Conference: DIWAN: A Forum for the Arts

Fri, March 25, 2011 8:30 am at CUNY Graduate Center - Elebash Hall

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In partnership with the Arab American National Museum and Alwan for the Arts and the Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC), The Graduate Center, City University of New York

DIWAN: A Forum for the Arts unites Arab American artists, scholars and performers representing myriad academic fields and artistic genres. Activities include presentations of new research into Arab American arts; poetry and prose readings; film screenings; and musical performances. Among the highlights of the conference are panel discussions on the ways Arab American artists have grappled with socio-political contexts in their work, and how they intervene in the reality of war and conflict in various creative genres. Particularly pertinent to the forum this year are the unfolding events in the Arab world and their impact on how Arab Americans perceive themselves as a community and an identity at once independent from and affiliated with the Arab world. Issues of nationalism and music; nostalgia, landscape and memory will cast their shadow as topics and notions that are in flux and ambivalently redefined in ways that highlight the complex richness of Arab civilization and its heritage in the United States, moreover, the reshaping of this heritage in the larger tapestary of American culture.

Delivering the 2011 DIWAN keynote address on March 26 is Prof. Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan; The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians. His 2007 book Desiring Arabs was awarded the Lionel Trilling Book Award; he is also a columnist for the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly and the Lebanese daily newspaper Al-Akhbar.

Friday and Saturday, March 25th and 26th, 2011


All panel discussions are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC at The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY), 365 Fifth Ave., New York NY; meals are not provided.

Friday, March 25, 2011
8:30-9 a.m. Registration
9-9:30 a.m. WELCOME (Recital Hall)
Holly Arida, DIWAN coordinator, Arab American National Museum
Anan Ameri, director, Arab American National Museum
Mehdi Bozorgmehr co-director, MEMEAC

9:30 -11 a.m. REFLECTIONS ON ELEVEN SEPTEMBER (Recital Hall)
As we approach the 10-year anniversary, Arab American visual artists and writers grapple with 9/11 in their work
Moderator Lama Mansour
Eleven Reflections on September Andrea Assaf
Explosives Called Words—Arab American Writers Grapple with Terrorism Andrea Shalal-Esa
Quest to Belong Ayad Alkadhi

9:30 -11 a.m. THE STORIES WE TELL (Room C198)
Arab Americans convey their truth through emerging mediums of installation art, film and the graphic novel
Moderator Devon Akmon
The Hookah Girl and Other True Stories Marguerite Dabaie
New York Chronicles Maymanah Farhat
Stories from Studio Haret el Yahoud: An Egyptian-American Artist Meets her Neighbors Nada Shalaby

11:-11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. CHANGING THE DIALOGUE (Recital Hall)
Artists use language to redirect discourse on Arab America
Moderator Mike Mosallam
Changing the National and Global Dialogue through Theatre Noor Theatre
Becoming American, Prose, Poems and Paintings Ibtisam Barakat
Hip Hop and Identity Maytha Alhassen
And It Don’t Stop – Hip Hop as a Means of Criticism of Global Marginalization in Suheir Hammad’s breaking poems Katharina Motyl

11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. EDUCATION AS ART (Room C198)
From public television to high school and university classrooms, artists shape the next generation’s perceptions about Arab Americans
Moderator Dr. Christa Salamandra
Representing Arabs in a Positive Light Though Children’s Entertainment Shabnam Rezaei and Aly Jetha
Written on the Body Randa Jarrar
Arab American High School Juniors Reflect on their Experience of Arab American Art and Literature in their K-12 Education Taher Dahleh, Rami Benayad-Cherif, Deema Dahleh

12:45-2 p.m. Lunch

Spotlighting successful shows that Arab American women have brought to the stage to tell their stories across the country
Moderator Leila Buck
Everyone Has Tears Cynthia Sophiea with Zafer Tawil
I Heart Hamas and Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You Jennifer Jajeh
Lend me an ID Nora Armani

2-3:30 p.m. UNCONFERENCE SESSION (Room C198)
Our audience chooses topics around Arab American art for an open dialogue
Moderator Devon Akmon

Some of our finest poets contemplate frequent themes that frame the Arab American experience
Moderator Khaled Mattawa
Elmaz Abinader
Deema K. Shehabi
Hayan Charara

Last updated: 2011-03-22 02:39:39

CUNY Graduate Center - Elebash Hall

365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street
New York, NY 10016

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