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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

"Guests of BJ"

Guests of BJ: A conference in honor of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
Thursday–Saturday, October 15–17, 2009
AVAYA Auditorium (ACES 2.302)

Elizabeth Fernea

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea (1927–2008)—"BJ" to those who knew her—was a prolific educator, author, and filmmaker whose work was a pioneering effort to bring the discussion of gender, politics, and culture in the Middle East/North Africa region to a much larger audience.

She served on the faculty of UT's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Department of English for over three decades, was appointed the first chair of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, and was the first woman elected president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA).

Her passionate dedication to her interests and her tireless teaching and mentoring influenced generations of scholars and students. In her memory and honor, the University of Texas held a three day conference on gender, politics, and culture, featuring selected panels of colleagues, friends, and former students.

"Elizabeth Fernea: Life and Times," a video montage assembled by Guha Shankar for presentation at this conference.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kamran Ali
Kamran Ali (Anthropology) opening the conference.

Opening Keynote Event: 5:00-7:00 pm

Introductions and Welcome
Richard Flores, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Kamran Scot Aghaie, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Kamran Ali, Department of Anthropology
Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Program in Comparative Literature

Caroline Williams
Caroline Williams
Samia Mehrez
Samia Mehrez

... in Cairo 

"Introduction to Living with the Past"
Caroline Williams, College of William and Mary

Clips from the film Living with the Past
(2001, dir: Maysoon Pachachi, prod: Elizabeth Fernea)

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker
Barbara Harlow, Department of English

“The Literary Atlas of Cairo: One Hundred Years of the City's Representation in Literature”
Samia Mehrez, American University in Cairo


Friday, October 16, 2009

Ted Swedenburg
Ted Swedenburg
Yaron Shemer
Yaron Shemer
Sabra Webber
Sabra Webber

... in War and Peace

Panel I: 8:45–10:15 am
Chair: M.R. Ghanoonparvar, Department of Middle Eastern Studies

“Can Palestinian Pop Culture Do Anything for Palestine?”
Ted Swedenburg, University of Arkansas

“The Hilarity of Evil: The Terrorist Drama in Contemporary Middle Eastern Cinema”
Yaron Shemer, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“‘Back’ to Iraq: Betwixt and Between in Baghdad with Salam/Pax”
Sabra Webber, Ohio State University

Keith Walters
Keith Walters
Martina Rieker
Martina Rieker
Mounira Maya Charrad
Mounira Maya Charrad

... in the Women's Quarters

Panel II: 10:30–12:00 noon
Chair: Tarek El-Ariss, Department of Middle Eastern Studies

“Educating Girls in 19th-Century Tunisia and the Origin of Tunisian Language Ideologies”
S. Keith Walters, Portland State University

“Reflections on the Middle East Gender Industry in the Age of Neoliberalism”
Martina Rieker, American University in Cairo

“Gender Politics in the Middle East: From BJ’s Pioneering Work to Today’s Debates”
Mounira Maya Charrad, University of Texas at Austin


... in the Center for Women's and Gender Studies

Lunch Session: 12:30–2:00 pm
Round Table with Past Directors of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies
Moderator: Susan Heinzelman, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies

Featured Speakers:
Laura Lein, University of Michigan
Gretchen Ritter, University of Texas at Austin
Patricia Stallings Kruppa, University of Texas at Austin (retired)
Teresa A. Sullivan, University of Michigan

Maysoon Pachachi and Mary Ann Bruni
Maysoon Pachachi and Mary Ann Bruni

... in the Screening Room

Panel III: 2:15–4:30 pm
Chair: Barbara Harlow, Department of English

“Open Shutters Iraq”
Maysoon Pachachi, Oxymoron Films

“Picturing Zhinan (Kurdish women) Architects of the New Iraq”
Mary Ann Bruni, independent filmmaker


 ... in Comparative Literature

Plenary Keynote Address: 5:00 pm
(in conjunction with “Postcolonial Actualities: Past and Present”)

“Terrestrial Humanism and the Politics of Translation in the Work of Edward Said”
Emily Apter, New York University


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Khaled Mattawa, Deborah Kapchan, and Amal Chagumoum
Khaled Mattawa, Deborah Kapchan, and Amal Chagumoum

... in Poetry and Prose

Panel IV: 10:30–12:00 noon
Chair: Laura Furman, Department of English

“Subjectivity and Plurality: Bridging the Gap between the Self and The Other”
Amal Chagumoum, University of Virginia

“Meet the Poet-Stranger: On Agha Shahid Ali’s Exilic Cunning
Khaled Mattawa, University of Michigan

“In Search of Islamic Feminist Poets: The Work and Life of Rachida Madani”
Deborah Kapchan, New York University

Basima Bezirgan, Robert A. Fernea, Annes McCann-Baker, and Barbara Harlow
Basima Bezirgan, Robert A. Fernea, Annes McCann-Baker, and Barbara Harlow

Round Table and Open Microphone: 1:30–4:00 pm

Featured Speakers:
Basima Bezirgan, University of Chicago Libraries (retired)
Robert A. Fernea, University of Texas at Austin (emeritus)
Annes McCann–Baker, University of Texas at Austin (retired)

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