2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings

Arab Uprising Workshop Image_resizedMiddle East Studies Center Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings

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About the Institute

Friday, July 12-Sunday, July 14, 2013
9:00 am–5:00 pm
Smith Memorial Student Union, Vanport Room 338, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland State University

Beginning in December, 2010, a wave of demonstrations, protests, and revolutions spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  Over two years later, the world is still trying to understand what led to this moment, why these events occurred, and how they have and will continue to impact the region.  By exploring these questions, this workshop will provide teachers with a context and framework for teaching about the Arab Uprisings.

The workshop will feature the following:

  • Keynote address by UCLA Historian James Gelvin and free copy of his book, The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Lectures on subjects including: the role of hip hop in the uprisings, grafitti and political cartoons, and the use of digital media
  • Curriculum from the Choices Program at Brown University
  • Teaching resources based in the Oregon State Standards and Common Core State Standards


Registration is now open!
This workshop is free.  To register, click here.


1-2 optional credits available through Portland State University Continuing Education Department in the Graduate School of Education.  21 Professional Development Units available.

To register to receive credit for the Institute, you must set up a PSU student account (follow these instructions) and submit to the Middle East Studies Center the CEED registration form (either via email or bring it with you on the first day of the workshop).  Participants will be billed online at $55.00 p/credit.  If you’d like two credits, you will register for two different classes of 1 credit each.

The course numbers are:

  • 9A1T – 008 Teaching about the Middle East, CI 410/810   82328 (U), 82329 (G)
  • 9A1T – 009 Teaching about the Middle East,  CI 410/810   82330 (U), 82331 (G)

This course is ONLY offered for a grade.  You may not register pass/fail

For a complete syllabus, click here.


Getting here

  • Information on travel to campus and getting around Portland is found here.
  • If you’re interested in purchasing a parking pass, please contact e.cohen@pdx.edu

Participants have the option of staying at the University Place Hotel at a discounted rate for the duration of the workshop.


1 person—$90.00 per night
2 people—$45.00 per night per person


Friday, July 12

8:30 am—Registration and breakfast
9:00-9:30 am—Welcome and opening remarks
9:30 am-12:00 pm—Understanding the Arab Uprisings, James Gelvin, Professor of History, UCLA
12:00-1:00 pm—Break for Lunch
1:00-2:30 pm—From the Revolution to the Grind: Music and Politics in the Arab Uprisings, Mark LeVine, Professor of History, University of California, Irvine
2:45-4:15 pm—Personal Perspectives on the Uprisings: A Panel Discussion, Lina Gomaa, Arabic Instructor at PSU; Dana Ghazi, student at PSU; Ashour Abdelaziz, graduate student at PSU
4:30:  Drinks and Debrief

Saturday, July 13

9:00-10:30 am—Imagery of the Arab Uprisings, Patricia Goldsworthy, Assistant Professor of History, Western Oregon University
10:45 am-12:15 pm—Democracy’s Fourth Wave?  Digital Media and the Arab Spring, Muzammil Hussein, co-author of Democracy’s Fourth Wave?: Digital Media and the Arab Spring
12:15-1:00 pm—Break for Lunch
1:00-2:30 pm—North African Rebellion and Reform, Paul A. Silverstein, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Reed College
2:45-4:15 pm—Teaching about the Arab Uprisings: A Panel Discussion, Shawn Daley, president of the Oregon Council for Social Studies, Deb Johnston, teacher at Lakeside School, Melinda Gale, the Choices Program, and Elisheva Cohen, Outreach Coordinator for the Middle East Studies Center

Sunday, July 14

9:00 am—Breakfast
9:15 am-12:00 pm—Why the Arab Uprisings Matter, Jordan Sudermann and Elisheva Cohen
12:00-1:00 pm—Break for Lunch
1:00-3:00 pm—Presentations and closing session


Elisheva Cohen, Outreach Coordinator


Middle East Studies Center
Portland State University
PO Box 751 – MESC
Portland, OR 97207-0751
Tel: 503-725-4074
Fax: 503-725-5320


Ashour Abdelaziz is a graduate student in the department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University from Libya. He is interested in Middle East and North Africa politics as well as the sociolinguistics of North Africa. His other interests are code switching, linguistic landscape, social media and language & gender.

Shawn Daley joined the College of Education at Concordia University the summer of 2010, after serving as an adjunct professor for the College since 2005. Prior to that, I worked for ten years in the private and public school systems in Oregon, working for 3 years at Jesuit High School and 7 years at Gresham High School. While there I taught classes at all levels (including International Baccalaureate) in Theology, Social Justice, Social Studies, Language Arts and Speech. I also chaired the Social Studies Department and Site Council at Gresham High School. I did my undergraduate studies in History, Writing and Asian Studies at Loyola University Maryland, and then completed my Master of Arts in Teaching at George Fox in Newberg, Oregon. I’m presently completing a Master of Arts in History at Portland State, after which I will begin doctoral training.

Melinda Gale began teaching bilingual (Spanish/English) social studies in 1990 with Teach for America.  She has taught both college and high school level courses in social studies, Spanish and ESOL.  Currently she teaches in the IB program at Lincoln High School in downtown Portland and is completing a one-year Choices Teaching Fellowship on human rights with the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.  Melinda holds a BA from Reed College and an MAT from Lewis and Clark College.

James L. Gelvin is Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, his Master’s in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has taught at Boston College, Harvard University, MIT, and the American University in Beirut.  A specialist in the modern social and cultural history of the Arab East, he is author of four books: The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press, 2012); The Modern Middle East: A History (Oxford University Press, 2004, 2007, 2011);The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War (Cambridge University Press, 2005, 2007, 2013); and Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (University of California Press, 1998), along with numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes. He is also co-editor of the forthcoming Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print, 1850-1930 (University of California Press, 2013).

Dana Ghazi is a Syrian-American student here at PSU.  She studied English Literature at Damascus University and is currently working on a BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies. Dana is interested in pursuing a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution next year as a corner-stone in contributing to the rebuilding of a post-conflict Syria.

Patricia Goldsworthy is Assistant Professor of Transnational Europe and Middle East History at Western Oregon University. She earned her PhD from University of California, Irvine in 2009, and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her research explores the intersection of visual culture and imperialism in the Maghreb. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Colonial Negatives that examines the history of the making and circulation of images in Sharifian and French Morocco and analyzes the ways in which photography both supported and hindered the ideologies of the French colonial empire. She has articles forthcoming in the Journal of North African Studies and the edited volume Flash: The Art and History of News Pictures, and has published in the Journal of Early Popular Visual Culture.

Lina Gomaa, an Arabic instructor at Portland State University,  received her MA in Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting from University of Salford, UK.  At Beloit College, she obtained her BA in Creative Writing, with a minor in Journalism. Moreover, at Beloit College, she has had her training as a teacher, obtaining a certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language. In Egypt, Miss Gomaa obtained a BA in Arabic/English Translation and English literature from Faculty of Languages, Alsun, Ain Shams University, I.  At the American University in Cairo, she has received the certificate of Teaching Arabic for non-native speakers. Miss Gomaa has taught Arabic and English to non-native-speakers at several universities in Egypt and the USA. During her travels in the UK, US and Egypt, she has attended several workshops on leadership and teaching in addition to publishing articles in Arabic and English. Miss Gomaa’s research interests are second language acquisition and translation including holy texts, focusing on the Holy Quran translations into English.

Muzammil M. Hussain is a comparative international researcher of information infrastructure and social organization, and digital media and political participation. He has published widely on these issues in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Journal of Democracy; Policy & Internet), edited volumes (e.g., Oxford University Press; Cambridge University Press), and media and technology policy briefs (e.g., Brookings Institution’s Issues in Technology and Innovation; InterMedia Survey Research Institute’s Development Research Series). He also presents regularly at associational conferences (e.g., European Consortium for Political Research; American Political Science Association), and invited workshops (e.g., Legatum Institute, London; Heinrich Boll Foundation, Berlin). Several research projects he has been involved with have been supported by agencies (National Science Foundation; Department of Homeland Security), foundations (MacArthur Foundation; Gates Foundation), and corporations (Google Research; Intel Research). In addition to original research, he serves by reviewing for research journals (e.g., Journal of Information Technology & Politics; Media, War, & Conflict) and organizing for international conferences and workshops (e.g., The Future of Computational Social Science; Networking Young Citizens). Most recently, he was keynote speaker at MediaOn 2011 (Sao Paulo), Brazil’s largest annual international convention on online journalism in emerging markets, and a delegate to the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Stockholm Internet Forum 2012. Hussain has held visiting positions in North America and Europe, and conducted research fieldwork in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Deborah Johnston has been teaching a Current Issues in the Middle East class for the past six years at an independent school in Seattle.  Within the class, she uses literature, current events and historical texts to focus upon specific topics in the region. She has maintained an interest in the region since she went to high school in Egypt in the 1980’s.

Mark LeVine is Professor of modern Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the CMES at Lund University in Sweden. He is the author and editor of 10 books, including most recently Heavy Metal Islam (Random House 2008), Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel (UC Press, 2005), Islam and Popular Culture (forthcoming) and The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh (UC Press, forthcoming).

Paul A. Silverstein  is Professor of Anthropology of Reed College, outgoing chair of the board of directors of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) in Washington, DC. He is author of Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race, and Nation (Indiana, 2004) and co-editor of Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana, 2006).  Since 2000, he has been doing research on ethnic activism and development politics in southeastern Morocco.


For resources and teaching materials from the workshop, please click here.