On behalf of the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UCSB, directed by Professor Paul Amar, (https:// orfaleacenter.ucsb.edu/) we are delighted to welcome you to a major international convening, held in person, from the 20th through 24th of February, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. The conference is entitled “Security in Context: Mapping Urban (In)Securities in the Middle East and Reconceiving De-imperial Justice across the Global South.”   

This conference has three objectives:

(1) This convening unites scholars (experienced as well as many young or emergent voices) with activist public intellectuals from the Middle East or whose work on or in  the Global South engages the Middle East through comparison with Latin America or Africa. Our aim is to share path-breaking empirical research and conceptual  innovations in the area of Critical Security Studies. We identify the field of Critical Security Studies in the broadest sense to include analysis of war, conflict, militarization, criminalization, policing, incarceration/detention; study of related media or cultural discourses of fear, danger, and enmity; and identification of the political-economic drivers of insecurity that structure them. 

(2) This gathering creates spaces for new conversations and broad public education in Critical Security Studies that center the urban, the local, environment, and  embodiment; and we give analytical primacy to attendant vectors of class, gender, sexuality, and mobility that constitute relations of power materially; and we will revisit  together the relevant and field-shaping legacies of the MacArthur Foundation International Peace and Security  Project that ran from 1982 until around 2002, with alumni  of the project as well as Program Directors of the Social Science Research Council who currently host the archives of the IPS program. And we will host important policy shaping leaders and progressive Think Tank researchers engaged in changing paradigms in the security, peace and conflict spheres.  

(3) Together we will learn from, and build new conversations around the major projects of the Carnegie Corporation funded “Security in Context” network (https:// www.securityincontext.org/). 

These products of the Security in Context (SIC) network  include the studies, research chapters, podcasts, reports, and public-education videos generated by SIC grantees  and their global-south based partners. And this convening  launches major collaborative book projects supported by this grant namely Cairo Securitized: Reconceiving Urban Justice and Social Resilience (Edited by Paul Amar, American University in Cairo Press, 2024), and My Brother, My Land: A Story from Palestine (Sami Hermez with Sireen Sawalha, Stanford University Press, 2024). In addition, we also have the honor of presenting other book panels by authors who are also board members of the “Security in Context” project, featuring Sextarianism: Sovereignty, Secularism, and the State in Lebanon (Maya Mikdashi, Stanford University Press, 2022) and Bolsonarismo: The Global Origins and Future of Brazil’s Far Right (Fernando Brancoli, Rutgers University Press, 2024). And we will also celebrate the publication of a groundbreaking set of  books by associates of our SIC project team that investigate the link between revolutionary transformation and security-state formations, including: Atef Said’s Revolution Squared: Tahrir, Political Possibilities and  Counterrevolution in Egypt (2023), Dina Wahba’s Counterrevolutionary Egypt: From the Midan to the Neighborhood (2023), Rusha Latif’s Tahrir’s Youth: Leaders of a Leaderless Revolution (2022), and Cilja Harders and Bilgin Ayata’s The Affective Dynamics of Mass Protests: Midan Movements and Political Transformation in Egypt and Turkey (2023).

Conference Location 

Loma Pelona Center 1108 (UCSB)  

Ocean Rd, Isla Vista, CA 93117  

Parking: Lot 23

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Feb 13, 2024
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