CMES Student Travel Awards Recipients Presenting at MESA 2016


The Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts


Thu, 11/17/2016 - 12:00am to Sat, 11/26/2022 - 5:11am


The CMES Student Travel Award 

Being Gazan: identity, institutions, and internationality in the Gaza Strip
Lyndall Herman,  PhD Candidate, Critical Cultural Studies track, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2016
Date: November 18, 2016 at 3:45-5:30
Click here for abstract 

The Influence of Turkish Soap Operas on Middle Class Working Women of Mashhad
Alyeh Mehin Jafarabadi, PhD Candidate at School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2016
Date: November 19, 2016
Click here for abstract 

Building Intercultural Competence Through Linguistic Landscapes and Film Clips
Charles Joukhadar, PhD Student, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2016
Date: November 19, 2016 at 4PM
Click here for abstract 

Between Socialism and Communism: an intellectual history of Tunisian Jews from 1910 to 1956
Kamilia Rahmouni, PhD in Middle Eastern ad North African Studies  
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2016
Date: November 19, 2016
Transforming Times in Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh and Sa'di: A Chronotopic Analysis
Mojtaba Ebrahimian, PhD Candidate, School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies 
Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting 2016
Date: November 20, 2016 at 10AM
Click here for abstract 

Herman Abstract
In recent years there have been great strides in addressing the place of international organizations in various facets of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Much of this recent research has focused on the West Bank, the role of these organizations in creating aid dependency, and the perspectives of Palestinian elites. In contrast, research that focuses on the Gaza Strip and the role of international organizations there is missing. This project brings together several of these lines of inquiry: by focusing on the place of international organizations working in the Gaza Strip between 1948-1967 time it interrogates these organizations relationships with Gazan’s and the ensuing legacy in the structures of governance within the Gaza Strip. This project investigates the role of international organizations in emulating traditional structures of governance, in particular through the provision of services typically associated with national governments: education, health care, job creation programs, and housing programs. By researching the initiation of these practices and their subsequent impact on each organization’s local employees and the communities served, this project explores the significance of internationality as a basis for analyzing the spaces, bureaucracies, and hierarchies created by these organizations. Interrogation of the archival record of prominent international organizations during the 1948-1967 period (including the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and the United Nation Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)) is augmented by placing these documents in dialogued with the oral recollections of Gazan’s. This bi-modal approach presents an argument for the significance of analyzing past and present structures of governance in Gaza on the basis of a legacy of internationality.

Jafarabadi Abstract 
This study presents change of women role models among middle class Iranian women, who tend to watch Turkish soap operas broadcast by satellite channels like GEM and River rather than the programs produced and broadcast by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). In line with the studies of identity change, especially those by Najmabadi and Tavakoli Taraghi on the change of Iranians through their encounter with the Europeans, as well as the investigations on women role models by Pouya , this study focuses on the changes in self and identity perceptions along with the creation of an alternative social discourse that stands in contrast to the identity engineered by dominant political and religious discourses of the Islamic Republic of Iran. To identify the revolutionary Iranian women from before, the Islamic regime introduced Fatima and Zeinab from early Islam as role models to mobilize women for the Revolution and the 1980s logistic activities. Fatima and Zeinab symbolized sacrifice and modesty, and after the War they were used to send women back to private sphere. During 1990s IRIB depicted mothers and sisters of the martyrs of the Revolution and the war , the successful entrepreneurs in the 1990s, as well as certain modest fictional characters that emphasized sacrificing modest women.

This study was informed by participant observation and interviews conducted on middle class educated working women in Mashhad, and focused on the influence of vastly popular Turkish soap operas, like ‘Forbidden Love’, ‘Dila Hanim’ and ‘Fatma Gul’ on such ideas as feminine beauty, body care, fashion, freedom and carpe diem. The interviewees stated that unlike with the characters in Brazilian, Egyptian, or Korean soap operas, they often identify with the Turks, because we share similar culture, values and history. Reported by the participants, such manifestations of everyday life as shopping for Made-in- Turkey clothes rather than Iranian or Chinese brands, drinking Turkish-style coffee and tea, wearing more high-hills and Turkish-style scarves, as well as the growing number of women entering into illicit relationships and making independent decisions about their love lives are among the ones counted by the women participants in this study. The results of this ethnographical study indicate the growing alternative discourses of self-presentation and perception of identity that are inspired by Turkish characters from satellite channels, replacing IRIB role models of modesty and sacrifice.
Joukhadar Abstract 
Building students’ Intercultural Competence (ICC) involves providing them with the knowledge and skills that would facilitate their interaction with members of other cultures and that reflect a deliberate awareness of cultural differences and similarities (Hoyt, 2012). This presentation argues that Linguistic Landscapes (or publicly displayed texts) and film clips are ideal tools for providing this kind of training. The presentation will show how the authenticity and cultural richness of those tools can help build ICC at all levels of language proficiency, including the beginner level. It will also illustrate how the four curricular components of the New London Group (1996), namely situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing, and transformed practice, can be used to plan and structure an ICC-building classroom activity.
Rahmouni Abstract 
Tunisia is home to one of the worlds oldest Diaspora Jewish communities. However, Tunisian Jews are still among the most understudied Jewish minority groups especially in the Anglo phone academic world. This paper attempts to fill in this gap. It is a part of a larger project that studies primary Hebrew and Judeo-Tunisian Arabic resources and French autobiographic accounts to trace an intellectual history of Tunisian Jews from 1910 to 1956, and to analyze their role in the Tunisian independence movement. It argues that during that period, Tunisian Jews had adopted different ideologies that shaped their involvement in the political and social scenes: Tunisian nationalism, Zionism, Socialism and Communism, with the last two being the main focus of this paper. This paper studies French autobiographic accounts of Tunisian Jews in order to shed light on the socialist and communist ideologies that defined their political and social orientations from 1910 until the Tunisian independence in 1956. Like many other intellectuals of that period, Tunisian Jews had been influenced by the trending socialist and communist ideologies; socialist Jews called for universal equality between the Tunisian and the French peoples under the umbrella of the protectorate while communist Jews believed in the right to freedom and self-determination. Many socialist Tunisian Jews were highly active unionists who criticized the unjust French policies and called for equal treatment between Tunisian and French workers without necessarily calling for independence. For Tunisian Jewish communists, the condemnation of colonial expeditions was part of the condemnation of capitalist exploitation. They called for Tunisia’s independence and directed their efforts accordingly.

Ebrahimian Abstract
Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh ( 1892-1997) is considered the pioneer of modern Persian story writing by the majority of literary critics inside and outside Iran. His prominent status is attributed to his emulating European forms of the short story and novel, and transferring their form into an Iranian context. Hassan Abedini calls Jamalzadeh the first Iranian author who combined methods of European story writing and Persian narration techniques, and produced modern Persian short stories ("Call for Return to the Past" 151 ). Homayoun Katouzian maintains that because Jamalzadeh lived in Europe most of his life, he was able to compare the Western modem institutions and thoughts with Iranian traditional culture and worldview, and consequently represent his critical and progressive views in the form and content of his stories. ("On Jamalzadeh and Studying Jamalzadeh" 186). And in view of Ebrahim Estaji, Jamalzadeh was the first Iranian writer who followed Western models of short story writing and poured Iranian prose into the mold of Western narration

("Jamalzadeh's Place in Persian Story Writing" 307). Therefore, Jamalzadeh's familiarity with Western culture and literature, his use of modern European narrative genres to represent contemporary sociopolitical issues, as well as his mastery of classical Persian poetic prose constitute the principal components of his modern literary artistry. Nonetheless, his works do not necessarily comprise a rupture with classical Persian narratives, but illustrate a continuation of them. Drawing upon Mikhail Bakhtin's insights on "the literary chronotope," the current study aims to demonstrate how Jamalzadeh's rendition of the
"chronotope of travel/ excursion/ journey" is connected to the narratives in Sa'di's Gulistan (1258). In Bakhtin's view, a chronotope refers to "the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships that are artistically expressed in literature" (84). He argues that the chronotope in literature has "an intrinsic generic significance," thus defines "genre and generic distinctions"; moreover, the chronotope determines the "image of man in literature" as the image of man is "always intrinsically chronotopic" (85). This paper analyzes Sa'di's Golestan (1258) and Jamalzadeh's most famous collection of short stories Once Upon a Time (1921) chronotopically in order to chart the generic affinities and disjunctive between the two. By comparing the chronotope of travel in these works, it aims to depict not only their literary styles but also the dominant conception of man in their respective eras.