MENA Dialogues Video Series

MENA Dialogues is a video series produced by the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University and consisting of interviews with leading scholars, artists, and writers. We host a vibrant speakers series throughout the academic year. With MENA Dialogues we engage our guest speakers and visiting scholars in conversations about their research and publications and explore ideas in a dynamic format.

The series is produced by MENA Assistant Director Danny Postel.

Novelist and essayist Porochista Khakpour in conversation with Brian Edwards

On October 9, 2017, as part of our MENA Monday series, MENA director Brian Edwards interviewed novelist and essayist Porochista Khakpour, who was a Visiting Writer-in-Residence with the MENA Program and the Center for the Writing Arts in September and October of 2017. Khakpour is the author of the novels Sons and Other Flammable Objects (2007) and The Last Illusion (2014), and the forthcoming memoir Sick. The point of departure for the conversation was Khakpour’s “How to Write Iranian-America, or The Last Essay.”


Is Morocco Exceptional? An Interview with Abdelhay Moudden & Driss Ksikes

On May 15, 2017, MENA director Brian Edwards interviewed two of Morocco’s most prominent intellectual figures: the political scientist Abdelhay Moudden and the playwright and novelist Driss Ksikes. Moudden is Professor of Political Science at Mohammed V University in Rabat and the founder and academic director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning in Morocco. Ksikes is the author of numerous plays, novels, and essays and is editor in chief of the journal Economia.

Joel Beinin on labor struggles in the Arab world & the bleak situation in Egypt

On April 3, 2017, MENA Assistant Director Danny Postel interviewed Joel Beinin, Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University, about his recent book Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Beinin's previous books include Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882 1954, Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East, and Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa.

Esra Özyürek on religion, secularism, and nationalism in Turkey and Europe

On February 14, 2017, Nazlı Özkan, a PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology and Middle East & North African Studies at Northwestern, spokme with Esra Özyürek, Chair of Contemporary Turkish Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of author of Nostalgia for the Modern: State Secularism and Everyday Politics in Turkey and Being German, Becoming Muslim: Race, Religion and Conversion in the New Europe and the editor of The Politics of Public Memory in Turkey.

Bassam Haddad & Brian Edwards on public scholarship & Middle East studies

On January 30, 2017, MENA director Brian Edwards interviewed Bassam Haddad, Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program at George Mason University, Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute, and the co-founder and co-editor of the online magazine Jadaliyya. Haddad is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience and co-editor of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? and Critical Voices, a book of interviews with leading researchers, intellectuals, artists, and activists in the Middle East today.