Northwestern Events Calendar


MENA Monday: New Directions in MENA Series

When: Monday, March 2, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room, 201, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Katelyn Marie Rashid   (847) 467-5314

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Event co-sponsored by the Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Title: "Writing a History of Sectarianism"

Speaker: Dr. Ussama Makdisi, Rice University, Professor of History &
Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies


How does one write a history of sectarianism in the modern Middle East? What does sectarianism actually mean? Where does one begin a story of sectarianism?

The traditional view is that religious violence in the Middle East is an emanation of a peculiar sectarian Middle Eastern condition, that it is “age-old” and endemic and that it reflects a problem in the region’s adaptation to a secular Western modernity. Sectarianism has often been depicted as a holdover of primordial religious divisions that make up the Middle East.

In contrast, I would like to suggest that an Ottoman crisis of religious pluralism that began in the nineteenth century was itself part of a global problem in which many empires and nation-states struggled to transform explicit politics of discrimination into those of citizenship and equality.

Lunch Served

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