Session Chairs

Listed in alphabetical order
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Hakim Abderrezak is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where he teaches French and Francophone Studies.

His research has dealt primarily with Maghrebi literature and cinema. His latest publications comprise an article on clandestine migration in francophone Moroccan "illiterature" as well as an interview with Algerian writer,Boualem Sansal. Forthcoming articles include a piece on Djamel Bensaleah's film Il etait une fois dans l'oued,  an essay covering Beur novel Pieds-Blancs, and an analysis of clandestine migration in Mediterranean music to appear in a special issue of Modern and Contemporary France.

Abderrezak is also co-editing a special issue of Expressions Maghrebines on Maghrebi literature of expressions other than Arabic and French. His current book progect examines francophone, Spanish, and Arabic literary, cinematographic and musical representations of various contemporary migratory patterns in the Western Mediterranean.


Cawo (Awa) Mohamed Abdi is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota and is also a Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Her research interests are in gender and family dynamics, Islam, transnational migration and development. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Horn of Africa, South Africa and in the U.S. and has published on refugees and insecurity in camps as well as on Somali transnational migration experiences. She is currently completing a manuscript that compares Somali migration experiences in various parts of the world.


William O. Beeman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the fniversity of Minnesota. He was trained at the University of Chicago as a linguistic anthropologist. He is past president of the Middle East section of the American Anthropological Association and former Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University.

He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles and 600 opinion pieces which have appeared internationally. Beeman also has served as consultant to the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the United Nations, and the European Union, as well as having testified before the U.S. Congress. 

His books include, Language, Status and Power in Iran; Culture, Performance and Communication in Iran; The “Great Satan” vs. the “Mad Mullahs”: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other, and Iranian Performance Forms: Keys to Iranian Culture now in press.

Nabil Matar is a professor in the English Department at the University of Minnesota.

His research in the past two decades has focused on relations between early modern Britain, Western Europe, and the Islamic Mediterranean.

He is author of numerous articles, chapters in books and encyclopedias, and the trilogy: Islam in Britain, 1558-1685 (Cambridge UP, 1998), Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia UP, 1999), and Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689 (UP of Florida, 2005).

He wrote the introduction to Piracy, Slavery and Redemption (Columbia UP, 2001) and began a second trilogy on Arabs and Europeans in the early modern world: In the Lands of the Christians (Routledge, 2003), Europe through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727 (Columbia UP, 2009), and is currently working on the third installment. 

Matar's next publication is forthcoming with Professor Gerald MacLean, Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 (Oxford UP, 2010). With Professor Judy Hayden, he is co-editing a collection of essays on travel to the Holy Land in the early modern period (forthcoming Brill, 2011). With Professor Claire Jowitt, he is preparing an edition of three early modern English plays featuring Muslim women (forthcoming, the Revels Series, Manchester UP, 2012).

He is also completing a study and an edition of Henry Stubbe's The Rise and Progress of Mahometanism (forthcoming Columbia UP, 2012).


Catherine Squires is the inaugural John and Elizabeth Bates Cowled Professor of Journalism, Diversity, and Equality at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a faculty fellow in the Office of Equity and Diversity at the U. 

Her work focuses on the interactions between racial groups, mass media, and the public sphere. She is the author of Dispatches from the Color Line and African Americans and the Media (Polity, 2009), and co-editor of The Obama Effect: Multidisciplinary Renderings of the 2008 Campaign (SUNY 2010).

Squires has published many articles on media and identity in journals such as Critical Studies in Media Communication and the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics. She received her PhD from Northwestern University's School of Speech in 1999 and was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 2000-2007.


Rosemary Stanfield-Johnson is associate professor of Religious History in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Her research focus is late medieval and early modern Iranian history, Shi'i political and popular culture, and popular sectarian literature. Stanfield-Johnson's publications include "The Tabarra'iyan and the Early Safavids," Iranian Studies, 37(1), 2004; "Sunni Survival in Safavid Iran: Anti-Sunni Activities during the Reign of Tahmasp I," Iranian Studies, 27 (1-4), 1994; "Yuzbashi-yi Kurd Bacheh and 'Abd al Mu'min Khan the Uzbek: A Tale of Revenge in the Daston of Husayn Kurd," Muraqqa'e Sharqi, Soussie Kerman-Rastegar and Anna Vanzan, (eds), Dogana: AIEP Editore S.r.l., 2007; and "The Hyderabad Connection in the Dastan of Hoseyn Kord," Deccan Studies, 2 (2), 2004. She is currently working on a book on the theology, the politics, and the practice of public ritual in 16th-century Iran.


Shaden M. Tageldin is associate professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota.

A specialist in 19th and 20th-century literatures in English, Arabic, and French, her research and teaching engage empire and postcolonial studies, critical translation theory, and the politics and ideologies of language and literature.

Her book, Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011), analyzes the afterlives of two colonial occupations of Egypt - the French (1798) and the British (1882) - to show how Egyptian intellectuals, first as warily intrigued receivers of European "self-translations" into Arab-Islamicity and then as admiring producers of Arabic translations from European literature, psychologically attached themselves to empire even as they imagined themselves to be overcoming colonial domination. 

Her most recent publications are "Secularizing Islam: Carlyle, al-Siba'i, and the Translations of 'Religious' in British Egypt," PMLA 126.1 (January 2011), and "One Comparative Literature? 'Birth' of a Discipline in French-Arabic Translation, 1810-1834," Comparative Literature Studies 47.4 (2010). Other recent publications include "The African Novel in Arabic," in The Cambridge Companion to the African Novel, ed. F. Abiola Irele (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and "Which Qalam for Algeria? Colonialism, Liberature, and Language in Djebar's L'amour, la fantasia and Mustaghanimi's Dhakirat al-jasad," Comparative Literature Studies 46.3 (2009). 

Among other grants, she has held a postdoctoral fellowship from the Berlin-based program "Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe" (co-sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the Berlin-Bradenburg Academy of Sciences) and a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Tageldin  earned her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004.


Brett Wilson is assistant professor of Religious Studies at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

He completed is doctoral work in Islamic Studies at Duke University, and his research focuses on the history of Islamic thought and textual transformation in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey. Currently he is working on a book manuscript titled The Qur'an After Babel about translations of the Qur'an andn controversies surrounding them in the age of nationalism.

Other research interests include the history of printing Islamic texts, representations of Sufism in literature, and transformations in modern Muslim thought concerning sacred language and communal identity.
rels Religious Studies Program,
Feb 16, 2011, 1:00 PM
rels Religious Studies Program,
Feb 16, 2011, 1:00 PM