Nana Kwame Baah, Northern Arizona University

Does it Matter for Africa with Whom it Trades? Estimations of the Impacts of Africa's Trade with the EU and China on Corruption
Prof. Tereza Němečková, Metropolitan University Prague

How BRICS and China are Changing the Geoeconomic and Political Landscape of the Middle East: Dedollarization and its Consequences
Dr. Wojtek Wolfe, Rutgers University

Can Foreign Economic Engagement Legitimate Autocracy? How China's Belt and Road Initiative is Shaping the Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Iku Yoshimoto, University of Tokyo and Prof. Austin Knuppe, Utah State University

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 34
Language, Identities, and Social Media

Language Maintenance in Kabyle-Tamazight: Social Consensus and Policy Victories
Ms. Dehbia Gaoua and Mr. Andre Philippe Batchelder-Schwab, Boston University

Politics of Disassimilation
Ms. Hind Wright, The New School for Social Research

2:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 35
Post-2021 MENA Geopolitics: Risks, Thaws, and Expectations

Is the Genie still in the Bottle? Risk of a new wave of Nuclearization in the post-JCPOA Middle East
Prof. Nursin Guney, Nişantaşı University

New Normal of MENA: Are Thaws Strong Enough to Think Beyond Hedging?
Prof. Visne Korkmaz, Nişantaşı University

Greek-Turkish Rapprochement: Disaster Diplomacy, Normalization or a New Thinking in Eastern Mediterranean
Prof. Zuhal Mert Uzuner, Marmara University

2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Panel 36
Shaykhism, Babism, and the Bahia faith

Dissension in the Baha'i Faith: How some Baha'is rejected the Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi
Mr. Steven Kitchell, Independent Scholar

The Consolidation of Power in Shaykhism and Babism
Mr. Alexander Shepard, Indiana University and Butler University