Identity crisis: Scholars debate Mid East

By Tara Kadioglu

Questions of national identity, particularly in the Middle East, have recently spurred debates across the world. The Student Committee on the Middle East’s (SCME) panel on Wednesday, November 10, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the International House, titled “Examining National Identity: Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the Future of the Middle East,” will address issues such as the use of multilateralism, the importance of patriotism, and the relationship between the U.S. and the U.N.

Distinguished professors Saskia Sassen (Sociology, University of Chicago), Peter Berkowitz (George Mason Law School), Anne Bayefsky (Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute), and Mazin Qumsiyeh (Genetics, Yale University) will discuss the benefits and detriments that nationalism and transnationalism offer as models of national identity. Two panelists will make theoretical arguments, while the other two panelists will focus on current Middle Eastern politics, examining national identity in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the validity of a two-state solution.

The University of Chicago Democrats, College Republicans, the International House Global Voices Program, Americans for Informed Democracy, Chicago Society, Chicago Friends of Israel, and the Newberger Hillel Center will co-sponsor.

This event, sponsored by the SCME, is part of an ongoing series to bring the University community together for civil, inclusive, balanced, and bipartisan dialogue on important political issues in the Middle East.