Language, Conflict and Security in the Middle East

Language, Conflict and Security in the Middle East

10-11 April 2010
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge

Read about the resulting report: Language, Conflict and Security in the Middle East.

Conference Programme

Saturday, 10 April 2010

09:00 – 09:30 Registration and Refreshments

09:30 – 09:45 Professor Yasir Suleiman – Welcome

09:45 – 11:00 Security and Beyond (Chair: Sir Richard Dearlove, Master of Pembroke College)

  • Prof. Karin Fierke, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews

Security Studies and Beyond

  • Prof. Karin C. Ryding, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Security Studies, Arabic, and New Academic Alignments: Bridging the Transcultural Gap

  • Prof. Yasir Suleiman, Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge

Language, Conflict and Security: Exploratory Perspectives

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:30 Language in Conflict (Chair: Dr. Ian Patterson, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)

  • Prof. Bert Vaux , Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge

Languages in Conflict in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem

  • Prof. Mohamed Benrabah, Department of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Stendhal-Grenoble III University

French in Algeria: From Bitterness to Appropriation

  • Mr. Kusha Sefat, Senior Producer at Press TV and consultant to the former spokesperson at the Iranian foreign ministry

Media, Conflict and War: Potent Objectivity as a Media Strategy

  • Dr. Jacob Høigilt, Middle East Researcher, Fafo, AIS, Oslo, Norway

Hizbullah and the Semantics of Resistance

13:30 -14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 -16:30 War of Words (Chair: Dr. Boping Yuan / Linguistics / Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge)

  • Dr. Richard Jackson, Reader in International Politics, Prifysgol Aberystwyth in Wales & Dr Helen Dexter, Centre for International Politics, University of Manchester

Fighting Talk: Language and Narrative in the Social Construction of Political Violence and Civil War

  • Lt. Col. Mark Gagnon, Academy Professor (returning from Iraq) United States Military Academy – West Point.

Linguists in War

  • Ms Lindsay Sparling, Persian Language Analyst and Subject Expert

Persian: The Need for Less Commonly Taught Languages in the Post-9/11 World

  • Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Watrud, Chief of Staff, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, U.S. Army

DLIFLC and the Languages of the Middle East

16:30 – 17:00 Coffee Break

17:00 – 19:00 Israel, Palestine, Language and Terminology (Chair: Prof. Yasir Suleiman, Head of Department of Middle Eastern Studies, and Director of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge)

  • Prof. Hannan Hever, Head of School of Literatures at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

The Palestinian Nakba in Hebrew Poetry, 1948-1958

  • Prof. Ahmad Atawneh, Department of English, Hebron University,

The Political Discourse of Israeli Occupation: The Spirit of Orientalism

  • Dr. Abigail Sone, Department of Anthropology, University of  Toronto

There is no Arab Street in Israel’: Language Ideology and Spatial Practice in a Divided Landscape

  • Dr Michelle Burgis, School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews

Listening for Silences in the Courtroom: Law, language and the politics of denial in Israeli Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Sunday, 11 April 2010

09:00 – 11:00 Reading between the Lines: The Other Side of Language and Conflict (Chair: Dr. Amira Bennison, Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Univeristy of Cambridge)

  • Prof. Elana Shohamy, School of Education, Tel Aviv University

Language Tests as Europe’s Gatekeepers

  • Dr. Helle Lykke Nielsen, Asc. Professor, Centre for Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark

The struggle over Arabic: Lessons learned from the Danish cartoon affair

  • Ms. Tami Sarfatti, PhD Candidate (currently finalising thesis Les Égyptiens de l’an VI: Bonaparte’s Savants and the Description of Egypt) at UCLA

Making the Map of Egypt: Orientalists, Army, and Modes of Transliteration

  • Dr. W.J. Dorman, Lecturer in Middle East Politics, School of Government & International Affairs, Durham University

Cityscapes of Disorder: the Social Production of the ‘Ashwa’iyyat Discourse in Cairo

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:30 Teaching Other’s Languages (Chair: Prof. Colleen McLaughlin / Faculty of Education)

  • Dr. Shlomo Alon, General Supervisor of Arabic Studies in Israeli Ministry of Education

Teaching Arabic in Israel: Language or Politics?

  • Dr. Mansour Abdel Wahab Mansour, Hebrew studies teacher, Department of Semitic Languages, Faculty of Languages, Ein Shams University – Cairo. Serve as a Hebrew translator for the President.

Teaching Hebrew in Egypt: On Foreign Language Teaching and Normalisation

  • Ms. Nadia von Maltzahn, DPhil Candidate in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

Persian Language Teaching in Syria

  • Prof. William Beeman, Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota

Arabic vs. Persian in Iran

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:30 Is Arabic under Attack? (Chair: Dr. Khaled Hroub, Director of Cambridge Arab Media Project)

  • Dr. Ahmed Kabel, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco

Arabic and Arabisation in a Time of Terror

  • Col. Dr. David F. DiMeo, Academy Professor of Arabic and Director, Centre for Languages, Cultures and Regional Studies, United States Military Academy – West Point.

Language and Security: Teaching the Arabic Language in a Changing Security Environment

  • Mr. Elhanan Miller, Graduate student, Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem:

Army in the Classroom: the Attempts of the IDF to Encourage the Study of Arabic in Israeli High Schools

  • Mr. Evan Renfro, MA Centennial Fellow, PhD Student, Department of Political Science, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Breeding James Bonds: ‘Critical Language’ Acquisition and National Security

16:30 Prof. Yasir Suleiman, Closing Remarks

16:45 End of Conference