9th Annual MEICON-BC Student Conference (2017)

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Campus

1 April 2017

The MEICON-BC Student Conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, 2017 at Simon Fraser University’s Segal Building, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC. This year’s MEICON Conference will be preceded on Friday, March 31, 2017 by the second annual Pacific Northwest Ottomanist Workshop, focusing on the analysis of the Ottomans, as understood within broader frameworks.  There will be a shared keynote address on Friday evening, March 31, 2017.


Dear participants, colleagues, and guests:

It is a great pleasure on behalf of the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures to welcome you to the ninth annual MEICON-BC Student Conference.  Established in 2008, the Student Conference has been remarkably successful over eight years at engaging academic discussion on Middle East and Islamic themes.  During this period, there have been four conferences at Simon Fraser University, three at the University of Victoria, and one each at the University of British Columbia and  Kwantlen Polytechnic University, with over 200 papers of substance by students. These papers, first displayed at the MEICON-BC Student Conference, have shown up subsequently in theses, published articles, and books. This Conference has mattered, and we at SFU are honoured to be part of the larger initiative.

This year’s Conference has been founded on the energy, enthusiasm, and direction of the volunteer organizing committee—Ardalan Rezamand, Robin Bunton, Arlen Wiesenthal, Samaah Jaffer, and Francesca Preckel—for which we are very grateful. The Student Conference has been enriched by the Pacific Northwest Ottomanist Workshop on the previous day, by a shared keynote address by Dr. Walter Andrews from the University of Washington, and by the inaugural bestowal of the Dr. Andrew Rippin Prize for the conference paper that best exemplifies excellence in Islamic Studies.

We welcome you to our campus and trust you will profit by the presentations.

With best wishes,

Derryl N. MacLean, PhD
Director, Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures



Click Here for abstracts

Registration, 9:00AM-9:30AM

Panel 1. Ottoman Istanbul: Placing the City in Time and Space
9:30-11:00 – Room 1300
Chair: Parin Dossa (SFU)

Wiesenthal, Arlen (SFU, MA, History),
The Sultan, the City, and the Longue Durée.

Cole, Dustin (SFU, BA, History),
Crucibles of Power: Coffeehouses, Contended Space, and Sultanic Legitimacy during the Reigns of Selim III, Mahmud II, and Abdülmecid, 1789-1841.

Panel 2. Diaspora, Citizenship, and Identity
9:30-11:00 – Room 1500
Chair: Tamir Moustafa (SFU)

Babaee, Naghmeh (Art Institute of Vancouver, Gen. Ed.),
Language and Identity Development in Diaspora: Female Immigrants’ Voices.

Vizheh, Azad (UFV, MA, Criminal Justice),
Reduction and Prevention of Honour-based Violence in Canada.

Hagman, Michelle (SFU, MA, Soc/Anth),
Multiculturalism in a secular world: the effects of multiculturalism on the everyday lives of Muslim Youths.

Jaffer, Samaah (SFU, BA, International Studies),
Anti-Islam Muslims and the Islamophobia Network: Questioning the “experts” in the media.

Panel 3. Pre-Modern Architecture and Patronage
9:30-11:00 – Room 2300
Chair: Selim Kuru (UWa)

Baumgartner, Chelsea (UBC, PhD, Creative & Critical Studies),
Women’s Patronage and Official Recognition: The Hurrem Haseki Sultan Complex and the Maryam al-Zamani Mosque.

Hatef Naiemi, Atri (UVic, PhD, Art History),
“Little Cities of God”: Examining the Shrine Complexes of Sufi Shaykhs in Ilkhanid Iran.

Metzker, Reilly (Oregon State, BS, Int'l Studies)
Fatimid and Abbasid Governance and its Expression through Architecture.

Coffee Break, 11:00-11:15, Room 1200

Panel 4. Knowledge, Power, and Identity: Scripts and Texts
11:15-12:45 – Room 1300
Chair: Marcus Milwright (UVic)

Kazani, Zahra (UVic, PhD, Art History and Visual Studies),
Magical Incantation or Scientific Ingenuity? Recovering meanings of Arabic script patterns in medieval Islam.

Hussaini, Ambreen Shehzad (UVic, PhD, Art History and Visual Studies Department),
Gulgee: a versatile Muslim Pakistani artist exploring art and the artist.

Al-Issa, Asmaa (SFU, MFA, Fine Arts),
Knowledge through Calligraphy.

Wallace, Rhiannon (SFU, BA, World Literature),
The Search for Happiness: Reading Miskawayh’s The Refinement of Character as a Humanist Text.

Panel 5. Iranian Women: Social and Political Contexts
11:15-12:45 – Room 1500
Chair: Daromir Rudnyckyj (UVic)

Olyaei, Shiva (UBC, PhD, Law),
Sharia Law and the Iranian Feminists’ Contradictory Legal Approaches: A Case Study of One Million Signatures Campaign.

Tabai, Soheyla (SFU, MA, GSWS),
The Impact of Modernization and Revolution on Socio-economic status of Iranian Women

Naderi, Sara (UVic, PhD, Soc.),
Performative agency: A Collapse of political identity among women in Iran.

Jahani Asl, Mohammad Nasser (UVic, PhD, Soc.),
The Political Situation of Women in Iranian Kurdistan: From the Society for the Revival of Kurdistan (J.K.) to the Revolutionary Organization of the Toilers of Iranian Kurdistan (Komala)

Panel 6. Turkey: Minorities and Diasporas
11:15-12:45 – Room 2300
Chair: Thomas Kuehn (SFU)

Wang, Lina (UWAa, PhD, Jackson School),
Uyghur Diaspora in Turkey: Imagining Homeland.

Austman, Connor (SFU, BA, Int’l Studies),
Dissecting Turkey’s “Hidden War”: a Discussion of Turkey’s Conflict with its Kurdish Minority and the Securitisation Measures surrounding Violence in Northern Syria and Southern Turkey.

Facer, Christopher (UWa, MA, NELC),
Perspectives on the Literature of Nationalism through an Ethnic Albanian Ottoman.

Ozkan, Ozgur (UWA, PhD, International Studies),
From Dominance to Subordination: Transformation of the Armed Forces and Civil-Military Relations in Turkey between 1997 and 2016.

Lunch (complementary), Room 1200
Keynote concert, 2:00-3:00, Room 1500
Presentation of the Andrew Rippin Prize

Panel 7. Art and Representation
3:15-4:45 – Room 1300
Chair: TBA

Esmaeilpour, Parmida (UBC, MA, Political Science),
Cultural Production as Civil Resistance? Iran and Egypt’s Subversive ‘National Cinemas.’

Yeganehfarzand, Seyedhamed (UVic, PhD, Art History)
Depiction of the Lord Sufi, The Representation of the Safavid Rulers in the Sixteenth-century European Prints.

Hagy, Alicia (UVic, MA, Art History),
The Edge of the West: The Jineta Sword of Muhammad XII and Political Legitimacy in Fifteenth-Century Granada.

Mirjat, Aali (SFU, MA, History),
Muslim India in European Art, 1750-1850.

Panel 8. State Borders, Conflict, and Communities
3:15-4:45 – Room 1500
Chair: Derryl MacLean (SFU)

El Remesh, Bassem (SFU, MA, International Studies),
Ennahda's Moderation: A Change in Ideology or a Chance in Tactics.

Gray, Josie (UVic, BA Honours, History),
The "Conversion" of Benny Morris: Morality in the History of the 1948 and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem.

Kermanian, Sara (UVic, MA, Political Science),
Emancipating the Future: Or Why Does Rojava Detach Democracy from the State and National Boundaries?

Stanford, Harriet (UVic, BA, Geography),
Aga Khan Development Network: Institution and Community in a Globalised World.

Panel 9. The Politics of Revolution and Nationalism
3:15-4:45 – Room 2300
Chair: Adel Iskandar (SFU)

AlSaleh, Noor (UWa, PhD, Int'l Studies),
How Citizenship Informs Political Authority: The Case of Kuwait and Bahrain.

Bursey, Richard (SFU, MA, History),
Seeing, Being Seen: Muhammad Qutb and Abul A'la Maududi on the Politics of Gender, Agency and a Correctly Genderized Islamic World.

Gallegos Dupuis, Mariana (UVic, BA, History),
Egypt Before and After 2011: an Uncertain History of Revolution.

Allahkaram, Jahan (Mazandaran University),
Reproduction Theory and Iranian Educational System.

MEICON 2017 Keynote Address

Walter G. Andrews


Walter G. Andrews is Research Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Washington. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles and books on Ottoman poetry, including Poetry’s Voice, Society’s Song: Ottoman Lyric Poetry (University of Washington Press, 1985), Ottoman Lyric Poetry: An Anthology (with M. Kalpakli and N. Black, University of Washington Press, new ed., 2006), and The Age of Beloveds: Love and the Beloved in Early-Modern Ottoman and European Culture and Society (with M. Kalpakli, Duke University Press, 2005).

Abstract—For most social scientists and far too many literature scholars, poetry is difficult to take seriously, when it is taken into account at all. But what if we are missing something? What if failing to take poetry and what poetry does seriously means wedding ourselves to a restricted, fragmented view of culture, society, politics, history, art, architecture, religion, entertainment, and all the elements that when viewed together constitute the “big picture” of an age, an area, an empire. This talk will feature a unique “big picture” glimpse of the early modern Ottoman Empire as revealed by taking poetry seriously.

Friday, March 31, 2017,
7pm Joseph and Rosalie Segal Building,
SFU 500 Granville, Vancouver

Dr. Andrew Rippin Prize

The Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (SFU) and the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (UVic) jointly established the Dr. Andrew Rippin Essay Prize in 2016.  This Prize is awarded at the MEICON-BC Student Conference for the paper that best exemplifies excellence in critical thought and scholarship within the general field of Islamic Studies.

Dr. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016) was for many years Professor of History and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Victoria.  A scholar of international stature in the field of Qur’anic Studies, Dr. Rippin was known especially for the articulation of new and careful interpretative strategies for the understanding of Islamic texts within Muslim contexts.

Midday Concert

Amir Eslami Mirabadi
Hamin Honari
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Room 1500

Amir Eslami Mirabadi was born in Iran and immigrated to Vancouver in 2015. He studied at the Tehran University of Art, receiving a BA in music in 1996 and an MA in music composition in 2002. He later served as a faculty member at the university, including as Head of the Iranian Music Department and Dean of Administration for the Music Faculty.

Amir has won multiple Iranian and international prizes (Italy, Australia and Netherlands) in music composition. He has released four music albums as a composer and more than ten music albums as a Ney (Persian Traditional Flute) player. His pieces have been performed in Iran, Italy, Australia, the US, and the Netherlands. Amir recently published "Montazem Al-Hokama's Radif" (The oldest Persian music repertoire) by Art University in Tehran.

Hamin Honari has focused on adapting his drumming style and technique to accommodate many different genres of music. He has toured as a member of the Dastan Ensemble, one of Iran's most well-known Persian Classical music ensembles and has performed with many of Iran’s greatest musicians and singers. He currently lives in Vancouver, BC where he teaches Persian drumming and is the Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Big World Band; an intercultural ensemble which features some of Canada’s best World Musicians.


For our out of town guests and participants, please use this link for special accomodations rates.