Middle East and North African Studies Symposium

Art and Social Change: March 14 - 16, 2023

Join the Middle East and North African (MENA) program March 14th - 16th, 2023 for our annual MENA symposium.

This year’s theme is Art and Social Change.

Middle East and North African (MENA) Symposium 2023


Schedule of Events

March 14

2-3:30 p.m. Keynote with Princess Alia Al-Senussi, PhD, Webinar: “Artist as Activist” - Albany 207

Description: Art has power to mobilise change: social, political and cultural, and the artist can be an important medium that represents, or challenges, the views of the citizens. Social activism within the sphere of the visual arts is best understood as a creative engagement questioning and attempting to challenge established norms and boundaries. We need to consider the role of the artist in representing the nation and influencing the debate on societal change, especially the power of women artists in MENA who help to correct misconceptions on women’s role in society. Today’s artists have an advantage too as they operate in a very different setting to traditionally conceived: they can reach wider audiences via a commonly understood language of technology and social media. Zoom link.

Princess Alia Al-Senussi, PhD Princess Alia Al-Senussi, PhD

5-6 p.m. Opening Dinner (Smith Hall)

Enjoy some delicious Lebanese finger food from Ya Hala! Hang out with your friends and listen to some Arabic tunes.

March 15

4:45-6:15 p.m. Student Panel (Miller 102)

Listen to presentations from students on their academic research on the MENA region.

  • Lee Hinkle: Music in the MENA Region: Subversions of Dominant Ideologies and Tensions Surrounding Modernity
  • Quinn Bicer: War, Displacement, and the Legacy of Humanitarianism in the Middle East
  • Daniel Pang: Fundamentalist Feminism in Egyptian Islam
  • Claire Baco: Sociolinguistic Hierarchy in Morocco

6pm-8pm: Muslim Student Association banquet on Islam and Mental Health (South Chapel)

The MSA is holding a banquet on Islam and Mental Health with guest speaker Counselor Raumene Rahatzad from Sound Heart Integrative Counseling. Free Mediterranean food included. RSVP here.

March 16

3:30-4:30 p.m. Join us for a Q&A session with Ambassador Mushingi (Miller 102)

Ambassador Mushingi will discuss work in foreign service, his time working in Morocco, the experience of a foreign service career in Africa, and how in his time abroad he has witnessed the idea of art and social change.

5-6:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker: Mona Haydar (Miller 102) Webinar: “Finding your Purpose”

Description: Using your unique gifts and talents to better and beautify the world. Zoom link.

Mona Haydar Mona Haydar