Seteney Shami (Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Beirut)
February, 16 to February 17, 2017
The edited volume Middle East Studies for the New Millennium: Infrastructures of Knowledge emerged from a long-term study of the production of knowledge on world regions, housed at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) in New York since 2000. The project focused initially on Middle East expertise in United States universities from a historical perspective as well as in their current context and then expanded to include other world regions as well. While the volume focuses on the United States, the SSRC project engaged in comparative discussions to see how the geographical region of the Middle East was and is variously configured and studied by different academic communities around the world. The project called for reflexivity on the ‘infrastructures of knowledge’—the disciplinary assumptions, pedagogical practices, emergent fields, funding structures, geopolitical issues, and more—which have so deeply shaped how scholars approach this world region.
Seteney Shami is founding Director-General of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences since 2012. She is an anthropologist from Jordan and obtained her BA from the American University of Beirut and her MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Chicago, Stockholm University, and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (Uppsala). Her fieldwork has focused on Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and the North Caucasus. Her research interests focus on issues of ethnicity and nationalism in the context of globalization, urban politics and state-building strategies, population displacement and transnational mobility. Among her many publications are the edited volumes Publics, Politics and Participation: Locating the Public Sphere in the Middle East and North Africa (SSRC Books, 2009), and Middle East Studies for the New Millennium: Infrastructures of Knowledge (co-edited with Cynthia Miller-Idriss), (NYU Press 2016).
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