Monthly Archives: September 2013

TAARII Fellowship Opportunities

The annual deadline for submission of applications to both the U.S. Fellows Program and the Iraq Fellows Program is December 15, 2013, for projects beginning as early as March 2014. Applications from U.S.-Iraqi collaborative teams are welcome on a ROLLING basis.

For additional information, please visit the TAARII website. To submit a collaborative proposal, contact

Papers on Iraq at MESA, October 10–13, 2013

The Middle East Studies Association is hosting its 47th Annual Meeting in New Orleans from October 10–13, 2013. Please note that this year’s meeting is six weeks earlier than normal!

The following are a list of papers to be presented at MESA this year that have Iraq-related content. For more information on the presenters or the abstract of the papers, please click on the provided links. This list also includes the papers from the TAARII-sponsored panel, Minorities, Identities and the Modern Iraqi State (Saturday, October 12, 5:00 p.m.). However, it does not include the presentations from the TAARII-sponsored roundtable discussion, Researching Iraq Today: Archives, Oral Histories, and Ethnographies (Saturday, October 12 11:00 a.m.).

Papers & Presenters

Al-Sahib Ibn ‘Abbad’s Politics and Ethics of Insult by Samuel T. England (Saturday, 10/12/13 2:30pm)

Al-Zawra’ and the East: Locating Baghdad Through the Pages of Its First Newspaper by Annie Greene (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

Allegory and History in Ikhwan Al-Safa’s Reading of Biblical Narrative by Shatha Almutawa (Friday, 10/11/13 11:00am)

An Ottoman Vision for Mesopotamia: Developing Iraq Before the Great War by Dale Stahl (Friday, 10/11/13 8:30am)

Assyrian Identity Formation and the Ba’qubah Refugee Camp by Fadi Dawood (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

At the Threshold of the Sacred: Nineteenth Century Persian Narratives of Pilgrimage to Najaf by Rose Aslan (Friday, 10/11/13 11:00am)

Ba’athist Frontier Ideology: Analyzing the Deportation of Iranian Nationals from Iraq, 1971-72 by Carl Shook (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

Ba’thist “Generosity” and The Assyrian Literary Movement by Alda Benjamen (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

Challenging Sanctity: The Visitor’s Quandary at Two Kuwaiti Museums Dedicated to the Iraqi Invasion and Its Aftermath by Thomas P. DeGeorges (Saturday, 10/12/13 8:30am)

“Education for Real Life”: Psychology, Islam, and Adolescent Normalization in Hashimite Iraq by Sara Pursley (Sunday, 10/13/13 1:30pm)

Frontier Cities and the Pacification of Nomadic Tribes: Late Ottoman Kirkuk as a Test Case by Idan Barir (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

Governing Iraq: The Impact of State Institutional Design on Ethno-Religious Fragmentation by Shamiran Mako (Sunday, 10/13/13 11:00am)

Human Welfare, War and Sanctions in Iraq under Saddam Hussein by Lisa Blaydes (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

Iraqi Kurdish Intellectuals and the Kemalism: Admiration and Dismay by Djene Bajalan (Friday, 10/11/13 4:30pm)

Iraqi Kurds Ascending by Mohammed M.A. Ahmed (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

Kitab al-azilla, Nusayri Literature, and the Transmission of Texts Between Iraq and Syria in the Tenth Century by Mushegh Asatryan (Friday, 10/11/13 4:30pm)

Language, Revelation, and the Qur’an’s Ambiguous Verses in al-Sharif al-Radi’s (d.1015) “Shi‘i” Qur’an Commentary by Tehseen Thaver (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

Managing dissent and building neo-liberal hegemony: the case of post-invasion Iraq by Yousef Baker (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

Modern Art and the Arab Awakening: Eros as a Figure of Vitality in the Painting of Jawad Salim by Saleem Al-Bahloly (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq Al-Sadr versus the Hawza: An Intra-Shi‘i Zero-Sum Game or a False Dichotomy? by Robert J. Riggs (Saturday, 10/12/13 2:30pm)

Old and new allegiances: Baghdadi Jews in leftist circles by Aline Schlaepfer (Friday, 10/11/13 11:00am)

Political Modernity and Iraqi National Identification: Literary Perspectives by Sami D. Zubaida (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

Reading Hashemite Kirkuk as an urban and industrial landscape of power: violence and resistance in Iraq’s early oil industry by Nelida Fuccaro (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

Reinterpreting the Abbasid Reception of Jarir and Al-Farazdaq’s “Naqa’id” by Cory Jorgensen (Saturday, 10/12/13 2:30pm)

Revolution or Elections? Land Reform and Regime Type in Comparative Perspective by Matthew Goldman (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

Shi’i-British Relations and the Creation of Iraq by Zackery Heern (Saturday, 10/12/13 2:30pm)

Tapping Sources: the maraji’ and their Followers in Pakistan by Simon Wolfgang Fuchs (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

“Ten Identities in a Land without an Identity”: Kurdish and Iraqi Identities in the Works of an Émigré Kurdish-Iraqi Poet by Hilla Peled-Shapira (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

The Changing Face of Resistance in Wartime Basra by Khoury, Dina Rizk

The Death of the Artist? Ambiguity and “Openness” in Muhammad Khudayyir’s Fiction by Chip Rossetti (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

The End of Authority: Reconciling Approaches to the Occultation of the Twelfth Imam by Jennifer Gordon (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

The Euphrates as an Ottoman Frontier River: the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries by Faisal Husain (Friday, 10/11/13 2:00pm)

The Iraqi Shi‘a and the Question of Sectarianism under Saddam by Samuel Helfont (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

The Notables of Baghdad and the Limits of Sultanic Authority in 8th/14th Century Iraq by Patrick Wing (Thursday, 10/10/13 5:30pm)

The Organizing Concept of “khirqa” in the Tiryaq al-muhibbin of Taqi al-Din al-Wasiti (d. 744/1343) by Erik S. Ohlander (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

The Spatiality of the Occupation in Iraqi Fiction by Ikram Masmoudi (Friday, 10/11/13 8:30am)

The Usefulness of Digital Technology for the Study of Cultural Memory in the Medieval Middle East: A Case Study by Sarah Bowen Savant (Friday, 10/11/13 11:00am)

Tribes ‘Made in Taiwan’: Reinvented Identities in Authoritarian Iraq by Julia Choucair Vizoso (Saturday, 10/12/13 5:00pm)

Urban Violence and the Rebirth of the Arab Jew, Baghdad and Tel Aviv by Orit Bashkin (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

What is the Future of Iraq – Sectarianism or Democracy? by Davis, Eric (Sunday, 10/13/13 1:30am)

Women and the State: a comparative study of Iraq in the 1970s with Morocco in the 1980s by Priya Rahmouni (Sunday, 10/13/13 8:30am)

For more information, please visit MESA’s website.

TAARII Reception at MESA 2013

TAARII is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a reception at the Middle East Studies Association 47th Annual Meeting, which will be held in New Orleans from October 10–13, 2013.

What: TAARII Reception at MESA

When: Saturday, October 10, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Where: Gallier A/B, 4th Floor, Sheraton New Orleans

For more information on this year’s MESA meeting, visit their website. Also, see our other posts on the TAARII-sponsored panel and the TAARII-sponsored roundtable discussion.

TAARII-sponsored Roundtable Discussion at MESA: Researching Iraq Today

TAARII is pleased to be sponsoring the following roundtable discussion at the Middle East Studies Association 47th Annual Meeting in New Orleans from October 10–13, 2013.

The roundtable, [R3406] Researching Iraq Today: Archives, Oral Histories, and Ethnographies, will take place on Saturday, October 12, at 11:00 a.m.


Iraq has weathered one of the longest periods of ongoing and active combat in its history over the last decade. Simultaneously, the country has witnessed a resurgence of historical, ethnographic, and politically engaged research by international scholars. Ten years after the American-led coalition invasion, the panelists on this interdisciplinary roundtable propose that it is time to discuss the methodologies, difficulties, and possibilities of conducting scholarly research on Iraq today.

This roundtable examines the potential for and limits of historical and ethnographic fieldwork on — and in — Iraq. Drawing from a range of historical and contemporary contexts that span environmental movements, political movements, media representations, and urban transformations, panelists will explore three fundamental questions. First, what kinds of historical, especially archival, research and ethnographic engagement can be sustained in Iraq today? Second, how do the successes and challenges of such qualitative research influence both the quality of original scholarship on Iraq and the integrity of knowledge about Iraq itself? Third, what role do archives outside of Iraq — such as colonial archives and oil-company papers — play in these processes?

To address these questions, the roundtable considers the conditions for ethnographic fieldwork under the Ba’th period and in the subsequent decade that followed the American-led invasion, as well as discussing the status of the Iraqi archives and underexplored human and archival sources outside of Iraq. Questioning potential connections between various fieldwork methodologies and the ongoing occupation of Iraq, we will explore how these politically problematic relationships and uncomfortable alignments come to be embraced, negotiated, or refused by the researcher. Collectively, we examine the historical and ethnographic tactics and approaches used to research Iraq in the midst of conflict and we consider how these innovative forms have, in turn, spurred disciplinary transformations in the conventions of qualitative research.


For more information, visit MESA’s website and the roundtable’s page

TAARII-sponsored MESA Panel: Minorities, Identities and the Modern Iraqi State

TAARII is pleased to be sponsoring the following panel at the Middle East Studies Association 47th Annual Meeting in New Orleans from October 10–13, 2013.

The panel, [P3266] Minorities, Identities and the Modern Iraqi State, will take place on Saturday, October 12, at 5:00 p.m.


Minorities have featured prominently in the debates surrounding the establishment of the modern Iraqi state. During the period between 1920–2003, colonial and local officials played an important and influential role in shaping the place of minorities within the social, political, and cultural institutions of the state. Various pieces of legislation and decrees were passed during the colonial and post-colonial periods that led to massive communalist struggles, tensions, and hostilities that defined the interactions between the state and minority communities well into the post-colonial period. Leaders of various minority populations were also involved in carving a place for their own communities within the social and political spaces of the modern Iraqi state. Minority identities were influenced greatly by both state and community based activities. Historians and social scientists have devoted a great deal of attention to the study of Iraq’s minority populations, however contextualizing the social and political histories of the various minority communities within the history of the modern Iraqi state is still lacking.

This panel will contextualize Iraq’s various minority communities within the social and political history of the modern state. This will help scholars to better understand the historical developments that led to the creation of Iraq’s multiple identities. In order to accomplish these goals this panel will highlight three minority communities: Assyrians, Kurds, and Shi’ites. Assyrians will be analyzed during the mandate and post mandate periods both as a refugee community and as citizens of a republic. Writings of communist Kurds will illuminate the relationship of this community with the Iraqi state. Finally, religious institutions of Shi’ites (a political minority) will be discussed in relation to the Ba’thist rule. The following questions will be addressed: How did the colonial and post-colonial Iraqi state influence the identity of minority populations? How did various minorities view themselves in the context of the newly created state? What role did the transnational nature of Iraq’s minority communities’ play in the way they perceived themselves within the social and political apparatuses of the state? What role did war and violence play in creating minority identities in Iraq?

Panelists & Papers

For more information, visit MESA’s website and the panel’s page