Development, Humanitarianism, and Security in the Middle East: Legacies and Futures

The Middle East has long been the target of various development, humanitarian and security interventions initiated by internal and external actors. Development projects like the Aswan Dam, the humanitarian interventions carried out by UNHCR and UNRWA, and the numerous security programs conducted by domestic and international forces have produced long-lasting and far-reaching effects. These interventions have often failed to achieve their goals. However, those failures have shaped and will continue to shape the avenues and aspirations of peoples, NGOs, private organizations, and governments. 

It is in this context that The George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East is excited to host its first annual Graduate Student Symposium entitled Development, Humanitarianism, and Security in the Middle East: Legacies and Futures. This one-day multidisciplinary symposium invites submissions that consider how the region’s long history with such interventions affects the contemporary Middle East and shapes aspirations for future changes. 

We are excited to announce that the symposium will feature a keynote lecture by Dr. Sara Pursley, Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at New York University’s Department of History. Dr. Pursley is the author of Familiar Futures: Time, Selfhood, and Sovereignty in Iraq.

To apply, please submit a 250-300 word abstract that describes the main arguments of your presentation, your methodology, and the connection to the theme by Friday, June 28, 2019 through this Google form: A limited number of $200 travel grants are available to assist presenters with travel costs.

Please email with questions or for more information

Institute for Middle East Studies Graduate Student Symposium 

The George Washington University

Friday, September 20th 2019

Lindner Family Commons

1957 E Street NW 6th floor

Keynote by Dr. Sara Pursley (NYU)

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