“Violence in the Middle East”

Lebanese American University — May 26-28, 2004

Journalists report acts of violence and governments conduct policy around violence, but few attempt to study violence in terms of its causes and connections to other aspects of human life. Even academic specialists tend to study the phenomenon in isolation according to particular objects and methodologies. This conference was therefore conceived to bring scholars together from a number of disciplines in order to study the phenomenon of violence in the Middle East in its cultural, economic and political aspects.

Organized by the Humanities Division of the Lebanese American University-Beirut, this interdisciplinary conference will bring together some 30 scholars from four continents and a half-dozen disciplines to study the roots and ramifications of violence in the Middle East. In the hope of stimulating a cross-fertilization of knowledge, scholars from history, philosophy, anthropology, women's studies, political science and literature will gather to address some of the following aspects of Middle East violence:

In addition to featuring seven panels of scholars, three prominent researchers in the fields of violence and Middle East studies will give keynote addresses on each evening of the conference: Professors Suman Gupta (Philosophy, The Open University, U.K.), Jorgen Nielsen (Islamic Studies, University of Birmingham, U.K.) and Susan Stanford Friedman (Literary Studies/Feminism, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA).

By the end of the conference it is the organizers' hope that we will have achieved a grasp of the interconnectedness of Middle East violences. The aim is ultimately to show how the eruption of violence in one realm depends on the history of myriad violences and coercions in other realms. In this way, we hope to contribute as academics to the solution of the problem of violence that plagues this region.


Marianne Marroum, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature.

Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Political Science.

Ken Seigneurie, Assistant Professor of English, Chair of the Humanities Division.

Humanities Division Office: 01-786456, ext. 1170. E-mail: comparative.literature@lau.edu.lb.