Plenary Sessions

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Plenary Session I: The I.B.Tauris Publishers Plenary:‘Liberation: tahrir and what we’re still waiting for’.
Peter Sluglett, Director of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.

Peter_SluglettBorn and educated in England (B.A. Cambridge, 1966, D.Phil Oxford 1972), he taught at Durham University in the north east of England for nineteen years before moving to the United States in 1994. He was Director of the University of Utah’s Middle East Center between 1994 and 2000. He has also taught at Harvard (1991-92) and at the University of California at Berkeley (fall semester, 1992). In 2003 he was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls’ College, Oxford. In August 2011, he became Visiting Research Professor at the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore, where he was appointed Director in 2014.

Peter Sluglett is a historian of the 19th and 20th century Middle East whose main academic focus has been on Iraq and Bilad al-Sham. He is co-author, with Marion-Farouk-Sluglett of Iraq since 1958: from Revolution to Dictatorship (3rd edition, 2001), which has been translated into Arabic, Czech and German. A new and completely revised edition of his doctoral thesis, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country, about the British occupation and mandate, was published by Columbia University Press in 2007. Three recent edited collections are: The Urban Social History of the Middle East, 1750-1950, Syracuse University Press, 2008, and Bilad al-Sham under Ottoman Rule: Essays in Honour of Abdul-Karim Rafeq, Brill, 2010, and (with Jordi Tejel, Riccardo Bocco and Hamit Bozarslan), Writing the Modern History of Iraq: Historiographical and Political Challenges, London, World Scientific Publishing, 2012. His most recent publication (with Andrew Currie) is An Atlas of Islamic History, Routledge, London and New York, 2014.

In 2012-13 he was President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America.

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Plenary Session II: Liberation in the Bedroom? The Shifting Sexual Landscape of the Arab Region
Moderated Q + A with Shereen El Feki, author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World. The session will be moderated by Madawi Al-Rasheed.

shereenpictureShereen El Feki (@shereenelfeki) is the author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World (Random House, 2013), a study of changing sexual attitudes and behaviours across the Arab region, and their intersection with politics and economics, religion and tradition, gender and generations. Sex and the Citadel has been translated into six languages, and was nominated for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Orwell Prize. Shereen started her career in medical science, with a doctorate in immunology from the University of Cambridge, before going on to become an award-winning healthcare correspondent with The Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She is the former vice-chair of the UN’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law, as well as a TED Global Fellow. She is currently leading IMAGES-MENA, a pioneering study of men, masculinities and gender equality in four countries across the Arab region.

Shereen is a Visiting Fellow on Sexual Rights and Social Justice at the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex. She also sits on the board of a number of civil society groups working in the Arab region, among them the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality. Shereen contributes to a number of academic publications, among them Atlas of the Arab Spring, Handbook of Human Rights in the Middle East and International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as popular outlets, including CNN, BBC, The Guardian and The Independent. With roots in Egypt and Wales, Shereen grew up in Canada; she now divides her time between London and Cairo. For more information, please visit

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Plenary session III: Joining Research and Impact: How can Academics and Activists Work Better Together to Influence Policy?

Policy makers on the Middle East are arguably more influenced by targeted advocacy campaigns than academic papers based on years of research.  How can advocacy experts, policy makers and academics work better together to influence policy?  This panel brings together representatives of organisations working on the Middle East to discuss some of their challenges and day to day concerns.  Each panellist will give a short introductory talk, which will be followed by a Q + A session chaired by Frances Guy, President of BRISMES.

On the panel:

  • Fionna Smyth, Amnesty UK
  • Neil Crompton, FCO
  • Nick Martlew, Crisis Action
  • Kate Nevens, Saferworld

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