Conferences and debates

Index / Activities / Conferences and debates / New edition of Aula Árabe Universitaria

New edition of Aula Árabe Universitaria

From September 28, 2020 until May 18, 20217:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.

This annual series of conferences, organized with the cooperation of university programs in the Autonomous Region of Madrid, is beginning at our headquarters in Madrid on September 28.

At this second edition, Aula Árabe Universitaria II (AAUII) has grown even larger. Throughout the academic year of 2020-2021, it will feature 17 conferences organized in collaboration with undergraduate and graduate (Master’s and PhD) university programs from five universities in the Autonomous Region of Madrid: the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), Saint Louis University’s Madrid Campus and the Universidad Antonio de Nebrija. This year, two of the conferences are also being organized with the cooperation of IEMed, as a result of a shared experience with Aula Mediterrània. Some of the conferences will also be repeated in Cordoba, when an extension of the Aula Árabe program is held in that city. 

The conferences will deal with a variety of subjects related to the Arab and Islamic world, from ancient history up to the present day, including those topics and speakers selected by the associated university programs, in accordance with their curricular needs and interests.

The goal of Aula Árabe Universitaria is to promote knowledge about the Arab world and complement the training given in university programs from a multidisciplinary perspective, offering students contact with relevant speakers and experts at the international level in different fields related to the Arab world. Its mission is also to promote inter-university cooperation. Each university program is assigned a conference within the series, though they are open to students from the other associated programs, as well as to the general public.

Every student receives a ”Passport to the Arab World,” which gets stamped when they attend the conferences. Those students who have attended over 50% of the conferences are awarded with an Aula Árabe Universitaria certificate.

All of the conferences are organized at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid at 7:00 p.m. (if the public health situation permits). Given the current health situation, the next conferences will be organized online. For specific information on the new broadcast format and schedule, please consult the details of each particular conference.

Further information about AAU2 (in Spanish) 
About the first edition of Aula Árabe (2019-20)
New edition of Aula Árabe Universitaria
Sept. 28, 2021 – AAUII.1 Opening conference
Connected crises in the Arab world Iraq, Syria and Lebanon
Lina Khatib, Chatham House
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies, UAM)

Oct. 28, 2020 – AAUII.2
Theater written in Moroccan Arabic: past and present
Omar Fertat, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in Modern Languages and Literatures, with Arabic as a major, UCM)

Nov. 11, 2020 – AAUII.3
Impact of Covid-19 on the Mediterranean
Nathalie Tocci, Istituto Affari Internazionali    
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program on the EU and Mediterranean: Historical, Cultural, Political, Economic and Social Basis, UCM)

Nov. 18, 2020 – AAUII.4
Anthropology, tourism and Orientalisms
Maria Cardeira Da Silva, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in Social and Cultural Anthropology, UAM)

Nov. 26, 2020 – AAUII.5
The construction of modernism in Arab world art [Presentation of the journal Awraq]
Silvia Naef, University of Geneva            
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in Fine Arts, UCM)

Dec. 9, 2020 – AAUII.6
The transformation of violent extremist groups (title to be confirmed)
Amr Elshobaki, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in International Journalism, URJC)

Dec. 16, 2020 – AAUII.7
Development strategies/petroleum [Seminar on Political Economics and Rentier States in the Arab countries]
Aurelia Mañé, University of Barcelona
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in International Economics and Development, UCM)

Dec. 16, 2020 – AAUII.8
The State after the Arab uprisings
Luis Martinez, CERI (Paris)
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in International Relations, UCM)

March 2, 2021 – AAUII.9
Algeria’s “Hirak”: a case study on protest movements
Karima Dirèche-Slimani, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in International Politics: Sector and Area Studies, UCM)

Oct. 3, 2021 – AAUII.10
Educational policies, intercultural mediation and migration
(shared experience with Aula Mediterrània)
Carmen Geha, American University of Beirut
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in Modern Languages, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija)

March 16, 2021 – AAUII.11
Ten years after the outbreak of revolution: what are the prospects for Syria?
Salam Kawakibi, Arab Center Paris
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in International Relations and African Studies, UAM)

 April 7, 2021 – AAUII.12
Democratization versus democracy: how European policy failed the Arab uprisings
Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen   
(with the cooperation of the EUROSUD - South European Studies Master’s degree program, UAM)

Apr. 13, 2021 – AAUII.13
The Qur’an in Al-Andalus
Nuria Martínez de Castilla, EPHE (Paris)
(with the cooperation of the PhD program in Religion Sciences, UCM)

Apr. 19, 2021 – AAUII.14
Literature and revolutionary movements in the Arab world
Francesca Maria Corrao, Universidad Luiss di Roma
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in Semitic and Islamic Studies, UCM)

Apr. 28, 2021 – AAUII.15
What do we know about Jihadist radicalization?: predetermined ideas, realities and questions
(shared experience with Aula Mediterrània)
Laurent Bonelli, Université Paris X Nanterre
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in Political Science and Public Affairs, Saint Louis University - Madrid Campus)

May 4, 2021 – AAUII.16
Readings of the Qur’an from the Middle Ages to the Modern Day
John Tolan, University of Nantes
(with the cooperation of the bachelor’s degree program in History, UAM)

May 18, 2021 – AAUII.17
The Qur’an: another reading, another translation

Youssef Seddik, Tunisian writer and philosopher
(with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in Religion Sciences, UCM)

Omar Fertat
Fertat is a researcher and professor of Theater at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, where he teaches Arab film and drama at the Arab Studies Department and in the Performing Arts Department. He also supervises the scientific program “Otherness and its portrayals in Arab-Muslim culture” at the TELEM research center and co-directs the collection “Monde Arabe / Monde Musulman” by the publishing house of that very university. He is also the director of the “University Meetings on the Performing Arts in the Arab World,” which is held in Bordeaux every two years, and manages the French theatre magazine “Horizons / Théâtre.”
His research focuses on Arab theatre in general, and more specifically on Moroccan theater. He is also concerned with issues related to translation and adaptation in Arab theater, as well as modern and contemporary forms of stage arts throughout the Arab world. The most notable of his latest publications include “L’Autre et ses représentations dans la culture arabo-muslmane” (co-editor, 2016); “Le théâtre marocain à l’épreuve du texte étranger: traduction, adaptation, nouvelle dramaturgie” (2017) and “L’adaptation dans le théâtre marocain: des débuts jusqu’à nos jours” (2020).

Nathalie Tocci
Tocci is the director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen. She is a Special Advisor to the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, and was formerly the Vice-President under Borrell’s predecessor, Federica Mogherini. As such, she was responsible for drafting the “European Global Strategy” and worked on its implementation. She has been a member of Eni’s Executive Board since May of 2020.
She holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics (2003), an MA in Development Studies from the same university (1999) and a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford’s University College (1995). Her research focuses on European foreign policy, conflict resolution, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. She has held research positions at the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, the Transatlantic Academy in Washington and the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies in Florence. Her most notable recent publications include “Framing the EU’s Global Strategy (2017), co-editing “The EU, promoting regional integration and conflict resolution (2017) and, as a co-author, “Turkey and the European Union (2015).”

Maria Cardeira Da Silva
She is a tenured professor at the Universidad Nova de Lisboa and is a Vice-President of Centro Em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia (CRIA) in Lisbon, where she founded the group Estudos em Contextos Árabes e Islâmicos – Azimut. She forms part of the project “HERILIGIÓN - The legacy of religion and the enshrinement of heritage in contemporary Europe” (HERA), and is also a consultant on the project “CAPSAHARA.”
With a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the same university, her research areas include: gender, tourism and heritage in Arab and Islamic contexts (Morocco and Mauritania), and the uses of Islamic heritage in Europe (Portugal and Spain). She is the author of “Um Islão Prático,” published in 1999 as a result of her research on gender identities and women’s daily life in a neighborhood within the medina of Salé, Morocco, where she lived for two years. Her latest publications also include “Castelos a Bombordo: Etnografias de Patrimónios Africanos e memórias Portuguesas” (CRIA, 2013), and she coordinated the monograph “Peripheral Orientalisms” in the journal Revista de Estudios Internacionales Mediterráneos, issue number 21 (2016). In 2008, she was awarded the “Lazio tra Europa e Mediterraneo” Award bestowed by the region of Lazio. 

Silvia Naef
Naef has been a tenured professor in the Arab Studies Section at the University of Geneva since 2006. Prior to that, she taught at the Universities of Basel and Tübingen (1995-2001) and was a visiting professor in Toronto (2007-2009) and Sassari, Italy (2012). Furthermore, she was the leading director of the research project “Other Modernities: Patrimony and Practices of Visual Expression Outside the West,” funded by the Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique (2013-16). She was one of the founding members of Manazir, a Swiss platform devoted to study of the visual arts, architecture and heritage in the MENA region, as well as the Manazir Journal.
A specialist on modern art in the Arab world and the topic of images in Islam, she has had works published in several languages, in academic publications, exhibition catalogues and works intended for a wider audience. Her works include “Y a-t-il une question de l’image en Islam?” (2nd edition, 2015 [2004]), “Échanges, circulations et (ré)appropriations dans l’art moderne du monde arabe” (2017) and “The Arab Apocalypse: Art, Abstraction and Activism in the Middle East” (2019).

Amr Elshobaki
Elshobaki is a senior researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS). He was named a member of the Constitutional Committee in 2013 and became an MP in the Egyptian Parliament in the years of 2012 and 2014. With a PhD in Political Science from Paris 1 University (Sorbonne), he is a notable analyst on issues of democratization in Arab countries, Islamist movements, political Islam and international relations, particularly among the Arab countries, the United States and Europe, and he has been one of the promotors of the Arab Forum for Alternatives.  
His articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, such as Al-Masry al-Youm, Al-Hayat, al-Sharq al-Awsat and Le Figaro France, among others, and he is the author of several books and numerous reports, the most notable of which include: “Les Frères Musulmans des Origines à Nos Jours” (Khartala, 2009); “The Crisis of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt” (al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, 2008), and “Islamists and Democrats: The Problems of Building a Democratic Islamic Movement” (al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, 2004).

Aurelia Mañé Estrada
Mañé is a tenured professor at the University of Barcelona’s School of Economics and Business (UB) and an associate professor at the School of History at the University of East Anglia in Russia. She is a member of the Geopolitics and Energy Security Department at the Real Instituto Elcano, as well as a member of several university research groups. In 2008, she created the Central Asia Observatory, and in addition to heading that project, she collaborated with Casa Asia on energy issues.
She holds a PhD and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Barcelona, and a Master’s degree in International Studies from the same university. Much of her research has revolved around the study of issues related to energy resources, focusing her work on the regions of Central Asia and Algeria. Among her latest publications are “The Big World Energy Business” (2016), “Energy Interdependence: The Linkage of the Political Economy of Algeria’s Natural Gas With that of the Western Mediterranean Region: A Methodological Approach,” with Roger Albinyana for UNISCI Magazine (2018), and she co-authored “Algeria, In Transition Towards a Second Republic?” with Laurence Thieux and Miguel Hernando de Larramendi (2019).

Luis Martinez
A political scientist and specialist on the Maghreb region and Middle East, Luis Martinez has been the research director at the CERI since 2005. With a PhD in Political Science from Science Po (1996), he was a visiting professor at the Faculty of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University, New York (2000-2001) and then at the University of Montreal (2007-2008). In 2010-2011, he formed part of the School of Government and Economics in Rabat, and in 2012 he joined the Political Science Department of the International University of Rabat (UIR).
His research topics are democratization, the Near East and Middle East, North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Islam and Libya. His most notable recent works include “L’Afrique du Nord après les révoltes árabes” (2019) and “The State in North Africa: After the Arab uprisings” (2020).

Andrea Teti
Teti is a professor of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. Before that, he was the lead investigator of the ArabTransformation project (2015-16), a visiting professor at the University of Ghent (2018) and an ACCESS Europe visiting member at the University of Amsterdam (2015-16). He is the co-director and co-founder of the Critical Middle East Studies (CMES) research network of the British Society for Middle East Studies Society (BRISMES), as well as an associate editor of Middle East Critique.
His research focuses on democracy promotion policies in the Euro-Mediterranean region, as well as a wide range of other topics through social science history and theory (labor movements and civil society in Egypt, political parties and elections, knowledge production and political theory). Among his latest publications to be highlighted, he co-authored “The Arab Uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan” (2017) and “Democratization against Democracy: How EU Foreign Policy Fails the Middle East” (2020), as well as co-editing “Hidden Geographies: Informal Power in the Greater Middle East” (2014), and he has authored numerous articles on the aforementioned topics (“Democratization and the Middle East in the Contemporary Global Order,” in The Middle East and Globalization (2012) ; “The EU’s Response to the Arab Uprisings,” in Mediterranean Politics (2012).

Karima Dirèche-Slimani
Dirèche-Slimani is a historian, director of research at the CNRS and a specialist on the history of the contemporary Maghreb region. Her work includes sociohistorical themes and critical analysis of the historiographies of the Maghreb from a colonial and post-colonial perspective. Her research addresses issues such as religious minorities in the Maghreb (Catholics, Jews and neo-evangelicals) and related political and religious controversies; the Berber identity in its relationship with politics since independence; national historical accounts and the challenges they face in light of Islamist and Berber movements.
Some of her most notable recent publications include: “Consigner le hirak: de l’expérience à l’archive” (2020); “Ecrire sur l’Algérie. Les SHS à l’épreuve de la mobilisation citoyenne du 22 février 2019” (2019), and the book “L’Algérie au présent. Entre résistances et changements” (2019).

John Victor Tolan
Tolan is a professor of History at the University of Nantes and a member of Academia Europæa. He has a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, a Master’s degree in History from the same university and “Accreditation as a Research Director” (HDR) from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales of Paris, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Classical Languages from Yale University.  He has received various awards and distinctions, including two fellowships from the European Research Council (ERC) and the Diane Potier-Boès Award given by the Académie Française.
Tolan works on the history of religious and cultural relations between the Arab and Latin worlds in the Middle Ages and on the history of religious interaction and conflicts between Jews, Christians and Muslims. He has been an educator and lecturer at universities in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He has authored numerous books and articles, and his latest publications include: “Europe and the Islamic World: A History” (2012) and “Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today” (2019). He is one of the four coordinators of the ERC research project “EuQu: The European Qur’an” (2019-2025).

Salam Kawakibi
Kawakibi is a political scientist, executive director of the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Paris (CAREP), an associate professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and president of the association “Initiative for a New Syria.” Prior to this, he was the main researcher at the University of Amsterdam’s School of Political Science (2009-2011), the assistant director of the Arab Reform Initiative, and director of the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO) in Aleppo (2000-2006).
With a bachelor’s degree in Economics, International Relations and Political Science from the Universities of Aleppo and Aix-en-Provence, he is a member of the advisory board of the Citizens of the Mediterranean Assembly Foundation (FACM) and a member of the editorial board of the journal Confluences Méditerranée. He is also chairman of the advisory board of Ettijahat-Independent Culture and a member of the advisory board of the United Nations’ University Institute for Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM). Kawakibi has had numerous essays published in edited volumes and specialized journals. His research topics revolve around issues of human rights, civil society, migration, media, North-South relations and political reform in the Arab world.

Francesca Maria Corrao
Francesca Maria Corrao is a professor of Arabic culture and language in the Department of Political Science at Luiss University in Rome, as well as being the president of Fondazione Orestiadi. Her research interests include political thought in the Arab world, cultural studies, Middle East history, gender studies, Arabic literature and intercultural dialogue. Corrao has been a visiting professor in Cairo, Beirut, Tunis, Damascus, Paris and Cambridge. She is a member of the Union of European Arabists and Islamists (UEAI) and the executive board of scholars of the European Association for Modern Arabic Literature (EURAMAL). Some of her most notable recent publications include L’Islam non è terrorismo (2018); Islam, Religion and Politics (2017).

Nuria Martínez de Castilla
Martínez de Castilla has been the chair of History and Codicology of Manuscripts in Arabic at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE - Paris) since 2016 and is the scientific coordinator of the ERC project “Saadian Intellectual Cultural Life” (2016- 2021), which focuses on study of the Arabic Collection kept at the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial  library. Before that, she was a professor with the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) (2010-2016) and a researcher at the Warburg Institute in London (2013-2015).
She holds a PhD in Philology from the UCM, a DEA and a Master’s degree in Hispanic Philology from the UAM and in Arabic Philology from the UCM. Her main research topics are the history of manuscripts in Arabic, codicology, the history of libraries, Islamic-Christian relations in the early modern period, literature and the production of aljamiado texts and the transmission of the Qur’an in the Western Islamic world. Specializing in written production in Arabic and aljamiado (Spanish written in Arabic characters) by Spanish Muslims in the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Martínez de Castilla has catalogued the collection of aljamiado and Qur’anic manuscripts from the CSIC’s Tomás Navarro Tomás Library (Madrid) and the Library of Mudéjar and Moorish manuscripts of France. Her works include the monograph “A Moorish Library Between Two Covers” (2010) and the editing of the volumes “Documentos y manuscritos árabes en el Occidente musulmán” (2011) and, in co-authorship with Déroche and Richard, “Codicology and History of the Book in the Islamic World” (2015).

Youssef Seddik
Seddik is a prominent Tunisian philosopher, writer and anthropologist who specializes in ancient Greece and the anthropology of the Qur’an. With a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DEA) in Greek and Civilization from the Université Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle (1988), he received his PhD from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1995).
A Hellenist and Arabist, he has had many books published, as well as translations of works from ancient Greece and the Islamic legacy, works on the Prophet Muhammad, Imam Ali, and studies of the Qur’an, in addition to works on political philosophy and economic thought. His works have sometime stirred up some controversy in the most conservative Muslim circles, including his attempt to publish a version of the Qur’an in the form of a comic book, an undertaking interrupted as a result of the apprehension of Tunisian religious authorities in 1992.
His most notable works include: Dictionnaire historique de la pensée économique arabe et musulmane (with the collaboration of Yassine Essid) (1998); Le Coran : autre lecture, autre traduction (2002); Nous n’avons jamais lu le Coran (2004); Le Grand malentendu. L’Occident face au Coran (2010), and Ce que le Coran doit à la Bible : un dialogue contemporain sur l’islam et le judaïsme (with Isy Morgensztern) (2018)